In today’s ever-changing financial landscape, individuals with complex financial situations and international lifestyles face unique challenges regarding wealth management, taxation, and estate planning. To shed light on these topics, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mohammad Uz-Zaman, a highly qualified financial planner and esteemed Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) member. Muhammed shared his expertise, providing invaluable insights into strategies for optimizing wealth, minimizing tax burdens, and safeguarding assets. Here are four key takeouts from our conversation:
- Understanding the Impact of Domicile: One of the crucial aspects discussed during the conversation was the concept of domicile. Muhammed explained how individuals with nomadic lifestyles or those residing in multiple jurisdictions must consider their domicile status and how it can affect their investment holdings. He highlighted the potential benefits of acquiring deemed domicile status in different jurisdictions based on the time spent in each location. This insight emphasizes the importance of seeking specialist advice to navigate the complexities of domicile and its implications on financial affairs.
- The Power of Specialized Professionals: Muhammed emphasized the significance of engaging professionals with high-level qualifications in multiple disciplines. These professionals should be well-versed in legal services, trust management, taxation, accountancy, and regulated wealth management. By consulting experts who understand all three disciplines, individuals can benefit from comprehensive advice tailored to their unique financial circumstances. Muhammed also highlighted the importance of engaging regulated wealth managers and members of STEP to ensure a holistic approach to financial planning and protection.
- Mitigating Tax and Maximizing Wealth: Tax planning was a vital focus of the conversation. Muhammed emphasized the need to consult specialists who can offer strategic solutions to mitigate tax burdens. While accountants play a vital role in filing tax returns, tax specialists and regulated wealth managers are better equipped to provide advice on tax optimization strategies. Muhammed provided real-life examples, showcasing the potential financial benefits of implementing sound tax planning techniques, such as mandating income from trust funds to eligible family members for specific purposes like funding private school fees.
- Taking the First Steps: Muhammed highlighted the importance of taking the first step towards preparing for a secure financial future. He encouraged listeners to contact highly qualified financial planners for an initial consultation, as many are willing to provide valuable insights and guidance. By reviewing their financial situation, individuals can better understand the steps they need to take to achieve their financial goals. Muhammed cautioned against relying solely on online resources and stressed the significance of seeking professional advice to navigate the intricacies of financial planning effectively.
Our conversation with Muhammed provided knowledge and actionable insights for individuals seeking to master wealth management, taxation, and estate planning. By understanding the impact of domicile, engaging specialized professionals, and implementing sound tax planning strategies, individuals can pave the way for a secure financial future. Additionally, Muhammed shared productivity hacks for entrepreneurs and stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to optimize performance.
We invite you to listen to the full podcast episode to explore the full extent of Muhammed’s expertise and gain a deeper understanding of the topics discussed. By leveraging the insights shared, individuals can confidently navigate the complex world of finance, securing their financial future and maximizing their wealth.
Connect with Mohammad Uz-Zaman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trustsandestateplanning/ Learn more about Muhammed’s work on his website: https://adlestateplanning.co.uk/
Hosted by: Imteaz Ahamed
[Podcast Episode Timestamps]
00:00:00 – Introduction to the episode and the guest’s background
00:01:15 – Understanding the impact of domicile and its implications on investment holdings
00:05:42 – Importance of engaging professionals with high-level qualifications in multiple disciplines
00:10:20 – Exploring the role of regulated wealth managers and members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
00:14:55 – Strategies for mitigating tax burdens and optimizing wealth
00:19:30 – Real-life examples of tax planning techniques and their financial benefits
00:25:10 – Taking the first steps: Importance of seeking professional advice for financial planning
00:29:45 – Productivity hacks for entrepreneurs and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
00:33:20 – Discussion on the importance of learning from others’ experiences
00:36:45 – The impact of global economics on financial planning and the social contract with governments
00:40:15 – Recap of the interview and key takeaways
00:42:50 – How to connect with Muhammed on LinkedIn and learn more about his work
[Include related hashtags: #WealthManagement #Taxation #EstatePlanning #FinancialPlanning #ProductivityHacks]
Don’t miss the opportunity to gain expert insights from Muhammed and discover how to secure your financial future. Subscribe to the podcast now and embark on mastering wealth management, taxation, and estate planning.
