Senior Wealth Manager
As the son of two CPA’s there was probably little doubt that Chris would excel in math and find his calling in the financial or business world. Chris started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers but knew his passion for working for investors wasn’t through auditing of public companies, his passion was aligning himself with the individual investors to plot their path to financial independence. His work with individuals and families calls on some of Chris’ strongest attributes – his skill in building relationships, his drive to solve complex problems and his commitment to helping others plan for their future.
Chris is a CPA and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and uses this unique combination of knowledge to help clients identify tax mitigation planning within their business or retirement income plan. This background also contributes to his success helping business owners and self-employed individuals within Atlanta Financials’ BizOWN FIT™ program. He also enjoys working with families who are preparing for retirement or are already retired as they navigate the emotional and financial aspects of moving into the next phase of their life through the Retire-ReadyFIT™ program. Chris also relates on a personal level with younger couples in the AFA YPFIT™ program as he shares how he and his family have thought about their own finances with regards to insurance, home purchases, budgeting, and saving for tomorrow while enjoying today. These views are shared through his regular blog posts.
Chris graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor and Master’s of Accountancy degree. He worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers being promoted to Manager before leaving to pursue his passion within his mother’s tax and financial planning practice. Chris joined Atlanta Financial Associates in 2018 in the Senior Wealth Manager role. Since joining Atlanta Financial Associates, Chris has become an integral part of the Investment Committee and leadership team.
Chris and his wife, Julie, live in west Atlanta with their two young daughters, Alice and Elizabeth. When not working or watching Disney movies with his daughters, he enjoys golf, running, and reading. Chris loves his Alabama Crimson Tide but is also a fan of almost all college athletics. Chris and Julie are also active members of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of the economy. When President Donald Trump declared the virus a national emergency at the beginning of March, standards of living rapidly shifted: governors enacted stay-at-home orders, learning institutions closed and consumers suddenly faced unprecedented challenges.1 While the travel and tourism industry is seeing record lows, demand for staple foods and hygiene products has surged.
Help for small businesses continues to be a hot topic after the massive stimulus bill passed Friday, March 27th. Details of the available programs continue to be clarified but one of the programs for which we have fielded the most questions is the Payroll Protection Program. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released the official application and will begin to process applications on Friday, April 3rd. These loans will typically be processed through an SBA approved bank (our experience has been that almost all banks of reasonable size are enrolled and will be processing these loans and applications).
Why do I have bonds in my portfolio in this low rate environment? This is a reasonable question given the strong performance of the equity market in recent history. Last week major equity indexes have gone into “correction” (defined as a drop of 10% or more from the index high.) These sudden declines are the reason we have fixed income in most portfolios. Bonds do not typically provide the same long-term returns as equities, but they also protect our portfolio by limiting volatility and providing a ballast in our portfolio. Since the global financial crisis, we have had historically low interest rates and bond returns have not been what investors historically experienced. This has left investors looking for higher returns with two choices, buy more equities or invest in lower credit-quality bonds which typically pay higher interest rates. We have always…
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (“SECURE”) Act was signed into law on December 20, 2019. With all of the discussion in the news around the political uncertainty, impeachment, and the looming trade war, one of the largest changes to retirement savings laws in recent years was passed with very little fanfare. However, some of the changes will be significant. I have tried to highlight what may impact the majority of our clients and readers.
The Act has a lot of positives such as simplifying rules and making 401k plans potentially available to more workers, pushing back the RMD age, and allowing contributions to IRAs past age 70. The negative impact I see is the elimination of the stretch IRA which is a clear move by the government to raise tax revenues by forcing money out of inherited IRAs sooner. I will discuss in more detail below, but this should be a time to review beneficiaries and discuss whether any change in your legacy planning should be made in response to the new laws. What do you need to pay attention to?
People say the only bad questions are the ones you don’t ask. That can be true, and asking bad questions likely won’t hurt you, but it is more important to ask the “Right” questions. In the last year, I met with a potential client who asked me a question I want to share with you. After some “get to know you chat” he asked me, “So, how are your results?” to which I responded, “Very high.” I could see the confusion on his face, so I just waited. As I will explain later, this had nothing to do with guaranteeing results.
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which became effective for tax years starting in 2018, significantly impacted many taxpayers. The change impacting the most taxpayers was the enhanced standard deduction and loss of many itemized deductions. Tax forms were also presented differently making it difficult for taxpayers who reviewed their returns in detail to compare year-to-year. While there were many changes, there are still some important tax savings strategies that may help you pay less in taxes. Which ones apply to your situation? Ask yourself the following questions…