The owner of a biotech company that had recently received its series B valuation was looking for advice about her growing personal portfolio. Extremely busy leading her company, she had little time to devote to her own finances. After initial conversations, we realized that she needed a clear picture of what she owned, including private company stock and personal real estate, as well as various equity and fixed income investments. Seeing all her assets on one page was eye opening for her, as it was clear how unwieldy her balance sheet had become with no overall asset allocation or plan for how her assets should be held.
We started by setting up an estate plan, including a revocable trust designed to avoid the California probate system as well as strategies to minimize her long-term income and estate taxes. Our analysis also determined that she could gift a portion of her private company stock during her lifetime so that her heirs could benefit from its future appreciation free of estate taxes. We then helped her think through different asset allocations for her personal assets versus the longer-term trusts, and built an investment policy to guide future investment decisions for each.
Because she felt we understood her objectives so clearly, she gave us discretion to invest her long-term portfolio based on her investment policy. This more organized view of her wealth allowed her to make decisions about estate planning strategies as well as her investments with a greater sense of clarity and confidence.
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