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The Philanthropic Side Of Planning

In this issue of Sentinel we launch a feature, Charitably Speaking, that brings a new dimension to our professional practice as well as to our newsletter.

Charitably Speaking highlights a philanthropic cause that we find interesting or noteworthy, or just too important to ignore. If some readers agree and choose to provide financial support, great. If some choose to become involved personally, even better. And, if you choose to write to us about the organizations you care about, that would be best of all. We will gladly consider your suggestions as we search for ideas to share.

Financial planning, at least the way we practice it, is not simply about finding ways to accumulate more money. Good planning is the art of helping someone use resources to accomplish something important.

Most of our clients have already provided amply for themselves and their families. Many are deeply interested in philanthropy, as a way of contributing to the community and also to teach younger family members the importance of good stewardship and wise generosity. As financial planners, we are going to be called upon increasingly to help our clients create effective programs of charitable giving. This will mean getting into the question of who as much as how. I do not mean that a planner ever should substitute his or her goals for those of the client. Our role is to suggest useful criteria, let the client make the policy decisions, and help implement those decisions if asked. Through Charitably Speaking and elsewhere in this newsletter, we will have much more to say about these topics in the months and years ahead.

Speaking of years, we are entering our eighth year of financial and tax planning services at Larry M. Elkin & Co., and our third at our registered investment adviser affiliate, Palisades Hudson Asset Management, Inc. As time passes we find ourselves increasingly working with second and third generations of client families, enjoying the privilege of being a trusted friend and adviser rather than merely a technician. Your reception of Palisades Hudson has amazed us, with about $150 million under management in just 25 months. This is a heartfelt thank you to all whose support has made our success possible and our work so meaningful and rewarding.

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