Investors with a high net worth face investment challenges that are fundamentally different than others that are just beginning to establish themselves. While the same fundamental rules apply to the very affluent as they do to all investors, the psychology of their investment position comes with its own set of pitfalls.
For instance, inflation is always going to be a major pressure. Money itself devalues over time, so assets can shrink even as wool gathers. It’s important to maintain the passion and vigilance that allowed them to establish themselves in the first place.
What are some of the mistakes that high-net-worth investors make?
Having a sound financial foundation on which to invest is the dream goal of every investor. It’s still true that the higher the risk, the higher the likely reward will be. Being too conservative with assets is a risk unto its own. Inflation exerts a constant financial pressure that can end up shortchanging future generations and even charities and causes that you’ve become involved with. It’s important to remember that an overly conservative investment strategy can put the future at risk.
Collectibles are fun and you’ve earned the right to as many as you want, but collectibles also come with a certain burden. Firstly, every time there’s an economic downturn they’re the first investments to take a major hit. This can affect their liquidity value as part of an estate. And there’s never any guarantee that collectibles will remain valuable in the future. They’re fun, but the tendency with collectibles is that they don’t necessarily have a great deal of investment potential.
Those who have earned their money with a specific company often have concentrated equity. It’s a precarious position to be in for those that have not diversified their investment portfolios. It ends up being a proverbial case of putting all of your eggs in one basket. Senior executives need to ensure that they have a solid investment foundation that can respond to disruptions and fluctuations in the market.
There are a number of wealthy investors that consider themselves self-made men. There’s nothing wrong with that mentality, nor the attitude that allowed them to accumulate the resources they have now. But managing those resources is a significant departure from the method and means that accumulated them in the first place. In this regard, it becomes important to accept limitations and seek wealth management advice when appropriate.
Portfolios should be diversified and there’s nothing wrong with a second opinion, but having too many advisors managing your assets can actually produce un-diversified portfolios. The large portfolios that high net-worth investors have require sophisticated risk management strategies, and these need to be tackled from the top down. Investors that diversify their advisors are basically playing them as pieces on a board. It’s better to have one advisor that can see the entire board, than multiple advisors that are strategizing from different angles with a limited perspective.
Scott Royal Smith is an asset protection attorney and long-time real estate investor. He's on a mission to help fellow investors free their time, protect their assets, and create lasting wealth.
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