Tony Chereso: OZs as Portfolio Diversifiers

How can retail investors access alternative investments typically reserved for institutional investors? And where do Opportunity Zones fit into the universe of portfolio alternatives?

Washington, DC-based Tony Chereso is president and CEO of the Institute for Portfolio Alternatives, a trade group tasked with advocating for awareness of portfolio diversifying investments (PDIs).

Click the play button below to listen to my conversation with Tony.

Episode Highlights

  • The role of alternative investments in a retail investor’s portfolio.
  • How retail clients are underserved as it relates to institutional focus on Wall Street.
  • IPA’s role in advocating for alternatives in retail portfolios.
  • Who the IPA’s members are.
  • How Opportunity Zones fit into the universe of portfolio diversifying investments (PDIs).
  • The different types of Qualified Opportunity Fund structures.
  • How main street investors are accessing Opportunity Zone investments.
  • The importance of a professional financial advisor to perform due diligence for retail investors.
  • Tony’s main takeaways from the White House Opportunity Zones Conference he attended in April.
  • How different regulatory bodies (FINRA, SEC, and NASA) are going to approach Qualified Opportunity Funds.
  • The four issues that the IPA addressed at the IRS hearing on Qualified Opportunity Funds.

Featured on This Episode

Industry Spotlight: Institute for Portfolio Alternatives

Institute for Portfolio Alternatives

The Institute for Portfolio Alternatives (IPA) provides national leadership for the Portfolio Diversifying Investments (PDI) industry. Through advocacy and industry-leading education, the IPA is committed to ensuring all investors have access to real assets and the opportunity to effectively balance their investment portfolios.

Learn More About IPA

About the Opportunity Zones Podcast

Hosted by OpportunityDb.com founder Jimmy Atkinson, the Opportunity Zones Podcast features guest interviews from fund managers, advisors, policymakers, tax professionals, and other foremost experts in opportunity zones.

Show Transcript

Jimmy: Welcome to the “Opportunity Zones Podcast.” I’m your host, Jimmy Atkinson, The Institute for Portfolio Alternatives seeks to raise awareness of portfolio-diversifying investment products. And here to discuss how Opportunity Zones fits into the IPAs mission is IPA’s President and CEO, Tony Chereso. He joins us from his office in Washington, D.C. Tony, welcome to the podcast.

Tony: Thanks, Jimmy. Glad to be here.

Jimmy: Absolutely. So Tony, to start us off, what do you mean by portfolio-diversifying investments? What are those exactly?

Tony: Portfolio-diversifying investments are investment strategies that are developed for the retail investor, that has a lower correlation to equity investments. Traditionally, what we’ve seen in the past is institutions, endowments, family offices have access to investor’s ratio less correlated to equities. But the retail investor traditionally hasn’t had access to them. So they could be REITs, business development corporations, investments wrapped in direct participation programs, they could be debt, equity investments, real estate, investments in a variety of different energy type of programs, Qualified Opportunity Zones is emerging, PDI investment strategy, interval funds and closed end funds.

They are traditionally not liquid, although they have some liquidity features in them. They’re not traded. Some of them may be listed on the exchange, but they’re not traded on the exchange. So there’s not a secondary market. So portfolio-diversifying investment is really a bucket of investment strategies that professional investment advisors use to create diversification within a retail client’s portfolio away from your traditional equity market.

Jimmy: Right. So to traditional equity markets, you know, stocks, you would you would buy and sell on exchange or mutual funds or ETFs. And this is everything, or I guess most things that doesn’t really fit into that category of liquid tradable assets. Is that right?

Tony: Correct. And then what we’ve seen in the past, Jimmy, is that, you know, and it actually increasingly, so endowments and such have increased their allocations to portfolio-diversifying investment strategies, you know, to the extent of 15%, 20% of the portfolio are in illiquid investments. And it takes out that volatility that you’ve traditionally get within the equity market, as you said, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs. And so, you know, it creates that other bucket for that retail investors.

