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Optivest Updates

for High Net Worth Families

Strategic tax planning for high net worth individuals and families is not a passive exercise. Reducing your tax liabilities takes careful planning and knowledge of the complex tax system. Failing to consult with a financial expert may result in you paying more than your share, as well as not maximizing your income streams.

Here are three strategies we recommend you take advantage of  (if applicable): 

1. Tax Loss Harvesting: Tax loss harvesting provides a way to improve your after-tax return on taxable investments. It is a  strategy that entails selling securities at a loss and using those losses to offset taxes from gains realized from other investments and income.  Your financial advisor can help you identify investments that have realized gains incurred for the year and find losses to offset those gains. Tax-loss harvesting allows you to avoid paying capital gains tax. If you would like to keep your position in the account, it is possible to repurchase the same investment after the 30-day wash rule expires.  

2. Charitable Donations: With tax rates poised to go down because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, you may get more “bang for your buck” if you give as much as you can this year while you can still deduct under the existing tax rules.  One way to accomplish this is through a Donor-Advised Fund  (DAF). Consider a DAF to be your own personal charitable savings account. For example, you might consider transferring your appreciated securities into a DAF, which would allow you to deduct the full current value of those securities from your taxable income this year. This powerful strategy allows you to take the tax deduction now and give the money away later.  

3. Bond Portfolios: Municipal bonds might not get the same amount of attention as stocks, cryptocurrencies, and other hot assets, however, when allocated appropriately, they can play an indispensable role in a well-balanced portfolio.  If you are currently holding a corporate bond portfolio and need to reduce your tax liability, you may benefit by converting it to a municipal bond portfolio to create a tax-free income stream.

Municipal bonds are always exempt from federal taxes and bonds issued by your home state are double tax-exempt – you will potentially avoid state and local taxes as well. For more detailed strategies that will help reduce your tax liability for 2018, please visit our blog at Take the time to review your tax planning strategies with your wealth management advisor or contact us for a complimentary second opinion. Wealth is built through making smart and informed choices. Optivest, Inc. provides true wealth management with extensive expertise in complex financial issues. Our holistic and integrated approach includes advanced planning for tax efficiency, wealth transfer, wealth protection, and philanthropy.

We are here to humbly serve you and encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have.

 All the Best,

Mark, Bart, Leslie & Stella

Our concern list grows. High equity valuations and rising interest rates stress our markets on a fundamental basis that high consumer confidence and low unemployment in the U.S. ultimately cannot outrun. While our U.S. stock market rallies on greater company spending for stock buybacks than capex even after tax law changes are supposed to promote capex, high debt levels and increasing debt coverage expense will bleed into that. Globally, our strong Dollar may be its own worst enemy particularly in the midst of trade wars and politics. We continue to be vigilant and feel we have the best investments to participate in long-term economic growth and any potential interruptions to this rally in the near-term.

We are here to humbly serve you and encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have.

All the Best,

Mark, Bart, Leslie & Stella

Featured in Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ) on September 3, 2018

The Optivest Foundation is included in the top private philanthropic organizations in Orange County for 2018, based on its generous contributions made to ministry partners and Christian philanthropies throughout Orange County in 2017. The Optivest Companies (Optivest Wealth Management, Optivest Properties, Optivest Investment Banking and Optivest Retirement Strategies) all tithe 10% of gross revenue to the Optivest Foundation for distribution to Christian ministries locally and across the globe.

Optivest Foundation “Why Wall”

Mark Van Mourick, Founding Partner of Optivest Wealth Management alongside Letitia Berbaum, Wealth Advisor, proudly showcase the Optivest Foundation Why Wall in the Optivest corporate office in Dana Point. This Why Wall highlights specific projects, families and initiatives the Optivest Foundation has supported locally and stands to reiterate the bedrock of the Optivest businesses.

Click Here to view The List: 2018 OC Corporate, Private Foundations

Visit to learn more

A strong U.S. economy has stretched asset values and caused a run-up in interest rates, leading the financial markets to one of the flattest first-half performances in recent history. We look for earnings to catch up to valuations and hope for a positive end to the global trade wars in the second half of this year. Most importantly, we remain adherent to our mission of optimizing your investment portfolios and planning for your ideal future.

