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High Net Worth Asset Protection

They say the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Two problems with that are of particular concern to ultra-wealthy individuals (defined as having $30 million or more): The death part, and the tax part. That’s why we have put together a special book to help you and you can qualify for a free copy by clicking here.

But there’s a third part of life that also affects ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) in ways unique to them and their finances – major life events. Before we get to that, let’s talk briefly about death and taxes.

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The biggest Financial Planners' Mistake That Will Hurt Your Financial Security!
The biggest Financial Planners' Mistake That Will Hurt Your Financial Security!
How To Find Your GO-TO High Net Worth Financial Planner
How To Find Your GO-TO High Net Worth Financial Planner
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How Pillar's High Net Worth Financial Planning Process Is Different
Multi-Family Office For Ultra-High Net Worth Families
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Many of the ideas in this article receive far more attention and depth in our hardcover book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios And Estates: Strategies for Families Worth $25 Million to $500 Million. Get it here on Amazon.

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The rich protect their wealth by investing it in savings and retirement accounts. They invest in low-risk investments such as real estate, annuities, and life insurance.

A wealth manager works with the client to create a financial plan for protecting and growing the client’s wealth through investment management and tax, estate, and retirement planning.

A high-net-worth policy is a life insurance policy covering end-of-life expenses. Life insurance proceeds are not considered taxable income. In addition, some policies accrue value that serves as an income stream.

Billionaires keep their cash in bank accounts and retirement accounts, as well as safety deposit boxes, which may contain foreign currencies and be kept in those countries.

An asset protection trust is an irrevocable trust in which to place assets, which are then no longer personal property. These assets cannot be removed from the trust.

Any type of asset can be protected. Asset protection means protection from creditors and lawsuits, so it applies to any type of asset, whether cash or real property.

You can protect your assets by investing in insurance that will pay damages and legal fees if you are sued. Offshore trusts have proven very effective in protecting assets.

Asset protection is important because it means your assets cannot be seized by creditors or in case of a legal judgment against you. Asset protection is also important in estate planning.

In case of loss, asset protection insurance pays the original value of the asset, not the depreciated value. Asset protection insurance provides extended liability coverage over existing policies.

Asset Protection for High-Net-Worth Individuals   

Besides implementing HNW investment strategies to protect your wealth, you should consider investing in asset protection insurance. Let’s look at trusts, too.

Keep in mind that your retirement accounts and some of your home equity are protected from creditors.

Deposit and Securities Insurance

The FDIC insures the balance of your bank accounts, up to $250,000 for each account. So, you could have multiple accounts at the same bank and have each one protected for that amount.

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Your cash and securities held by a brokerage firm are also protected. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SPIC) insures cash and securities up to $500,000 per account. Accounts created for separate capacities are insured; for example, an individual account, a corporation account, an IRA, and an account as part of a trust are each secured to the $500,000 limit.

Personal Insurance

Liability coverage

Your home and your car are protected by homeowners’ insurance and auto insurance. Check your coverages to make sure these limits are sufficient.

Umbrella Insurance

When your liability limits do not cover the value of your assets, such as a home, or the potential liability of a lawsuit, consider getting an umbrella policy. An umbrella policy could protect you in a lawsuit involving a car accident or damage to your property for as much as $5 million. An umbrella policy will cost you about $200 per $1 million of coverage per year.

Professional liability coverage

If you work in a field where you should be concerned about being sued in a professional capacity, then you need professional liability insurance to cover legal and settlement costs in situations such as breach of contract, negligence, or errors or omissions.

Business liability

Business liability insurance will help cover the cost of injury and property damage claims against a business. Businesses should also carry property insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.

Directors and officers (D&O) insurance

If an organization or business is not incorporated, D&O insurance protects directors and officers from being personally liable if the organization is sued by its employers, customers, investors, or other parties. The organization may be sued for perceived wrongful acts or mismanagement. Corporate legal liability insurance protects the company rather than any individual.

Trusts and Other Legal Options

Transferring assets to a family member will protect those assets if you are sued.

By creating an asset protection trust and placing some of your assets in the trust, you protect those assets if you are sued. The trust may be sued as a separate entity. An asset protection trust is irrevocable, meaning that the transfer of assets is permanent.

4 UHNW Strategies to Protect Your Wealth

4 UHNW Strategies to Protect Your Wealth

Ultra-high net worth individuals have a policy of privacy regarding keeping their assets safe. However, most of them do not want to take a risk by maintaining their assets by themselves, so they will hire a financial advisor to help them. To make your assets grow and be successfully invested, you need to implement the following high net worth investment strategies:

1. Establish Trusts for Your Closest Heirs

Begin by making a list. Who do you want, with absolute certainty, to be taken care of financially if something happens to you or a large portion of your wealth?

You can set up a living trust or a testamentary trust. In brief, a living trust can take effect while you’re still alive, whereas a testamentary trust takes effect as part of your last will and testament. An ultra-high net worth wealth advisor can help you with the details. But imagine this scenario:

Your business gets hit with a cyberattack, costing your company millions. The fallout leads to lawsuits from customers, employees, and vendors. One way or another, you’re going to pay. If it’s severe enough, this can be permanently crippling. Now, you may have been planning to pass on $1 million to a handful of close family members, and $5 million to a disabled relative who can’t work. But with this business crisis, tens of millions in value you were counting on having when you die has suddenly vanished, and along with it your plans for these heirs. Now is when you need a plan to put to work your high net worth investment strategies.

