28 Finance Monthly. Bank i ng & F i nanc i a l Se r v i ce s Who needs help with wealth planning? In my view, everyone should look for advice on wealth or succession planning. Each individual case is different and understanding your options early on will help match your ambitions and aspirations with actions. Today, it is very common to get consultant services for financial investments either through a financial adviser, reviewing prestigious publications or listening to experts. This has become a mundane practice as it is tangible and it yields shortterm gains that make it even more attractive. On the other hand, longterm wealth planning is perceived as something in the distant future that is often not that optimistic and appealing to individuals. Let me share an example that helps illustrate the different options and recommendations that adapt to different circumstances. If we have a person who is a US citizen, lives in the US and is married once with two kids. This is quite a different profile that might not need the same level of depth as a person who isn’t a US passport holder, lives in a different country, is divorced and has children from different marriages, as well as a family-run business with siblings. Both individuals will benefit from wealth planning. However, the tools and services offered to each will be different. The core target audience for wealth planning is residents in countries that are going through political and/or economic turmoil. It is a common practice for these individuals to invest their wealth in a different country than the one of their origin to ensure they can protect their wealth. They do so to ensure that their wealth will be managed according to their wants and needs and will be protected from local contexts. Unfortunately, in my experience, most people do not realise the importance of wealth planning until they are more mature in life or retired. It is never late, but at this stage of life, it is usually late to maximise the benefits, flexibility and outcome that can be managed with a long-term outlook. The pandemic has helped many of us realise how vulnerable we are and how quickly our lives can change. I hope that as we go back to a new normal, people keep this in mind and reflect on planning their future to ensure it is aligned with their expectations and aspirations. What are the key mistakes people make? From my perspective, there are three common mistakes. The first and most common is that people think that there is a “one size fits all” solution. Word of mouth is usually a great way to spread information but when it comes to wealth planning, some people want to replicate what they have heard from families, partners, friends or neighbours. The reality is that usually each individual’s situation, wants and needs are different and therefore the “best” outcome of the planning can be quite different from case to case. A second common mistake is to think that once the planning is done, it is done for good and it should not be revisited. This is not accurate as our personal context, the economic environment, and the laws and regulations can change, and we might need to adapt to meet the trustees’ goals. Finally, sometimes and even without bad intentions, some local advisers or accounting advisers that are close to the individual can begin to provide advice based on what they have heard. However, in many instances, this may not be their camp of expertise and they can provide misleading information or generate false perceptions of what would or wouldn’t work for the individual. When working with a wealth planning specialist, you will be guaranteed that you’re looking beyond the context of today. An experienced professional will recommend solutions that make sense for the future while minimising any associated risks. They’ll look for alternatives that result in saving money and avoiding future bureaucracy and unnecessary costs. An international wealth planner is a qualified professional that not only has the precise knowledge of local regulations for each individual but also those of third countries where investments usually take place.