Wealth Management Today

08.11.13

Please note that this article is over six months old. While Blevins Franks takes care to make sure that information is accurate on the date of publication, some content may change over time. You should not rely on the accuracy of legislation and tax information in this article; take professional advice for your circumstances.

The tax planning, investment and general wealth management landscape has changed considerably since the start of the 21st century. This has brought renewed emphasis on wealth preservation, and professional advice is more important than ever before.

The tax planning, investment and general wealth management landscape has changed considerably since the start of the 21st century.

Savings interest rates are at historic lows and likely to remain so for a while. Inflation constantly erodes the value of capital and income, so investment growth is essential just to maintain the value of assets, in real terms. We have had the economic crisis, banking crisis and Euro crisis.  There is a loss of trust and confidence in banks and their financial products. Here in Europe we have the imposition of higher and higher taxes.

All this has brought renewed emphasis on wealth preservation, and an increasing understanding of the need for diversification within your investment portfolio and tax efficient investment structures. Many investors today are concerned with maintaining the value of their money over the long term. It is important to, with the help of a professional wealth manager, devise a strategy across your savings and investment portfolio that employs asset allocation and diversification to lower risk. This strategy should be based on your specific circumstances and investment objectives.

As governments in Europe struggle to reduce their debt, they are desperately seeking every opportunity to increase tax revenues. Their main target has been private capital, on which they are imposing higher taxes on income and gains. In addition, wealthy families are subject to inheritance (and/or succession) taxes and in some countries, particularly France and Spain, a wealth tax.

The impact of taxation on savings income and investment growth has become a bigger issue. What matters, after all, are after-tax returns. Your wealth management strategies therefore require both investment expertise and tax expertise.

At the same time, tax authorities are closing many exemptions and tax planning arrangements, attacking offshore tax havens and demanding higher levels of disclosure. Banking secrecy is fast being consigned to history.

One of the key financial themes of 2013 has been the European and global fight against tax evasion and unprecedented political support for automatic exchange of information. After a surge of bilateral agreements, the move now is to multilateral agreements which will see several countries all sharing information with each other.

In due course, there is no reason to believe this approach will not take off on a global basis.

Governments will receive much more information on income and assets held overseas.  This will significantly help them trace tax evasion and recoup unpaid tax and interest and penalties.

In view of all these changes and the complex world we find ourselves in today, wealth management advice is more important than ever before. A wealth manager will review your current financial planning and advise you on how to protect and grow your wealth; to legitimately mitigate the amount of tax that you pay and control when and where you pay it; to protect your investments from institutional failure and to ensure your wealth will be distributed on your death according to your wishes and with as little inheritance tax as possible.

At Blevins Franks we specialise in providing integrated and detailed international tax and wealth management advice to expatriates in Europe. With our guidance, our clients enjoy extremely favourable tax treatment on their capital investments and assets. Our financial planning solutions are tailored to meet each client’s particular needs. Our aim is to give you the peace of mind that comes from the certain knowledge that your financial affairs are in order, so that you can enjoy your chosen lifestyle.

 

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; individuals should seek personalised advice.

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