Podcast Transcript: Imteaz and Mohammad Uz-Zaman
Imteaz: Okay. Hi everyone, welcome to Applied Intelligence. In this episode, I’m gonna be interviewing your dear friend of mine, Mohammed Zaman. Mohammed Zaman is the director and the founder of ADL Estate Planning. And he’s also a very good friend of mine. I got introduced to Mohammed, I wanna say, seven or eight years ago as I moved to the UK. And he was introduced to me by a mutual friend, Bilal Hassam, and I’m gonna have Bilal on the show, in the future as well. But Mohammed is just a very fascinating guy and full disclosure, I’m an investor in one of his companies and I’m an avid supporter of people that are creating some really cool things for consumers as well as people that are looking to improve their overall wealth. So I’m going to have a fascinating chat with him today and I know you are too. So let’s get started.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Thank you very much, NtLs. It’s a pleasure to be on board.
Imteaz: So the way I like to open my podcast and the way that I like to get the audience to know who I’m talking to is asking this really important question to me, which is, you know if you had an autobiography and it only had five chapters, what would the chapter titles of the book of your autobiography, what would it be? Let’s go.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: I got it. All right. The five chapters of my autobiography. I would probably say chapter one, adolescence. All right. Chapter Two, inquisitive thinking. Chapter three, marriage. Chapter four, well actually, I think… Between chapter three and chapter four, there would probably have to be a sub-chapter around entrepreneurship or initial entrepreneurship and then marriage. And then I would probably say ongoing entrepreneurship or an ongoing journey in business.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah.
Imteaz: give me the cliff notes of H.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Okay, so I guess what is it? The first chapter was adolescence, I guess. I’m a kid, all right. So primary school, secondary school, that’s, you know, becoming acquainted with the way of, you know, the world as such in that particular immature domain that I had. During that particular time, I guess, I thought… I was learning, I was experiencing relationships. I was a quiet kid growing up. So I was very reflective, I was a dreamer. All right, so I guess there could be a few things to be said about that. That can be elaborated on during my adolescent period. Chapter two, what did I say? Critical thought and critical thinking slash entrepreneurship. During that particular time, yeah, certainly. I started I started questioning a whole load of things. So history, I enjoyed studying history around that particular time. I started asking questions about faith and religion. It became a very big part of my upbringing, especially in relation to a whole host of topical events that were happening globally. And also around that particular time, I got my first foray into entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship has been a big part of my upbringing. And moving on to the following chapter, it actually continues because, post my marriage, I took on a lot of responsibility quite early on. And yeah, needed to acquire a whole load of new skills. I guess what I would say, sorry, and the final chapter. Is ongoing entrepreneurship. Okay, ongoing entrepreneurship is effectively a space where I am right now. And in that particular space, it includes combining entrepreneurship, I guess, with having a family too, and what that actually entails. So yeah.
Imteaz: So in terms of becoming a founder of your own startup, of your own business, what are the key experiences that have led to where you are today?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: I think, you know what, InterEarth, wealth management has been my high-income skill, okay? I’ve been fascinated with the way money works for a very long time. I’ve been fascinated with the way the economy around, within the UK, and how it interacts globally also actually interact. I’ve been fascinated by the evolution of companies around the world. So looking at the history of major companies like Apple, Tesla, Microsoft, yeah, fascinating. And I think I took a lot from that. But that is at a global level, right? But even at something that is more, say, more reachable. I’m also fascinated and I am even to this day with boring businesses or dare I say boring businesses. So even your laundry or even a plumbing company or an electrician company or a very successful small restaurant business or a cafe business. Knowing that these businesses retain profit. And how they retain profitability in a highly competitive environment have always fascinated me. That’s one side. The other area that I really like to look into is particularly around branding. So branding is quite key. So branding has fascinated me from day dot to day dot.
Imteaz: So just coming back to small businesses, personally one of the most, I want to say, highest cashflow ROI businesses that I’ve actually invested in is a small business. And it’s the family business, which is in property management. And
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yep.
