Time and again, we read of celebrities who have made and lost huge fortunes. Behind the veil of celebrity, are ordinary people that make mistakes with money just like everyone else; however their mistakes can appear to be more pronounced, as they cannot be easily reversed. Here are some important celebrity money lessons for us all.
Celebrities are under enormous pressure to keep up appearances and often live a lifestyle far beyond their means. But spending excessively over a period of time without corresponding inflows can have dire consequences. Celebrity is almost synonymous with luxury; it is a lifestyle that is associated with visible success, not financial stability. Building wealth is not about how much you make, but how much you keep.
Poor investment choices
Seeking professional advice is always recommended, as advisors have a plethora of information with which to make informed decisions. However, not all financial advisors are honest or appreciate the fiduciary duty that comes with money management. Many celebrities delegate total responsibility to “advisors” who may end up mismanaging their money, defrauding them or making some poor investment choices. It is important to do thorough due diligence before engaging any professional.
If you pay little attention to your investments and do not understand what you are getting into, you become very vulnerable. Even though you might not have the time or expertise to manage your own finances, you ought to have a basic understanding of what you are investing in as well as the implications of doing so.
Not paying taxes
Tax laws can be confusing and are constantly revised. Whether you are the ordinary worker or a celebrity, tax obligations cannot be ignored or they will come back to haunt you. Many celebrities have fallen foul of tax laws as they have not kept abreast of this important aspect of their financial lives. Remember that you are obliged to pay tax and if you fail to do so, the law will eventually catch up with you.
Not having a prenuptial agreement
The pressures of celebrity, in the full glare of the media and the public, can put tremendous strain on relationships. If you bring substantial assets to a partnership, particularly where this might be a second or third marriage, it is worth considering a prenuptial agreement to protect assets before getting married. It may not be romantic, and it might not feel right to keep assets and properties separate, but it can save a couple from drawn out agony during a divorce.
Not reviewing an estate plan
An estate plan should be updated to address any major life event, such as the birth of a child or grandchild, a marriage, or a divorce. If one fails to do this, beneficiaries that you planned to bequeath assets to might end up being left out of a will or trust.
Not having adequate insurance
A serious illness or disability can obliterate one’s finances, especially if you have a career in sports or the entertainment industry. People tend to overlook the financial implications of a serious illness and ignore the need for insurance until a major mishap occurs; it is only then that the impact of inadequate insurance coverage or emergency savings is glaring. No matter how meticulous you are with your finances, failure to purchase adequate insurance can impair your financial future and put you in a desperate situation in an instant.
You may not be a celebrity but there are countless lessons to learn from their lifestyle. Plan for what could be an uncertain future by diversifying earning streams, investing and protecting the large sums of money earned today for tomorrow to avoid the road from riches to rags.
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