And what makes it even more important, Jimmy, is that we’ve seen an increase with the increase or the focused on defined contribution plans, whereas when I was younger and worked at a corporation, I had access to a defined-benefit plan. My folks and, like, had defined-benefit plans as defined-benefit plans are no longer being offered the average retail investor. Right now, my kids, the next generation, are having to look at and design retirement portfolios that mirror defined-benefit plans and defined-benefit plans had access to these portfolio-diversifying investments. Defined-contribution plans are limited. Mutual funds, ETFs, and those volatile equity type of portfolios, and that diversification is not there. Our members, which are institutional asset managers, structure these investments under a variety of different types of investment strategies for the retail client.

Jimmy: And how does the IPA fit in here? What is the IPA basically? And when did it get started?

Tony: So the institute for portfolio alternatives has been around for 35 years. And we provide national leadership to portfolio-diversifying investments in the industry. So we bring together the investment managers, a large institutional investment managers like a Blackstone into sort of a smaller institutional asset managers. We bring the intermediaries, the broker dealers, investment advisors, and other service professionals together, and so both new and established, and who are dedicated to driving transparency and innovation around this marketplace.

And so for 35 years, the association has evolved. Portfolio-diversifying investments have evolved over these 35 years. The IPA advances best practices and guidelines. We have been leading the conversation both from a regulatory and a legislative front around how our industry should operate, I mean, especially as it relates to sort of best practice you guys are on transparency, performance metrics. We actually just issued our first in partnership with Robert Stanger & Associates, a REIT Performance Report, which shows trending over the last three to five years, and how our industry has performed against other real estate indexes.

And the idea is to make sure that we’ve got the same level of transparency, the same level of corporate governance around our investment strategies as our public counterparts. But through advocacy and industry leading education, we’re committed to ensuring that all investors have access to real assets. And as I mentioned earlier, traditionally, this sector investments was only available to institutional, you know, investment platforms. Our members have now brought this down to Main Street, and have allowed the Main Street investor to participate at the same level as Wall Street.

Jimmy: So who are IPA’s members?

Tony: Again, you can sort of categorize them in three different areas. We have the institutional asset managers who actually structured the different funds in investment strategies. You have the intermediaries were the professional financial advisors that work with the Main Street investor. And then we have all the professional services, the accounting firms, law firms, that are around it. The one thing I wanna make sure we focus in on here and sort of emphasize or stress is that all our investments are distributed through professional financial advisors.

There’s a segment in the market that structures investments in GoDirect. There’s these crowdfunding platforms that our members choose to work through, you know, broker dealers, registered investment advisors, and the like, because we like the additional scrutiny, due diligence, and the professional advice that the Main Street investor gets as it relates to constructing a diversified portfolio. Clearly, our investment strategies don’t fit every investor. And where we value our relationships with our financial intermediaries that they are working with my parents to determine based on where they are in their retirement sort of timeline, what types of investment strategies best work for them to achieve their short-term and long-term investment goals. And what also, you know, is it looks at how you diversify away from sort of other types of holdings to create, again, a more diversified portfolio.

Jimmy: And let’s talk about Opportunity Zones now since we’re on the “Opportunity Zones Podcast.” How do Opportunity Zones fit into the universe of PDIs, portfolio-diversifying investments?

Tony: So what we saw is emergence coming out to the initial announcement around Opportunity Zones, going back when the tax reform was passed, was a lot of the institutional players, and the Wall Street firms jumped on this investment strategy in order to create some tax opportunities for their super high-net-worth family office clients. And historically, as part of what we do at IPA or one of our investment strategies is a number of tax incentive real estate investments. One particular structure called the Delaware structure statutory trust takes advantage of…not takes advantage, but wrong word, structures investments under the 1031 like-kind Internal Revenue Code, which allows individuals to exchange out of like-kind assets into other like-kind assets, and defer the tax implications until some later time.

