The larger a managed asset is, the more it should be structured along long-term values and goals. A family office serves as a hinge for large groups of shareholders, and digital tools ensure transparent access.
Anyone who wants to manage assets and invest them as profitably as possible is experiencing turbulent times: war is raging in Ukraine, inflation is headed for double-digit values, and the low-interest phase is slowly but surely coming to an end. As a result, stock markets are plummeting worldwide and the specter of recession is looming.
For entrepreneurial families, the framework conditions are no less complex: as the company ages, the group of shareholders grows and with it the internationality of the members. In addition, many entrepreneurial families have been able to successfully increase their wealth and are now faced with the question of how to invest it in a strategically sensible, long-term and as sustainable way as possible: stocks and bonds or direct investments in real estate or start-ups? Gold or Crypto?
There are many attractive asset classes into which wealth can be divided. It is important to structure the portfolio systematically and purposefully and not to put everything on one card. Liquid investments in stocks or bonds can be set up flexibly and quickly, but are subject to a high level of visible volatility – this can be dangerous, especially in times of crisis. On the other hand, investments in real estate or private equity are far less flexible, but bring calm to the portfolio. Gold is a safe bet in times of negative real interest rates, but it does not yield any returns. And allocations to selected cryptocurrencies can also make sense despite the high risk – with the important restriction that the size of the investment must be tailored to the total assets.
Especially in turbulent times, it is important to diversify the composition of the portfolio and to structure the assets in a well thought-out, strategic and long-term manner. Otherwise there is a risk of falling into false activism. Emotion is the investor’s greatest enemy.
Digital asset controlling
Smart investors ensure that they always have a comprehensive view of their total assets, can identify risks quickly and – if necessary – eliminate them. This requires digital asset reporting and controlling, and if possible in real time.
Digital solutions are superior to Excel spreadsheets – which are currently used in many entrepreneurial families – in many respects and are an elementary building block of modern asset reporting. Because if you don’t have timely access to an analysis of your total assets, you will make wrong decisions in the worst case. The digital asset reporting tool should not just be a means to an end. Rather, it should make the available data comprehensively usable, for example for automated accounting, valuations of investments and real estate or to show the deferred inheritance tax burden.
A fiscally and legally clean structuring is also indispensable when managing large assets. Errors in the underlying construction, for example when setting up a family office structure, can be expensive. Even first-class asset management cannot compensate for such a faux pas
Family Office strengthens cohesion
More and more entrepreneurial families and wealthy private individuals rely on their own single family office or the support of selected specialists on the issues addressed when managing their assets. A well thought-out family office set-up offers several advantages: It helps with far-sighted asset structuring and thus ensures the continued existence of the company and family assets. It also acts as a hinge that holds the family together. And last but not least, it offers the younger generation the chance to get involved and realize their own visions. For example, NextGen often focuses on sustainable investments.
The vision of the family forms the basis for setting up a family office. After intensive discussions about the values, concrete expectations and goals for a family office, the first step is to define the feasibility of such a project. The next step is to discuss family governance, risks, and tax and legal aspects. Based on this, the concrete structure of a family office can be defined and implemented.
The set-up of existing family offices should be checked at regular intervals for the aspects mentioned above. Because a family office must always fit the family and their needs and take into account the dynamics within the family as well as the tax and legal situation.
This is how you secure wealth accumulation in uncertain times
- Plan strategically and diversify: Implement thoughtful asset allocation to maintain clear direction and discourage impulsive decisions.
- Professional support: If the assets exceed a certain threshold and are to be managed jointly for many members, support from a family office is advisable.
- Digital solutions: Use innovative tools to optimize your reporting and controlling and to continue using the data you have collected.
- Taxes and law: Especially when the family tree grows and international ties increase, it is important to set up and regularly review legal and tax structures that are sustainable in the long term.
- Taking risks seriously: Entrepreneurial families are exposed to a variety of dangers. It is all the more important to ensure the personal safety of the exposed persons and to protect themselves from other risks, such as attacks from cyberspace.
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