Accumulating real estate seems to be a natural strategy for many family business owners. After all, real estate is generally assumed to be less risky than the operating business of the family. Further, so long as the properties have a reasonable range of alternative future uses, the returns to the real estate portfolio often have a low correlation to the returns from the operating business. However, the market data we review in this week’s posts suggests that these assumptions may not hold as well in a pandemic.
While it may be difficult to think past the day-to-day of operating in the current environment, acquisition opportunities are likely to be on the horizon over the next few years, most likely at attractive valuations for acquirers.
Family businesses devote time and resources to creating forecasts and budgets to guide resource allocation and strategy decisions. Yet, the forecasts and budgets for 2020 that many family businesses spent months creating are now worthless. So managers and directors face the task of revising and updating those forecasts amid a uniquely uncertain environment that the pandemic has caused. In this post, we provide some ideas of how to “loosen up” forecasting models to make them more useful.
Estate Planning Opportunities Abound as a Result of Low Valuations and Low Interest Rates
As family business leaders tackle the many operating challenges thrust upon them by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is tempting to let tasks like estate planning fall to the bottom of the to-do list. While estate planning may appear to be less pressing than other issues, the positive impact of effective planning on the long-term health of both the family and the family business is hard to overstate. If you are confident in the long-term resilience of your family business, you should not miss the current opportunity for tax-efficient estate planning activity.
Over the past several weeks, we have seen a lot of great content from folks we respect and admire on leading a family business through turbulence, and thought that we would compile a sampling for the benefit of our readers this week.
We are not economic forecasters, so we are not attempting to make any predictions about the coronavirus or its economic effects. However, in an effort to provide some context for ourselves, this week we decided to go back and examine some data from the Great Recession.
As family business leaders continue to make hard decisions in real-time against the ever-changing backdrop of the pandemic, their legal and tax advisors would do well to consider whether this is an opportune time for intra-family ownership transfers. For many family businesses, the current economic uncertainty presents a unique, and perhaps fleeting, opportunity for more tax-efficient estate planning.
The official end of the bull market for public stocks signals that Coronavirus-induced disruptions to the global economy are real and are expected to persist. The stock market tends to be the best leading economic indicator, so family business directors would do well to think about how best to position their businesses to weather the slowdown.