So that structure itself, when we talk about portfolio-diversifying investments, their institutional investment structures that provide our members an opportunity to bring that type of structure down to the retail client. Opportunity Zones, and when we look at sort of the motivation and the intent of these Opportunity Zones, they’re intended to create economic stimulus in these underserved markets. But when you pull it back, there’s really several things here. Number one, it’s the fund structure itself. And those funds structures can take on a number of different, you know, looks and feels. They could be pushing publicly listed nontraded REIT funds. We’ve seen large portfolio of private direct participation funds. We’ve seen single asset types of funds structures.

As you look at those fund structures, our members are looking at an opportunity to be able to bring that type of investment strategy, whether it’s a publicly listed large fund, multibillion dollar fund, a small private fund, or a single asset fund, to be able to provide that investment option and those tax benefits to the retail client who are underserved as it relates to sort of institutional-focused and Wall Street-focused. So our involvement has really been from the standpoint of our registered investment advisors, our broker dealer communities are working with their clients who have a highly appreciated assets that are looking for ways to diversify other that’s highly appreciated assets, and defer any gain or reduce their tax liability at some point. Our members just see that as a great way of serving the retail client.

Jimmy: You know, I think that’s great, too, because it seems like, at least just from what I’ve heard that most of the early investors in Opportunity Zones tend to be corporate investors, and family offices, or ultra-high net-worth individuals, it’d be nice if we can get some more, you know, high net-worth or even sub high net-worth retail investors involved in this. I understand there’s some hurdles there because a lot of these funds require that investors be accredited or qualified investors. What are your thoughts on that?

Tony: Well, it depends on the structure. If you have a list of publicly listed nontraded REIT, their accreditation standards are much less, okay? Your income levels are much less. But you’re absolutely right, the majority of the funds are structured, where it requires an accredited investor. But let’s not forget that our members have been raising capital through the retail marketplace, you know, with the Main Street investor. And interesting enough that’s overlooked that although the average Main Street investor may not have access to a Wall Street platform to access the institutional investment strategies, there are a significant number of retail investors that are accredited.

And, you know, for example, as I mentioned earlier, our members offer Delaware statutory trust 1031 like-kind exchange investments. They’re wrapped in a private placement, which requires an accreditation. Last year, it was $2.6 billion of equity were placed in these investment strategies. There is a need out there for that Main Street investor to have access to those institutional quality platforms that they can’t access on their own. And our members do a very good job of identifying and having strong relationships with these accredited Main Street investors, and giving them the options that otherwise wouldn’t have.

Jimmy: And how are the Main Street investors, at the end of the day, how are they actually accessing these Opportunity Zone investment vehicles? Are they going through their IRS, or their wealth advisors, or what sorts of platforms are they actually making the investments?

Tony: So through their professional financial advisor. And so there may be other avenues. And as I mentioned earlier, there are some crowdfunding websites. There are some fund managers that will go direct to investors and then seek investments direct. Our members who are the fund managers distribute primarily and solely through the professional financial advisor, an RIA or a broker dealer. We believe having that intermediary who is advising clients about the various investment strategies, looking at their long-term retirement plans and needs, looking at and analyzing the tax benefits of either paying taxes, or deferring them through an investment strategy, like a Qualified Opportunity Zone is absolutely critical.

These can become complex. The investment strategies depending on the fund manager could be large portfolios or single assets and single markets. So they take on different risk profiles. It’s absolutely critical that the advisors or the investors seek the advice of a professional advisor, who understands the dynamic and can advise appropriately.

Jimmy: And can act as the fiduciary for the investor.

Tony: Correct.

Jimmy: Has there been a struggle in educating Main Street financial advisors on the topic of Opportunity Zones? It’s a complex new program, and we only recently were issued the second tranche of regulatory guidance. What’s been the challenge there and kind of trickling down the education about this program to these financial advisors such that, you know, Main Street investors can access the program?

Tony: That’s a great question, Jimmy. And, you know, with the advent of this opportunity, little over just shy of a year and a half ago, you know, I think the first concern was understanding what this really meant, and getting that information out to the broader market. As you started peeling back those layers, there are a lot of questions as it relates to, you know, what does this mean to the ultimate investor based on how the funds were structured or interpretation from treasury on how these funds should be structured, how they will be treated from a tax perspective? Ultimately, we wanna make sure that there’s clarities that preserve the tax benefits that these investors are anticipating.