As always, we are here for you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have.

All the Best,

Mark, Bart, Leslie & Stella

May 24, 2018 – Mark Van Mourick along with the other board members of National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA) rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this morning in honor of the 3rd anniversary of the NSA initial public offering (IPO) and annual board meeting.
National Storage Affiliates LogoNYSE Logo


Published in Orange County Business Journal on April 16, 2018:

Leslie Calhoun, Senior Partner & Chief Compliance Office was nominated for the Orange County Business Journals 2018 Women of the Year award. This award is designed to recognize outstanding professional women who have made significant contributions to their organizations, their professions and the Orange County community.

As quoted in the Orange County Business Journal on April 16, 2018:  “In her 11 years at Optivest Wealth Management, Leslie Calhoun implements tactical investment strategies and monitors investment performance. With more than 25 years of investment industry experience, she works to provide the utmost care in serving her clients’ financial needs and facilitating success. Calhoun’s passion lies in fostering financial growth for successful women leaders. She takes great pride in her ability to do more than just manage client portfolios; she works to instruct, guide and deliver customized financial and investment insight for her clients amidst their fast-paced lives. Calhoun also coaches individuals going through difficult transitions, working to build confidence, knowledge, independence and self-esteem. Optivest began in 1987 with the goal of providing holistic wealth management services to a select group of successful individuals and families in Southern California.”

As we enter this period of heightened volatility and checkered quarterly returns, it is even more important to keep a strategically balanced portfolio. We remain opportunistic in adding non-correlated allocations (see Leslie’s thoughts) and stick to our unemotional disciplines (see Bart’s advice) to avoid common market timing whipsaw mistakes, all the while continuously optimizing our core securities selection (per Stella’s article).

Don’t hesitate to call or reach out to your service team with questions: 949.363.8686

All the Best,

Mark, Leslie, Stella and Bart

2017 was a tremendous transition year for Optivest. We added industry veteran Bart Zandbergen, CFP® as Senior Wealth Advisor and Stella Choi, CFA®, CFP® as Director of Portfolio Management who was responsible for implementing our successful risk-based model portfolios for Optivest clients. As 2018 commences, we continue to refine our portfolio models and upgrade our different portfolio software systems to enhance our management and reporting capabilities.

U.S. & World Economy by Mark:

Irrespective of the news “noise” and saber rattling, the fuse has been lit for the “Trump Trade” once again. Over the last 4 – 6 weeks U.S. focused stocks, interest rates and the U.S. Dollar have all surged from the doldrums. As we head into the historically volatile month of October, the U.S. economy is finally achieving a 3% GDP growth rate (second quarter revised) and the financial markets are strong. Hopes are gaining for a Federal Government tax reform, which comes at a good time for us Californians who have the highest state income tax, sales tax, gas tax and vehicle tax in the country (according to the Orange County Register). However, our ability to offset these taxes against our federal taxes will be a major battle. As we wrote in our January 2017 newsletter, we believe lower taxes will again help GDP growth and, surprisingly, help with Federal Government deficits as they have done in the past.

While inflation has stubbornly remained below the 2% Fed target, interest rates have started moving upwards in anticipation based on our low unemployment level, increased GDP, pro-business agenda, hopes of tax reform, and the impact of the Fed starting to sell off their $4 trillion holdings. Time will tell if this is the start of a multi-year trend or another false start. 

November 1, 2017

California Business JournalAre we at the top yet? Selling near stock market highs and locking in profits is always tempting, especially when the current bull market is one of the longest on record and seemingly puttering out. Yes, this might be the perfect time to sell, however, let’s look at the long term odds first.

According to Check Capital’s research, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) has advanced in 78% of the years since 1950 (or about 4 out of every 5 years). Further, 95% of every five years – and 100% of each decade – since 1950 have led to a new high. These statistics are true even though the S&P 500 has had an average of 14.2% annual peak to trough dips. Volatility is normal. While the average S&P 500 annual return has been about 10%, annual returns in the 5% – 15% range surprisingly only happen about 20% of the time so expect big price swings. If your investment time horizon is longer than a few years, betting against these odds is dangerous. But sitting through another multi-year decline is equally unsavory. What to do, then?