For many, the term “wealth portfolio” is synonymous with a pile of (uninteresting) documents about stocks, money market funds and other financial instruments that someone else monitors for you. However, trends are increasingly shifting toward principals taking a central role in the management of their estates, both so they can grow their wealth and more effectively educate their heirs on how to preserve it moving forward. Here are some reasons why having a mix of tangible and intangible assets is the key to preserving your wealth and your sanity at the same time.
- It empowers you. As mentioned, having a mix of assets allows principals without financial expertise to gain greater knowledge and agency around estate management decisions. Physical assets are, by their nature, much easier for the layperson to understand and care for. So if you can’t read a Bloomberg article without a dictionary and a headache, leave that stuff to the pros and focus on learning about managing the holdings you regularly use and enjoy.
- It connects you to what you’re passionate about. Think about your homes, cars and other things you’ve collected over the years. You didn’t buy them just for their monetary value – in fact, some may not even have been that great of an investment; for example, the work of an unknown artist you admire or the unique piece of jewelry you bought without an appraisal. These items are symbolic of what you’ve worked so hard for; they may have also appreciated over the years to become a significant part of your wealth portfolio.
- It interests your kids. Chances are the same physical assets you love are important to your family as well, whether it’s a vacation home they visited throughout their childhood or the classic muscle car in which you took them for a spin. When emotional ties are present it is easier to communicate the value of these assets to your kids and other heirs so that when the time comes they can properly preserve and grow it.
- It gets you liquid. Land, real estate and other physical assets may be great investments for the long haul, but they are not fastest way to access cash when you need it. This is why financial instruments that can be quickly liquidated are essential; it would also be one of those times when you do want to rely on trusted advisors who will make the most prudent decisions on your behalf.
- It brings you balance. As mentioned above, there are several reasons to invest in physical assets; however, as wonderful as they are, they also require regular and often costly maintenance. Having a mix of intangible and tangible assets allows you to “passively” grow your wealth.
The good news is that you may already have a complete portfolio and don’t even know it. To maximize its benefits for you and your family, the first step is to get a clear, comprehensive view. Consult with your financial team, and start compiling a list of all your physical assets, their value, and what you need to do in order to preserve and maintain it for generations to come.