So, you know, the first tranche came out. It answered some questions, it raised some more questions, it left of questions on the table. The second tranche, as you mentioned, were just recently released. And we got more clarity around the specific market that our members focused in on, which is really, you know, commercial real estate secondarily around private equity investments in operating businesses. I think there’s more clarity in the second tranche than the first.

And then as we sort of work through analyzing this particular segment of guidance from the treasury, yeah, again, we’ll answer a lot of questions or at least some questions on the table, it’ll raise more questions. And we anticipate if you’re in short order, the treasury will issue a third tranche. And they said that they have. We’ll participate as an industry trade group, offering some comment letters to them, seeking some additional guidance. But the challenge has been, for the most part, is really articulating and communicating effectively to the professional financial advisor, the clarity around the regs, what it really means, how it impacts the different investments structures, and different approaches that the fund managers are approaching their particular investment strategy.

And then doing some analysis, I mean, you know, it sounds great on the surface that, okay, I get to sell highly appreciated stock portfolio or highly appreciated real asset, and defer a particular portion of the gain for, you know, a period of time. But doing that analysis from the standpoint of what it really means from a tax perspective, and whether it makes sense to actually execute a deferral through an investment in a qualified opportunity fund, or pay the taxes, or seek a different alternative, such as a 1031 exchange, that analysis has to be done and be very thoughtful. And that’s an individual facts and circumstance analysis if that professional financial advisor needs to work through with each one of their clients. And the challenge has been bringing that clarity and that education down.

If I can just plug the IPA for one second here, one of the things that we’ve done, you know, it’s been a focal point at our conferences, we’ve had a series of webinars on expanding this conversation out from definition of the regs practice, how do you put this into your practice. We’ve had a Qualified Opportunity Zones form here in Dallas in February, which was well attended. We’ve got a conference coming up. We’re having half a day working group on this subject. Our goal is to take these regs, take the fund structure, look at the tax analysis, and then help our financial advisor to better understand how to use this appropriately, and when is it suitable for a particular investor?

Jimmy: Good. Yeah, I know at the highest levels of financial advising and the big four accounting firms, and some of the larger law firms across the country, the OZ expertise is second to none. But, you know, having that education trickle down to my Main Street financial advisors so that he knows about the program, and not only is aware of the program, but can be able to analyze it up against 1031 exchange or any other type of tax-advantaged investment structures that I may need as a Main Street investor, that would be incredibly helpful. So I think we’re starting to get there now where these Main Street financial advisors are not only becoming aware of the program, but having the capacity to analyze them appropriately.

And I applaud what your organization is doing in helping spread the word about this and doing policy advocacy. So I want to shift gears now and ask you about some policy advocacy that you’re doing. I know you recently attended an Opportunity Zones conference at the White House in April. It was attended by President Trump, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin among others. What was your biggest takeaway from that event?

Tony: Well, I’d start by saying it was a real honor to be invited to attend that event on behalf of the portfolio-diversifying investment industry, once in a lifetime, in many cases, be able to in the White House and hear directly from the President and his cabinet members about this very important program. Jimmy, I think the main takeaways from the White House Opportunity Zone conference was really their interest to express the importance of this program, the importance of the administration support behind this particular program. Yeah, as you indicated, we heard from a number of cabinet members, Ben Carson, specifically, who is leading that initiative for the White House.

And when they talk about sort of the significance behind the Opportunities Zones, and what this really means, they take point on a lot of very interesting statistics, like nearly 35 million Americans live in communities that are designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones. You know, unemployment rate in these Opportunity Zones is 1.6 times higher than average, you know, census track. Median income in the Opportunity Zones are 37% lower than the state in national income levels. And there’s a variety of statistics that they point to, which demonstrate the importance of this particular tax incentive driving investments to the local communities.

