CPAs who also hold the AICPA’s Personal Financial Specialist credential are advising many of their high-net-worth clients to rebalance their portfolios, reassess their tax planning and control their expenses and cash flow, according to a new survey.

Eighty percent of the 529 CPA financial advisors surveyed by the AICPA in an online poll are strongly recommending their clients move toward a mix of growth and income securities. Sixty-five percent are also recommending more fixed-income securities. Forty percent of CPA financial planners are strongly recommending that their clients hold larger cash positions, while 30 percent are recommending commodities such as gold and precious metals.

In anticipation of future tax increases, 67 percent of the CPA financial advisors surveyed said their clients are accelerating capital gains. Half of their clients are increasing contributions to qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k)’s and IRAs. When asked about wealth transfer, nearly 60 percent of CPA financial planners are recommending paying medical or education bills directly for family members, while 50 percent are recommending gifting devalued assets.

Ninety-one percent of the CPA financial planner survey respondents serve individual clients with a net worth valued up to $5 million. “Now more than ever, our clients are seeking our financial expertise to guide them through these uncertain economic times,” said Lyle K. Benson Jr., founder of L.K. Benson & Co. in Baltimore.

Sixty-four percent of personal financial specialists foresee a small increase in the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 over the next six months. About 53 percent expect a small increase in bond yields, while 62 percent anticipate a small decrease or no change in commercial real estate values.

Clients are telling CPA financial planners that they’re dining out less frequently and ordering less expensive wines and premium liquor brands. Many are having items repaired, rather than purchasing new ones, and they’re taking fewer or less expensive vacations.

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