business

What You Don’t Know About Industries That Attract The Ultra Wealthy

One way to acclimate ourselves to wealth is to become familiar with the patterns and traits of the wealthy. I enjoy reading research from a variety of sources, but one of my favorites is Wealth-X. This organization publishes several reports throughout the year, with information about the wealthy, including where they live, how they spend their time, and how to best connect with them if you would like to make them your clients and customers.

Recently, Wealth-X published their 2022 World Ultra Wealth Report, which gives a high level profile of the wealthiest individuals in the world. One of the fascinating parts of this report is the section on wealthy women. This is where I learned a less-known – but crucial – fact about the industries that attract the ultra wealthy.

On the whole, we tend to think of the wealthy in a very generic way. However, gender and source of wealth are highly influential when it comes to the industries that most attract the wealthy. According to the report, 55% of ultra wealthy women inherited some, if not all, of their wealth. On the other hand, 25% of ultra wealthy men inherited some or all of their wealth (75% are self-made multimillionaires). This exposes another trend: proportionally, individuals that earn some or all of their ultra wealth tend to be less interested in industries that don’t generate more profit for them. In the report, the top five industries that attract ultra wealthy men are: banking and finance, business and consumer services, real estate, manufacturing, and technology. Meanwhile, the top five industries that attract ultra wealthy women are: non-profit and social organizations, banking and finance, business and consumer services, real estate, and hospitality and entertainment.

This report shows that painting the wealthy with a broad brush will likely result in reaching inaccurate conclusions, or putting your focus on the wrong sectors. If your ideal client is a wealthy woman , it’s worth noting that more than half of them are heiresses, and thus won’t relate to the struggles of building their entire wealth from the ground up. So, if your product or service is designed to appeal to the bootstrapper, less than half of your female targets will resonate with this message. Likewise, if your target customer is a wealthy man, focusing solely on trust fund kids will reduce your target market by 75%! Most of your ultra-wealthy male clients are focused on generating more money, as opposed to finding ways to create social change through their spending. How the wealthy got their money reveals pertinent clues about where they spend their time and energy, and with this information, you can craft products, services, and marketing that are irresistible to your clients and customers.

That was just one of my takeaways from the 2022 World Ultra Wealth Report. If you enjoy analyses like these, let me know, and I’ll be sure to share more of them in the future! Also, if you want a breakthrough from your current financial situation, and a smooth transition into a new income bracket, contact me for a skills audit and values assessment. With these two reports, I show you the intersection between what you do well, what you enjoy, and what matters most to you. The sweet spot between these things is where money magic happens. Click here to learn more about these reports.

How Ditching Your Money Resolutions Can Make You Successful

Happy Tuesday! Did you all know that today – January 17 – is annual Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day? I didn’t know this was a thing until last week, and, I have to admit, I found it humorous, considering most people end up ditching their resolutions right around this time of the month. In the spirit of this lighthearted “holiday”, I thought it would be good to discuss something in a similar vein.

In my humble opinion, ditching money resolutions can be the first step to financial success.

Now, before you all think I’ve lost my mind, please let me explain. I, Tia Delano, absolutely adore New Year’s Day, and all of the traditions involved with it, including making resolutions. But I’m also aware that the pressure of starting a new year can make us hard on ourselves, and can cause us to view our previous missteps with a much more critical – and less understanding – eye. We often use the New Year holiday to lean into our tendencies to view ourselves much more harshly than we view others. And, the truth is, looking at our choices without giving ourselves grace is a recipe for frustration. That frustration leads us to overestimating what we can do in one year (credit to Bill Gates for this quote).

The end result of harsh self critiques is astronomically ambitious goals that require supernatural focus, drastically increased resources, incredible luck, extraordinary commitment, and a host of other underdeveloped and uncontrollable attributes. With these sorts of goals, it’s very difficult to accomplish what we set out to do, because we lack some (or most!) of what we need to be successful. That’s why I propose that you ditch the big money resolutions and, instead, commit to incremental actions that can be completed easily and build momentum in service to your big goals.

If you recall, last week, I posted my big, dreamy financial goals. But, you may have noticed that the goals were ambitious, but not dramatic. I didn’t choose goals that would set me up for failure: I don’t overestimate what can happen in 2023, nor do I encourage anyone to set goals that will require exhausting, unsustainable action in order to achieve them. If you set a goal, it should stretch you, not snap you in half.

