Wealth transfer is about much more than just passing on funds. For Senior Client Partner Nada Al Yazdi, it’s about ensuring the next generation are finance-savvy, accountable and responsible when it comes to money. We spoke to her in Dubai, where she supports Julius Baer clients residing in the Middle East – and their children – to find financial freedom.
Humans and their behaviours fascinate Julius Baer Senior Client Partner Nada Al Yazdi. From her office in Dubai she guides our Ultra High Net Worth clients, taking a special interest in financial wellness and the passing of wealth between generations. It might seem a far cry from her childhood dream of becoming a psychiatrist, but, as a college career starting in psychology and ending in mathematics led her to discover, she is passionate about people, analytical thinking and problem solving.
“I enjoy advising and helping clients reach their financial freedom,” she explains. “Finding solutions and solving problems has always been my motivation. Thinking outside the box and introducing new ideas is what I’m passionate about. And the opportunity to network and connecting with people is another reason I love what I do.”
I feel very strongly about financial wellbeing and have open conversations with my daughters about this.
Family and financial education
Herself a parent to three girls, Nada says Dubai is as good as it gets for someone with a strong drive for family, work and life: “I love living in Dubai. Dubai is home. It’s one of the safest cities in the world, thanks to strictly enforced laws. Dubai is a city of tolerance and there is a tolerant attitude to religion – you are free to practise any faith or none, so long as you show courtesy and respect. It’s a great place for my family.”
Family is also the first place that Nada believes children should learn about finance: “I feel very strongly about financial wellbeing and have open conversations with my daughters about this. I have shared with them my good and bad investment decisions since they were very young, talking to them about the learning outcomes of these decisions also. I’ve also helped them budget their spending since they were each ten years old and started to get an allowance.”
For many of her clients, it’s crucial to ensure their children are prepared to take over family wealth. And, if there is one thing that Nada could stress to her clients, it’s the importance of getting wealth transfers right.
Nada’s five ways to educate children about wealth
Every day Nada supports her clients to prepare their children to manage wealth responsibly. During her many years of experience, she’s come to rely upon the following five approaches to empower and prepare second generation clients:
- Do not delay financial maturity
- Offer allowances in exchange for chores
- Set small savings goals to teach independence and responsibility
- Introduce them to investing at a young age
- Encourage them to complete an internship in finance
The importance of financial wellbeing
As a Senior Client Partner, Nada has noted shifts in attitude between her clients and their children. It’s part of her job to support families by bridging this generational divide. “I think the younger generation face a more uncertain financial future than the older generation has experienced. However, I think it’s a good shift as the younger generation believes if they don’t look after themselves financially no one will,” she explains. “They know that wealth created by their parents, if not spent or invested wisely, can disappear. Many of my clients’ children are already experiencing anxiety about money.”
Anxiety driven by money is something that Nada has experienced firsthand. In 1980 the Iran-Iraq war forced her family to leave Iraq and relocate to Austria. Salaries, properties, savings and extended family members were all left behind. Her father was able to secure a job in Abu Dhabi and the family moved there – but it wasn’t until she was an adult that Nada appreciated just how stressful this massive financial disruption was for her parents, and others who were forced into a similar situation.
Over the last 25 years, I have witnessed many unforeseen circumstances throw people’s lives off track.
“It is very important to know that financial issues can affect one’s health,” she says. “Did you know that stress related to money can affect every aspect of one’s life? Like loss of sleep, anxiety, headaches, digestive issues, high blood pressure, muscle tensions, heart issues, depression, feeling overwhelmed and the list goes on...”
Money-induced anxiety is also something she’s seen during her career: “Over the last 25 years, I have witnessed many unforeseen circumstances throw people’s lives off track. Some examples are the dot-com market collapse in 2000, the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, the coronavirus pandemic and, most recently, the war in Ukraine. These events have led to a devastated global economy, businesses and financial assets have faced huge losses, employees were faced with job losses or having to adapt a new work style.”
So what are Nada’s key take-aways for financial success?
- Set life goals – big and small, financial and lifestyle – and then create blueprints for achieving those goals
- Make a budget and start investing early
- Plan your retirement and wealth transfer in good time, to ensure you have peace of mind
“Unforeseen circumstances may also happen in one’s own life due to personal reasons such as illness, the death of a main provider, divorce or job loss. This is why it is crucial to effectively manage your economic life and finances,” concludes Nada.