'Tis The Season To Ask Clients About Their Philanthropic Plans

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 23:04
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'Tis The Season To Ask Clients About Their Philanthropic Plans

The year-end tax planning rush is the ideal time for advisors to have a conversation with their clients about their philanthropic goals. Even a simple question about deductible charitable gifts can easily turn into a way to deepen a professional relationship and prove an advisor's expertise.

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Although plenty of advisors are shy about broaching a topic they consider too personal for the office, charitable gurus say their clients actually love talking about their favorite causes. And since philanthropy is as valid a financial goal as sending the kids to school or buying a beach house, there's a solid reason for any advisor to ask.

In fact, there's a good chance that your best clients have been waiting for you to start the charitable ball rolling. According to a 2006 survey by CEG Worldwide, 75% of the highest-end high-net-worth individuals out there rate "meaningful gifts to charity" higher than more traditional planning goals like retirement or education.

Naturally, an advisor who can help them achieve their philanthropic goals (maybe by setting up a donor-advised fund or charitable trust) instantly adds plenty of value and, more importantly, builds a deeper personal rapport.

Toronto trade journal Investment Executive has a lot of tips for when and how advisors on either side of the Canadian border can have the conversation. Full Story

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