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Questions to Ask if Building Wealth is the Task 05.28.2021

As we sit on the eve of 2021’s Memorial Day Weekend, 73% of those in a Quinnipiac poll said their plans are similar to the ones they had pre-pandemic. The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is getting brighter and brighter by the day!

building Wealth Questions to Ask

We’re looking at plunging COVID-19 case and death rates and widening vaccination uptake rates here in the United States, in addition to an uptake in exuberance and economic optimism by investors that has driven the stock market to all time highs. And, as is typically true during periods of market extremes, the talking heads, market strategists, investment gurus, and even your brother-in-law Frank seem to have all the answers as to why this is happening, and what lies around the corner. Our advice to you: Ignore this nonsense, and ignore them all.

Rather than become enamored by these predictions and/or fall prey to a well-articulated story spun by a seemingly well-credentialed “expert,” we encourage you to tune out this noise, and not worry nor think too much or too hard about interest rates, cryptocurrencies, inflation, China, large caps and small caps, mask mandates, or the U.S. deficit. Don’t worry about what the “new normal” means, and don’t get too worked up about “getting your share” of the possible American Jobs Plan or the American Families Plan stimulus packages (we’re purposefully not even linking to any of these themes). Instead, let’s channel our energy and attention into things that we have control over.


While we do believe you should always be ready for the unexpected, we also feel it is way more important to understand and internalize a number of foundational investing and wealth building principles. Ask yourself if you can succinctly and confidently answer the following questions:

  • Can I remain objective and rational, and recognize when you are being fearful, greedy, and emotional about your money? Your worst investment enemy is usually found by looking in the mirror. The limbic system is a wonderfully complex set of brain structures that deal with emotions, but activating your fight or flight response in reaction to fear, greed, and anger is not conducive to successful investing or successful longer-term wealth building. 
  • Do I understand that my neighbors, friends, and co-workers are perhaps confused and delusional? Not only do they probably spend too much and boast too much about their portfolio, but the chances their financial decisions are rooted in any of the principles listed here are quite low.
  • Am I trying to simply make money, or am I working to build and protect my wealth? We equate the former to gambling, and the latter to investing. While anything can happen on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual basis, we believe your odds of success increase significantly if you establish and follow a disciplined longer-term wealth building plan.
  • What am I doing to proactively insulate my downside from a major catastrophe during a market correction? We believe this is way more important than hitting a home run during a period of market strength. While his two rules are a bit binary, the spirit of Warren Buffett’s quote should resonate:
  • Why am I investing, and do I have a plan? For obvious reasons, it is invaluable to not only think through, articulate, and quantify the goals and vision you have for your and your family’s future, but also to have a methodology for how you attend to your personal financial decision-making. And this methodology will be different than your friend’s, neighbor’s, or co-worker’s, as we all obviously have different things that motivate us and that we ultimately want out of life. This is assuming that your friend, neighbor, or co-worker even has a plan at all.
  • Do I recognize that costs, fees, expenses, and taxes matter? At Towerpoint Wealth, we call them “necessary evils” to helping clients grow and protect their net worth. And while we can never eliminate the drag that costs, fees, expenses, and taxes creates, we certainly can work to identify, and reduce, these friction points.
  • Am I aware that saving money is the single most effective way to build my wealth and to retire? While you need to have balance between saving for tomorrow and living your life today, the capital you spend today is capital no longer available to fund your retirement. Saving money equals peace of mind.

Towerpoint Wealth Turns Four!

On May 26, 2017, with zero clients and $0 in assets under management, we officially launched Towerpoint Wealth. Classified as a “bold,” “risky,” “fearless,” and “courageous” decision by our clients and colleagues, it fortunately turned out to be a prescient and extremely positive one based on the feedback we continue to receive and strategic growth we continue to experience.

Today, we are approaching $350 million in assets under management, and continue to be thrilled to serve YOU, always striving to expand your peace of mind by helping you remove the hassle of properly coordinating your financial affairs.

What’s Happening at TPW?

The Towerpoint Wealth crew recently spent some time in a professional photo shoot with Tim Engle, of Tim Engle Photography – below is one of our favorite shots from the session.

We hold our collective noses to the grindstone at Towerpoint Wealth ~ 97% of the time. However, the culture we have built at the firm is also predicated on spending time outside the office and having fun together as a work family, which is why we regularly schedule fun teambuilding events.

We had an enjoyable “hooky afternoon” earlier this month, pedaling through midtown Sacramento on the Sacramento Brew Bike, with pit stops at Public House DowntownKupros, and The Golden Bear. A well-behaved and fun afternoon!

TPW Service Highlight – RETIREMENT – Building wealth

We only semi-jokingly say that you can retire any time you want, but will you be able to with the lifestyle and income stream you desire?

At Towerpoint Wealth, we believe that everyone deserves a secure retirement, and we stand ready to help you with a myriad of retirement-specific tools and planning considerations. The cornerstone of this process is the development of a customized retirement and financial plan using our modeling software from RightCapital(R).

Click HERE to review a sample customized RightCapital financial plan.

Additional retirement-specific services include sustainable and tax-efficient retirement income planning, “black swan” event planning and modeling, customized Social Security benefit election optimization analysis, corporate pension modeling and optimization, fixed/variable/immediate annuity analysis, and optimal-retirement-age projections.

Chart of the Week

Real estate values continue to be on fire! Click HERE to watch an excellent video in which our President, Joseph Eschleman discusses the white hot Sacramento real estate market with long-time Sacramento realtor, Brian Kassis.

