GenTrust's George Perez in Barron's

Crisis Presents Wealth-Boosting Opportunities

Amidst the turmoil unleashed by the coronavirus, financial advisors have been seizing on low interest rates and deflated stock prices to help clients minimize taxes and build more family wealth in the future.
Cheap stocks, for instance, mean the time may be ripe for Roth IRA conversions, says Erin Wood, vice president of wealth planning at Carson Wealth Management Group, in Omaha, Neb. “With a much lower tax basis, that ability to convert now is in [clients’] favor,” she says. The tax hit from selling stocks now is much smaller than it was at the peak of the market in February.
Advisors are also talking to clients about speeding up gifting plans and refinancing real estate and other debt. Some are accelerating tax loss harvesting and rebalancing portfolios ahead of schedule. All this activity is being driven by cheap stocks and low interest rates. As of midday on Thursday, the S&P 500 was 24% lower than its Feb. 19 high, even after a stimulus-fueled rally. And 30-year mortgage rates stand at 3.5%, down from nearly 5% in late 2018.
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