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By David GordonDirector, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

Like most advisors, you probably do not provide tax advice. You can, however, position yourself as an "After-Tax Advisor" who understands and communicates the likely tax consequences of various investment recommendations. Positioning yourself as an After-Tax Advisor can help justify a portion of the fees you might charge.

The best way to reinforce your value as an After-Tax Advisor without making predictions is to ask thought-provoking questions. Imagine the conversations that could arise from asking prospective clients the following questions:

  • "Are there any possible tax scenarios that might prompt you to change the way you invest?"
  • "How would your current investment priorities change if the U.S. economy strengthened (or weakened)?"
  • "Has the pandemic and associated financial uncertainty caused you to adjust any long-term goals?"
  • "Do you think your tax situation will change going forward?"

As an After-Tax Advisor, your role is to get prospective clients thinking and talking about how different tax scenarios might affect them. By encouraging them to consider several possibilities (not just their preferred outcome), you can arouse their curiosity, stimulate their thinking and attract their business.

Bottom line: It is a perfect time to attract new clients as an After-Tax Advisor by helping them prepare their portfolios for better tax outcomes.