Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kids & Money (Life Lessons)

Those of you that are familiar with ‘Dragons Den’ will know who Peter Jones is. If you have never seen the programme, it’s a ‘reality’ show where budding entrepreneurs ‘pitch’ their business idea or product to five self-made multi-millionaires(Dragons), with a view to securing some capital for their ventures. In return, the ‘Dragons’ agree to take a share in the business for the capital invested.

Peter Jones is one of these ‘Dragons’, and along with Theo Paphitis, was a guest on ‘Top Gear’ on Sunday Night. Their challenge on this show was to go around a track in a ‘reasonably priced car’ (1600cc) in as quick a time as possible.

As part of the informal introduction, Jeremy Clarkson asked Peter about the way he had set up a trust fund for his kids and I though the response was worthy of a mention here.

Instead of handing over large wads of cash to his kids for little or no reason, what he has done is set up a trust, which his kids are paid annual amounts from, dependent on how much they earn in their own chosen careers. So, if one of his kids earned £30,000, they would also receive another £30,000 from the trust.

He has also, very cleverly, weighted the careers in such a way that if one of the kids chooses to do, say nursing, they would receive a higher multiple of salary. The nurse that earned £20,000 might have received £50,000 from the trust. I presume that the object of this exercise was to compensate a career path that would not generate a large basic salary by deeming the career more rewarding to society.

The notion of a trust fund may be beyond a lot of our means, but this structure does show how a little lateral thinking, with money, can teach kids an invaluable lesson in life.

PS – Peter was faster than Theo in the ‘Top Gear Challenge’


Noel Kelly said...

It seem like a great way to pass on wealth to children in a controlled manner while at the same time allowing them to pursue their own goals and interests. Moreover there is no doubt about one thing, wealthy people think differently (and tax efficiently) all the time.

Gerard said...

Yes indeed Noel. I have no doubt that there is also some other angle on the distribution, pre- inheritance status. From what I can establish, the UK inheritance tax structure is pretty penal on Beneficiaries.