Book Review: The Insured Portfolio

The Insured Portfolio

Do you have a lotta money?  Lotsa, lotsa money?  And is it liquid?  More than $5 million?  If so, I have a book that could help you, The Insured Portfolio: Your Gateway to Stress-Free Global Investments (Agora Series).

There are risks that the rich want to avoid, or at least minimize:

  • Losses from lawsuits
  • Estate taxes
  • Income taxes
  • Lack of flight capital, if things go really bad
  • Inflation, or loss of purchasing power
  • Fear of US degeneration: Do you want leave the US, renounce your citizenship, and minimize/eliminate your tax liability in the process?  It can be done, at least at present.

The first chapter describes the rise and decline of America.  It is a bit harsh, but for one following demographic trends, it is accurate.  So, why should you keep money in America, if things are so bad?  (Uh, stable politics, relative freedom…)

The second chapter introduces international investing, because diversifying internationally offers greater possibilities for profit and capital preservation, given the greater tendency of the US to inflate the currency.  To the authors, it is a panacea, and I find it somewhat unrealistic.

The third chapter goes into wills and trusts. How do you want to distribute your money after you die?  How much control do you want until then?

The fourth chapter describes insurance policies that minimize taxation, while allowing for limited asset diversification. The strategies are pretty basic, I have seen better.

The fifth chapter goes into tax havens.  Where can you minimize taxes and other costs best? I found this to be pretty boilerplate; if you pay attention, the tax havens are well-known, with their relative liabilities.

The final chapter tries to tie it all together, but it is all generalities, with little additional substance.

This book would be useful to someone who has prospered dramatically and has never considered wealth preservation.  It gives a taste of all of the tools, but does not give enough to execute the tools on their own.  You will have to hire bright  experts to protect your wealth, but at least you will know what they are  doing, and will be able to spot phonies.

Quibbles

I dislike Agora because of the doom-and-gloom outlook that they possess, but this book does not share in that flaw to any large degree.  All of that said, all strategies that use insurance products are very expensive, and there is no proof that you can obtain above average returns on the assets.  The authors talk a good same, but they offer little proof of superior performance.

Who would benefit from this book:

Only the very wealthy could benefit from this book, and many of them have wealth advisers already, who can help them with tax avoidance and estate protection.  But this gives a good introduction to the topic so that a person could be wiser in hiring an adviser.  He would know what the issues are.

If you want to, you can buy it here: The Insured Portfolio: Your Gateway to Stress-Free Global Investments (Agora Series).

Full disclosure: I asked the publisher for a copy, and they sent one to me.

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