Posted by Matt Register

Michael Miller, COO of Synergy Wealth Partners, joins us to talk about wealth management and how entrepreneurs can get help to achieve their financial goals.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio, texasbusinessradio.com is the website, we’re talking about wealth management this weekend. I’m your host, Matt Register, Jay Curry had to step out for a little bit, he’s going to join us here shortly.

We have a jam-packed show today with all kinds of… you know, you work really, you build up some money, you build up your wealth, you want to make sure you hold on to it. You want to make sure that, that wealth does for you and your family, what you want it to do. And, we have some really, really smart guys in here to tell you exactly how they do that for their clients.

844-814-8144 is our 24-hour calling line, get your calls in and we will get those experts on here to make sure those questions get answered. Michael Miller is the COO of Synergy Wealth Partners out of Houston. Michael, welcome to the show.

Michael Miller: Thanks for having me.

Matt Register: Synergy Wealth Partners, what do you do, who do you do it to?

Michael Miller: So, we are a comprehensive, financial advisors, so we cover the gamut from estate planning, wealth management, insurance. Kind of all of the core tenets of what you need and we work with families, business owners and a lot of generational planning.

So, like you said, it takes a lifetime to build and we work ten times harder than that to keep it and make sure it’s preserved for what the wealth was meant for.

Matt Register: So, families is your core group of clients, these are guys who, at some point along the line own a business, have built a business and have created some wealth for their family but, more money, more problems right?
Michael Miller: Yeah, we work with, whether it’s gen one, gen two and, in some cases now, gen three business owners. And, if the business makes it all the way to gen three it’s pretty rare.

Matt Register: Sure.

Michael Miller: A lot of times there’s something that comes up there. And what we try to do is preserve… you know, preserve it, build it, grow it, keep it there for what it was meant from, from the matriarch and patriarch, help them understand that. A lot of family governance.

It’s not really important if you go and you recreate exactly this, but it’s important that you do something valuable in your life and there’s this here to help support those efforts.

Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt about that. Now, there’s some things you guys offer that bring an entire package to bear. So, it’s not only the wealth management piece, which a lot of people have, but it’s also insurance as well. Now, insurance is a tool that could be used for a lot of different things in this process, correct?

Michael Miller: Absolutely. When you’ve got the business going, you want to make sure that you protect the business. So, there’s all aspects of key man insurance, so you’re protecting the folks that are there that are critical to your business. You may have some partners that are operating a business whether it’s established or starting up. So, there may be buy sell there to protect, there’s disability insurance…

Matt Register: And the buy sell insurance would be, if one of the partner’s dies, the insurance policy pays out to allow the other partner to buy out the spouse.

Michael Miller: The spouse, absolutely.

Matt Register: That’s right.

Michael Miller: You know, you want to make it equitable and you want to be able to keep your business going versus, you’re already dealing with something that’s probably traumatic and hard to deal with and so it allows that burden to be shifted. And, a lot of it is on disability too. So, someone may still be here but something happens and they’re not able to come in and produce the same way or create that value.

So, again, it’s all the blocking and tackling that people may not be focused on when they’re building the business, we’re right there to help them understand, hey these are credible aspects too.

Matt Register: Well, one of the things that I’ve found that’s a creative use of insurance as well in this, is Inheritance Tax mitigation right? Because, that’s something that these families are having to think about.

Michael Miller: Absolutely, and when you get to that certain level and you’re subject to Estate Tax, there is a big gotcha of, you made it, you pay taxes on it and when you go you’re going to pay taxes on it.

Matt Register: Yeah, you get to do it again, thank you.

Michael Miller: Exactly. So, a lot of what we do is the net to heir calculation. There’s, hey here’s how much I own and whether it’s going to my heirs or it’s going to charity, or different various uses. We can use insurance as a way to lower, lessen, or completely eliminate the Estate Tax liability. It’s a good use of capital to do that.

Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what, the Inheritance Tax is always easy to not feel sorry for somebody when you take the Paris Hilton example or something like that. But, when you’re talking about an operating business that, say, the second generation is running and the first generation still owns.

Something happens to that first generation and Uncle Sam wants a check right now, thank you very much, for the value of what they’ve just inherited. And, the insurance can be something that can help mitigate some of that right?

