The world is witnessing the greatest period of wealth accumulation in history, declares ‘Wealth,’ a new book from Wiley ( www.wiley.com) written by associates of Merrill Lynch and Capgemini. “Never before have so many people from so many different regions of the earth become so wealthy in so short a period of time.” Only during one year out of the last decade — 2000 — has the number of HNWIs (high net-worth individuals) and their assets actually declined, the book informs.

Wealth management, as the authors explain, is inherently multidimensional, taking into account everything from the healthcare costs of a grandparent, to tax strategies for the head of the household, to college savings for the children. They discuss ‘the four pillars of wealth management,’ viz. time horizon, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, and performance expectations.

First and foremost, however, in any practice of disciplined wealth management is the protecting and growing of the wealth of an individual or family. Also, it is necessary to remember that the ‘pillars’ continuously change over time, “requiring the frequent updating and refinement of even the best-laid wealth management plans.”

The concluding chapter, titled ‘the future of holistic wealth management,’ foresees that the Asia-Pacific region will continue to become the dominant source of wealth creation. “Industries that will remain attractive and dominant for the long-term include financial services and agriculture.”

A wealth of insights.

Work for ‘the best boss’

If, at work, you don’t feel listened to, your work is unappreciated, you are underpaid, and you have been overlooked for a promotion while someone less creative and productive has been awarded the job, it is quite likely that you may begin to wonder why you are there.

In which case, you may be a prime candidate to join the league of the self-employed, and start working for ‘the best boss in the world,’ suggests Ernie J. Zelinski in ‘Real Success Without a Real Job’ ( www.macmillanindia.com). “As long as you work for someone else, regardless of how much money you earn, you will never be truly free,” the author bemoans. “Contrary to what a lot of people believe, self-employment does not mean that you have to live in poverty. In fact, there is opportunity to end up being better off financially than 99 per cent of corporate workers.”

Zelinski cites studies to state that individuals who go into business because they want to perform a service they love performing or selling a product they love selling make more money in the long term than individuals who go into business just to make money.

Persuasive enough to help you quit your job painlessly.

Entrepreneur plus idea

The two raw ingredients in a venture are the entrepreneur and the idea, says Anne Marie Knott in ‘Venture Design,’ second edition ( www.sagepublications.com). The primary impetus for entrepreneurship is an economic push, she adds. “Acquisitions and terminations are probably the most powerful predictors of entrepreneurship, because they imply relevant experience and financial assets necessary to start a venture, but other transitions are predictive as well: divorce, graduation, leaving prison.”

Each of these transitions, says Knott, breaks inertia that otherwise keeps individuals in their current jobs. “The inertia takes the form of giving up a steady income and known lifestyle versus making a substantial investment to obtain an uncertain income.”

As for idea, the second raw component of a venture, it may be sobering to know that few ventures succeed with the original idea intact. Rather, firms adapt the original idea to new information, notes Knott. She mentions www.whynot.net as a site to look for ideas; the site is ‘an open-source approach to solving problems or to finding needs to match solutions.’

Well-researched.

http://BookPeek.blogspot.comD. Murali

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 25, 2008)
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