What is it like to be Super Rich? By all accounts, it is better to be rich than poor!
So if all is good, what keeps the Super Rich awake at night?
My book ‘When you are Super Rich who can you trust?’ gives food for thought – it is for everyone who is rich, will one day be rich, has ambitions to be rich and/or serves the UHNW community.
One of my clients, who I will call Francis, came to see me several years before he sold his company which was then worth, just north of, $200 million. He wanted to know whether he should set up a family office and if so what he needed to do.
I took him through the eight step plan which I outline in the book. As we talked about his aspirations, vision and concerns about being liquid rich, it soon became clear that he was not interested in setting up his own family office to manage his investments and non-liquid assets, he just wanted to make sure that, post liquidity, he had a lifestyle, such that he and his family could feel good about money, know they wanted to achieve and had the right people around them who they could trust to get them there.
Once we had worked through the eight step plan it took us a few months to implement it, which included how to pick his cabinet of advisers - his Ring of Confidence –and the structure needed to keep them in line.
In my book, I discuss the pitfalls which many Super Rich fall into which is to choose their advisers on the recommendation of a friend. Why do you think Madoff did so well once he had got established? He had a good track record on the surface, but no credible reason for producing these returns year on year – the rest was personal recommendation.
At first blush, recommendation sounds an excellent way to choose an adviser, but only if you do not leave your suspicions on the doorstep. I have seen some shocking choices of professionals in positions of key responsibility which on a little scrutiny would have been weeded out long ago.
The analogy I use in my book is, would any professional you engage survive a board room of experts following an annual report? If you had thrown Madoff into this ring – would he survive? If the answer is yes – you have the wrong ring!
Most of us imagine the thrill of having huge wealth but it can be daunting and expensive if you trust the wrong advisers.
Unlike what many advisers may say - there is no right or wrong. If you want to blow your money at the Casino – fine, but at least make sure it is in accordance with your plan so you are not led astray by others, who have a plan – but not in your best interest - theirs.
With a serious set of goals, you can then move onto the second step; planning. The aim of the book is that by the eighth step you will have developed a lifestyle to manage your wealth and your advisers so that you can sit back and enjoy it.
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Caroline's books 'When you are super rich who can you trust' and 'Winning Business from Private Clients' will be republished on 11th October at Waterstones Piccadilly.