This event was attended by governors, mayors, a lot of state and local economic development, you know, representatives, trying to figure out how they can capture some of these fund investments and drive capital to their individual Opportunity Zones within their, you know, state local government. And the challenge from an administration standpoint is, number one, communicate the benefits of get clarity around these regs, which Mnuchin clearly articulated in his talking points, and then subsequently released the regs. But what they’re trying to do is jumpstart this as quickly as possible.

There’s an interesting thing, there was a question, and there was comment letters that are submitted looking because of sort of the tranches of regulations. They were trying to push out, sort of the initial timeframe of 12/31/2019. But the administration clearly wanna say, “No. Let’s ground this now. Let’s incent people to get in early. Let’s get capital flowing into these particular funds. We need to get money to work. We need to get these development projects in place. We need to give people and revitalize some of these areas.”

But the audience was clearly focused on the needs of their individual communities, and how do they reach across the table to these fund managers, capital sources, to drive investments into this specific project. And that was really sort of what the main takeaway. I mean, you had representatives from a lot of the tribal lands, you had a leadership from the religious communities within various areas that are driving some of these types of revitalization within their own communities. And it was really powerful to hear the importance from each one of them of this particular initiative and how we can really change the dynamics of their local communities. So, you know, from my perspective in attendance, as well as where I sit in the industry, I’m really proud that our industry and our industry members are taking this seriously, and looking at ways to how we can help drive some capital to these local markets.

Jimmy: Good. It sounds like a lot of community leaders were in attendance there. That’s interesting to hear the types of people who are there. What types of questions were asked from the audience, or what types of questions did you ask, and to whom did you pose the questions?

Tony: Well, some of the questions that we’re asking the audience were around, you know, ways that they can work more closely with the various government agencies to create an interest within their local markets. And, you know, your example, in regard to Erie, Pennsylvania is sort of a model that many of the local communities, if they haven’t, they might look to replicate in order to be able to provide something to some of these fund managers to entice those investments in those local communities.

So there was a lot of conversation around leveraging the various government agencies to help either communicate that message out and/or help them put together that messaging in a way that, you know, makes sense. I had an opportunity specifically to ask the question Secretary Mnuchin. And mine was not necessarily around the treasury, right, because we hadn’t a chance at that point in time to see him, they were just being released that day. And, you know, I assumed that a lot of the questions that were asked and comment letters would be addressed.

So moving away from sort of the Treasury discussion, clearly, one of the things that’s important to our numbers, and because our members operate in a highly regulatory environment, whether it be state level or federal level, under SEC, state securities, our intermediary partners, and broker dealers, and RIAs. Beyond just getting clarity around the regs, we need to get clarity around how the regulatory bodies who oversee them are going to incorporate or how are they going to oversee and regulate these types of investments as it relates to the tax benefits and our members who are advising the retail client.

And so we can get clarity in the treasury regs, the funds can get hit the market. But if our broker dealer and our RIA partners are uncertain on how they’re going to be regulated, as it relates to placing individual investors in particular funds, we shut off the flow capital. So my question to Mr. Mnuchin was, you know, “What’s the administration doing, the Treasury doing to work with some other regulatory bodies, so that there’s some clarity and transparency as it relates to how they are operating, and then again, oversee the particular programs and the financial advisors?”

I didn’t get quite the answer I hoped for. But interesting enough, after the formal presentation, I was approached by one of the White House officials and asked me to put that in writing because they had not contemplated reaching out to other government regulatory agencies at that particular time. It’s much different regulatory environment from an institutional standpoint, family office standpoint, and dealing with the retail distribution side of the business.

And so we are in the process of summarizing that question, identifying the regulatory agencies that we would encourage them to reach out, to engage in some conversation or we’re hopeful they’ll work hand in hand. And then as a result, our retail financial advisors will get the clarity they need and the comfort they need to be able to move forward recommended these investment strategies.

Jimmy: You know, which regulatory agencies specifically you’re referring to? The SEC, for the most part or?

Tony: FINRA…

Jimmy: FINRA, okay.

