Once you have money, you will take time to protect it by avoiding future catastrophes. Be cautious and always assume the worst. Do not go through life thinking that other people will not take advantage of you or that your money is not important to them. A careless mistake can cost you a fortune. A careless demeanor opens you up to attack. And you will never know where it is going to come from.
Now that you have the money, you have to take the steps to protect it from unscrupulous beings. Many a millionaire’s downfall came from lawsuits from hungry money-‐grubbing relatives or the greed from immediate family. The media is packed with celebrity stories where the ‘evil’ spouse gets millions in the divorce, millions they never earned simply because the high earner took no precautions. In the case of lawsuits, anything personal amounts to what you or your companies are worth. Lawyers love public information and can easily figure out what you are worth by accessing public records. Transferring the bulk of your wealth to foundations, trusts or corporations ensures that these stay well out of the public’s eye or are untouchable in the event you are attacked. Protecting your money now ensures that it will continue to benefit you and your family for years and decades to come.
1. Millionaires and the truly wealthy never put assets in their name and guard their personal assets zealously. They use corporations and protect themselves with liability insurance. Corporate entities are used to operate businesses, partnerships are made with the idea that if all goes to hell, it is time to get out. Use trusts, family partnerships and protect your personal assets and wealth.
2. Turn yourself into a stealthy, moving target. Never be conspicuous about your wealth and forego the trappings of it. Remember: the bigger, flashier bird is always easier to bring down. The birds that fly low, fly below the radar and detection.
3. Begin asset protection early to prevent any mishaps. Never let yourself get caught in the trap of beginning asset protection when you are already in heaps of trouble! There is nothing like being prepared. Besides, transferring assets when you are being sued is illegal and can land you in jail (plus you lose everything). Protect your personal assets from claims and unscrupulous parties!
4. Create a clear-‐cut and legal will, even if you are only 32 years old. Make sure you know where your money is going. Many people put off the idea of the will or trust simply because it makes them face their own mortality which is always wrong. Update and notarize yearly, or anytime you like. A will prevents many a family feud, protects your interests long after you are gone and ensures that money that you share keeps going where you want it go. Without a will, chaos will ensue, especially if your personal fortune and business assets are worth six digits or more. For businesses, the equivalent of a will is known as succession planning. Many successful business have failed because an epic predecessor was not able to carefully plan who would succeed him in the event of his death. Follow the example of Steve Jobs and create a succession plan for your business before you even get sick or retire. Many family corporations create a version of this by grooming successors from within the family and stipulating conditions to be met in order to inherit or run the business.
5. Never enter any partnership, including conjugal ones, without a back-‐up plan or a clear way out. That is what prenuptial agreements are for. Do not let a future ex-‐spouse pull a Paul McCartney on you.
6. Never put all your money into one humungous deal. Diversity is the key to true wealth. Keep in mind that those eggs in one basket are more liable to break if the basket is too heavy.
7. Once you become wealthy, do not forget the rules and secrets that got you there. First time millionaires and lotto winners often blow through their millions by acquiring status symbols like mad and often end up with nothing. Continue to extol the virtues that got you to where you are now. Live simply and below your means, even if you are worth enough to make it to the Forbes 500 list.
8. The final timeless wealth secret. Money is meant to shared, not hoarded. Follow the Rockefeller rule: 10% of your worth is meant to shared. This creates more for you.
There is no shortcut to instant wealth. Being rich means playing a game that lasts for years. The truly wealthy not only look forward to this game, but also look forward to playing it. By following these timeless secrets, you learn the value of hard work, patience and reap the rewards for years to come.
Never be complacent and put off your wealth creation for tomorrow. True wealth and real wealth starts by making these changes today. Break that piggy bank and start investing now.
Wealth creation is both a complex strategy and a waiting game but by following these tips, you can be on your way to true wealth, a comfortable lifestyle and living your life financially free.