If you’re unsure if you have an exhausting goal, try breaking down the steps to complete it: break it down by quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily actions. If the daily actions involve more than two or three steps, each day, for 365 days, it’s safe to say that this goal may be larger than what you can manage at this point. I advise anyone to only commit to one small action a day (preferably taking less than 15 minutes) until you have created a habit that can be expanded in small, manageable increments (3-5 minutes per increase). If it takes more than two small daily actions to reach your goal, then maybe your goal can be revised to be more manageable and attainable.

The objective of any of this is to experience success, and if you lay down those big goals, you may find yourself creating success faster than you could have ever imagined!

My Big, Dreamy Financial Goals for 2023

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post discussing how to plan your financial year, and the strategy behind reaching your big, dreamy goals in 2023. At the end of the post, I admitted that I didn’t have any goals for the upcoming year (quite surprising for me, the perpetual planner and consummate dreamer). I promised I would come back and share those goals when I understood what I wanted in 2023.

Well, here I am: I identified my goals, and I’m ready to share! Here are my 2023 financial goals:

  • Increase my income by 25% (using last year’s gross salary as a baseline)
  • Monetize my YouTube channel
  • Average 25 book sales per week
  • Remit 4 additional mortgage payments

I’ll add more details as I continue fleshing out all of the steps I need to take in order to ensure that I hit my goals. However, even now I can confirm that the goals I have feed into one another: monetized content and consistent book sales will feed into the overall income increase, which will make it possible to remit additional mortgage payments (shortening the length of my mortgage and freeing up resources to put towards my next large purchase). I have many other goals for the year, but these are the big ones when it comes to finances.

Here’s the thing about setting goals: they can be as big or as small as you like, so long as they delight you. If a small goal feeds into a bigger one, that’s fine, but a small goal – that isn’t necessarily part of a larger plan – is nothing to despise. If it’s what you want, then it’s worth pursuing, regardless of how big or small it is.

I’ll aim for quarterly updates, to show you all how I’m progressing toward my goals. I’d love to hear all about your goals: please leave me a comment, so I can cheer you on!

3 Things To Do In December for Financial Health

The end of the year is almost here! This is the month leading into my favorite holiday, New Year’s Day! There’s something so exciting about opening a brand new chapter, and I’m thrilled every time January 1st rolls around.

After having several busy seasons, as well as a few slumps or slower moments throughout the year, you’re probably just ready to bring in 2023 quietly. I don’t blame you for wanting a tame intro to the new year, but there are a couple of things you can prioritize in December, to set yourself up for success in 2023 and beyond!

Here are my finance tips for December. These work well for both tax practitioners, business owners, or even employees that are looking for ways to increase their wealth now and in the future. To your continued success!

  • Send thank you cards and holiday cards to clients and customers. Sending seasons greetings, as well as heartfelt expressions of gratitude, is a wonderful gesture for everyone. The goodwill is multiplied if you’re an entrepreneur and do this with your clients and customers. If you aren’t a tax preparer or a business owner, then this is a fantastic practice to develop when showing appreciation to the people that you employ (think hairstylists and nail technicians, postal workers that you interact with regularly, childcare providers, housekeepers and other in-house staff, lawn maintenance workers, etc.,). Gratitude is an energy that always brings in abundance, so express thanks often.
  • Create and/or refine your business vision for 2023. If you haven’t done a business vision board, this is a good time to do it! I love how vision boards can help you crystallize the ideas, goals, and aspirations you have for your business. If you aren’t interested in a vision board, then writing down the vision is also powerful and can move you closer to your desires. If you’ve already done one or both of these steps, this time of year is also fantastic for reviewing those previous notes or boards, and seeing if it still aligns with you. If so, great! See if there is a way to expand on what you already have. If your previous vision no longer aligns, then refine that vision until it resonates with you again.
  • Schedule business activities for the first quarter of 2023. It’s never too early to start planning for the upcoming weeks and months, so set aside a little time this month to schedule things that you know you’ll need to handle in January and February. Take that scheduling time out to March, if it feels good. It’ll feel great to know that you’ve already gotten a head-start on the next year, and it will save you some time and frustration at the beginning of the year, when everyone else is scheduling activities and taking the best available time slots!

Those are my end of the year finance tips! I’d love to hear what money-related things you like to do in December in the comments below!