Tony: …SEC, and the states. You know, each state has its own regulatory body that’s, you know, governed by NASAA, not space agency. And each state operates with slightly different types of interpretations of securities laws. Good example of this is that there is several states, if you’re a registered investment advisor that operates on a fee platform, if you’re putting a client into an illiquid investment like an Opportunity Zone bond, you can’t charge a fee for managing that investment. That’s problematic. And it will prohibit a financial advisor or a professional registered investment advisor from earning a fee for advising a client to go into an Opportunity Zone side.

And as a professional financial advisor, I’m not gonna take on that risk of making a recommendation to a client, where I have fiduciary responsibility with no form of being compensated. And so what we wanna do is make sure we work with the state and federal regulatory agencies to provide guidance to our members. So they are clear as to what the, you know, guidelines are, how they’re gonna be interpreted, and what type of oversight the regulatory agencies running to be conducting, as it relates to this particular investment strategy.

Jimmy: Gotcha. Rewinding now back to the treasure discussion, namely the IRS hearing that took place back in February, one of your board directors testified at that hearing, Dan Cullen, a partner at Baker McKenzie. Can you summarize the remarks that he made during that IRS hearing on Qualified Opportunity Funds and some of the issues that the IPA is focused on?

Tony: Yeah. So we were real proud of one of 15 firms or 15 organizations that had a chance to testify. And we focused our comments, although it could have been much more broad for particular topics. And, you know, one of them was on the form of disposition, provide clarification that investors in a Qualified Opportunity Fund making a basis step up election in their Qualified Opportunity interest. After 10 years, they receive the same benefits of such basis increase when a qualified opportunity fund asset sells the permitted use of debt financing. So clarifying that normal partnership tax rules apply with respect to use of debt financing related to these Qualified Opportunity Zone funds.

The impact of tax-deferred transaction on the step up basis. So provide clarification related to…in fact, if any certain tax-deferred transactions on the fair market value basis step up election available under Section 1400Z-2(c). And again, that’s why we have Dan Cullen, who’s our ultimate tax expert helping us advising, he’s a board member of IPA and tax partner. And then the last thing is the flexible gain reinvestment of rollovers and holding period rules.

And so we focused on those four areas, because these were the primary areas that as we were looking at the original structuring of funds and working through our intermediary partners for questions that were coming up on a regular basis, how do you address these things? What does it really need both short-term and long-term to the ultimate investor? And so, you know, with a lot of work and some guidance from our board, our Policy and Government Affairs Committee, and then thanks to Dan’s testimony, we were able to bring these particular issues to the forefront when the Treasury was working through some of the second tranche of rules and regs.

Jimmy: And that second tranche was released by the IRS recently? What’s your initial reactions to that second tranche? Did the IRS get it right or did they get anything wrong? And did they address those four points that Dan discussed during the hearing?

Tony: So I would say that to answer your question, I think they got a lot right. And generally speaking, you know, if I had to summarize it, the questions and guidance that we are seeking as an industry generally was addressed, maybe not as clear in some areas as we’ve probably would have liked them, but enough clarity that we feel that we’ve got some clearer guidance to be able to move forward and feel comfortable as it relates to the structure of the deals, so that we don’t impact any tax benefits associated with our investors.

If you look at the second guidance as a whole, they spent a lot of time working on providing some guidance around operating companies, which wasn’t clearly addressed in the first tranche. And there were a lot of lingering issues out there as to a variety of different issues related to operating companies. And I think they’ve done a very good job addressing that. But with any complex regs like this, you’re going to address some questions. And you’re gonna address them clearly. You’ll address your questions, and there’ll be some lingering clarity that you’re gonna be…would like to have or will seek. It may open up some new questions based on some of the guidance.

And clearly, the IRS as I brought up this next tranche, knew that there were some other guidance that they weren’t prepared to be able to roll out. And they needed some more time. But they didn’t wanna hold up the second tranche in order to be able, you know, to answer all the questions. So there’s some additional questions out there. But most of those additional questions don’t necessarily impact our membership. But, you know, we clearly would like to make sure that we get that guidance to make sure that there isn’t any conflicts. But right now, we feel really good based on the guidance we were are seeking in our comment letters and our testimony to what came out in the second tranche.

