Dear Euro Lotto Winner,
There’s no template and very few knocking about, who’ve ever dealt with the outcomes of sudden mega-windfalls, money that has not been learned and earned, over decades of failures and triumphs, but here’s my golden dozen about what NOT to do.
- Don’t take advice from the media, yup, that’s ironic, but much of it is space filling, well-meaning gibberish, like reporting highest interest rate but ignoring bank default risk or recommending shares at their top of an 8 year bubble.
- Do not blab. Tell no one even in the family. Let time pass for the frenzy to evaporate, then make moves carefully.
- Don’t expect many friendships to hold, most will fail, not because you’ve changed but because they have.
- Do not deposit your money at an Irish bank, get it out of Ireland, do not engage a local bank or branch, move it across at least 50 global banks with highest credit rating through a AAA rated liquidity, in Luxembourg for example. Sit for a year.
- Do not ignore personal safety and security especially from hacking, do an immediate review, get the best. Cyber criminals are stalking unprepared and losses can be catastrophic if they intercept large scale money movements.
- Don’t think you can stay living where you are because you won’t be able, be prepared to live for quite some time in near isolation. Think about emigrating for a few years, coming and going to Ireland while you reconstruct your life.
- Do not give handouts without conditions and responsibility to your family, like long term dole this can destroy ambition and wreck careers, don’t become a safety net. It’s instinctive but damaging.
- Do not think that everyone is one your side, rooting for you, they’re not. Plans will be made to separate you from your win. Start with estate planning, get a good solicitor, pay special attention, not to adult children but their partners and in laws, expect demands.
- Do not think that the global financial system is safe, it isn’t. Risks now are really very high of another global bust or a break out to high inflation, either way playing a highly defensive game for the next few years is critical.
- Do not concentrate your money in any single asset class like property or cash deposit, expect to spread very widely, ideally using a panel of asset managers, who use custodians, to protect your money from their balance sheets. That means using top international specialists in investing private wealth –not institutional money, private money. It’s entirely different.
- Do not act on free advice, there’s no end of it. Assemble a good professional team, solicitor, tax expert, investment advisor and task them with protecting you from capital loss, from tax waste, from making unsound decisions.
- Don’t think your equipped with a natural talent, no one is equipped to go from near zero to near €100m, that’s CEO level of a large Irish company. You’ll need to learn how to manage, take it slowly, no need to rush, a good governance model is the key. Look about the family to discern who is best to be there for you, to pass the learning to the next generation.
- Finally it’s a mistake in thinking to believe the ads, this will not bring happiness. It will bring financial security but along with it a host of unique stresses. Don’t be surprised to wake up someday thinking, if I had it all to do again, I’d give the money back. It’s not an uncommon outcome but it can definitely be avoided.