3 Things To Do In November for Financial Health

Welcome to November! We’re on the cusp of the holiday season, which means there will be more time to spend with our loved ones and more plans to make as we wrap up the year.

This is one of my favorite times of year: while summer is my favorite season, November is full of exciting energy as it is the last month before the final month of the year. This time feels full of possibility: what will happen before we get swept up in the activities of December? We get to decide, for ourselves, what we do with this last dance before the end of the year.

With less than 2 months until the end of the year, this is a fantastic time to take inventory of anything that is unfinished from earlier this year. For this month, I recommend reviews and automation. My three financial tips for November:

  • Review current health insurance selections and adjust accordingly. For many employers, November is the final month to make any changes to health insurance selections before being locked in for the next year. So this is a great time to review your current insurance plan and see if you are getting the most out of your health insurance, as well as whether you need the amount of coverage you’re currently paying for. Further inspection may reveal that you are under- or over-insured, and you should absolutely choose a plan that suits your needs for your current phase of life.
  • Identify any tasks that you can pre-schedule/automate throughout the end of the year (and spilling over into the new year), then do it. During the last several weeks of the year, it can be easy to overlook tasks that need to be handled, and the price that comes from forgetfulness (usually in the form of late fees or decreased credibility) isn’t worth it. Take time to see which items need to be automated – even if it’s just for a few months – and set up those automations/schedules/alerts now, while you can. A few moments of preparation can mean huge savings for you!
  • Review your professional credentials and schedule any necessary continuing professional education (CPE/CE) courses. I mentioned the need to schedule CPE/CE classes during the summer slump that many tax practitioners experience. But, if you missed that post, now is also a good time to schedule those courses before the end of the year. Most professional credentials have annual requirements for maintaining those licenses, so the last thing you want is to let the end of the year arrive and you’re a few credits short. Schedule those now, so that you won’t have to rush around and find the courses in December, when many CPE/CE courses have limited options (because so many people wait until the last minute to do it!)

Those are the finance tips for November. Let me know if you’ve done any of these already, and how that worked out for you, in the comments below. Take care!

Finance Friday – What I’m Reading

Along with posting three finance tips every month (you can read the tip for August here), I aim to share one finance book that I think will be helpful for you all. I’ll make sure that I introduce the book of the month at the beginning of the post, and give my favorite points from the previous month’s book in the middle to the end of the post.

This month’s book is Start Late, Finish Rich by David Bach. I’ve been a fan of Bach for years, and this book in particular has been on my “to complete” list for a while. So this month seemed like the perfect time to restart and finish this book. I love Bach’s approach, and I’m excited to share my favorite takeaways next month, when I announce the next book of the month.

What finance books are you reading this month? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Avoiding Gift Tax – Make Sure The Checks Clear!

Recently, I discussed the issues surrounding the estate of Aretha Franklin. From the sources that I reviewed, it appears that she did not intentionally reduce the size of her estate through gifting to her heirs before her death. It isn’t required that people reduce their estates through giving, however. . . With an annual ceiling of $15,000, affluent individuals of advanced age may prefer to distribute a portion of some inheritances before their death, to avoid taxes to both themselves as well as the recipients.

For those that choose to give before death, whatever you do, make sure your heirs cash those checks as soon as they receive them! A recent tax case (Estate of de Muth v Commissioner) determined that if a check isn’t cleared before a person dies, the checks become part of the estate, and therefore subject to estate tax. Of course, gifters can’t force recipients to quickly cash checks given to them, but if the intent is to ensure that the size of the estate is reduced, then time is truly of the essence.

I was interested in Estate of de Muth because it was always my understanding that it was the date of gifting, and not the date of cashing, that determined when a gift was given. But with the tax courts determining that the act of gift giving occurs upon cashing the check, I now have a different perspective regarding gifts and what constitutes receipt. This is why I love staying aware of the changes with the tax law: you never know what you’ll learn!

Aretha Franklin’s Messy Estate – Key Takeaways

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Aretha Franklin’s estate has settled a nearly $8 million tax bill, and the way has been cleared for her four sons to start receiving payments from the revenue generated from the use of her image and music. This outcome was a long time coming: Franklin passed four years ago, and her heirs have been unable to settle the estate issues until recently. This development is excellent news, as this opens the way for her sons to start receiving the benefits to which they are entitled.

