William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Financial Plans: Managing Sudden Wealth

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Financial Plans: Managing Sudden Wealth

Imagine you just received a large inheritance or won the lottery, and you wake up to find millions of dollars in your bank account. That's the reality for some people who experience sudden wealth. And one day, it could be you.

A safe preserving wealth

From lottery winners to tech startup founders, sudden wealth comes in many ways, and for many people, it represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve financial freedom and security.

Regardless of how it's acquired, managing newfound riches requires careful planning and strategy. While it can provide financial freedom and new opportunities, it can also bring unexpected challenges and risks. If not handled well, sudden wealth can be both a blessing and a curse.

Without the right guidance and the right financial rhythm that financial advisors and financial plans provide, sudden wealth can spell danger.

Without the right guidance and the right financial rhythm that financial advisors and financial plans provide, sudden wealth can spell danger.

Key Takeaways
  • Receiving sudden wealth can lead either a positive or a negative outcome
  • Dangers of sudden wealth range from family issues and frauds to lifestyle changes and loss of privacy
  • A well developed financial plan can avert the dangers of sudden wealth and lead to financial stability and success
  • Working with a professional financial planner on your financial plan is better than working solo

The contents of this article are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to serve as a source of professional financial advice. Experts on financial planning or wealth management can be reached here. More on disclaimers here.

Dangers of Sudden Wealth

Sudden wealth can bring about many positive changes in a person's life, such as financial security, the ability to pursue lifelong dreams and more. However, it can also be accompanied by several dangers that individuals need to be aware of.

A woman calculating and planning

Here are some of the potential risks and dangers of sudden wealth:

Mismanagement of Funds

Sudden wealth can be overwhelming, and without the proper financial planning and guidance, individuals can quickly burn through their money, overspend, and accumulate debt.

Family and Relationship Issues

Sudden wealth can create tensions within families, especially when it comes to inheritances, distribution of wealth, and expectations of support from family members. It can also attract unwanted attention from individuals looking to exploit the newfound wealth.

Fraud and Scams

Sudden wealth can make individuals more susceptible to financial scams and fraud. Individuals who are not experienced with managing large amounts of money can easily fall prey to fraudsters looking to exploit their lack of knowledge.

Addiction and Lifestyle Changes

Sudden wealth can also lead to addiction issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse. It can also lead to lifestyle changes, such as overspending on luxury items, which can quickly deplete the wealth.

Loss of Privacy

Sudden wealth can bring unwanted media attention, which can lead to a loss of privacy and security. It can also attract unwanted attention from individuals looking to exploit the newfound wealth.

It is essential for individuals to be aware of these potential risks of sudden wealth and take the necessary steps to manage their wealth carefully.

Financial Plans: Why You Need One

Sudden wealth comes through many means, such as receiving an inheritance or a legal settlement, or completing a business sale, or winning the lottery. And as the name suggests, it comes suddenly.

A safe preserving wealth

Financial planning is crucial for anyone who wants to stabilize their financial life and enjoy financial well being. However, financial planning becomes even more critical when you suddenly acquire a significant amount of wealth.

Financial Planning for Sudden Wealth

Financial planning for sudden wealth is crucial to ensure that the newly acquired wealth is well-managed and utilized for long-term financial security. Financial planning involves stabilizing finances prior to receiving sudden wealth.

A lady making a financial plan

Here are some financial planning tips to turn sudden wealth into financial well being:

Set Goals and Priorities

Define your financial objectives, goals and priorities, including short-term and long-term objectives. Prioritize your financial needs, such as to save money, pay off debts, create an emergency fund, establish a larger monthly cash flow, and invest for retirement.

You should write your goals down. A written financial plan is important.

Consult with Financial Professionals

Seek the help of financial professionals such as financial advisors, tax professionals, and estate planners. They can help you create a financial plan that aligns with your goals and priorities.

Manage Taxes

Sudden wealth can have significant tax implications, so it's important to work with a tax professional to minimize tax liabilities and maximize tax benefits.

Create a Budget

Develop a budget that aligns with your goals and priorities. It should consider your current expenses and your expected expenses after the sudden wealth event.

