Warren Buffett: How You Should Invest In 2023 – A Life Changing Year For Most People
If we look back to the last 10 to 15 years, the financial markets had an unprecedent growth. Specifically, 10 years after the global financial crisis bottom, the stock market scored one of its best decades in nearly 140 years. Since then, the earnings of the S&P 500 have roughly doubled and the price has more than tripled. Undoubtedly, the major catalyst for this unprecedented growth was cheap money. Because during that period the highest interest rate was 2.5% back in 2019. So, it has been easier and cheaper to access money. And as a result, this made it easier for businesses to expand, investors to make more money, and valuations to grow. By the end of 2019, it was perceived that whatever one buys, it doubles in no time. So, the bubble busted, but this time, it was a pandemic. And finally, the historic decade-long run came to an end, the investors’ enthusiasm started waning, and they started pulling out their money from the stock market. The pandemic led the world into chaos, businesses were shut down, and the financial markets collapsed. The recession was dark and the world of investment was brought to its knees.
Alina Vandenberghe co-founded Chili Piper in 2016 as a completely remote international company. The start-up’s software helps companies like Spotify, Airbnb, Twilio and Shopify improve their scheduling and streamline their contact forms. A Romanian native with a passion for connecting people across cultures, Vandenberghe believes in prioritizing humanity and mission, especially now during the Russian invasion of Ukraine as Chili Piper has valued employees in both countries.
Jérémie Malvy bought an old cargo riverboat for 11,000 euros and then spent two years remaking it into a light and plant-filled modern home. For Malvy, the home – now docked on the Seine on the outskirts of Paris – is another step on his journey from his home in Pakistan to France. It began a couple decades ago when Malvy arrived in Paris with no resources and no words of French, so he lived on the street – often under bridges of the Seine – and spoke to the river
The actress and founder of The Honest Company speaks with Moira Forbes to discuss what motivated her to launch her business, how she learned to silence the critics and her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Wilglory Tanjong, 25, is a full-time MBA student at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. She is also the founder and CEO of Anima Iris, a luxury purse brand with pieces handcrafted by artisans in Dakar, Senegal.
After living on food stamps as a teen and later coping with the loss of her mother, Wilglory promised herself she would become financially independent and live life to the fullest. Not only has her company brought in over $725,000 in sales in less than two years, but her bags have been worn by Beyoncé and spotted on Issa Rae’s show, “Insecure.” Here’s how Wilglory is turning her passion project into a million-dollar business.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon 29th Nov 2021) London, Uk – –
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is stepping down as chief executive of the company.
He will be replaced by the current chief technical officer, Parag Agrawal, Twitter said.
Mr Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006, has been serving as CEO of both Twitter and payment firm Square.
“It's finally time for me to leave” he wrote in a statement, saying the company was “ready to move on.”
Mr Dorsey said he had “deep” trust in his replacement. “I'm deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It's his time to lead,” he said.
Mr Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011, and has been the firm's head of technology since 2017.
‘I love Twitter'
Twitter's share price jumped slightly as rumours of his departure emerged.
Trading of shares on the stock exchange was temporarily halted as a result, but has since resumed.
News of Mr Dorsey's departure was first reported by CNBC on Monday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Reuters news agency separately reported it had been told the same.
On Sunday, Mr Dorsey tweeted, apparently unprompted: “I love Twitter.View original tweet on Twitter
In a separate message to the official corporate statement, Mr Dorsey tweeted: “Not sure anyone has heard but I resigned from Twitter”.
“There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being ‘founder-led'. Ultimately I believe that's severely limiting and a single point of failure,” he wrote in an attached email he sent to staff.
He added that he would leave the board after his term expires.
“Why not stay or become chair? I believe it's really important to give Parag the space he needs to lead.”
Analysis: By James Clayton
In a way, Jack Dorsey typifies the Silicon Valley CEO.
He's a multi-billionaire – and has founded two hugely successful companies – Twitter and Square.
