If you’re involved in a family-run business, you’ll know first-hand that people who run their own businesses often become embedded in the operation – physically and emotionally. There tends to be good governance, strong leadership, and regular reviews, with a focus on maximising the business. That said, business owners don’t always pay this same attention to detail to their personal wealth.
In this article, Stewart Sanderson and James Trigg, wealth managers at Brooks Macdonald with extensive experience in advising business owners, share their tips on how to manage your personal wealth like your business.
Find The Time
Managing your wealth is very much like running your business, with the goalposts continually shifting and requiring frequent attention. In recent years however there’s been a fair bit of distraction, with the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a ‘great resignation’ and sharply rising prices, driven by global supply chain problems and the war in Ukraine.
As a result, many families have struggled to find time to review their personal finances, and dreams of charitable foundations, updating wills, travel and holiday homes remain on the to-do list.
Make A Plan
When the time comes to step back from running a family business, you’ll have some big decisions to make, such as whether to hand over the reigns to the next generation or to sell up and enjoy. Whichever route you choose, a structured and disciplined approach to retirement planning will help you to get there smoothly and securely.
Some people consider their business as their pension, but this can be risky as often family business owners want to keep their capital tied up in the business, to pass on wealth to younger generations. Now more than ever, pension contributions are complex, with limits within annual allowances making it all the more challenging to diversify assets away from company tax effectively. An adviser can help you to explore all the available options.
Have A Safety Net
Of course you’ll want to make sure your business is the best it can be, but it’s important you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. As well as investing money into your business, consider diversifying across other asset classes, such as equities and bonds.
Having a range of investments could help to cushion the blow to your long-term finances if your business doesn’t perform quite as well as you hope. How you spread your investments across different asset classes will depend on your attitude to risk and a discussion with a wealth manager will help you to decide the best option for you.
Check The Family Silver
Some family businesses overlook the investment opportunities right under their own noses – or feet; their premises. It’s possible to hold commercial property within a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and each family member can own a share of the property in their pension fund. This could allow the company to buy the business premises where cash isn’t readily available. An adviser can advise you on the pros and cons of this strategy.
Leave A Legacy
Family businesses can often form a very special legacy, passed between, and tended by, multiple generations. To protect your business, so that it passes through the family intact, you must also protect yourself with insurance in case you became unable to work. You can also consider protection for other key people in the business, and have a personal and a business will in place alongside power of attorney, to ensure your wishes are followed in all eventualities.
Further information – If you would like to discuss any of the above or enquire about financial advice, you can contact Stewart or James at email@example.com for a free, impartial conversation.
When thinking about investing, you should always seek the advice of a qualified professional. The price of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and neither is guaranteed. Investors may not get back the capital they invested.