In every class on wealth management – whether it is 17 year olds in Shimla or 70 year olds in a old age home. Whether it is personal bankers or Hdfc bank or Citigold Wealth Advisors of Citibank – I keep saying ‘how well your money got managed is far more important than how much you earn’. Most people do not understand this fully.

Look at Michael Jackson. He amassed a personal networth in excess of US $ 700 million, and has now died in debt to the extent of US $ 500 million. He was perhaps the worlds best selling musician of all times. There is no problem of how much he earned. In fact he HAD to do this concert tour to reduce (perhaps eliminate) his debt. Which means MJ earned more than what 99% of the world population earns but still could not retire. It is about what he did with the money. I have no clue, and have not done any research. However looking at the financial mess he has left he was poorly advised or poorly implemented.

The saddest thing is no one can predict what the future holds for Prince Michael, 12, Paris 11, and Michael II, aged 7 after their father’s death. Will they have a house, schooling, education, – and what standard of living will they be able to maintain is anybody’s guess. Is it too mundane to ask “Did he have enough in a retirement plan -which cannot be attached by a court?” ‘Did he have a life insurance cover to pay for his children’s future plans?” Did he have enough cover for all the debt he had? Will the children get the same standard of living that they have been accustomed to from the beginning of their lives? Will they need bodyguards – and can they afford them?”

Oh my God! Maybe the kids can only sing “I want you back, I’ll be there” . MJ may have bridged the gap between rhythm and pop music – and become a global icon, but his kids will need cash, his memories will not be enough.

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