Yet he dresses in tie-dye t-shirts and sports a beard like a wizard. He's a hippie at heart, with high ideals for how technology can change the world for good.
He genuinely believes, for example, that Bitcoin has the ability to create “world peace”. And with Twitter, he certainly has changed the world.
In particular it revolutionised how politicians communicate with voters – and how news is communicated with the public.
Perhaps the best known user of Twitter was Donald Trump. The populist US president used the platform as a key way of bypassing traditional media.
The decision to remove him from the platform after the Capitol Hill riots was undoubtedly the most controversial moment of Jack Dorsey's time.
The nature of his departure is also interesting. He is extricating himself from the company, even giving up his board seat.
That's very different to say, Jeff Bezos, who retains much influence at Amazon despite stepping down as boss earlier this year.
Mr Dorsey claims this is his decision. But at a multi-billion dollar company, there could well be more at play behind the scenes.
He is in his mid-40s, and still has lofty ambitions to change the world. With his track record, he may well do so again.
The 45-year-old co-founded the company with Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass in 2006.
Mr Dorsey has, however, become the face of the company, having sent the earliest tweets on the service and due to his long tenure as chief executive.
He left the role of Twitter chief in 2008 and founded the digital payments app Square, which has also grown into a multi-billion dollar company.
However, he was brought back to helm Twitter in 2015 after then-chief executive Dick Costolo stepped down.
The role has seen him appear in televised inquiries before US politicians to be quizzed about his platform and its potential role in the spread of disinformation – something Twitter has been repeatedly accused of acting too slowly on in recent years.
Like other social media sites it has also been accused of political bias on both sides of the US political divide.
Calls for his departure came in 2020 from Elliott management, an investment firm which owns a significant amount of Twitter's shares. The firm reportedly felt that a full-time chief executive with only one company to run would be better for Twitter's fortunes.
But the two sides later came to an agreement which saw Mr Dorsey remain in his post.
Reacting to the news of Mr Dorsey's resignation, Elliott said the new management team were “the right leaders for Twitter at this pivotal moment for the company”.
The change in leadership comes alongside several other changes to Twitter's board, including the appointment of Bret Taylor, an existing Twitter board member and veteran of Google and Salesforce, as the new chairman.
“I want to thank Jack for his visionary leadership and unrelenting dedication to Twitter since its founding,” Mr Taylor said.
“Jack returned to Twitter and turned the Company around at the most critical time. The progress since then has been nothing short of incredible.
“Jack has given the world something invaluable and we will continue to carry it forward.”
A SHIB hodler who spent $3,400 on the memecoin last August is now a crypto billionaire from that purchase alone, with the asset gaining 94,278,239.8% over the past year.
An address with the foresight to purchase $3,400 worth of Shiba Inu (SHIB) last August has seen the value of the coins grow to a whopping $1.55 billion on Thursday.
In total, the unknown person has bought SHIB 44 times since August 2020 — with $3,200 as the largest purchase at any one time — and their total holding of 70,200,003,107,594 SHIB is now worth $5.63 billion.
After the wallet address was shared on Twitter, user Untraceable questioned whether the SHIB market was liquid enough to “absorb $5.7b if this wallet sells?”
According to Etherscan, the anonymous SHIB hodler purchased the dog-themed token on nine occasions in August 2020, spending a total of $3,400 worth of Wrapped Ethereum (wETH) that month.
As the price of SHIB has since gained more than 94,278,239.8%% over the past year to sit at $0.00008094 at the time of writing, the hodler has become a crypto billionaire from their August purchases alone.
According to data from CoinGecko, the total market capitalization of SHIB is now worth $40.3 billion. The asset’s mammoth 1,063% gain in value over the past 30 days has seen SHIB oust the beloved Dogecoin (DOGE) it was modeled on as a top 10-ranked coin.
At the time of writing, SHIB is currently ranked ninth, while DOGE is sitting at 11th with a market cap of $31.6 billion. The flippening of DOGE has sparked a new meme online in which people are calling Dogecoin a “boomer meme coin.”
