Asset Holding

Wealth can be stored in many forms and it is usually possible to hold wealth through a corporate vehicle rather than holding it directly. The advantages of a holding vehicle can be numerous and may include the reduction of tax, the avoidance of duties on death, the protection of wealth in the event of legal action and the geographical diversification of assets to take advantage of economic stability.

There may be tax benefits to the holding of trading subsidiaries through other countries. Benefits may include the deferral of personal tax by accumulation of wealth at holding level, transforming profit into capital, taking advantage of tax treaties and receiving money from a country viewed more favourably than where the underlying company is registered (whether by tax authorities or from a reputational point of view).

Gold, Silver and Platinum
Gold and silver have always been seen as a store of wealth and Platinum is an increasingly popular choice for investors.

Direct Holding
Precious metals can be held directly by taking physical receipt of the metals. This usually attracts a substantial premium in the purchase, shipping, storage and insurance costs but has the advantage of storing wealth outside the banking system so that it is not affected by political or financial uncertainty and currency movements. Although the most expensive way to hold metals this is often seen as the most secure and the least susceptible to economic or political unrest.

Shared Vault
Another way to take ownership of precious metals without the costs of delivery, storage and insurance is to buy into a shared vault. Such vaults operate as closed auctions between members and allow the purchase and segregation of specific bars (at a premium) or the shared ownership of undivided gold. Shares vaults exist in a number of countries and are valued in different currencies giving the client the opportunity to manage and reduce risk to a greater extent than is possible with, for example, a gold traded fund.

Funds Linked to Metals
Funds traded over metals can vary from being linked to the value of the underlying commodity to being connected to the metal in a less immediate way such as being based on the mineral industry for example or an Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). The further away the fund moves from a direct link to the metal price the greater diversification it can achieve (both geographically and in terms of movements in commodity value) but the greater is its exposure to market movements and financial and political upheaval.

Trading Accounts
Many clients manage their own savings or speculate on stock markets often using online trading accounts or more traditional brokerage accounts. Such accounts can often be transferred to corporate holding vehicles and structured in such a way as to allow the client continued control over the trading account.

Managed Portfolios
Any portfolio (whether managed by the client or a fund manager) can be owned by a corporate vehicle and clients often prefer to hold their funds in this way. This is especially true for Hedge Funds and Venture Capital funds where the client may anticipate the possibility of a substantial gain on which they may otherwise be taxed.

Real Estate
The holding of real estate and any associated property management can be through a corporate entity and in many cases there may be a requirement to have a local presence which may be satisfied by the use of a local company.

Fine Art
Clients may prefer to hold fine art in a corporate vehicle and a foundation is often used for this purpose.

Fixtures (Banking)
For savings accounts and fixtures see our main article on banking.

The holding of vessels in foreign countries may have numerous benefits such as increased freedom of movement, reduced tax rates and restrictions on nationality of crew. For more information please see our main article.  

The holding of aircraft in foreign countries may have numerous benefits and indeed registration may not be possible in the country where the client is resident.