“Your wealth has a story, just like your life’s journey.”

François Meylan

Director, Meylan Finance Lausanne

April 14, 2021

As we go along in life, our financial situation changes multiple times. How it usually happens is that first accumulate some savings. Then you start thinking about buying your own property. Afterward, you might start a family and that’s a new set of expenses to handle. You might want to further your education and that affects your financial situation as well. You could consider investing your money into a wide variety of options. There’s a lot of situations in which you have to learn how to handle your assets. Your wealth has a story, just like your life’s journey, and we’re here to help you with that. 

If you want to learn more, keep reading the article by François Meylan.

Look for an independent, trustworthy financial advisor.

As in all areas of life, there are imponderables in wealth. From asset accumulation to preservation to inheritance, changes in the use of assets included – your financial situation changes over time. As with life’s imponderables, there are numerous upheavals and adjustments to new life situations.

First, some savings are accumulated. When one has set aside the amount needed for a few months of living, one begins to think about the private provision and gains initial experience in financial optimization.

Later on, the desire to own a home becomes apparent and professional independence also becomes more desirable – in an increasingly tough working world. All this often coincides with happy life events, such as marriage and one or more births. But life’s ups and downs are never safe. There are also less pleasant events. Whether it is a loss of a job, the need to continue one’s education, or the need to change one’s career path. Sometimes the promise of eternal love is followed by quarrels and marital problems. This leads to separation and the so-called matrimonial settlement, and finally often to divorce. This in turn leads to uncertainty and suffering. Some slip into social insecurity. Both for people whose marriage or relationship remains happy for a long time and for those who are less fortunate in love, there are many changes in the use of assets. We are simply not aware of them. Almost everyone has had to deal with a major change in the last three years. Buying a new car, moving house, starting a new job, high dental costs, home repairs, financing a child’s education, etc. All of these changes have a temporary or permanent effect on total assets. All these changes have a temporary or permanent effect on total assets. Sometimes the balance is even altered. These facts should not be dismissed out of hand. They are obvious. The health of our assets changes throughout our lives. Like a person or a patient, it sometimes does well, sometimes not. With ever-changing tax standards, rules and laws, interest rates, and investment options, it pays to use the services of an independent financial advisor. This person has access to a reliable network of experts. Like a family doctor or an orchestra conductor, he or she has the necessary expertise and overview. Many people are surprised to find that timely and well-considered decisions can save them several thousand francs. In addition to the independence of the advisor, the relationship of trust with him or she also plays a central role. In a high-level financial relationship, a certain familiarity develops over time. Such a relationship rarely develops with advisors who are not fully independent. For example, a bank employee must always meet the requirements of his or her superiors first and foremost. These requirements are mainly based on strict criteria. This is despite the fact that banks invest considerable sums of money in IT to sort out their customers, separate them or identify them, all with the aim of identifying their needs as well as possible. Technological tools should not interfere with personal contact with customers. The most important thing is to have a large and expensive guarantee, as the financial controller does not have to stay at the workplace. It should be noted that the last financial crisis has led to the transformation of many banking institutions into self-insurance institutions, in which the institution’s partners have lost their place. Dies ist sowohl kontraproduktiv für die Betreuung der Geschäfte als auch für die Ausgeglichenheit der Beziehung. This is how it is, as is the rule that the real estate agent is called in. Aufgrund dieser Aspekte nehmen immer mehr Privatpersonen, aber auch Unternehmen, die Dienste eines unabhängigen Finanzberaters in Anspruch. What has been a source of income and benefits in Anglo-Saxon countries for years is now also a source of income and benefits in Switzerland. Access is often difficult. The erbitterte Konkurrenz macht dies erforderlich. And customers benefit from this. He strives to establish a relationship of trust, in which costs are reduced. If they know of only one trusted partner – their advisor – they have no choice but to turn to their custodian bank. The pricing is flexible and, overall, takes into account both the needs and the art of financial advice and services. A percentage of the funds managed is also considered a fee. Our invoicing is done on an hourly basis. And since the independent financial advisor generates a significant volume of business that is usually larger than that of the client itself, the services provided with the service providers, for example with the custodian bank, negotiated prices are attractive and profitable for the client. Here again, a parallel can be drawn with the family doctor who has joined a health network that gives him access to the expertise of specialists and enables him to save costs through economies of scale. The philosophy is much the same. Recently, financial advisors can also be appointed executors of wills. This new mandate is established and granted within the framework of a will. Such a decision can only be made personally by the client during his lifetime. No one else can decide this in his place.

The appointment of an executor is recommended in the case of complicated property/inheritance relationships, foreseeable disagreements, or complicated heirs. This is often the case with family members by marriage, for example in a patchwork family.

Here, the fee is set according to the difficulty of the mandate, the estimated hours of work, and the size of the estate, or an agreement is reached on a percentage of the deceased’s estate to be retained as a fee. It is also possible to charge by the hour. In this case, an estimate should be requested.

Notaries have tried to establish a price table in the past. However, the price supervisor objected. Rightly or wrongly, an agreement was refused.

The mandate is suspended as long as the deceased, i.e. the client, is alive.

This is a very confidential mandate. And in this case, too, it is illusory to assume that large banking institutions with constantly changing staff can guarantee such confidentiality and have the time and facilities to actually get to know the client’s family.

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