Michael Miller: Absolutely, and the Government’s always happy to tell you what they think your business is worth and they’re always happy to tell you when it’s due. And, if you have an operating business or, say, maybe you have real estate holdings, it may not be the best time to have to go there and fire sell everything to pay the Government.

Matt Register: Sure.

Michael Miller: So, the insurance can be there to sweep in and take care of the estate tax and it keeps the business up and running. I’m not having to sell these five pieces of property, which were going to be my legacy properties for the next generation to pay the tax.

Matt Register: So, part of the value that you bring to bear for these families though, is you’re able to take a holistic look at all of their needs on the wealth management side, the insurance, the estate planning side and keep an eye and make sure that you know what changes affect other things and can ensure that the value for the family is maximized, correct?

Michael Miller: Absolutely. A lo of people come to us with an existing relationship, two or three. And, a lot of the time it’s a relationship so you can kind of think of them as silos and that’s how they’ve been operated. I’ve got my insurance planning, it’s a silo. I’ve got my money management, it’s a silo. I’ve got my core planning and my trust documents, it’s a silo. And then I’ve got accounting over here and it’s another silo.

So, you’ve got these four silos and what may be happening is, my insurance guy over here may be pulling this lever and it’s what they believe is in the best interest and that’s all good and well but having…

Matt Register: And in a vacuum, probably is right?

Michael Miller: Absolutely, the challenge is, this lever over here impacts this whole scenario over here and this planning over there. So, what we try to do is have this holistic look. And, really, it’s I can draw it simply for a client, is, there are four circles. A lot of times there are four circles, side by side and what we do is we overlap them all.

And that intersection between all four of the circles is really where we play and that’s really where the value comes out. And, it’s being that quarterback and, again, whether we’re playing nice with existing relationships because we understand and respect those, it’s just getting everyone to the table, making sure everyone’s aware of what’s happening. And, that’s really how the client prospers and that’s really what we’re all here to do.

Matt Register: Makes a whole lot of sense. How will somebody know that they need to call you? What is the question they need to be answering that tells them that you’re the guy that needs to get the phone call?

Michael Miller: We get that a lot and really the thing is, is if you don’t have something thriving to say about who’s doing your insurance, or your money management, or your estate planning, you really… that’s the call to action right there is, you know, maybe we need to give these guys a call.

Because I’d like to think, and I think all of my clients are out and are saying, you know what, we call Michael, we call Synergy no matter what the need is. Am I buying this house or am I going to go out and get financing, am I going to borrow money from my margin account. They don’t need to have the answer but they know to call us.

So, if you don’t have that, you know what, these guys are my number one call, they’re right on my favorites list on my phone. Then that would be kind of the call to action, as maybe you’re missing something in those relationships.

Matt Register: Well, because I’ve got to tell you, me answering that question, I have an insurance guy, I’m not real excited about him, I don’t know that it’s possible for me to get excited about my insurance guy but…

Michael Miller: Well that’s a big ask, even for us, but we try.

Matt Register: No, I understand, that’s very interesting stuff. We’re talking to Michael Miller who’s the Chief Operating Officer of Synergy Wealth Partners out of Houston. They do investment, insurance, they do estate planning, they do accounting, right? A lot of everything.

Michael Miller: We cover the gamut, and you know, if we don’t have the expertise in-house, we bring the expert to bear.

Matt Register: Got it, what’s the easiest way for someone to get in touch if they want to learn more?

Michael Miller: Our website, synergywealthpartners.com, or you can reach us at the office, which is just 713-333-0099 and it routes to me if someone’s not there, so, we’re always a live body to take that call.

Matt Register: Got it, synergywealthpartners.com, we’re going to have it linked right there from texasbusinessradio.com as well, if you’re driving and don’t want to take notes, I got it. We’ll have it linked right from there. Synergy Wealth Partners, appreciate you coming on the show Michael.

Michael Miller: Thanks for having us.

Matt Register: Yeah, no problem at all. We’re talking wealth management today and we are just getting warmed up. We’ve got a whole lot more coming up. We do however, have to pay a couple of our own bills, so we’re going to go, bring some sponsors on and let them pay some bills for us and we’ll be back right after this with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio. Don’t go anywhere.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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