Imteaz: outside of all of the sexy sorts of startup ventures, tech ventures, et cetera, the one that cash flows the best is by far the small business. So. It goes back to what Warren Buffett said, talks about in terms of having multiple sources of income, diversifying your income portfolio, and managing your expenses. It’s not all about just putting your money into tech stocks and high-risk startups within the tech sphere. It’s also balancing out your portfolio and having things that also cash flow. There’s enough, I can’t remember his name now, but cash flow is happiness to many people. But yeah, it comes back to the importance of, you know, when you’re assessing that business,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah.
Imteaz: look at the cash flow.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Cash flow is very important, again—no doubt about it. But… It also depends on what you want to achieve from that particular business as well, from that particular business investment. Because one could actually be investing in a business where there’s very little cash flow, but the equity position over the next five, 10 years could become far greater. And also cash-rich businesses, when you’ve got cashing regularly coming in, it doesn’t necessarily mean the actual equitable value of the actual business is actually increasing X number of years. So it’s something that one needs to consider but it’s phenomenal to give you liquidity and as an entrepreneur, you need to have liquidity. If you don’t have liquidity you’re on a back foot. Okay, so one of one of the most difficult aspects about setting up your own business is where on earth do you get that liquidity from. All right have you got that?
Imteaz: But I think this is where I think starting small is actually not a bad idea.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yep.
Imteaz: Because, you know, especially if you don’t come from a commercial background, and if you didn’t study finance and didn’t study marketing, even if you studied marketing, you don’t necessarily understand cash flow. So investing in a small business and really getting into the nuts and bolts of a P&L of that business understanding. You know how much money is coming in every month versus how much money is actually coming out of that business every month.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah.
Imteaz: I think if you’re a non-commercial person trying to get into investing, it’s actually not a bad place to start. Even if you lose your initial 5, 10, 15 thousand dollars worth of investment and it goes to zero, if you learn how to manage that monthly P&L, that is a pivotal skill that every investor needs to have. That, you know, a lot of people just look at. The equity upside and see 30, 40, 50, X multiples and get excited. But they’re
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Thank
Imteaz: so, you
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: you.
Imteaz: know, they’re very rare to happen, and you have to be amazingly good at picking them. So it’s not a bad place to start in small business.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Identifying alpha is what every particular type of active fund manager out there is trying to actually achieve. But unfortunately, they struggle with it. The best of us struggle with it. And also, when you have a cash switch business or any type of investment to be fair, as an it could mean something very, very different, depending on your own entrepreneurial context. I mean, you could have a family with a few children, or you could be a single person, no dependence, all right? And losing 5K is not an issue at all. I mean, before I was married, I lost around five grand. It didn’t have a huge impact on my well-being in the slightest. It just disrupted me for a few months. Okay, but this, but that journey was fundamentally important to, to my growth and my mindset in approaching entrepreneurship today. This is being able to take those particular risks. In that particular situation, we did something crazy. So I was at, I was in university at this point. And I had invested just a little bit, a little under 5000 pounds into into closing stock with a couple of other guys, but with no idea as to how we’re going to execute the actual investment, i.e., right, we’ve bought a whole load of stock which cost around 12 grand, I think it was, which had a retail value of something like 60 to 70 grand. But, and it was stock that would be on a… You know one of those markets on the high street, okay But we didn’t think about who’s gonna open up the store who’s gonna get the license All right, who’s gonna be manning the store day in day out? Right because we all had full-time jobs Right. So so yeah, that was quite funny. All right, so we saw all right, we’re gonna lose this particular deal We figure all of that out later Sometimes you can you that does work. Most of the time it doesn’t. And I have the type of attitude where plan, plan. All right. And this is where I tend to be quite good at, which allows me, when I take those calculated risks, it’s less of a burden to me. It’s less of a stress to me as well.