I won’t rehash all of the details of the case, however, I will highlight some key takeaways that I gleaned as I learned about the messy estate left behind by the Queen of Soul:

  • Destroy previously executed wills. For most people, their end-of-life planning only covers the execution of a will (if they’re proactive). Sadly, some people don’t even do that much planning: far too many people die intestate, leaving their estate planning in the hands of the state where they lived and died. But I digress . . . Leaving a will clarifies how you want your property to be distributed after your death. However, this distribution becomes unclear if you have multiple versions of your will floating around. So, consider destroying previously executed wills whenever you make a revision. The estate is currently comparing 3 different versions of Ms. Franklin’s will, and I’m sure the probate courts will have a field day trying to figure out which one is the one that will be honored.
  • Set up a trust. If you only have a will, you’re doing better than many people. But if you really want to simplify how your assets will be handled, a trust is what you need. Trusts can be established to distribute assets before and after death, they can help avoid certain types of taxes, and they can provide an extra level of clarity that may not be accomplished through the execution of a will alone. Consulting with a trust attorney is a great idea, even if it turns out that a trust isn’t advantageous for your specific circumstances. These attorneys can answer many of the questions you may have related to other estate or end-of-life financial issues.
  • Consider gifting some of your possessions while you’re still alive. The current ceiling for tax-free gifting is $15,000 per person that you choose to gift. Even if you aren’t giving everyone you know $15,000, you can certainly gift some of your possessions now, so that your heirs can avoid gift and estate taxes later.

Those are three of my takeaways from the tax agreement between IRS and Aretha Franklin. I’ll keep an eye on this case to see if any additional developments arise, and if so, I’ll be back with updates. Take care!

Start Selling Shovels

Has the current economy caused you to start panicking a bit? I know that we’ve all been hearing about recessions, experiencing inflation, and living in a world that is more confusing than ever. It’s easy to see why some of us may be uneasy, or even fearful, when discussing financial security. But preparation is always the best antidote to fear, and this post will (hopefully) give you ideas for how to create more security and stability in your finances.

It is never too late to start creating financial freedom. It’s always never too late to adjust current behaviors in order to be more resilient in times of financial difficulty. That being said, you can do one thing, today, to ensure that you have more financial flexibility in the future.

Start selling shovels.

I don’t mean that literally, of course. I mean that you should look at examples of exemplary people who thrived in the past, and use those examples as models for your business and success. The shovels metaphor refers specifically to the California gold rush of the late 1840s. If you recall from history, you realize many of the gold miners actually never got rich. But there was one group that made lots of money, and had no problem securing their financial futures . . .

It was the shovel salesmen. It actually goes beyond the shovel sales, though: anyone that offered secondary or tertiary goods and services to the gold rush hopefuls thrived during this period. Levi’s jeans can still be found in big box retail stores, despite Levi Strauss being deceased for over 100 years. The first shop opened by Strauss in California was in 1853, two years before the gold rush ended. His shop was under the umbrella of the shop his family owned in New York, but he moved to San Francisco in order to provide goods to the thousands of people that relocated in hopes of finding gold.

Strauss found gold without striking one shovel against dirt nor panning in rivers. The gold was in the shoppers, not in the mines. He provided tents, blue jeans (though this particular invention really didn’t hit its stride until the 1870s, 20 years after the end of the rush), bedding, as well as unlikely luxuries, like handkerchiefs and purses. An under-served but eager group of buyers were women, who, moving to California with husbands or male relatives, missed the comforts of their homes. There were also women who moved to California with the hopes of landing a wealthy husband that could provide the comfort and luxury they desired. So, while the miners may have been men, there were other customers that needed to be served.

Sometimes, you have to sell a purse along with a shovel.

What does all of this mean for you, dear reader? You aren’t living in the 1840s, or 1870s. You can get shovels, purses, and blue jeans from Amazon, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, a local in-person retailer. So, what can you do with this story?

Look for the gold rushes, then serve the hopefuls. Start by looking at the “hottest” ways to make money, and come up with businesses and solutions that serve the people that aspire to be the “Next Great” whatever. Give them the goods and services they need, and they’ll make you rich. I’d also advise to lean more toward services, since goods are often easier to find and harder to price competitively without taking a loss initially. But, if your heart is set on offering goods, then do what you must.

No matter whether you focus on goods, services, or a combination, find the shovels you need to offer, and start making money. You can do it!

That’s it for today. Please let me know if this helped, or if you have any questions or ideas that you’d like to flesh out with me. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!