In the UK alone, an estimated £5.5 trillion is due to be passed between generations over the next 30 years – according to Kings Court Trust – yet according to the Attitudes Survey 2019, only half of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals have a robust succession plan in place.
Most inheritance handovers will be seamless. However, lack of a succession plan is a concern because it takes time to devise a holistic strategy to transfer decision-making responsibilities to the next generation. Not surprisingly, there are numerous barriers to the process: timing, lack of clear objectives and in some cases the decision maker or head of the family might not be ready to hand over authority.
Alongside all this, changing family structures and a wide span of generations present challenges of their own. For example, children in different branches of the family might be treated differently, as might stepchildren and grandchildren, particularly concerning property or fine art.
Passing on wealth is a major concern for wealthy families and while there is no way of rubber stamping the transfer process, there are three approaches that one can take to prepare for successful transition.
Promoting a vision
Apart from wanting to provide a comfortable level of wealth to future generations, it is important to start by identifying clear objectives: defining how future generations should benefit from an inheritance; identifying what that might mean, to whom and in what proportions.
Some families want to maintain consistency in their philanthropic ventures, while others are more focused on creating a lasting legacy. Is there a philanthropic purpose for your wealth and if so, does it align with your family’s values? For instance, there are hundreds of foundations dedicated to different causes; from well-known ones such as the Wellcome Trust to the smaller such as the Peter Harrison Foundation. Each one has its own mission.
Sometimes the interests and focus of the head of the family do not align with the children or grandchildren. For example, baby boomers might be comfortable investing in manufacturing, but Gen X and Gen Y might prefer an emphasis on sustainable investing or in technology venture capital. There will even be wide disparities in risk tolerance amongst the beneficiaries. And then there are myriad human factors; everyone will have different personal views, experiences and needs.
Preparing the legacy
At the same time, it is important to create the right governance structures and identify the corporate trustees and lawyers that will assist you in achieving the smooth transition of assets.
Taking an integrated approach with this is one of the keys to successful transfer and management of wealth. For example, what type of structures should be established; trusts, private trust companies, foundations or even groups of companies? Co-ordinating with the relevant experts depending on the assets held and structures required is essential too.
Clients with family located internationally will need to understand the implications to the wealth transfer of offshore and regional tax regimes, for example. Even US and UK FATCA and the automatic exchange of information need to be taken into account.
It’s all about the people
Wealth transfer is of course about preservation of assets, but it is also about people. The succession structure needs to fit the individuals within the family. Some members of a family might have little understanding about finance so it might be necessary to educate them or even negotiate with them for the transition ahead. More competent individuals might want a more flexible structure in order to apply their knowledge.
It is therefore vital that the succession planning process, which can take up to a decade, includes open dialogue with key beneficiaries right from the start. A survey conducted by Moore Stephens found that nearly a quarter of respondents highlighted the difficulties when trying to reach agreements in the decision-making process.
It is quite common for people to avoid discussions about money and lack of communication can seriously hinder the process; beneficiaries need to know more than just the names of trustees or advisers.
At JAR Capital, I advise clients to include their beneficiaries gradually. To begin with it might just be an exercise in sharing information, but over time the next generation becomes more interested and seeks to take on more responsibility. This could include taking an active role in investments and governance or spearheading the family foundation.
There is no doubt that issue of intergenerational wealth transfer is a thorny one. Nevertheless, we believe that those families that take action in advance to preserve their wealth for future generations will ensure an orderly and harmonious succession of assets.
3 Ways The World’s Wealthiest Man Stays Ahead Of The Competition
In the past year of raging tech IPOs, Amazon’s taken “crushing it” to a whole new level.
Along with Apple, Amazon has become a trillion-dollar company, making CEO Jeff Bezos the world’s richest man in the process.
So how does CEO Jeff maintain his edge in the face of new market entrants and a constantly-evolving industry?
Here are three ways he does it:
1) Be a Missionary
“You have got to have some passion for the arena that you are going to develop and work in, because otherwise you’ll be competing against those who do have passion for that, and they’re going to build better products and services,” Bezos said at Amazon’s re:Mars conference in Las Vegas.
“Missionaries build better products and services — they always win,” said Bezos. “Mercenaries are just trying to make money, and paradoxically the missionaries always end up making more money.”