Imteaz: So, just drilling down on analyzing risks, talk to us about your experiences when it comes to employment. Like what are the companies that you’ve previously worked at and what are those key skills that you gained there in terms of wealth management?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Ah, yeah, totally. So my first foray into private client world back in 2003. So, and particularly on the mortgage side, I don’t advise on mortgages anymore, but it’s a good place to actually start your career. And this is shortly after university as well, a few years after university, was in the legal sector prior to that. I’ll speak about that shortly, but that was one of my first roles. And the learning that I got in that particular role very early on is client interaction. It’s basically sales and customer service. And what I learned during that particular time, it was so important to have an attitude where you can actually build trust and rapport very, very quickly. Because you don’t actually have long to actually make a really good impression. Whether it’s over the phone at that particular time or whether it’s face to face. So you need to leverage as much as you can. Now, the way I look at fostering relationships, first and foremost, is to be authentic. And before thinking about the actual sale or value, think about what problem can you actually solve for that particular person. Everything else will come out of that. Don’t look at the sales figures first or don’t look at your commission first. Rather look at how can I solve this particular problem for that particular person, and I guarantee you the blessings will come out.
Imteaz: So, in terms of struggles that you had in terms of the wealth management sector, what are the key things that did you struggled to reconcile when it comes to
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Oh yeah, totally.
Imteaz: your outlook?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Oh yeah, totally. So I have a lot to say about the wealth management sector. And among the areas that I disliked was particularly in relation to how investment philosophy or investment strategies are actually priced. In actual fact, in one of my previous roles, I politely critiqued an investment strategy at a major wealth management firm. That actually led to an internal departmental review and then a one-to-one training indoctrination to justify the firm approach. All right, so I’m not shy away; I’m not a person to shy away from critiquing something. And bear in mind, I left that firm, and shortly after, without any association with me, there was an FT article on that particular firm. Basically speaking about everything that I had actually said, which is
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: great. All right. So I felt I felt quite vindicated in that particular regard. But yeah, I decided to leave that particular firm and join another particular wealth management firm shortly after. I’m the type of person I can’t be at an organization where their values don’t align with mine. And those values relate to integrity, those values relate to equity, those values relate to transparency as well. I cannot advise on something that to me, I wouldn’t be able to put those types of solutions in front of, let’s say, people who are nearest and dearest to me. On another note, okay, I’m probably not a very good employee as well, bro. So not only that, in one of my previous roles, I let a staff strike at a law firm. All right,
Imteaz: Oh, wow.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: so, and that was once again, because of poor corporate practices towards employees and things like delaying staff salaries and the like, and a whole lot more, which we don’t need to really get into. But yeah, that was a whole load of fun. Okay, so yeah. Let us off Shrike, went to the cinema.
Imteaz: So how does this, in terms of being a founder, in terms of setting up ADL estate planning, how did all of these experiences lead you to setting up ADL?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: You know what, I think it was a case of a combination of circumstances that really came to the fore, which allowed me, you know what, let’s do something that could be quite different. And bear in mind; I had that entrepreneurial experience early years of university that… gave me experience in a whole host of different industries, not just the legal sector, but also in retail and distribution and manufacturing as well, which I haven’t actually really gone into. But you’ve got that on one side. And on another side, you had someone who was passionate about economics, who were passionate about global economics in fact, okay? And who was also passionate about community as well. And passionate about faith and religion. So all of these particular areas came into focus when I was also looking at a particular career change post-marriage as well. So in that particular context, I thought, look, I’ve got enough skills and experience behind me now to actually explore setting up a particular practice. In a way that I feel is being missed in the UK. And this is particularly around private client services, where the goal with us anyway is less about building assets under management, but more about solving complex problems. Now that mind shift is very, very important. If we can solve complex problems like, look. How wealth transfers from one generation to the next generation, if that is done well, the next generation may not need to worry about a mortgage. That next generation may not need to worry about paying the rent. That next generation may not need to worry about how they can put their children through really good schooling or a fee-paying school. Especially if you can do that. The formative years of a child’s development phase. I mean, think about it this way. My work, all right, isn’t necessarily just for the wealthy. Okay, yes, without a doubt, most of my, practically all of my clients are, they come from a very privileged position. But they weren’t always so privileged, not at all. I mean, some of these characters, right, they’ve got the successes based on new money. They’ve got no idea about financial literacy. They’ve got no idea about legal literacy. Got no idea about how to plan for income tax, corporation tax properly. Okay? They’re really good at making money. They’re even better at spending money. Okay?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: and also potentially investing in the wrong things. I often say that I’m a really bad salesperson. And I am, I’m a terrible salesperson. Okay, and the reason why I say that is I’ve got several clients and connections who’ve invested in a whole load of things that I, me as a regulated person and my colleagues as well, in the industry would would find incredibly questionable. I mean, but simple things like putting in place a protection plan, okay? Let’s say 50 grand protection plan that pays out at the right time, that could do wonders for that particular family. Imagine if you didn’t have it.
