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Features - July 2008



The Bahamas Investor

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Protecting wealth

Protecting wealth

Planning and diversification are essential elements

The Bahamas Investor Magazine
July 3, 2008
July 3, 2008
Richard Voswinckel

You’ve worked hard to get to where you are today. You’ve succeeded in accumulating significant assets through hard work and careful planning—and you are committed to protecting what you have earned for you and your family. Wealth planning is an ongoing, even a multigenerational process. For this reason, preserving what you’ve accumulated takes just as much forward-looking and integrated planning as building it.

Protecting wealth requires a complete wealth management process that analyses the different areas of your financial life, taking into account more than just what you’ve built up. Your assets, present and future goals for your family, wealth transfer and business succession objectives, as well as continued support for the philanthropic causes you care about, all must be considered.

This is where a certified financial planner such as a chartered financial analyst (CFA) or a bank’s client advisor can come into their own, especially during the current bearish climate. The Bahamas has a wealth of such qualified professionals who can manage portfolios and offer wide ranging investment advice.

A CFA who listens carefully and understands your priorities will be able to personalize a plan crafted around your unique circumstances. Depending on what you’re looking for and the goals that you are working to achieve, the strategies presented may vary.

One key component of this process is your asset allocation. For example, in conversations with your client advisor, you may discover the following key risks:

• Your asset allocation is too risky for what you want to accomplish. You may find that your investment portfolio has undue exposure to volatile sectors of the market that could produce serious losses in a downturn. Today’s heightened market volatility, in addition to other worries on the horizon, has demonstrated the need for regular reviews of your portfolio and, when appropriate, rebalancing to reflect holdings consistent with
your objectives.

• Your portfolio has too much concentration in a single stock. The reasons for holding a concentrated position may sometimes seem persuasive, but keeping the wealth that you’ve earned may mean diversifying your holdings. Companies can and do run into serious trouble. Even setting aside the possibility of a catastrophic event, history would tell you that a single stock is unlikely to outperform a broadly diversified portfolio over the long haul. To reduce the risk of concentrated stock holdings, you could diversify a portion of your holdings and develop a diversified portfolio.

Wealth planning: a constant process
From accumulation to preservation and transfer, the process of managing wealth should be continuous. Through advice and strategic planning, your client advisor can work with you to help you protect what you’ve built from a lifetime of work.

Client advisors do not usually offer tax or legal advice. You may also wish to confirm whether specific products, which are restricted to certain nationalities, are available for your investment. You should consult your tax and/or legal advisors regarding your particular situation.

Richard Voswinckel
Richard Voswinckel has been managing director and CEO of UBS (Bahamas) Ltd in Nassau since 2006. Prior to that he was managing director of Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika AG (DBLA), Miami, Florida. During this time, Voswinckel was director of the Florida International Bankers Association, president of the Central America-US Chamber of Commerce and president of the German School of South Florida. Today he is director of companies of the UBS Group, the Association of International Banks and Trusts, Nassau, and the German-Mexican Association, Hamburg. He is honorary ambassador of his native city of Hamburg and has been on the board of trustees of Zamorano University, Honduras, since 1995.

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