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Leading Investment and Tax Advisor Steve Holland Takes Proactive Approach With Clients
The Holland Group Retirement Wealth Advisors have helped hundreds through their investment, tax, and estate planning services all under one roof.
Leading Investment and Tax Advisor Steve Holland is the founder of The Holland Group Retirement Wealth Advisors, a proactive financial firm in the Tampa Bay, Florida area specializing in protecting and growing wealth for serious investors. Holland has been in the insurance and financial services industry in Florida for over 20 years and has been involved in tax preparation and advisory services for over a quarter of a century.
As one of the Bay area's investment and tax reduction specialists, Holland has been a popular guest speaker at well over one thousand financial workshops, helping to educate investors and teach other financial advisors the importance of identifying portfolio risk through diversification, tax minimization and comprehensive estate planning. Holland has become an industry leader by helping his clients make the best decisions for their investment, income tax and estate planning needs. In today’s world of “information overload,” client education is crucial, and Holland has taken a lead role in this effort.
While Holland’s work has not always been in financial services and tax advising, he has always been able to achieve success in business. In his early years, Holland worked for a costume jewelry business in New York City. After a short period, he bought into the company, and the business experienced accelerated growth.
“We had great locations and did a great business,” Holland said. “We became one of the largest costume jewelry retailers in the entire state of New York. It was very, very successful.”
By age 27, after a serious accident resulting in almost a one-year recovery, Holland sold his portion of the company and began to search for a warmer climate. After considering several options in California and Florida, Holland and his wife, Elizabeth, made the decision to relocate to the Tampa Bay areaa. They bought a house and a couple of other properties, thinking real estate may be their next business venture.
Shortly after their move, Elizabeth suggested they look into purchasing life insurance. This prompted Holland to contact a Met Life representative in the Tampa Bay area. Upon meeting, Holland discovered his insurance agent was also from New York City, and they developed an instant bond. Not only did Holland buy life insurance, his new-found friend also recruited him to sell insurance products.
After a period of time, Holland moved to an independent financial planning firm in Clearwater, Florida. At the time, that agency was the largest independent brokerage firm in the area. He continued his work there until 1993, when he decided to open his own office, Holland, Angel, and Associates, a financial planning and accounting firm. About a year later, the Holland’s broke off from the partnership and launched the Holland Group, Income Tax & Financial Strategies Inc.
Holland has built an extremely successful organization in the Bay area.
“A lot of it has to do with just hard work and understanding what the client is going through; their fear and anxiety about investing and the right investment strategy, the IRS, potential audits, potential family issues, and the list goes on,” Holland explained. “I’ve constantly been in touch with investors and what’s important to them. And I absolutely love what I do. It’s been said, ‘Find something that you love to do and you’ll never work another day in your life.’ I can work 65 or s70 hours a week and not feel depleted at all because I love it so much.”
Elizabeth is a significant part of the Holland Group and has worked with him since six months after their first date in 1984. She is the key person in his office who communicates with all clients, supervises all the paperwork and fulfills a myriad of other responsibilities to keep the business progressing. Holland’s daughter, Rachel, is also an important part of the Holland Group.
Holland takes a very personal and expansive approach with his clients’ financial needs.
“There are a lot of investors who have been with the very big firms, and they are not happy,” he said. “They tell me they don’t get the individualized attention that we offer at our firm. The larger firms or brokerage houses don’t prepare their tax return and they don’t provide estate planning in their office. We are an independent, smaller firm who gives much more attention to our clients, giving them more proactive services and more personal reviews. We are three firms under one roof: a full-service financial firm, an accounting firm and an estate planning firm. If you go to a big brokerage firm, they are going to tell you, ‘We can’t give tax advice or we can’t give estate planning advice. Here’s a business card of an estate attorney or of an accountant we think will do a good job for you.’ Our clients love the fact that they can drop off their taxes, get their investments explained to them and get an estate plan done all under one roof. It makes a big difference when people are invested in accordance with their tax structure. Over 90 percent of our investment clients have me prepare their tax returns. That makes a big difference. When I can sit down, go over their investments, then pull out their tax return and tell them, ‘This is how investment activity it is impacting your tax return, and here is how we can reduce your tax liability,’ it is a huge convenience. Most financial planners don’t even know how taxes work. Most of them have never prepared one tax return. I’ve prepared thousands.”
Holland considers his firm to be a “tax advisory” firm rather than a “tax preparation” firm because they are able to make specific tax recommendations to their clients to minimize their tax liability.
Holland also has an estate planning and elder law attorney who works with him at his office who also holds a master’s degree in taxation. According to Holland, having an attorney associated with the Holland Group office is also a significant convenience for his clients and has been a great asset to his firm over the years.
Holland considers himself to be a “retirement wealth coach.”. Because of the complexities of today’s market and the apprehensive nature of the contemporary investor, Holland finds his coaching methodology works well because it develops a long term, trusting relationship with his clients.
“Investors today are very apprehensive, nervous and stressed out about what to do with their investments,” Holland said. “In over 20 years, I’ve never seen so many people come into my office for help who are sitting in cash. I’m talking about people with up to a million dollars – sitting in cash! I talked to one client a couple of weeks ago that had $2.2 million in cash and his philosophy is, ‘I don’t want to lose any money and I don’t know where to go because interest rates are so bad I don’t even want to tie it up in CDs.’ It’s really a very, very troubling time period, and the problem with a lot of the financial planners out there is that many times they are told by their firms and their managers, ‘Just diversify, keep your people in the market, and they’ll be fine.’ That may not necessarily be true. We can go back 8, 10, 12 years now and there has been very little growth and people are sick and tired of being told to just hang in there.”
Most of Holland’s business is done within a three-hour radius of the Tampa Bay area, although he does have clients in various states around the country. The firm’s clients are typically individuals who have at least $250,000 to invest.
“Our philosophy is that we work with the ‘millionaire next door,’” Holland explained. “We work with many people who have a net worth in excess of $1 million, but they don’t necessarily have a Rolls Royce in the driveway or their own private jet. They live normal lives, usually in conservative quiet neighborhoods, but they just live a bit better than many and as a result, they may have more investing challenges than most.”
Holland has been featured in several media avenues to share his wealth of knowledge and experience in his industry. On TV, he has served as an investment consultant for WFLA News Channel 8 and has been featured on News Channel 28 for advice on a variety of financial topics. He hosts “The Steve Holland Retirement Wealth Show” on 970 WFLA as well as AM 820 News. Additionally, he has fulfilled hundreds of speaking engagements focused on his clients, prospective clients, as well as other professionals within his industry. He is the author of “Fairytales, Fables and Facts about Investing… and How to Know What’s What,” published in early 2013. He is also working on a second book, “10 of the Biggest Retirement Nightmares and How to Avoid Them.” Because of his outstanding success and significant contributions to his profession, Holland was also featured as one of America's PremierExperts® Champions in Newsweek and will also be featured on the “Consumer’s Advocate” TV show.