There are many ways to design, structure and guide your family wealth. Much revolves around your needs, desires, objectives and income tax situation. Accordingly, I highlight some areas of wealth management that are often easily glossed over.

Start a conversation with your family members about all your money matters. Including your key professionals in the loop is an excellent idea. Sketch out both your short and long term agenda. Hear everybody’s thoughts, opinions and recommendations.

I suggest mulling over this question, “What is important about wealth management to you?” The critical emphasis is “to you”. Here are some ideas to stir discussions along:

  • Is it preserving your present nest egg?
  • Is it growing your portfolio over time?
  • Is it achieving a comfortable retirement for you and your family?
  • Is it creating and enjoying more leisure time with your family?
  • Is it focusing on your pension, retirement capital or family business?
  • Is it minimizing probate fees, income taxes and other costs?
  • Is it recognizing all the investment risks you incur?
  • Is it assessing the potential of your current investments?
  • Is it caring for your family in case of your disability or early death?
  • Is it crafting your comprehensive estate plan?
  • Is it funding education pursuits for your children or grandchildren?
  • Is it leaving a legacy to your charitable cause and to your loved ones?

Many families have not engaged in such deep discussions. Concentrate closely on what matters to you and your family members. Then make sure your advisors do the same. Ultimately, you want to design a unified approach to the outcome.

Consider these as the family discussions move toward the decision and implementation stage:

  • Is each professional listening and grasping your needs, goals and concerns?
  • Is the resulting outcome and direction embraced by all the family members?
  • Is the resulting plan of action simple and straightforward to implement?

My belief is that wealth management is best steered by a sound personal plan. One that withstands the tests of time and can be easily tweaked, as and when required. I consider a long term plan the centrepiece to stewarding family wealth. It outlines the sensible strategies and steps you will follow to reach and maintain those personal goals.

There is much to be learned from such discussions. Listen to all the suggestions and weave them into the fabric of your plan of action. Investing will become smoother when you follow your personal road map. The fundamental step always pays attention to what’s important to you and your family.

About Adrian Mastracci, Discretionary Portfolio Manager, B.E.E., MBA  My expertise in the investment and financial advisory profession began in 1972. I graduated with the Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from General Motors Institute in 1971. I then attended the University of British Columbia, graduating with the MBA in 1972. I have attained the “Discretionary Portfolio Manager” professional designation. I am committed to offering clients the highest standard of personal service by providing prompt, courteous and professional attention. My advice is objective, unbiased and without conflicts of interest. I’m part of a team that delivers comprehensive services and best value in managing client wealth.