2) Embrace Risk and Failure
“If you come up with a business idea and there’s no risk there…it’s probably already being done…[and] being done well…. So you have to have something that might not work and you have to accept that your business in many ways is an experiment and it might fail,” Bezos said. “And that’s ok.”
3) Change Your Mind
“The greatest tragedy of mankind — or one of them — is that people needlessly hold wrong opinions in their minds,”Dalio has said.
In fact, people who win typically have worked hard to recognize what beliefs or biases they hold and “actively try to look for evidence that disconfirms” them, Bezos said.
10 Ways To Avoid Financial Stress
If financial difficulties are keeping you awake at night, take action and tackle your problems head on otherwise they are likely to get worse. The ability to pay for rent, mortgages, bills, and food are fundamental to our quality of life.
It is important to plan for future financial hardship by making saving a goal and budgeting carefully. It’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future, so to cushion any financial hardship, it’s worth putting a little money aside each month.
Developing a savings plan now will enable you to get on with living your life stress-free!
Reduce monthly bills
List all your current outgoings and look to see if you can make any savings. Often it’s tempting to keep the same standing order from the same insurance company for year upon year. You are likely to be paying too much for your premiums and it’s worth shopping around and switching.
Look at the amount of interest you are paying on loans, mortgages and credit cards, you could be able to secure a better deal. One thing to remember is to check your credit score if it is poor lenders won’t give you the best interest rate.
It is possible to repair your credit score by using the expertise of a credit repair company.
Utility bills can be reduced by switching utility providers. Use an online comparison site to secure the best deal. Switching is easy as most of the work is completed for you by your new supplier.
To budget carefully you need to be in control of your spending and to be in control you need to be aware of your income and outgoings. List every necessary outgoing that must be met on a monthly basis and you will be left with an amount which will have been spent on miscellaneous items such as eating out.
You can then design a budget plan so that you can put a certain amount into a savings account. You will probably be surprised at how much your morning coffee costs when added up over the month.
Cut it down to once or twice a week and you will make significant savings.
Make savings work to your advantage
Savings (if you have them!) can work to your financial advantage. Ensure you choose the best financial products that give the maximum return on your savings. Financial products change rapidly to factor in a financial audit of your savings every couple of years to check savings are in the best account.
You could also consider investing your savings property or financial shares. This has the potential to be lucrative but is not without risk. Consider hiring a professional and independent financial advisor for advice.
Ideally, you should set apart some of your salaries each month in order to build up an emergency fund. Life can be unpredictable and without savings to fall back on, your car breaking down or your roof leaking could plunge you into more debt as you borrow to rectify the situation.
Savings will cushion the blow of any financial hardship.
Stop Paying Extra Bank or Late Fees
Late fees are not helping you. They add up over time – fees can even accrue fees!
If you are the kind of person who always forgets to pay their bills on time, you can get around this by automating your finances so that the money automatically goes out of your account.
You should also avoid making any extra charges on your credit card unless you are sure that you are able to pay it off in full at the end of the month.
Don’t Pay Full Price!
Paying full price is a really common financial mistake that a ton of people make.
In today’s world, you can find a sale on just about any item. If you see something you need at the store, take a few moments to shop for it online and you’ll probably be able to save 10-20%
Not only does this method stop you from overpaying, it also gives you a moment to think and decide whether or not what you were thinking of buying is actually a worthwhile investment.
Create a Financial Defense Plan
All of us need to not only earn our living and grow our finances if we’re to live a comfortable and happy life, but we must also defend them.
That means ensuring you stay rational, sensible and forward-thinking in all matters related to your financial health.
There are a few considerations you can take care of in order to make this so, and generate a cognitive and systemic financial defense to keep your money yours, and flowing in the direction you most want.
Here are the keys to defending your financial interests
Know Good Lawyers
The most important thing is to have good counsel and good advice. So, hire the best attorneys that you can afford. From real estate to contracts to brand protection, you need someone behind you making sure you aren’t making any major missteps.
The world practically runs in the courtroom now, unfortunately. So, with good attorneys on your side, it will keep you out of the courtroom and focused on running your business.
Have A Contingency Plan
It’s always best to have a fail-safe.
