Have you ever thought about how convenient it would be to have your financial planner on the same page as your accountant, or vice versa? You can now take advantage of such a two-person team–in the heart of Hellertown–at the newly-opened offices of wealth advisor Ben Chunko, of Liberty Wealth Management, and tax accountant Lindsay Albert, EA.
After discussing the idea of collaborating for some time, the two friends recently opened a joint office at 656 Main Street, in high-ceilinged, tastefully appointed quarters that were formerly law offices.
After moving into the building near Main and Water streets in December, both Chunko and Albert began meeting with clients there earlier this month.
Chunko is well-known as a Saucon Valley graduate and standout wrestler who today devotes much of his time to coaching the next generation of Panther wrestling talent. Many area residents may also know him from his days as a financial specialist at the former Wachovia Bank (now a Wells Fargo branch) in Hellertown, where he also gained knowledge of banking and lending practices he says helped him develop a well-rounded finance background.
In 2009, he made the move to Morgan Stanley in Bethlehem, and several years later he became a wealth advisor at Liberty Wealth Management in Allentown, where he still has an office.
“This is basically like a second location,” he said of the new Hellertown office, which will be more convenient for many of his Saucon Valley clients.
Liberty Wealth Management is an independent advisory firm that is held to the highest standards in the industry and “truly does what is best for the client,” Chunko said.
Some of the things he helps clients with are retirement income planning, and financial planning for retirement and beyond.
Albert, who along with Chunko lives in Lower Saucon Township and has local roots, is a mother of four and a DeSales graduate who has worked for several public accounting firms in the area.
“From the day that I graduated from college, I knew that tax accounting was the right profession for me,” she said. “Since that time I have worked for large and small accounting firms, and for personal and business clients.”
As an Enrolled Agent (EA), she said the level of expertise she is able to offer her clients is higher than they would typically receive at many other firms.
“There is an assumption that accounting firms equal big fees and strip-mall tax franchises are more affordable,” Albert said. “In my situation, the opposite is true. I’ve seen too many people overcharged and not even able to maintain communication with their preparer throughout the year or as needed. I strive to be there for my clients no matter what the season.”
“EAs tend to focus on preparing taxes for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts and any entities with tax-reporting requirements, whereas not all CPAs specialize in taxation,” she explained.
In addition, EAs must complete IRS-administered testing, an application process and annual continuing education requirements.
“The client relationship is the most important thing to me,” said Albert. “Relationships matter. Over the years, I’ve been able to help clients with their tax accounting needs, in both good times and difficult times, and that’s important to me.”
She added, “the main benefit (of the new office) is having Ben right here, and being able to have both services in one spot.”
“I think it’s a value add when the wealth adviser and the tax adviser are on the same page,” agreed Chunko.
When individuals are receiving tax and financial advice from professionals who aren’t working in tandem with one another, they could end up with skewed advice or incomplete information, which no one wants.
Having a tax accountant and a wealth adviser together under one roof is unique to the area, Chunko said, and something people have asked for over the years.
“Now that it’s coming about I’m pretty excited about it,” he said.
Meetings with both Chunko and Albert are available by appointment only.
To schedule an appointment with Ben, call 610-398-7333 or email him at email@example.com.
To schedule an appointment with Albert, call 484-851-3305 or use her website’s online booking form.