Their only child, John, was born in Bermuda in 1990. Still a time of relaxed island tranquillity, Bermuda was opening its doors to international commerce; the promise for future business growth was exceedingly optimistic.
The family, comprised of his parents, grandfather and great-uncle (on his father’s side) owned a popular tiny takeout restaurant in their local community.
Focused and disciplined savers, their years of hard work had accumulated the down payment needed to build their family home. Their generations-long working relationship with their small local bank provided the mortgage to complete the project; they would later add a second family property.
Their goal to be fully invested in owning their piece of the rock was well under way.
The family celebrated their son’s arrival modestly, ever mindful of the value of a dollar. At his christening, his grandpops and great-uncle brought an unusual gift – ten assorted shares of three local companies: banking, utilities, and insurance, all listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
The grand-brothers – as they liked to be called – said, “these stocks are the start of his university education fund; they’ll grow in value over time while paying nice, quarterly cash dividends. We’ll gift additional shares each year; it will be a good beginner investing lesson as he gets older.”
The whole family were big-picture thinking people with mutual interests in anything financially related that would grow their assets. Family get-togethers were heavily laden with financial topics to the boredom of the youngsters in the crowd. The grand-brothers, particularly, loved spending copious hours tracking international companies’ stock performances on overseas markets.
The World Welcomed the New Millenium.
Bermuda becomes an important player in global financial services. The “Bermuda-is-open-for-business” era momentum accelerates.
The Bermuda Stock Exchange expands its listing platform to international products, international investment companies and much more in correlation with increased international businesses operating in Bermuda.
The Bermuda National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act becomes fully operational in 2000, the first defined contribution pension plan for private businesses. The parents are delighted to contribute, fully grasping the significant investment opportunity for their own retirement, chalking up another diverse asset in owning a piece of the rock.
The first Bermuda Investment Business Act legislation was soon to follow along with numerous other modern finance jurisdiction initiatives.
Their family bank, now CapitalG Bank was changing too, into a financial institution affiliated with an international partner, expanding investing opportunities and products for the local community.
John is now ten. He loves numbers, puzzles, computers, plus doing paid odd jobs at the family restaurant. He has his own minor-child savings account started by his mother, while his Dad introduces him to a basic finance computer application. With great glee, he spends time recording interest each month on his savings and share dividends – his original portfolio of three Bermuda company stock shares having grown significantly due to the grand-brothers annual gifting.
The grand-brothers, now semi-retired from the family business, older but savvy as ever, have a whole new all-consuming personal financial interest. No longer confined to just accumulating local securities, the investing world is now wide open with infinitesimally more investment opportunities. They encourage every adult in the family to open an investment account – to learn and take advantage of this new global financial access.
Fast forward into another decade.
Time to Go – Overseas Education and International Experience.
John’s natural propensity for numbers has never lessened. In no time it seemed, he was done with primary, secondary, and two years at Bermuda College supported by Mom, Dad, scholarships, his growing investment account, the grand-brothers’ subsidy, and an education loan from CapitalG, now a transformed to full service international financial institution, Clarien Bank.
The first in the family to university, he majors in business, the complex numbers of accountancy, insurance and investments.
He excels, churning through his university curriculum, accountancy qualifications; a master’s designation in complex finance completes his educational journey. Then it’s off to experience the financial world: United States, Hong Kong, UK, Europe.
Fast forward to the present 2021.
At Last, Coming Home.
John, now with a family of his own, returns to Bermuda be close to his supportive family, and to the greatly missed sounds of the peeping frogs’ cacophony, and soothing surf at sunset.
His parents are winding down the business.
He and his parents meet with their trusted financial advisor at Clarien Bank to settle their affairs for their remaining years and future generations. After a lifetime of careful planning, they have built up and sensibly invested a pool of savings that will comfortably fund their desired lifestyle in retirement. They have also created a trust to hold the two family homesteads they built during their working years, with John and his young family designated as the beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, John, imbued with the same forward-thinking mindset as his parents, is looking to grow his nest egg. Together with his wife, he starts making monthly contributions to a Clarien iInvest account. Tomorrow, he is opening a savings account for their young son – continuing the multi-generational relationship with their Bermuda bank, Clarien Bank.
Life has come full circle.
Growing with Clarien: From a new investor in your 20’s to starting a family, to retiring comfortably, Clarien can grow with you.
The narrative above is a hypothetical family composite derived from the more than thirty-five years that the author was a qualified, international financial planning practitioner. Any resemblance to person, living or deceased, is purely coincidental.
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For more information, visit www.clarieniinvest.com
Martha Harris Myron, a native Bermudian with US connections, is a qualified international cross-border financial planner, the author of The Bermuda Islander Financial Planning Primers, since 2016, a Google News Contributor (50+ articles), international financial consultant to the Olderhood Group Bermuda Ltd., and financial columnist to The Royal Gazette. Contact: [email protected]