Earlier on Thursday, Cointelegraph’s market team reported on three reasons behind the bullish momentum of SHIB, pointing at an increase of user access via listings on multiple crypto exchanges, the launch of the Shiba Inu’s own nonfungible token project dubbed “Shiboshi’s,” and a surge in futures open interest on multiple exchanges, including OKEx, FTX and Huobi.
While SHIB has seen a meteoric rise of late, DOGE’s appreciation fails to match up in comparison, with the elder memecoin gaining a mere 18.5% over the past 30 days to sit at $0.23.
When Robyn Fenty, known to the world as Rihanna, launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, she sought to create a cosmetics company that made “women everywhere (feel) included.” A perhaps unintended consequence: The beauty line has helped her enter one of the world’s most exclusive ranks: Billionaire. Rihanna is now worth $1.7 billion, Forbes estimates—making her the wealthiest female musician in the world and second only to Oprah Winfrey as the richest female entertainer. But it’s not her music that’s made her so wealthy. The bulk of her fortune (an estimated $1.4 billion) comes from the value of Fenty Beauty, of which Forbes can now confirm she owns 50%. Much of the rest lies in her stake in her lingerie company, Savage x Fenty, worth an estimated $270 million, and her earnings from her career as a chart-topping musician and actress.
Lock & Co. Hatters in London has been designing and selling high quality hats since 1676. It has served celebrities and royalty throughout history, withstood a bombing in WWII, and now survived the Covid-19 pandemic which was the first time in history it had to close its doors.
Today AD is welcomed to Atlanta, Georgia by actor and musician Tyrese Gibson for a tour of his six-story dream mansion. Despite its grandeur, the 25,000 square foot French Chateau-style mansion radiates an inviting warmth – an effect Tyrese created with intention. “I wanted guests to feel the regal energy, the regal vibe,” says the man behind the character Roman Pearce from The Fast and the Furious. “But it’s very livable. No one comes into my house and, I’m like, I’m sorry, you can’t sit here.”
(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Mon, 21st June 2021) London, Uk – –
Morrisons' share price has jumped by more than 30% after a US private equity firm made an offer to buy the supermarket group for £5.5bn.
Shares in Morrisons rose to 234.73p on Monday, just above the price proposed by Clayton Dubilier & Rice.
Morrisons' board has rejected the offer, saying it “significantly undervalued” the business “and its future prospects”.
However, there is speculation the move may prompt others to bid for the group.
Morrisons – the UK's fourth-largest supermarket chain – has nearly 500 shops and employs about 118,000 people.
George McDonald, executive editor of the publication Retail Week, said CD&R's proposal “could flush out more bidders”.
He pointed to private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Lone Star Funds, which had been interested in buying Asda.
“But one of the interesting things about Morrisons is the closeness of its relationship with Amazon,” he told the BBC's Today programme.
Morrisons has had a relationship with Amazon since 2016, under which the supermarket sells fresh produce and food through Amazon's website.
Mr McDonald said: “Amazon hasn't, so far, really become a force to be reckoned with in food but it would like to be. You wonder whether this situation might flush out interest from them although, it also has to be said, they traditionally don't like to get involved in auctions.”
Amazon owns the US supermarket chain Whole Foods, which also has seven outlets in the London.
Under UK takeover rules, CD&R has until 17 July to announce a firm intention to bid or walk away.
In addition to the cash offer, CD&R would take on Morrisons' £3.2bn of debt, taking the total value of any deal to almost £9bn.
A successful bid by CD&R for Morrisons would mark the second time this year that a private equity firm has been involved in the takeover of a UK supermarket.
Earlier this year, TDR Capital and the Blackburn-based Issa brothers bought a majority stake in Asda from US parent Walmart, valuing the supermarket at £6.8bn.
