Top 5 Fundamentals for Asset Protection: Part 1

Asset Protection

Recently I spoke at a meeting of Utah Valley Real Estate Investor’s Association about asset protection from a lawyer’s perspective. I really enjoyed doing so and thought more people ought to know these secret and not so secret tips and tricks for asset protection.

My speech titled “Top 5 Fundamentals for Asset Protection” discussed 5 different categories of things people should do to protect their assets. Most of these topics fit for people who have some assets, but some topics fit everyone, yes even the guy who owns nothing. What does that guy have to protect? His wages. Why should he spend money protecting his wages? He does not need to spend money. Some of these suggestions are free or nearly free.

Beginning with Part 1, a completely no cost category of things one can do to protect their assets. Everyone should behave in an ethical and conscientious manner. We really should anyway, but doing so also provides the opportunity to protect our assets and perhaps build an estate to pass to our children.

The first step in applying ethical and conscientious behavior is to follow Google’s mantra “don’t be evil“. What exactly does it mean to protect assets by avoiding evil actions? Aside from the fact that many people don’t want to be around or work with evil people, evil people do things that get them sued. Take a look at any of the most recent lawsuits in the news and you will likely easily side with one party over another. Why? Because somebody decided not to act with integrity. The lesson to be learned here is don’t be evil. Serve others well for your profit. There is so much to go around that we don’t need to do bad things to get what we want.

The second step in applying ethical and conscientious behavior is to follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s true. The Golden Rule is probably the number one asset protection strategy one can employ. It’s not perfect, but following the golden rule prevents a person from being sued. In different terms: Do Good. You should always produce quality work, be honest, and be kind.

The third step in applying ethical and conscientious behavior is to communicate well. Studies show that doctors acting with good bedside manner get sued about half as often as those that don’t. People who communicate well with others retain a much lower likelihood of being sued than those that don’t. The lesson to be applied from the third step is to smile, shake hands, and communicate openly and in a friendly manner with everyone, especially those who harbor ill feelings toward you.

To conclude with Part 1, don’t be evil and do good. Be friendly. Work hard. Serve others. Be the kind of person that no one wants to sue. You wouldn’t want to sue your own grandmother. Why? Because she is the kind of good person no one wants to sue. You want to protect your assets then act like your grandmother: kind, upright, hard working, and never evil.

Watch for Part 2, Coming Soon.