Jimmy: Good. Well, more clarity is coming all the time, it seems. I mean, I’m glad we got the second tranche finally, that’s cleared up a lot of things. And we’ll get some more guidance before the end of the year. But at this point, I think most investors have what they need to move forward. Well, Tony, we’re getting to the end of our conversation here. But I want to ask you a retrospective question I pose to most of my guests, what’s been your most memorable investment that you’ve ever made? Anything in particular that stands out?

Tony: You know, I was personally involved in an investment and I had the opportunity to invest in a homebuilder in Austin, Texas. And Texas has been leading the country in relocations, employment growth, population growth. Austin is a hotbed of that. And as an individual investor, investing in a nonpublic company, it can be challenging. But through a private fund that I had an opportunity to make a nominal investment in, and that homebuilder has exceeded their numbers for the last three years. And actually, it hasn’t gone full cycle. So, you know, there’s stories you have to be told. But the trajectory it’s going on right now is incredibly positive. We see an incredible growth in the city of Boston, homebuilding, homeownership continues to increase. And so that to me was one of the memorable investments that I’d say I’d been part.

Jimmy: Yeah, Austin has undergone an incredible transformation over the last couple of decades here. They seem to be growing by leaps and bounds. Well, Tony, thanks for joining me today. Can you tell my listeners now where they can go to learn more about you and the IPA? And I believe you have an event coming up pretty soon. So tell us a little bit about that and how you may be discussing the emergence of technology in your sector, what you got going on over there at the IPA?

Tony: Yeah. So ipa.com is our website. You can link and get connected through social media LinkedIn and Twitter through that website. We have regular conferences. We’ve had our advocacy and due diligence forum that’s coming up in D.C. by the 6th, 7th and 8th. We do our Hill Day visits. We’ll be talking about all the advocacy issues beyond Qualified Opportunity Zones both on a regulatory and legislative fund that are impacting our industry and our members. In June, we have our RIA practice management forum, it’s in Chicago, and geared towards registered investment advisors, going back to what we talked about a little bit earlier, how do we educate, how do we provide information, what’s the conduit of making sure that there’s clarity around these emerging investment opportunities. That conference is focused on that.

We have our women’s initiative in June, in Chicago as well. It’s actually in conjunction with our RIA practice. And it’s focused on our emerging women leadership within our industry, matter of fact, our board, our chair, and Charlotte are both senior female leadership within our industry. And then our annual conference will be in Toronto, Canada in September. All that information regards to our events, webinars, we do two webinars a month, and delivering information out to our members and our audience about these various topics. They’re all available. Matter of fact this Thursday, I’m hosting a webinar with Dan Cullen and other tax practitioners going through the regs in detail. You’ll find all that information at the IPA website. And it’s open to all the industry participants.

Jimmy: IPA.com, that’s the spot to go. And for my listeners, I’ll have show notes on the Opportunity Zones database website. Show notes for this particular podcast episode, you can find those at opportunitydb.com/podcast. You’ll find links to all of the resources that Tony and I discussed on today’s show. I’ll have a link to ipa.com, of course, and also their upcoming events calendar. Tony, I think we covered it all. Thanks for joining me on the show today. I think it’s been a great episode. And I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Tony: Jimmy, thank you very much for inviting me. And have a great day

Jimmy: Absolutely. You, too.

Jimmy Atkinson

Jimmy Atkinson

Hi, I'm Jimmy Atkinson... I founded OpportunityDb in August 2018. I'm a veteran Internet entrepreneur with a background in economics and Web marketing. I previously founded ETFdb.com. These days, I am passionate about impact investing and tax-advantaged investment opportunities. At the crossroads of these two ideals is the opportunity zones program, a place-based tax policy intended to economically transform some of the poorest areas of the United States with new real estate and business development.

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