And while there is no question about the tremendous price increases homeowners have experienced over the past year and a half, the chart below makes an interesting comparison between the value of the stock market (using the S&P 500 as a proxy) and the value of residential real estate (using the Case Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index as a proxy) over the past 30 years.

Understanding the importance of owning both real estate AND equities when working to build net worth, and recognizing that people seem to be more relational to the increases in the value of their home, the chart below from Visual Capitalist is an eye-opener!

In addition to home prices going up and U.S. COVID numbers going down, a number of trending and notable events have occurred over the past few weeks:

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, info@towerpointwealth.com) with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely unsettled and complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

– Joseph, Jonathan, Steve, Lori, Nathan, and Michelle

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Beat the Fire and Ash with Towerpoint’s Cash

With a heavy heart almost three years ago, we recognized the vicious wildfires tearing through both Napa and Santa Rosa when we published Trending Today on October 13, 2017. Today, with massive wildfires burning throughout Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Solano, and Yolo counties, we feel compelled to do so again.

As we mentioned in that newsletter, fortunately tough times do not last, but tough people do. And as dedicated and tireless relief and rescue crews work to contain and extinguish these devastating fires, we look to a rare bright spot during this time of destruction, symbolizing resilience, literally from the ground up as it rises from the ashes – the California fire poppy.

All of this begs the question – what can we do to help? The answer – stand with us and please give if you are able.


Towerpoint Wealth is committed to directly helping those in need during these fires, and we are pleased to offer a 100% match, up to a total of $15,000, of any charitable donations made by you to any of the following three fire-relief organizations:

  • California Wildfire Relief Fund
  • Solano Disaster Relief Fund
  • 2020 Napa County Wildfires Fund

Please simply email us your donation receipt at info@towerpointwealth.com, and we will promptly email you our matching donation receipt within 48 hours.


* IMPORTANT NOTE: Please also remember that the recently-passed CARES Act created a one-year tax-deductible charitable deduction of $300 for the 90% of taxpayers who claim the standard deduction in 2020!

A New Addition to the Towerpoint Wealth Family

We are pleased and excited to welcome Matt Regan, CPA, MBT, to the Towerpoint Wealth family!

Armed with his Masters of Business Taxation from USC and eight years of experience as Tax Manager at Richardson Kontogouris Emerson LLP, Matt comes to us from KLS Professional Advisors (a division of Boston Private), where he was practicing as an Associate Director and Wealth Advisor to a diverse set of higher net worth individuals and families.

Matt specializes in working with attorneys, helping them manage the unique aspects of proper coordination all of their financial affairs. We look forward to having him utilize his tax consulting and wealth management skills and experience to help his own and other clients of Towerpoint Wealth save money on their income taxes, manage the downside risk of their portfolios, and properly plan for a comfortable retirement.

Please click HERE to read more about Matt, and please reach out (mregan@towerpointwealth.com, 916-405-9164) to say hello, congratulate him, and help us with a warm “welcome aboard!”

TPW Service Highlight – Customized Responsible ESG Investing

Are you aware you are able to align your portfolio with your personal values, without compromising your ability to have a diversified portfolio positioned to earn competitive returns? Many investors are not. Responsible investing, also known as ESG investing (Environmental, Social, and Governance) has exploded in popularity and importance over the past ten years (see the Graph of the Week below), and has quickly become an area of specialization at Towerpoint Wealth.

Screening to either avoid or advance ownership of specific companies, based on a myriad of different sustainability issues and criteria, is a central objective of ESG investing:

Environmental issues range from climate change, clean water, animal welfare, and deforestation. Social issues can include racial justice, education, poverty, democracy, and women’s rights. Governance issues encompass worker treatment, corporate ethics, and corporate diversity and inclusion. Click the Ethic Sustainability Pillars story found below for a deeper understanding of the various ESG issues that Towerpoint Wealth can specifically screen for, to help you avoid or advance your investment in equities consistent with these issues.

Time to do an ESG “healthcheck” on your portfolio? We welcome an invitation to sit side-by-side with you to conduct a deep-dive sustainability analysis of your portfolio, where we will x-ray your investments to evaluate what is considered “clean,” what is considered “dirty,” and how to make intelligent and tax-efficient ESG improvements. Click HERE to find out more, or click on our What’s In a Name? A Guide to Responsible Investing educational white paper found below.

Graph of the Week

As discussed above, responsible / ESG investing is no longer just a trend, but a full-blown movement. According to Pensions & Investments, the value of global assets applying environmental, social, and governance data to drive investment decisions has almost doubled over four years, and more than tripled over eight years, to $40.5 trillion (!) in 2020. Sustainable fund flows just in the U.S. have been extremely strong as well:

As always, we sincerely value our relationships and partnerships with each of you, as well as your trust and confidence in us here at Towerpoint Wealth. We encourage you to reach out to us at any time (916-405-9140, info@towerpointwealth.com) with any questions, concerns, or needs you may have. The world continues to be an extremely complicated place, and we are here to help you properly plan for and make sense of it.

– Nathan, Raquel, Steve, Joseph, Lori, Jonathan, and Matt

Sacramento Wealth Financial Planner Towerpoint Wealth Team
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Steve Pitchford Cited As Expert, Published on MutualFunds.com

Our Director of Tax and Financial Planning, Steve Pitchford, recently penned a white paper for Towerpoint Wealth that focuses on strategies to manage the risk and income tax consequences of owing a concentrated stock position. Steve was cited as an expert by MutualFunds.com for his work and content on the subject, publishing his commentary on their website on June 11.