In part one of this two-part series, we highlighted that policy changes by the Federal Reserve, in combination with policy and regulatory changes by the incoming 2017 Trump Administration, present investors with either an obstacles and possibly opportunities.
Naturally, ultra-high net worth investors want to avoid the former and exploit the latter. To that end, in our book “The Art Of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios And Estates, Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million to $500 Million,” we advise asking a series of targeted questions that ultimately create individualized action steps. We listed some of these questions in part one of this series. Now, we conclude the list below:
What is your asset allocation strategy? Is your allocation balanced? Or is it too concentrated? Have you used objective measures to determine the answer to those last two questions—or do you rely on your “gut” or may be your advisors biased opinion? If you need a more objective evaluation, when can you schedule an appointment with the appropriate non-biased advisors to apply concrete measurements to your potential concentration of risk and asset allocation? A second opinion is prudent.
If your wealth is allocated into a primary, concentrated investment, is that concentration putting your family’s wealth at risk? Is it time to unwind some of that investment? Do you need help looking at this issue objectively? Is it clear to you what’s the first step you should take– or do you feel uncertain about which steps to take first to make your investments more balanced and diversified? If so, who can you turn to for skilled unbiased advice? When can you schedule that meeting?
Are you satisfied that you’re making the proper use of active vs. passive investing for your family’s needs? (we discuss this in-depth in chapter 7 of our book). When can you schedule an appointment to find out more from an unbiased and insightful advisor? Are you satisfied that your money manager is meeting and exceeding expectations and such expectations are the right measure you should hold them to? If not, what steps do you need to take? What is your deadline for doing this?
Do you feel that you’re making use of bond investments appropriately? Do you have additional questions? If so, list these. Whom can you go to who will competently answer them fully and honestly? When can you schedule that meeting?
Are your private equity, hedge funds, and real estate investments performing as you’d hoped? Are there any areas where you have concerns? If so, make a list of these. Where is the best place for you to take these questions (preferably to an unbiased individual)? When can you schedule that meeting?
Are there questions that arose while you were reading the above questions? List them. Give yourself a deadline for addressing these concerns with the proper individual.
Are you satisfied that you have a good plan in place for transferring your wealth? Do you see areas you’d like to explore further with your advisors? Are you comfortable that your plan for transferring your wealth is consistent with your family constitution? If not, what would you need to do to get it in line with your family’s larger values? When can you schedule a time to review your wealth-transfer plan with someone? Who would be the best person to do this with you?
Let’s be honest. There are plenty of questions you can have and the reality is you might have hundreds. This is normal and natural, especially if you don’t have a background in finance and if you’re not a financial expert.
Although seeing all your concerns laid out at once can be overwhelming, don’t let it be. This is precisely why you have a wealth management team. By address all your questions and concerns, you’ll not only become more confident with regards to your financial planning, but you’ll also start to get more comfortable during discussions with your wealth management team and financial advisors.
In conclusion, we remind ultra-high net worth investors of the following key points:
Actually write down and document the answers to these questions. This helps with clarity, completeness, and serves as a reference that can be valuable for the whole family in the future. Writing down these elements so that you can see them all at once, visually, can also help you identify any more potential questions you might have. It’ll be easier to have a discussion with your wealth management team if you know exactly what you need to discuss.
Keep their appointment calendar open to add deadlines and schedule appointments with family members and advisors.
Do not overlook the importance of leveraging the expertise of a diverse, multi-disciplinary advisory team. In addition to (of course) wealth management, this team should tap into: personal psychology, family dynamics, legal issues, accounting, finance, insurance, asset protection, business succession, and philanthropy.
If you don’t have a wealth manager or a financial advisor — or if you have one, but aren’t convinced they’re the financial advisor for you — don’t let that hold you back. It’s not personal, but it is your family’s wealth and legacy on the line.
Finding a new advisor might sound complicated or even be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out financial advisors in Tampa, Florida, or those local to your area. And remember: If you’re an ultra-high net worth investor, make sure you can place your trust in your current advisor team. If not, it may be time for some revisions.
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 https://pillarwm.com. You can reach us at [email protected]