How to protect your money and assets during the coronavirus crisis
Published 12:31 am 25 Mar 2020
The situation with COVID-19 is changing daily, with new impacts on our health, society and the economy. While much is uncertain, you can be 100-percent sure that those who stay informed and take decisive action to protect their wealth will do best during the crisis – and during the recovery that follows. DG Institute Founder and CEO Dominique Grubisa explains more.
The coronavirus pandemic is one of the most serious health, social and economic crises humanity has faced in decades. Since it was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, the COVID-19 virus has rapidly spread around the world, leaving a trail of human misery and economic destruction behind it.
The health consequences of the illness are truly frightening. With an estimated mortality rate of somewhere between 1 and 3 percent, the virus has the potential to kill countless millions of people if allowed to spread unchecked. The elderly and the immune compromised are at greatest risk, although even healthy young people can also succumb.
Equally unsettling is the social and economic turmoil being created by the disease. Changes to government policy, to the fundamentals of the world economy, and to personal fortunes are set to radically alter the way we live, interact and do business – not just for the coming months but for years to come.
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Coronavirus latest totals
Confirmed cases per day
The coronavirus and share markets
World stock exchanges are tumbling at an astounding rate in response to the virus. The US stock market plunged 7.9 percent on March 9 in what experts called ‘Black Monday, before it plunged even more (9.99 percent) on March 12. On March 16, the market fell a staggering 12.93 percent, eclipsing even the slide of the 1920s that started the Great Depression. How low the US market will fall, no-one knows.
The Australian share market, meanwhile, has not fared any better, suffering a series of parallel plunges. The Australian dollar has stumbled to its lowest level against the US greenback in nearly 20 years. Meanwhile, restrictions on air travel and commerce have seen the price for crude oil fall off a cliff, with a drop of near record proportions.
The coronavirus and debt
To prevent the spread of the virus, cities and countries across the planet, meanwhile, are in social lockdown, with all but those engaged in essential services ordered off the streets. Countless bars, restaurants, sports grounds, tourist facilities and retail stores have closed their doors indefinitely, laying off staff. Many will never open again – something that will put millions out of work. Meanwhile, because consumer spending is the driving force behind world economies, many experts are now tipping a severe global recession and, potentially, a depression. In such circumstances, economies will retract for months, even years, unemployment will skyrocket, and lastly the impact coronavirus will have on businesses means they will close.
As individuals, the current circumstances place us at remarkable economic risk. If we’re employed, we run the risk of losing our jobs, and, if we run our own businesses, we run the risk of them being wound up. If we can’t meet our financial obligations, we risk losing our house, savings and financial security. Our superannuation savings are plunging in value.
Then there’s additional risks that come with these unprecedented economic times. The stress of coronavirus and the pressure of being in lockdown with our spouses is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the divorce rate. As companies and partnerships disintegrate under the coming economic pressure, there will be an increased incidence of litigation and court battles. Directors of companies that are wound up may find themselves being sued as individuals, putting their assets on the line. If the global situation becomes dire enough, the government may consider tapping into people’s super savings to prop up the economy.
Risk mitigation strategies
To survive these times, individuals need to stay informed on the latest health social and economic advice. We need to practise social isolation, to obey government lock-down requirements, and to keep our distance from the frail and elderly.
We also need to explore all the options for keeping our wealth – and our families’ livelihoods – safe in the rapidly evolving economic situation. For example, did you know there are techniques to securely lock your wealth away in such a way that it can’t be touched by litigators, ex-partners, or even desperate governments? Did you know that you can protect your assets and savings so they can be securely passed down to your children when you die? Have you heard of the clever ‘man-of-straw’ strategy employed by Britain’s Vestey family in defending assets from governments and other hostile parties for well over 100 years?
How to protect personal assets from business creditors
Helping Australians recover from financial challenges and retain their wealth is a subject close to my heart – and has been for the past 15 years.
I went broke myself during the last major global economic downturn – the GFC – when a legal wrangle meant my husband Kevin and I were unable to hold onto the extensive property portfolio we had been building. Even though I was a fully qualified lawyer with in-depth experience of debt collection practices, the structure I had used to control my wealth was vulnerable to attack from creditors and others when we ran into trouble.
After that humbling experience, I made it my mission to learn everything I could about asset protection and recovery from debt, with a view to helping myself and others. For more than a decade, the DG Institute has been helping ordinary Australians gain financial knowledge, to build wealth, and to achieve better financial security. We have taught ordinary Australians how to profit from property flipping, from property development and through business acquisition. We have helped people in debt to reclaim their lives and dignity through debt-relief strategies.
Prepare for the coronavirus and beyond
And, we have helped thousands of Australians to use asset protection strategies, previously only known to the ultra-rich, to lock their assets away in an untouchable vault. I truly believe they are among the best placed people in the country to survive – and even thrive – during the worsening economic crisis. They will also be among the first to spring back when the eventual recovery period arrives.
So, as we pass into the troubling times ahead, I offer you these pieces of advice as part of your coronavirus preparation. Firstly, care for your health and that of your family. Keep informed with the latest government advice on how to protect yourself and follow it. Money and assets mean nothing if you’re not here to enjoy them.
Secondly, keep informed about the economic situation. Keep abreast of government subsidies, payments and discounts aimed at business relief and keeping the economy moving ahead.
And, finally, do everything you can to hold onto your assets. Investigate your options, educate yourself about what to expect over the coming months and years, and invest in a strategy that offers you true protection. That way, you’ll be economically secure throughout the crisis and ready to further grow your wealth once it is over and the world is rebuilding.
Lawyer, Asset Protection Specialist and Property Educator
Dominique Grubisa is a practising legal practitioner with over 22 years of legal and commercial experience. She is a property investor and developer, an entrepreneur with businesses in Australia and Southeast Asia, a speaker, educator, writer and published author. You may contact Dominique at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column has been written for general information purposes only. It is not intended as legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied on as such.