Q&A with David Edwards: I recently inherited a portfolio from my father, but I'm inclined to do nothing as dad would have wanted it that way


A common emotion among inheritors is reluctance to change the investment strategy of an inherited portfolio.  “If those stocks were good enough for Dad, they’re good enough for me!”  In fact, the moment of inheritance is a perfect moment to start over.  Often the benefactor could NOT sell stocks because of deep capital gains considerations, but with step-up in basis on death, no tax penalty to sell.  Typically the investment strategy of an older retired person will be conservative, but the inheritor may be much younger, still working and therefore able to take on a more aggressive approach.

We say, “Not starting a fresh plan with inherited assets means that a dead person is making your investment decisions!”