When many of us have a little cash to invest, we might buy a mutual fund or a stock — if we don’t blow it on the latest tech gadget. Not the truly wealthy, however. They often put their money in property, art, businesses and other investments that the rest of us can only dream of owning. How this rarified group uses their cash differentiates them from the rest of us — and keeps them in the black.
Take Joshua Coleman, for example. When his family sold their Chicago-based telecom company for $400m in 2004, they didn’t run out and buy something extravagant. Instead, they began seeking advice on ways to save their newfound riches and help them grow.
Their quest sparked an idea for Coleman, now 27. In 2011, he launched Momentum Advanced Planning — a firm that connects people to tax, legal and wealth experts. If the business one day sells, he could see a big return, just like his family’s first business.
If you think that starting a business is an odd way to invest your money, then you probably aren’t among the ultra-wealthy. People who have at least $30m in assets — dubbed ultra high net-worth — invest in stocks and bonds, but they also grow their money by buying companies and investing in unusual securities, such as airline leasing funds. They also own art and cars that they hope will appreciate in value.
“It’s called alpha risk,” said Coleman. “It’s this kind of stuff where there can be a lot of upside.”
As for the downside, many of these investments are riskier than traditional investments, so there’s a higher chance of losing a large chunk of change. As well, they’re far less liquid than stocks and it could talk months or years for the wealthy to get their money out of an investment.
Even if you don’t have millions to invest, though, you can learn a thing or two about how the rich reap returns and apply it your own portfolios.
Scroll through the images above to see how the rich invest to stay rich — and how you might model their style.