The economy is a game of resource allocation. Money is a representation of value, a medium of exchange. It’s a way of keeping “score”, as Earl Nightingale sagaciously stated, you reap what you sow. While family dynasties are subsistent reality, 70% of second generation families lose their wealth. This reveals two major points: it’s very difficult to maintain wealth, and first generation wealth creation is possible. Three major mindsets related to wealth creation and management.
Smaug: Wealth is All Mine!
Smaug is the greedy, cunning dragon from The Hobbit, who miserly hoards and steals wealth. He refuses to share, and clearly lacks an abundance mentality. The mindset of pure protection, borderlines paranoia, leading to zero financial growth. People can rightfully be worried to lose what they worked so hard to obtain, yet inflation rates, taxes and cost of living signals this strategy is a losing one. By holding on to wealth with all its might, the Smaug’s of the world, are ironically, losing wealth overtime.
Enron: Your Wealth is My Wealth
“Greed is good” – Gordon Gecko. As history has taught us, greed can fuel innovations and action, creating wealth from new products or services. Unfortunately it also can produce unchecked ambition, which borders on outright theft. One of the main prerequisites when seeking financial advice should be to understand a person’s integrity, and their conflicts of interest. While many financial planners may recommend a certain path, they often have ulterior motives outside altruistic client relationships. Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) have a legal, fiduciary obligation to ensure a client is invested properly based on their personal wealth, goals, risk advertisement, and timeline, not the financial firm representing them. This distinction should be not underestimated, as its difference is analogous to active listening versus waiting to talk.
Get Rich Quick “Beat” The Market
While the stock market is a place of wealth creation, businesses continue to be the most successful wealth creation vehicle. The old adage, “invest in yourself’, clearly yields the highest dividends. People who want to skip the step of wealth creation via business ventures, often play the market super aggressive, and tend to lose everything. The savvy, patient investor understands it took a lifetime to accumulate wealth, and it makes sense to place rationale, logic based, long-term investments versus short sighted, wishful thinking betting.
Principles, Credentials & Common Sense
Anyone can begin making smarter choices with their assets. Whether cutting back on expenses or expanding one’s business, wealth is the manifestation of a concerted effort and value proposition in the marketplace. The Smaug’s, Enron’s, and Get Rich Quick archetypes teach the antithesis of true wealth creation and cultivation. The opposite approach, rooted in long term planning, consistent effort, and relying on a specialist. Just as a brain surgeon doesn’t fix her own car engine (most likely not), the economy thrives on mutual benefit, and expertise. One company aligning themselves with integrity in an industry wrought with skepticism is Benedetti, Gucer & Associates. Co-founder, Jaime Benedetti knew he wanted to be a RIA, legally bound to provide the best counsel to clients. Transparency in fee structures meant more time focusing on the client’s needs, and not second guessing best outcomes for both client and the firm. In one of America’s fastest growing cities, Atlanta,Georgia, the firm is scaling one client at a time, through organic referrals. Featured on CNN and named one of Atlanta Magazine’s Five Star Wealth Managers, Jaime’s credentials and track record speak to excellence and above board tactics.
Set it and Forget it Wealth Protection Doesn’t Exist. While contingency based pay aligns interests, it often clouds risk tolerance, as larger client returns often yield higher firm returns. By focusing on fees and percentage based Asset Under Management (AUM) structure, firms such as Jaime’s can avoid the siren’s song of promised, risk heavy returns.
Who Should Begin Investing?
Bob Gucer, managing partner, recommends everyone starts to understand the basics of wealth protection and growth. The firm is not disillusioned however, and recommends wealth created through other conventional means such as businesses, products, services and real estate holdings.
There are a multitude of resources online to learn the basics and even advanced strategies. A simple Google search for investing strategies reveals a library of human knowledge, case studies and experience. There is no replacement from accredited universities, obtaining financial degrees, but a basic understanding is critical when speaking intelligently or seeking guidance. While the firm plans on launching a Robo-Investing platform, they are primarily focused on individual high net worth individuals ($500,000 minimums), and core tenants of wealth creation and protection such as: Retirement Plans, 401k advice, Corporate Retirement Plans, Estate Planning (sudden windfall inheritance), and individual wealth management.
In a world where money presents options, it’s a scary and daunting reality to earn, save and protect what took a lifetime to achieve. It’s important to not be an ostrich and ignore the future, including retirement. While a DIY approach makes sense for moderate income families, the wealthy are constantly looking for ways to preserve and enhance their legacy so they don’t become part of the 70% failed generation statistic. The “rich, get richer” it seems is only true, 30% of the time.
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