Seema Malhotra, Labour's shadow minister for business, expressed caution about what a potential takeover of Morrisons could mean for the workforce.
“Our supermarkets that play a role at the heart of our communities need owners that put the long-term interests of the business and its employees first,” she said.
“When Debenhams went bust we saw private equity firms walk away while employees lost their jobs and staff who have paid into the pension scheme were left out of pocket. Too often dodgy private equity firms load the companies with debt and leave while pocketing the dividends. This has to end.”
CR&R has made investments in UK retail in the past – it banked £1bn from selling its stake in discount chain B&M – and it counts Sir Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Tesco, as a senior adviser.
Morrisons' entire executive board is made up of former Tesco executives, including chief executive David Potts, chief operating officer Trevor Strain and chief financial officer Michael Gleeson. Morrisons' chairman Andrew Higginson was also a long-time executive at Tesco.
Shares across retail-related companies rose on Monday following the emergence of the proposed offer.
Ocado, the grocery delivery and distribution platform, saw its share price rise 5%, Sainsbury's increased by 3.6% and Tesco's shares added 1.3%.
Despite being one of the retail sectors allowed to stay open throughout the entirety of Covid, some supermarkets have seen their share prices underperform.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said this underperformance was “surprising” given “the resilience shown by all, in their stepping up to the challenges of the pandemic”.
“All three – Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco – have seen costs rise as a result of Covid, and while in the case of Morrisons profits halved last year, like-for-like sales growth remained resilient in its first quarter, rising 2.7%, despite the tough comparatives of last year, when sales surged for all three as people stockpiled all manner of staples.”
For the year to the end of January, Morrisons reported a 50.7% drop in annual pre-tax profit before exceptional items to £201.1m.
The supermarket paid back £230m of business rates relief that the government had granted to businesses to help them through Covid.
Earlier this month, Morrisons faced a significant backlash over bonuses from investors at its annual general meeting
The company's board had stripped out the cost of the pandemic when calculating bonuses for senior staff.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Fri, 11th June 2021) London, Uk – –
The company said it had benefited as consumers found comfort returning to hobbies that they had enjoyed in the past.
Model train maker Hornby has emerged as a lockdown winner after a boost for stay-at-home hobbies helped it return to profit.
Chief executive Lyndon Davies said the business was now “firing on all cylinders” after sales rose 28% to £48.5m for the year to the end of March.
The group was in the black for the first time in nine years, reporting a profit of £345,000 after a loss of £3.4m in 2019/20.
Mr Davies said: “Our online sales increased as much of the population returned to hobbies they had enjoyed in the past, where they found comfort.
“We also found new people who discovered what we had to offer.
“Despite the easing of lockdowns the demand continues.”
Mr Davies added that the group was reaping the benefits of efforts to turn around its fortunes with “spectacular new products and technology”.
Meanwhile, worries about Brexit red tape prompted Hornby to stop shipments to EU countries late last year but it said that in recent weeks these have resumed.
However there were “still delays in certain countries whose procedures are unnecessarily rigid”.
Chairman John Stansfield said: “Despite the many challenges to the company caused by COVID-19 the old adage that people turn to hobbies in times of recession proved correct.”
Mr Stansfield said that sales increased “across almost all channels and brands” except concessions that were closed due to lockdowns for most of the year.
He said Hornby was already selling a proportion of its products online and it was able to strengthen that offering, keeping its logistics centre in operation under social distancing rules.
Meanwhile the third-party retailers, via which it also sells model trains, had put in place e-commerce systems and were better able to trade in later lockdowns.
Mr Stansfield added that while supplies from its manufacturers in the Far East had been “greatly affected” by the pandemic and shipping container shortages, they had “managed to satisfy the majority of our requirements”.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Fri, 21st May 2021) London, Uk – –
Tens of thousands lost their jobs over the last year – but many of the UK's richest people have added billions to their fortunes.
The UK's richest person is Sir Len Blavantnik – with his wealth increasing by £7.2bn this year to £23bn, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.