This might mean never tying up all your investments in one basket. It might mean diversifying your investments .
Or, it could mean allowing only one or two financial handlers to have any kind of insight into your money matters in the first place.
The key is to be able to have a solid plan but also be able to pivot to something else should the first plan fail.
With the willingness to keep a backup plan, or a mode of operation to take when something fails or doesn’t go the way you expect, you at least won’t lose anything.
Keeping a solid contingency is also reliant on keeping solid discipline with your financial means – without this none of your decisions are likely to land effectively.
Pore Over Contracts
Whenever signing a contract, or forging a new one, you need to know exactly what terms are referring to.
You also need to read between the lines, and consider what situations a certain stipulation could affect in the future. Remember, even vaguely written terms in a contract do not fall there unexpectedly.
They are either there to make or defend a certain form of income, or persuade and dissuade a certain type of behavior. Every word counts.
Remember the first recommendation? Well, here’s where they come in. But, it’s important to know how to read and interpret the contracts yourself as well.
Study contract terminology and simply dedicate the time to observe and understand.
Look For Weak Spots
What are the weak spots in your defense system?
Could it be family members having access to your accounts? Do you think it could it be emotional family members asking for financial help, when this is not genuine?
Or perhaps it could it be the services you bank with.
Don’t forget about the way you log in to your accounts and store passwords.
To prevent your finances from being breached, keep up to date on modern security measures. From there, you should be settled.
To reduce your financial stress, the key is to lower your costs, increase your passive income, and protect your assets.
Debt Crisis 101: Hedge Fund Legend Ray Dalio’s Take On What Triggers Rising Debts
The 2008 financial crisis resulted in enormous failures for both individual and institutional investors. There were not many investors who were able to navigate through the crisis calmly and without great losses. Those who did knew the fundamental basics about how debt crises work.
Therefore, learning how to maneuver future debt crises is extremely critical for all investors, no matter how big or small their portfolio is. Economic changes are unavoidable, of course, so the only way out is to understand the primary cause-and-effect relationships and to learn to manage them, argues Ray Dalio in his new book, Big Debt Crises.
Cyclic nature of debt cycles
Debts essentially originate from credit. It is the credit or assumed ability to purchase which leads to debt. Therefore, debt is not always bad because it gives the economy purchasing power. It is when the debt is not used productively and does not get repaid in time that it becomes bad.
Excellent lending standards are a necessity. If they are too stringent, debt will be less, but so will be purchasing power, which will restrict economic development. On the other hand, if lending standards are too lenient, there will be more money and more growth, but high, unpaid debt becomes a threat to the overall economy.
Of course, when a person borrows money, it means he is purchasing something that he cannot afford at the time. It’s important to realize that he isn’t just borrowing from the lender, but also from his future self. There will be a time in the future when he will have to spend less than he earns so he can pay back the debt. He may again have to borrow money at that time to be able to pay back the old debt, which creates a cycle. This cycle applies to nations and individuals alike.
The effects of the debt cycle
Every debt cycle is caused by a lack of purchasing power and/ or buying more than one can afford. When the borrower is unable to meet his debt obligations, the lender is, in turn, unable to meet his own obligations to his creditors, and that obviously leads to a number of problems.
The most significant effect of debt cycles is that huge losses are incurred due to non-payment. The lender expects certain payment amounts every year, which either get reduced or written off entirely. As a result, losses get piled up on both lenders and creditors.
On the other hand, even when the debt cycle is balanced for a short period, the long-term implications are enormous. The businesses which borrowed or those that loaned money may become financially unstable for a long time. This affects the entire economy of a country.
Can debt crises be managed to avoid big problems?
If the policymakers of a country efficiently handle debt cycles, it is possible to control debt crises to a large extent. They can use their authority and knowledge to make policy changes so that debt crises do not drown the entire country.
Policymakers can start with the use of austerity, or spending less than what is brought in. They may also make certain debt defaults and restructuring. The central government can print more money and make more purchases to increase the amount of money in circulation. Another efficient method is to transfer money from those who have more to those who need it, which can be done in various ways.
Thus, debt cycles are integral and unavoidable parts of an economy’s system. However, they can be managed effectively to ensure they do not become vast crises.