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167: Are You Ready for an Asset Protection Knife-Fight?

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If you can’t explain it, you don’t understand it. Remember that the next time you look across the table at a financial advisor type and feel confused. Ask yourself if you could explain what you were just told to someone else with some level of confidence.

If not, start asking questions because the advisor will not expect you to! You see, this is a set-up—a financial ambush so to speak that high paid professionals get caught up in all the time.

Let’s say you are a hotshot surgeon coming out of residency and you just signed a contract that’s going to pay you $500K per year.

You know nothing about about investing, taxes, or asset protection and suddenly, you have a bunch of new “best friends” who want to help you invest that money and do your taxes.

The money manager starts talking about all these buckets and different kinds of risk and yield. He seems to know what he’s talking about but you don’t really get it.

Even though you don’t know how those different buckets produce the returns the way the guy said they would, you figure he knows what he’s talking about. After all, he manages money for all the other guys in the practice. 

Instead of asking a lot of questions that might sound dumb, you decide to just to trust him and give him all your money. After all, like you, he is a “specialist”. Let him do his job!

Now, as a Wealth Formula Podcast listener this scenario may sound ridiculous to you, but I can guarantee it happens every year when surgical residents graduate and start making money. 

Even surgeons with massive egos are fooled into thinking that personal finance is too complicated for them and should be handled by a professional. After all, we have all been brainwashed into believing that by Wall Street. They want you to be afraid. They want you to think that what they do is so complex that you would be down-right irresponsible to take things into your own hands.

It’s actually a brilliant marketing play if you think about it. The idea is to weaponize complexity to generate fear. The highly educated, highly paid professional falls for it all the time! Do me a favor, next time you are in a situation like this with a money manager, tax professional or asset protection attorney, start asking them all the questions you can think of even if they seem stupid. After all, if they can’t explain it, they either don’t understand it or they are simply trying to make you feel dumb.

None of this stuff is over your head. Furthermore, if you think you are too busy to learn about your own financial matters, you will pay a steep price that you won’t discover until the end of your career when you look at your bank accounts and start wondering why you don’t have more money. I see this all the time with doctors and other highly specialized professionals and its sad—people making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for decades and winding up with less than a million bucks to retire!

I am sympathetic though. The fear of complexity is powerful. I have to admit that I have followed the lead blindly into some things as well. A few years ago, I signed up for a foreign asset protection trust because it seemed like a good idea—and for me it was. 

The problem was that I didn’t really understand the strategy very well. But the guy who recommended it to me seemed like he knew what he was talking about and was very confident that it was the right thing for me.

And to be clear, he is a smart guy. But I always left meetings with him a little confused and frankly embarrassed to ask any more questions. I figured he knew what he was talking about and that he was taking care of me.

When it comes to asset protection, that’s pretty dangerous. After all, when push comes to shove, you have to know exactly what your situation is. There is no time to be confused in a knife fight!

For better or for worse, I was in some asset protection knife fights over the past year after a business failure. Everything turned out ok but I found significant flaws in the way I was set up. It’s never a good idea to stress test your protective mechanisms in real time but that’s what I did.

Since then, I have been on a mission to really understand asset protection at a higher level. I told my CPA Tom Wheelwright what I was trying to do and he recommended I speak with Doug Lodmell—my guest on this week’s Wealth Formula Podcast.

Doug is unique in that he is brilliant, practical and a great communicator. If you want to start understanding this stuff and protecting your assets in a practical manner, don’t miss this interview.

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, attorney Douglass S. Lodmell has excellent knowledge and the highest level of experience in estate planning, taxation and strategic asset protection for domestic and international clients. In addition to a Juris Doctorate from Cardozo School of Law, Douglass has a Bachelor of Science degree in finance as well as an advance law degree (LL.M.) in taxation from NYU School of Law. He has authored numerous articles for professional journals as well as a popular book about the explosion of lawsuits in America called The Lawsuit Lottery: The Hijacking of Justice in America. Doug’s extensive experience in asset protection make him a frequent guest speaker at medical, and professional conferences and seminars throughout the country, as well as teaching concepts of asset protection to other attorneys at continuing legal education seminars throughout the country.

Shownotes:

  • Doug’s background
  • What is Asset Protection?
  • Different levels of Asset Protection
  • Finding legitimate means of Equity Stripping
  • lodmell.com
  • (602) 230-2014