Footballer Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, tops the paper's Giving List having raised or donated more than 125% of his own wealth.
Sir Len, a dual UK-US citizen, was born in Ukraine and his company owns most of Warner Music as well as interests in real estate, chemicals and telecoms. He also has his own philanthropic foundation.
He moves up from fourth, replacing British inventor Sir James Dyson – who relinquished the top spot despite gaining £100m this year (£16.3bn).
Others to have made billions more against the backdrop of the pandemic include familiar Rich List names David and Simon Reuben, and Lakshmi Mittal and family.
The Reuben brothers came from humble beginnings in London to build a property empire that's now worth more than £21bn (up £5.465bn), and stand second on the list.
Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and family have also raked in another £7.9bn, leaping to fifth with an estimated £14.68bn fortune.
It's been a lucrative year too for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
The Russian made another £1.945bn to move from 12th to eighth in the table (£12.1bn).
Despite being a year in which tens of thousands lost jobs due to the COVID downturn, a record 24 new billionaires appear in the Sunday Times Rich List – 171 in total.
The combined wealth of all the billionaires is £597.269 billion, up £106.582 billion, or 21.7%.
Rich List Top 10
1. Sir Leonard Blavatnik – Investment, music and media – £23bn, up £7.219bn
2. David and Simon Reuben – Property and internet – £21.465bn, up £5.465bn
3. Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family – Industry and finance – £17bn, up £1bn
4. Sir James Dyson and family – Household goods and technology – £16.3bn, up £100m
5. Lakshmi Mittal and family – Steel – £14.68bn, up £7.899bn
6. Alisher Usmanov – Mining and investment – £13.406bn, up £1.726bn
7. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing – Inheritance and investment – £13bn, up £900m
8. Roman Abramovich – Oil and industry – £12.101bn, up £1.945bn
9. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho – Inheritance, brewing and banking – £12.013bn, up £1.713bn
10. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family – Retailing – £11bn, up £470m
It's not all about making money – Manchester United star Rashford is top of the Giving List after his high-profile campaign on free school meals and food poverty.
The footballer helped raise an estimated £20m, 125% of his personal wealth of £16m.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is sixth on the list after his #PlayersTogether initiative raised £4m for the NHS. That amounts to 16% of his £25m personal fortune.
Charities also received hundreds of millions thanks to a few wealthy individuals such as Lord Sainsbury, Sir Chris Hohn and Alan Parker.
A total of £4.305bn was gifted by people on the list over the past 12 months – a 36.1% rise on the £3.164bn given last year.
The Rich List's authors say changes in lifestyle brought about by the pandemic also helped create big wealth gains for internet entrepreneurs and online fashion companies.
Jose Neves, founder of luxury internet fashion company Farfetch, debuts with a £2bn fortune, ranking 82nd.
Alex Chesterman, the founder of Cazoo, the online car dealing service, is also on the list for the first time – in 215th position – but still with £750m.
“The global pandemic created lucrative opportunities for many online retailers, social networking apps and computer games tycoons,” said Robert Watts, who compiled the Rich List.
“The fact many of the super-rich grew so much wealthier at a time when thousands of us have buried loved ones and millions of us worried for our livelihoods makes this a very unsettling boom.”
The Sunday Times says its list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts.
Today AD is welcomed by tennis legend and 23-time Grand Slam singles title winner Serena Williams for a tour of her stunning new home north of Miami. After living with her sister Venus on and off for over 20 years, Serena and husband Alexis Ohanian have made a stylish new home for their family. From the eclectic artwork (including her own painting) to the world-beating trophy room, Serena’s home could only belong to someone as multifaceted and accomplished as her. “I was moving away from Venus for the first time in my life, so I wanted it to be really meaningful,” Serena says. While mixing family with business can be risky, the secret to their success as siblings and creative collaborators is simple: “You have to know your lane. I’m really good at playing tennis; I’m not as good at interiors. But I was able to learn through just watching Venus.”
