Name: Matthew Lipscomb

Firm: Ashford Advisors

Location: Atlanta, GA

AUM: $1.8 billion

Forbes Rankings: America’s Top Financial Security Professionals, Top Financial Security Professionals Best-In-State

Background: Matthew Lipscomb, 55, moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta with his family at the age of six. He recalls that growing up, there was a lot his family could not afford, with him and his brothers eating free lunches as his father’s entrepreneurial ventures struggled. Lipscomb remembers that he started doing babysitting and other random odd jobs to generate income. By middle school, he was loaning money out to friends and acquaintances—at one point even lending his brother $2,000 to purchase a car. After paying his own way at the University of Georgia, Lipscomb graduated in YEARTK with a degree in finance. He joined Ashford Advisors straight out of college and began building up his business by cold calling lawyers or walking into strip mall businesses.

Competitive Edge: “I actually believe my clients when they want to invest in something,” says Lipscomb. That means if an entrepreneur wants to take money out of an investment account to invest in real estate, he will support the decision—even if most professionals would see it as a risky move and advise against doing so. “You have to not only understand taxes and asset protection very well but also the entrepreneur mindset,” says Lipscomb. He’s also a stickler for high-touch service: “I’m overly sensitive about communication with clients and response times: To me, it’s simple, but clients really appreciate it.”

Investment Philosophy/Strategy: Many of Lipscomb’s clients like to buy and sell assets. “The most important thing to entrepreneurial clients is access and control of their capital,” says Lipscomb. “Therefore I am not a huge fan of IRAs and 401ks as I don’t think it will be a net tax benefit for my clients,” he adds. “That doesn’t mean everyone shouldn’t do it, but for my clients who we believe will have higher income and net worth in the future, maybe that strategy isn’t the best given it lacks access and control.” Lipscomb uses low-cost index-type solutions on behalf of his clients, both as a way to get solid market returns but more importantly, as a tool for clients who anticipate a lot of capital gains in the future.Lipscomb is a big fan tax loss strategies that will lower future capital gains. So if a client sells a business, it will be offset by existing losses on his tax return, for example. “The way I view investing a client’s money is that we’re going to do a good job, but it’s also sitting in a parking lot waiting to be deployed when a client finds opportunities.”

Best Advice: “When you talk to a client, you need to take complex situations from taxes to trusts and describe them in a way that a sixth grader could understand,” says Lipscomb. “I don’t let my team use any industry jargon.”

Off The Clock: Outside of work, Lipscomb is an avid hunter—everything from deer to alligators and hogs. A father of four and more recently, a grandfather, Lipscomb enjoys family trips, oftentimes either to his lake house and hunting property or to a University of Georgia football game.

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