If you change yourself through sudden wealth
You don't have to hit the jackpot or win a quiz show to suddenly have a large amount of money available. In the same way, an unexpected inheritance can bring about a financial blessing that was not to be expected. And even the expiring federal treasury note or the life insurance policy that is due can take their owners off guard because they may no longer have an exact idea of the sums that have accumulated over the years. Once the money is there, the new wealthy are all faced with the same question: take a deep breath or act now?
"Many people are overwhelmed when they suddenly have a lot of money," says business psychologist Janko Laumann. This feeling favors hasty decisions "that one would not have made with a clear head," he says. Some quit their job immediately, like the new multimillionaire Mavis Wanczyk, who has just won $ 758.7 million in the lottery, others buy a house or a car that they don't necessarily need. Laumann believes that people should avoid these impulsive actions - and bring themselves to the point where the money lies and let your thoughts wander.
People are more careful with hard-earned wealth than with millions they have won
Frank Wieser is the managing director of the PMP asset management company in Düsseldorf and has often advised people who suddenly ran into millions through winning the lottery or selling a company. Because it can change friendships if someone is suddenly rich, Wieser advises the new rich the same as the lottery companies - namely, to make "no big deal" out of all the money and only tell a small group about it. And otherwise? "Go on vacation for a long time and clear your mind," he says. This also applies to people who have not cleared away millions straight away, but all at once have a five-digit amount.
According to Wieser, when the journey is over you should be clear about what you want. For example, whether you want to buy a property or shares and whether you want to invest the amount long-term or short-term. Then, Wieser suggests, you can get three to five offers from different consultants - and decide within three to nine months what to do with the money. "You shouldn't act too quickly, but you shouldn't leave the sum in your account for too long and pay penalty interest in the end," says the asset manager.
Not every windfall is the same. The Austrian business psychologist Erich Kirchler found out in a study that people are more careful with their hard-earned money than with wealth gained by chance. In other words: Anyone who had to do something in order to be able to put amounts of money in a savings plan for years, for example, will spend the money less carelessly than others who have won or unexpectedly inherited it. "Even if the savings plan yields more than expected, you could expect for a long time that a higher sum would be due at some point," says business psychologist Laumann. Many of these savers already had a plan for how they would like to use their wealth - and are ahead of the unexpectedly rich.
Whereby: Everyone has probably already thought about what he or she would do if suddenly huge sums of money were stored in the account. The only question is whether this would really be done if the worst came to the worst. When the polling institute YouGov asked people in this country what they would do with an unexpectedly large amount of money, more than half of the respondents said they wanted to save the amount. 31 percent said they would buy something big, 20 percent said they would invest the sum. Asset manager Wieser has another idea: "In my experience, it helps a lot of wealthy people to use a small amount charitable to give the money a meaning," he says.
And what to do if, like Mavis Wanczyk, you haven't managed to keep the good news of your sudden wealth to yourself? Here too, the asset manager has a tip: "Buy a second answering machine!"
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