Will we all end up being considered has-beens…? – and how to avoid hiring a has-been…

Hong Kong island in blue/white

The younger generation is bright, without fear, full of optimism, with not much to lose and everything to gain, with plenty of energy and creativity, with a future not a history.

Should our age, our comfort, our experiences and skills be the shrouds of our careers? Or is this fake notion of work life balance which kills combativity and render the best us of slowly has-beens.

By choosing to live in Hong Kong I escaped de-facto to the notion of work life balance, the recent events (and the corresponding stress increase) plus the nature of the Hong Kong businesses are de-facto destroying what is considered in the West as a good work life balance.

So, I live in a city where we are not accustomed to comfort and where not taking into consideration change of business models and change of laws and regulations could simply erase years of efforts.

This is not the situation of many of my 50+ years old friends which I see with despair slowly becoming has-beens, they are enjoying their life but their clients are not anymore enjoying their combativity and creativity.

They are replacing “let’s try” by “it’s too dangerous”, they protect their business and cease to develop it, they have more excuses than solutions.

On the opposite some 50+ are incredibly temerarious, as if at 50+ they will not have to face the consequences of their actions, they are the most dangerous has-been as they are completely disconnected from reality and living a life as 30 years ago when circumstances were totally different.

Is there a secret to avoid being a has-been?

  • FEAR is a good tool, the fear to look alike the has-been persons we despair.

  • MIXITY is a good solution, when one of your business partners is a 24 years old African immigrant in Europe, he doesn’t know your cultural references and you must learn about his experiences.

  • CURIOSITY is a must so is continuous learning.

But my own preference is DIGITAL, most of the people involved in the digital economy are de facto obligated to continuously change, adapt or pivot their business models, governments are enacting news laws and regulations and the business owners and decisions makers should be agile.

If you want to hire the services of a lawyer, and advisor or consultant if this person is active in the digital economy, you are certain that the person will not refer immediately to a past situation, he/she managed as the evolution of practices and regulations could make it irrelevant.

Instead, the players in the digital economy are imagining what tomorrow’s new reality will be and possess this unique ability for A/B testing their thoughts and advice.

Protecting your assets under offshore trusts

Offshore trusts

Trusts has always been a vehicle to protect the wealth and assets of entrepreneurs. Opting for offshore trusts would depend upon the jurisdiction where the trust is going to be created. In practice, majority of ultra-high-net worth-individuals (UHNWIs) would oftentimes utilize trusts for their retirement, tax, investment, wealth, and estate planning schemes.

Most trusts vary in their characteristics, regardless if the trusts are in the form of revocable, irrevocable, discretionary, fixed and hybrid options. All these sorts of trusts would have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the use and its ultimate purpose.

One person

No matter what type of trust is utilized, the settlor and its beneficiary can always be the same individual. This way, an arrangement with a third party is already null, and this structure is always a preferred option for UHNWI’s. In context, the trustee is normally elected by the settlor and its trustee would be expected to manage and take over the estate in case the settlor is incapable.

Why venture to offshore trusts arrangements?

First of all it offers protection. An offshore trust is innately confidential and private in nature. This is why your wealth and assets covered under a trust will retain its privacy integrity since you are shielded with controls to protect you identity and prevent third parties from prying or taking access to that wealth or assets.

    Secure investments in a global scale

    Taking into the form of tangible investments (e.g. capital, real estate, cars etc.), which makes it more convenient to transfer and manage overseas.

    Uphold asset protection

    Deciding to create an offshore trust will definitely be a problem solving starter pack. We know fully well that divorce, inheritance, bankruptcy or asset seizure is a very messy problem, and merely having an offshore trust will give you a safety net to prevent your assets from being seized and acquired forcibly.


    this is key in protecting your assets since countries of these offshore locations are not covered by laws of other countries. In other words, if you have an existing trust, you can be assured that if a foreign government tries to seize your assets, they will never get pass the laws protecting that trusts by the offshore jurisdiction where the trust is covered under. However, it is not advisable for US nationals to appear in trusts arrangements in any legal capacity since the US will definitely have a reach on those assets held in trusts.

    Low tax

    If your goal is to protect your assets while benefiting from a very low tax obligation, then moving into an offshore trust is necessary. Although offshore trusts differ from the traditional trusts, going for the former will definitely offer more asset protection and security.

    Whether you are protecting your assets from being covered on a marital property in a divorce, or preventing creditors from filing claims against it, or any other personal motivations whatsoever, one thing is for sure, your assets will be protected regardless of if your circumstances are unfavourable.

    For your reference, there are other forms of trusts built solely to serve its original purpose. Usually it can be Marital Trusts, Credit-Shelter Trusts, Asset Protection Trusts, Dynasty Trusts, Spendthrift Trusts, Standby Trusts, and Charitable Trusts. Motivations in creating a trusts would differ from case to case basis, but oftentimes, trusts serve as a way to manage assets, to significantly reduce tax obligations or probate costs, preventing spousal coverage in a marriage, protecting the assets from creditors in a bad debt, and most importantly, the most popular use of trusts as being a way to ensure a multi-generation transfer of wealth.

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