Everyone has seen those oversize vending machines that sell headphones and phone chargers. Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene, 42, makes those–but fancier. Her “high IQ” kiosks use AI, biometrics and computer vision to enable retailers to retain customers through data stored on the blockchain. With $3.8 million in funding, Popcom's $20,000 unit is in Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus' soon to come additional shopping malls and beyond. “We are in a new world of retail,” she says. Small businesses account for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses and some two-thirds of net new American jobs.
The vast majority of these enterprises are bootstrapped via savings and credit cards. While venture-backed startups generally skew white, male and coastal, these Main Street enterprises actually look like—and drive—America. To shine a light on this new class of entrepreneurial hero, Forbes has created the Next 1000.
This year-round initiative showcases the ambitious sole proprietors, self-funded shops and pre-revenue startups in every region of the country—all with under $10 million in revenue or funding but infinite drive and hustle.
Fueled by your nominations and screened by top business minds and entrepreneurial superstars, at the year’s end, we’ll culminate with 1,000 new faces. Let’s get started with the first installment of 250 standouts who embody the best of the American dream right now.
(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Sat, 27th March 2021) London, UK —
By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, Simon Jessop
ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) – In 2020, as the world convulsed under COVID-19 and the global economy faced its worst recession since World War II, billionaires saw their riches reach new heights.
Now some are talking to their wealth managers about how to keep a hold of and consolidate their fortunes amid the global debris of the pandemic. Others are discussing how to preempt and navigate demands from governments, and the wider public, to pick up their share of the recovery costs.
“The stock market crashed a year ago, by July or so my portfolio was back where it was before, at the beginning of the year, and now it’s far higher,” said Morris Pearl, a former managing director at BlackRock who chairs Patriotic Millionaires, a group that believes the high net worth should do more to close the wealth gap.
“The fundamental problem is this gross inequality that’s getting worse.”
The plans being discussed by the ultra-rich range from philanthropy, to shifting money and businesses into trust funds, and relocating to other countries or states with favourable tax regimes, according to Reuters interviews with seven millionaires and billionaires and more than 20 advisers to the wealthy.
“It’s quite evident that the bill is coming for everybody,” said Rob Weeber, CEO at Swiss wealth manager Tiedemann Constantia, who said some clients were also considering selling major assets like businesses before tax rates rise.
In the United States, the election of Joe Biden as president, and anticipated higher taxes for the rich, have in particular triggered a sharp increase in demand from clients to set up trusts, according to wealth managers.
This would allow them to pass along money to children or other relatives under the current $11.7 million tax-free threshold per person. During his campaign, Biden proposed to return to 2009 levels, when the exemption stood at $3.5 million.
“We saw a surge of trusts created and funded in Q4 of last year,” said Alvina Lo, chief wealth strategist at Wilmington Trust. “The vast majority of our clients adopted a wait-and-see approach until the election in November, and then it just kicked up into high gear.”
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s billionaire class amassed greater fortunes in 2020, according to Forbes, with the biggest gainers reaching unprecedented levels of wealth, helped by the trillions of dollars in recovery money from policymakers.
Forbes, which tracks publicly known fortunes, estimated billionaires had gotten 20% richer in 2020 by mid-December.
Many enjoyed investment opportunities off-limits to ordinary retail investors, capitalising on market volatility with short-term derivative trades, according to Maximilian Kunkel, UBS’s chief investment officer for wealthy family offices.
When asset prices tumbled, he said, many of the bank’s biggest private clients sold put options or opted for more complex trades known as risk reversals, helping them capitalise on their bet that prices would eventually rise.
“Some of our clients were extraordinarily agile in taking advantage of the biggest market dislocations,” Kunkel added.
Now, as governments globally grapple with ballooning debt and growing social unrest, billionaires know the spotlight on their wealth will get stronger, according to the interviews.
Many of the wealthy are mindful of looming demands from tax authorities, and are speeding up plans to pour money into trust funds for their children.
