It is always wise to evaluate portfolios and strategies on an ongoing basis. However, in times of change, the need is even greater. And with the Federal Reserve’s change in policy and the incoming 2017 Trump Administration, it is safe to say that ultra-high net worth families must be prepared for possible good times, and also potential volatility.
For investors who apply big picture thinking and create an analyzed set of action steps, these changes are an opportunity to install protection mechanisms; it will also be an opportunity, and one that may not present itself as attractively for years, or perhaps decades to come.
To assist investors with mapping a smart, safe and strategic path forward, we feature a series of targeted questions in our book “The Art Of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios And Estates, Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million to $500 Million”. We present part one of these questions below, and will list the remainder in a follow-up article.
We recommend that ultra-high net worth investors actually write down and document the answers. This helps with clarity, completeness, and serves as a reference that can be valuable for the whole family in the future. We also recommend that investors keep their appointment calendar open, so they can give themselves deadlines and tentatively schedule appointments with family members and advisors.
- What does money mean to you? What do you want it to accomplish in your life? How does this intersect with your hopes, dreams, and plans for your family?
- Do you already have a family constitution? If so, is it time for your family to review it, making revisions as needed and making sure your family truly understands the values outlined in the constitution? If you don’t have a constitution, when can you schedule a family meeting to begin the discussion? Who can you put in charge of making sure the discussions are fruitful and lead to the end product — a useful family constitution — within a reasonable amount of time?
- Are you happy with your advisors? (we discuss this in depth in chapter 4 of our book). Are there any areas where your advisors are falling short? Are there some direct, proactive conversations you need to have with an advisor to make your expectations clear? Would you be better off replacing any of your advisors? If you have a Family Office, is it functioning the way you had hoped? Are there any areas that need improvement? If you don’t have a Family Office, is it time you considered setting one up? Or can your family’s needs be met in other ways (such as a cohesive, independent team)?
- Do you have a clearly stated investment strategy? If not, when can you schedule a meeting with family members and the appropriate advisors to create one?
Remember: Protecting Ultra-High Net Portfolios and Wealth is Not Easy!
We conclude by reminding investors that protecting their family’s wealth is an ongoing obligation. It is not a “set it and forget it” proposition. It is vital to make adjustments; sometimes minor tweaks, and other times major changes.
At the same time, wealth management is not something that is governed by one specific specialization. It is a group effort, which means that investors need to leverage the expertise from a variety of diverse disciplines, including: personal psychology, family dynamics, legal, accounting, finance, insurance, asset protection, business succession, philanthropy — and of course, wealth management!
About Pillar Wealth Management, LLC
Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo and Christopher Snyder are privileged to have worked with ultra-high net worth families, some of whom attained wealth reaching $400 million, helping them achieve a positive change in their lives and finances. They co-founded Pillar Wealth Management, LLC, an independent, fee based, private wealth management firm. As their clients’ go-to advisors, they are brought in to help with investment management, strategic planning, asset allocation, risk control, and tracking of their clients’ progress towards life-goals. Their services are provided to a limited number of clients. They only accept a new client when they have determined that there is mutual admiration and respect and only if they can add substantial value to the client’s financial life. Learn more at http://pillarwm.com. You can reach us at PWM@PillarWM.com