The Silicon Review
There are tax advisors, there are investment advisors, there are insurance professionals, and there are estate planning attorneys. Each is good at what they do, but their advice is usually standalone, piece-meal without a comprehensive, well-coordinated approach with other related disciplines. This falls short of the clients’ expectations of the advice they get from their advisors. LFS recognizes this expectation gap and is structured to fill this gap with its Total Solutions Approach to planning.
Finances are getting more complex, and the different areas of finance (taxation, estate, investment, retirement, risk management) are so intertwined that they need to be considered in a well-coordinated total solution approach. That is the service philosophy at LFS Wealth Advisors.
Established in 1988, LFS Wealth Advisors is here to bridge clients’ expectations gap by providing a comprehensive solutions approach (vis-à-vis piece-meal) to planning for their finances. LFS Wealth Advisors is a comprehensive wealth management firm serving the San Francisco Bay Area. LFS’ total solutions approach integrates tax planning/tax reduction strategies, estate conservation planning, retirement distribution planning and portfolio management to help achieve optimal wealth management results.
At the Helm
John Lau (Founder, President & CEO of LFS Wealth Advisors) has been in the financial services profession for close to thirty years, starting as a Certified Public Accountant in the 1970’s after graduating from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. In the 1980s, he received his Master of Science in Taxation at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. John was later licensed as a Certified Financial Planner™ in the 1990s. Today, he leads one of the 50 Most Admired Companies of the year 2021 in LFS Wealth Advisors.
“It has been a long learning and knowledge accumulation journey, and I am enjoying every part of it. This knowledge combination allows me to do what I do today at LFS Wealth Advisors,” said John Lau, Founder, President & CEO of LFS Wealth Advisors.
We recently interviewed John Lau to know more about his idea of innovation. In this interview, he also spoke about the company’s finesse – when it comes to covering the customer’s finances from all angles and much more. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. How do your services help the retirees?
Retirees have special planning needs such as planning for what to do before anything happens to them; or what to do if they suddenly lose a spouse and become single. These life events have significant financial consequences and preemptive planning is important. At their age, Retirees may have health and long-term care issues, or their estate needs to be put in order, to allow for transition in tax and financially efficient ways. Their investment portfolios need to be carefully managed for risk, and without paying unnecessary taxes. Our Total Solutions Approach is designed to provide optimal planning with these considerations included.
Q. How does LFS help manage a customer’s finances from all angles? How do you help your customers prosper?
With our tax and accounting background as CPAs, our planning typically starts with an in-depth analysis of client’s income tax returns. Most people file their tax returns every year and then forget about it. Unfortunately, many tax preparers do not go beyond just compliance work, consequently clients do not get the planning that they need. Believe it or not, your Form 1040 is a perfect road map for planning, and our mission is to help our clients grow their top-line with proven financial and investment strategies, and maximize their bottom line with tax reduction strategies. We also help our clients with other risk management issues such as long-term care, life insurance policy enhancement strategies, and Medicare/Medi-Cal planning.
Q. How do you empower your employees to grow?
We have a rigorous training program for our employees that include both technical and soft skill development. We mentor our employees by first assigning them to a more experienced staff and by providing ongoing feedback and challenge them to gradually perform at higher levels. Our employees trust us to help them grow their career; and as an employer, it is our duty to do our best to help each of our employees reaches their potentials.
Q. How important are partnerships to your company?
With the growing complexity of the financial world, no firm can be an island unto itself. To properly serve our clients, we must continue to educate ourselves and to collaborate with other professionals. So I think partnerships are critical to a firm’s growth and service to our clients.
Q. What does innovation mean to you?
This is a great question. To me, innovation means to continue to find a new frontier, to find more efficient and reliable ways to help our clients achieve their financial goals. If a firm does not innovate, it will die on the vine. It is just as simple as that.
Q. Could you tell us about a customer success story?
A recent example is last year (2020), when there were a lot of speculations in the financial and tax community about how the anticipated new tax legislative changes would affect our clients’ finances. We presented a number of informational webinars to educate people about what was anticipated, what planning vehicles to consider, and what to do before the year ends. We helped our clients plan preemptively to avoid the pitfalls before the law change.
Q. What does the future hold for your company?
Our future is very bright. Over the years, we have built a scalable infrastructure and system that allows us to grow and to bring our Total Solution Approach to planning. We have a Plug-N-Play program now that enables distant planners to plug into our system to serve clients in their local areas.