And since you can't control inflation, smart investors attempt to boost true return by using low-cost investments and by taking steps such as tax-loss harvesting to minimize taxes.
Tax-loss harvesting refers to the act of selling positions with an unrealized loss and replacing them with similar securities in order to utilize embedded losses to reduce taxes. It's a proven strategy embraced by most financial advisors.
Read MorePlan now to save on taxes later
But there's a problem: Most advisors are stuck using 20th-century tax-harvesting solutions, and they're leaving a ton of their clients' money on the table as a result.
Most financial advisors implement tax-loss harvesting just once a year—usually in the fourth quarter. The main reason is that they don't have the resources to do it more frequently. Tax-loss harvesting has traditionally been a labor-intensive, time-consuming process. When an advisor oversees hundreds of portfolios, once-a-year rebalancing is about all he or she can realistically handle.