SPECIAL SECTION ADVERTISING
WEALTH & MONEY STRATEGY Q&A
When it comes to your money, there’s no substitute for planning and strategy. And that can be said whether you’re growing your personal wealth or operating a business with the intention of making a profit. There are always goals, objectives, and a time frame to take into consideration — not to mention taxes and regulations.
We all know what happens when we don’t plan: It’s much easier for some unexpected situation to take us off course. Planning is essential in order to avoid financial disaster, and what better way to prepare than to seek the input of qualified experts who can provide guidance?
In business, it’s also wise not to go it alone, especially when making important financial decisions. An oversight now can be costly later. Getting expert advice at the right time may even help you move your new idea from concept to actual moneymaker.
Q: How can I best invest my money?
A: People spend a lot of time worrying about finding the “best” investment, yet the most important part of investing isn’t deciding whether to buy Apple or Google — it’s about having a strategy to grow your money. That means taking the time to identify what you want your lifestyle to look like and then creating an investment strategy to help you get there.
Whether you have a little to invest or a lot, managing money brings a lifetime of choices. Investing is about putting your money to work for you and realizing the dreams you have for the future. Investing can be rewarding, but it’s not risk-free. That’s why identifying your goals, time frame, and objectives for your money is a crucial part of building financial freedom and making sound investment decisions.
Starting with a comprehensive financial plan provides a complete picture of your goals and the financial tools available to help you reach them. Your financial plan is your roadmap, empowering you to make the right decisions toward your goals at the right time.
Investing in your future is an investment in yourself!
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wis. (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Drew Besonson is a Representative of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company®, (NMWMC) Milwaukee, Wis. (fiduciary and feebased financial planning services), a subsidiary of NM and federal savings bank. Representative is an Insurance Agent of NM, and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wis. (long-term care insurance), a subsidiary of NM.
901 Wilshire Drive, Ste. 300
Troy, MI 48084
Q: How does the entrepreneur enhance wealth and income growth in America?
A: Much of world history is the story of risk-taking and wealth-building, and examples include the rise and fall of the Greek and Roman empires. However, it has only been over the last three centuries that freedom for the masses has unleashed private individuals to produce unprecedented levels of entrepreneurship, unimaginable wealth and income-generation, and dramatically improved standards of living for all.
Entrepreneurs often undertake risky projects that no one else has the time, vision, or sheer guts to attempt. The world is in desperate need of more entrepreneurs — after all, entrepreneurs brought us the automobile, electricity, the light bulb, radio, television, and mapping of the human genome. Entrepreneurship took the cell phone from a brick with buttons costing $10,000 or more in 1985 to a device many times better that almost everyone can afford. Most importantly, the majority of Americans work for companies that were founded by entrepreneurs, and that’s something we need to encourage.
Dr. Timothy G. Nash
Senior Vice President Director of
The McNair Center for the Advancement
of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
Q: My friend and I are in the early stages of our startup. Do we really need to worry about estate planning?
A: Once you and your business partner (“Partner”) have gone from startup to feeling like you’ve “made it” and can finally take a breath, the unexpected can happen. Say you get the call that your Partner has passed away. You’ll think back to when your friend, the attorney, recommended you and your Partner enter into a buy-sell agreement, and that each of you have a will and trust — and you ignored the advice because you thought you could simply buy out the other’s interest from the surviving spouse.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. A probate estate may need to be established to deal with your Partner’s ownership interest. If there’s no will or trust, parents and/or children may also have a claim — and their interests may not align with your Partner’s spouse. You may find yourself negotiating various details (e.g., purchase price, timing) with these parties, all while trying to manage the business.
These issues could likely be avoided with a proper estate plan, in conjunction with a buy-sell agreement for the business. A little planning up front can go a long way toward mitigating headaches and heartache later on.
David J. Den Dooven
Estate & Trust Planning & Administration,
Business & Corporate Law,
Mergers & Acquisitions, Taxation
500 Woodward Ave., Ste. 2500
Detroit, MI 48226
Q: My startup business markets to customers across North America. How do I address the uncertainty surrounding NAFTA renegotiation?
A: The risk factors will depend upon your industry segment and the products or services you offer. Certain industry sectors or products — including automotive and certain agricultural products — may confront modifications to rules of origin, tariffs on specific goods or articles, or other import/ export barriers targeted to select industries or products.
Preliminary notices from the U.S. and Canadian governments suggest that many topics influencing cross-border trade may be considered for renegotiation. Mature businesses and their legal advisers regularly navigate these topics, including taxes, customs, and duties; trade regulations; labor issues; environmental issues; intellectual property protection; digital trade; e-commerce; telecommunications; financial services; temporary business personnel; and government procurement.
The governmental notices introducing the renegotiation of NAFTA suggest the potential comprehensive re-evaluation of fundamental international trade issues that impact most multinationals. We’re several months away from knowing the full scope of the renegotiation, and most likely a number of years removed from knowing the full impact of the upcoming discussions.
Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, and the current uncertainty surrounding NAFTA renegotiation is just one risk factor to consider. Others include fluctuating currency exchange rates, effective protection of your intellectual property, supply chain interruption, and a host of other competitive pressures. Also, Mexico’s national election in July 2018 will create additional uncertainty regarding bilateral trade. As you expand your markets, you’ll encounter expanded regulatory, compliance, and dispute resolution challenges. Experienced advisers can guide you in these areas.