Diversify Investments

Invest in a diversified portfolio that aligns with your risk tolerance and long-term goals. Avoid making rash investment decisions and seek professional guidance if necessary.

Protect Assets

Protect your assets with good insurance coverage, including liability insurance and life insurance, to safeguard your newfound wealth.

Stay Grounded

Finally, it's essential to stay grounded and avoid making hasty decisions. Take time to adjust to your new financial situation and seek professional guidance whenever necessary.

group working on a financial plan

Sudden wealth can be an excellent opportunity to secure your financial future, but it requires careful planning and guidance. Seek professional help, create a plan, stay grounded, and make sound financial decisions to maximize the benefits of sudden wealth.

Work with a Financial Advisor

Working with a financial plan should be the default mode for everyone. But once your earnings become substantial, you will need more than a DIY financial plan. That is the best time to employ the services of a financial advisor.

A professional woman laying out a financial plan to her client

Receiving sudden wealth is the next best time to approach a financial advisor. A person who just received sudden wealth may need a financial advisor for several reasons:

Lack of Financial Knowledge

Sudden wealth can come with financial complexities that may be overwhelming to someone who lacks financial knowledge. A financial advisor can provide guidance and education on financial matters to help the person make informed decisions.

Tax Implications

Sudden wealth can have significant tax implications, and a financial advisor can help the person navigate the tax laws to minimize their tax liabilities and maximize tax benefits.

Long-term Planning

A financial advisor can help the person create a long-term financial plan that aligns with their goals and priorities. This can include retirement planning, estate planning, and investment management.

Risk Management

Sudden wealth can attract unwanted attention, and a financial advisor can help the person protect their assets with insurance, legal structures, and other risk management strategies.

Emotional Considerations

Sudden wealth can come with emotional challenges such as stress, anxiety, and guilt. A financial advisor can provide emotional support and help the person make sound financial decisions based on their goals and priorities, rather than emotions.

A man looking to his partner for a plan

Sudden wealth can be a life-changing event, and a financial planner can provide invaluable guidance and support to help the person make informed financial decisions, protect their assets, and achieve long-term financial security.

Living on the Fast Lane or on the Wise Lane?

One of the most common mistakes people make when they suddenly acquire wealth is overspending and not properly planning for the future. It's essential to develop a financial plan that takes into account your new financial circumstances, including tax implications, investment strategies, risk management, and estate planning.

Working with a financial advisor who has experience in managing sudden wealth can be very helpful in developing a comprehensive financial plan. An advisor can help you prioritize your financial goals and ensure that your wealth is managed efficiently and effectively.

professional men looking over a financial plan

It's also important to be cautious of those who may try to take advantage of your newfound wealth. You should be wary of unsolicited investment offers, fraudulent schemes, and dishonest financial advisors. Do your due diligence in researching and selecting a trustworthy financial advisor who has your best interests in mind.

In summary, sudden wealth can be life-changing, but it's crucial to have a solid financial plan in place to ensure that your wealth is managed properly, and your financial goals are achieved. Working with a financial advisor who specializes in managing sudden wealth can be an excellent way to ensure that you're making sound financial decisions.

If you need a financial plan, reach out to Ekenna Anya, a professional financial planner at Bay Street Capital Holdings.

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Logo - Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings is a Black-owned, independent financial planning, wealth management, and investment advisory firm located in Palo Alto, CA. The firm's primary focus is on managing total risk and volatility, with the aim of preserving and increasing total assets and income, rather than solely maximizing returns like many other advisors.

Founder William Huston has over 13 years of experience in supporting the largest retirement plan in the United States, the Thrift Savings Plan with assets worth $650B, and has been recognized by Investopedia as one of the Top 100 Financial Advisors for 2022. Bay Street is the only Black-owned firm among the twenty recognized firms in California.

Bay Street was established to support diverse and emerging fund managers and entrepreneurs, with a goal of advocating for their needs. Ekenna Anya-Gafu CFP, AAMS, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a recognized member of Bay Street for his excellent communication, helpfulness, attention to detail, and responsiveness.

Bay Street Capital Holdings was also a finalist in the Asset Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility category among more than 900 firms throughout the United States in 2021. Currently, Bay Street has $480 million in assets under management.








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