You may be able to weather the storm personally, but your heirs may not get what you had intended for them. A trust – set up in advance – protects your wealth and your heirs from suffering from sudden losses of this magnitude. Many similar scenarios can be imagined, such as a sudden injury or disability that forces you to quit work. All such scenarios can be mitigated to some extent with wise advance planning through trusts. But your options are many, and only an ultra-high net worth wealth management firm has the specialized knowledge and experience to protect wealth in the amounts you’re working with.

2. Maximize the Asset Allocation

This is critical to have in your toolkit of high net worth investment strategies. A sudden market meltdown can wipe out hundreds of millions from the portfolio of an ultra-high net worth individual in a matter of days. Besides investing in the market, real estate investing can be one of their choices.

We’ve seen high net worth people make pretty terrible decisions out of fear, stubbornness, or simple lack of understanding. Things like holding onto stock options in your company long after leaving, only to watch the company lose most of its value because of a market crisis or shifting economic trends.

In extreme scenarios like this, someone who was worth billions can be worth mere tens of millions in just a few months if they weren’t wisely diversified.

If you look at lists of billionaires from 20 years ago and then follow the list every five years, take note of who drops off. If you follow up on those stories, some of them don’t end well. And it’s usually due, at least in part, to not planning ahead for detrimental and unexpected life events or tragic business turns.

If you have concentrated large percentages of your wealth in just a few companies or the same market sectors, you are standing on the edge of a cliff. If you’ve borrowed against the value of those shares, you have one foot over the edge.

Get help from an ultra-high net worth wealth manager, and protect your wealth from market volatility and financial and business calamities outside your control. Our wealth managers will help you to solve this issue by doing market research, capital gains analysis, and also calculate risk management. If and when something does go wrong financially, you’ll be able to exhale in relief that you made the right decisions before it happened.

3. Enact Family Governance

Everyone has different values about money and how they prefer to communicate about it with their heirs. But for ultra-high net worth families, you can’t risk hoping your heirs just ‘figure it out.’ There’s simply too much money in play. If that doesn’t get your attention, your screen must be frozen. Your best hope for avoiding that misfortune is to create a family governance structure, which is also among the key high net worth investment strategies. This has three primary components:

• Education of your heirs about how to manage wealth and who to turn to for help

• A clear mission and vision for the future – what your wealth can accomplish

• Honest and forthright communication

Your heirs need to understand two things: What wealth can accomplish, and how it can be squandered at incredible rates of speed. Show them stories of failed ultra-high net worth individuals such as Mike Tyson. Celebrities make great examples of successful and failed product development. Ultimately how this looks for you will depend on your family’s values as they relate to protecting your wealth and legacy, and having a mission-centered mindset about money.

• Give your heirs a mission.

• Instill them with passion for it.

• Equip them with the tools to carry it out.

• Put safeguards in place to keep them on track.

• And then teach them all this.

• Don’t let them grow up and live life financially ignorantly.

• Yes, they or their children can easily lose it all. 70% of them do.

4. Being an Updated Net Worth Investor

This should be standard procedure. Unfortunately, most ultra-high net worth wealth management companies fail to protect the wealth of their clients as they could with this strategy.

If you live in the United States and need help maintaining your wealth, Pillar Wealth Management is the best place you can go. Pillar WM provides a highly professional service to protect your wealth and even gain more returns, using critical high net worth investment strategies.

Choosing the Best Wealth Advisor for UHNW Individuals

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Note: If you’re unsatisfied with your current advisor, or unsure of how to find the one that’s right for you, grab the Ultimate Guide book by clicking in the box. You can also subscribe to the latest information about us by submitting your email address on the website.

When you first begin working with a wealth manager, they’ll help you create a plan which will map out your high net worth investment strategies, life goals, tax strategies, and many other components. The details vary depending on your advisor.

Where most wealth managers fail is in not updating your plan as life progresses. One thing you can pretty much guarantee is that the high net worth investment strategies you create at age 40 will be obsolete by 50, and the ones you create at 50 will be obsolete by 60. In the vast majority of cases, it will be much sooner than that.

Your wealth manager should be updating your high net worth investment strategies four times per year, because your life, your family’s life, and your heirs’ lives keep changing. People get married, have kids, get divorced, start businesses, start charities and foundations, close businesses, shut down charities and foundations – and that’s just the stuff they intended to do.

Remember – this is about unplanned major life events. These can happen to you and to anyone in your family or extended family. They can happen to the whole country or the whole world for that matter.

If something significant happens in your life, and you have a wealth manager who updates your high net worth investment strategies every quarter, your process is simple:

1) Call them up

2) Explain what happened

3) They will update your plan based on the new information

4) They will come back with a new set of recommendations and options to keep your finances on track

5) You can work through those choices when time permits

But if your wealth manager just set your investments on autopilot 13 years ago and hasn’t updated (or even looked at) your plan since then, he’s not going to be able to quickly update your plan and its high net worth investment strategies. As a result, you won’t have the information you need to make the critical and often time-sensitive decisions you’ll be facing.

He’s going to need to start all over, because he’ll have 13 years of catching up to do.

Your kids are through college now? One of them is a doctor? The other one is a teacher? Wait, how many kids do you have again? And you’re still married, right?

They’ll have no idea what’s going on, and if you’re in crisis and need to make some big decisions very soon, that will be one frantic and stressful period of time. Much better to have known about and planned for this possibility well in advance, and be able to make the adjustments necessary to keep your high net worth investment strategies up-to-date and your life steady and secure.

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Many of the ideas in this article receive far more attention and depth in our hardcover book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios And Estates: Strategies for Families Worth $25 Million to $500 Million. Get it here on Amazon.

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