It's easy to look around at all the ways in which technology has made modern life better and assume that the world has become a safer, kinder place. Unfortunately, political strife and war are still very much a part of the global landscape — and families must be prepared.
Even if you live somewhere that you consider to be stable, there's just no telling how quickly changes in governments or social uprisings can turn a peaceful society into one that pits the "haves" and "have-nots" against each other. If you're not prepared with a safety plan for both your loved ones and your assets, the time to build one is now.
Effects of war
Traditionally, many investors — particularly high net worth individuals (HNWI) — relied on trusts and private equity funds to protect their wealth. While these tactics are ideal for passing your estate on to your children and grandchildren in peace time, anyone living in an area of the world with a high level of political and economic uncertainty requires a more creative, holistic approach to preserving their children’s future.
History is full of sad examples of families losing everything they have during war. In times of unrest, the economy is subject to recession and depression. Currency is devalued; banks may fail. In addition to an unstable economic outlook, your wealth could also be subject to theft or eaten away by forced bribes, your property could be vandalized or destroyed, and the lives of your loved ones may be in jeopardy.
During World War II, many German Jews tried to safeguard their money in Swiss banks to keep it from being stolen by the Nazi government. This left them destitute during the war because they couldn't reach their assets. Even if they were lucky enough to survive the Holocaust, they had a terrible time recovering their money without identification after the war ended.
Likewise, the civil war in Syria has created a nearly unprecedented refugee crisis, as 11 million people have been forced from their homes during the conflict. Without a plan for their money, families are left with only the clothes on their backs as they struggle to find a country to take them in. The waiting list for resettlement is long, and families do not get a choice about where they get to go — they are simply assigned a country to flee to.
Though Syria has been in the spotlight, famine in Yemen and South Sudan as well as the drug war in Colombia have all forced families from their homes and separated them from their financial safety net. Without a plan in place, these people have no choice but to leave everything they have behind and wait for help, often in deplorable conditions. Without access to their money, they are unable to escape to a better place.
Importance of protecting your assets
You can protect your family from this type of trauma with careful planning to protect your assets. By diversifying both your financial investments and your citizenship across the globe, you increase your odds of weathering the storms of war without losing everything.
Having multiple citizenships and access to additional passports provides global mobility by reducing travel restrictions on short notice; diversifying assets on a global scale is a crucial wealth preservation strategy. With a holistic approach to your family's wellbeing, you'll be prepared to protect your loved ones during both war and peace.