Wealth strategist Jason Cain said many ultra-rich families had also sought to move other assets including businesses into trust funds, capitalising on the “unique” situation presented by the pandemic of low interest rates and depressed valuations to make potentially windfall tax savings in years to come.
Inquiries in such strategies tripled during the first seven to eight months of the pandemic, according to Cain, who works for U.S.-based wealth advisory Boston Private.
“75-80% of the families that we talk to were convinced that that was an opportunistic time and they needed to do something.”
THE HAMPTONS, OR SINGAPORE?
Others across the globe are also taking more drastic action, by relocating to countries and areas where the tax regimes and societies are more benign for the mega-rich.
Henley & Partners, a global citizenship and residence advisory firm based in London, said inquiries from high-net-worth individuals seeking to relocate had jumped during the pandemic. The number of calls from U.S.-based clients surged 206% in 2020 from the prior year, for example, while calls from Brazil rose 156%.
For many in emerging countries, fears that strains on public services could lead to civil unrest have prompted younger generations of wealthy families particularly to seek opportunities abroad.
“COVID just basically took the clothes off the Emperor, and all of a sudden, people started to realize: our healthcare system is not strong, our social safety net is really not available,” said Beatriz Sanchez, head of Latin America at global wealth manager Julius Baer.
Switzerland, Luxembourg and Singapore have become popular targets as wealthy individuals consider where they want to be based in the long term, said Babak Dastmaltschi, Credit Suisse’s head of strategic clients in its international wealth management division.
“They are actually saying: look, we see the world inevitably going towards more and more transparency. And there’s no point fighting a trend,” Dastmaltschi said.
“Let’s just find suitable jurisdictions which are transparent, open, respected, and internationally recognised, and establish our structures there,” he said.
Cindy Ostrager, tax director at Clarfeld Citizens Private Wealth, said she also saw many ultra-wealthy clients moving out of New York City into their vacation getaways in the likes of the Hamptons, initially to escape the worst of the pandemic, and subsequently staying to pay lower taxes.
Moves to low-tax states, including Texas, Florida and Washington, have also become more popular, said Kristi Hanson, director of taxable research at investment consulting firm NEPC’s Private Wealth group.
FOCUS ON PHILANTHROPY
As countries continue to grapple with the pandemic’s fallout, economists point to a larger looming issue: the decoupling of extreme wealth from overall economic prosperity.
By early March, the wealth of U.S. billionaires had risen $1.3 trillion, or by nearly a half, since the start of the pandemic, according to research conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness.
That brings their wealth to $4.2 trillion, roughly a fifth of U.S. economic output for 2020 and double the total wealth held by the bottom-half of the 330 million population.
“We’re at a moment, you might say, after four years of celebrating inequality, people are saying that wasn’t exactly the right answer,” said Nobel Laureate and Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz, referring to the U.S. Trump administration reducing taxation for the rich.
The pandemic has focused the attention of many super-rich people on social causes, according to UBS’s American head of family advisory and philanthropy services Judy Spalthoff.
“There’s been a massive shift in the conversations we’re witnessing among families, in terms of the consideration of social inequity,” she said. “The younger generation has really been pushing this topic at the board level.
“We see so many conversations in families really gut-checking to say, ‘Yes, we’ve had success. We’ve worked hard for this success. But let’s not be blind to the world around us. And let’s make sure we can step out of our bubble’.”
For many that means philanthropy.
Spalthoff’s team saw a surge in clients partnering with the UBS Optimus Foundation, which channels money to causes such as Action Against Hunger, with donations rising 74% last year versus 2019, to $168 million.
Yet for UK-based millionaire Gary Stevenson, a former trader at Citibank, any plan to tackle inequality must include a wealth tax.
“We live in a situation right now where billionaires often pay lower rates of tax on their income than ordinary workers,” he said. “But I don’t think it will be enough just simply to tax their income … it needs taxes that apply on wealth.”