Imteaz: I think exactly and I think you know the main thing for me when I reached out to Muhammad was you know my particular family situation back in Australia where my sister has an intellectual disability and one day you know she’s going to become a responsibility of mine I simply was not aware of all of the facilities and benefits available to my family back in Australia. Like my parents had a very simple will put together which transferred assets to both myself and my sister, but there were all of these provisions specifically in Australia and imagine that the same in the UK and in many other Western countries and if not in many other countries as well where you know you have a special disability trust that is not uh, taxed the same way as, um, you know, a regular person would be. Um, so, you know, there are so many things that are involved in terms of inheritance planning and wealth transfer that people are just not aware of at all. And, you know, my parents are going to pass on a house, a business, et cetera. But, you know, not having that information would have literally cost. um, me in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions over the, over the course of my sister’s lifetime. Um, had I not done this just a little bit of planning, right? So, you know, in terms of understanding this and getting your, you know, if you’re just starting out or, you know, you, you have a family who owns some property, how do you kind of get started in terms of updating your financial literacy to become aware of all of these things that are very accessible and available to everyone. And let’s park that question for a second. I think the other side of this equation is, in terms of understanding inheritance,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah.
Imteaz: I think the big gap that I found out by speaking to you was your accountant doesn’t necessarily understand inheritance. Your lawyer who does your… who does a will doesn’t necessarily understand tax and an estate planner might not necessarily understand everything that’s available to you. So when you’re doing this stuff, it’s so important to have somebody who understands all three things at the same time, otherwise you’re going to get misinformation or not enough information to make the appropriate choice. How do you get started if you’ve got absolutely no clue what to do here?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah, really good question. Okay, so I’ll answer it at length, but it all comes down to two approaches that, or two goals that we have at ADL. Or ADL, bear in mind, it’s now effectively a group who have got subsidiary companies underneath that does different things. They’ve got the regulated wealth management side, and then you’ve got the legal services side. But in combination, the goals are two. Okay, number one, improve financial, financial and legal literacy, okay? So people can be a hell of a lot more confident with the specialist advice that they actually receive. And it’s not just the quality of the advice, but speed of implementation, it is crucial. Because for the right person, or for certain persons, they may not have sufficient life expectancy in order to mitigate inheritance tax. If they die before seven years, which relates to gifting rules in the UK, then it’s classed as what we class as a failed pet, a failed potentially exempt transfer. Or the other term that one needs to know about is the two-year rule. and the two-year rule relates to how long you actually hold certain investments. But without going into technicalities about strategic inheritance tax planning strategies, the seven-year rule and two-year rule are fundamental. Now the other goal that we actually have in addition to improving financial and legal literacy is reduce absolute inheritances. What I mean by that, do not give your children a single penny. All right, don’t give them a single penny. It is one of the worst things you can actually do. All right, if you were to give your child or your daughter a decent amount of wealth that is in their personal name, so they hold legal title and they hold beneficial title, it exposes them to a numerous number of threats and they include things like divorce settlement claims. All right, heaven forbid they divorced. 50% of that inheritance is gone. They may not be as good with money as you are. 100% of their inheritance could be gone. They may have alcohol problems, drug abuse problems, which a few of my clients have had, and they don’t want their child to receive sizeable inheritances. What do you do in those situations? Okay? Then you’ve got… things like generational inheritance tax. That is where you’ve got inheritance tax that is charged at 40% on the wealth that cascades from one generation to the next generation. It’s essentially a hidden tax. Now, if you can solve inheritance tax at the first stage, at the first generation, maybe solve is the wrong word, but if you only have to pay it at that… first generation point of view because you haven’t been able to do anything else. At least structure your affairs in such a way your future lineage for at least 125 years won’t need to pay it. And the way to actually do that is to put in place strategic planning during your lifetime. And that includes, well it can include trust based structures, it can include family investment companies too, or a combination of both. So yeah, don’t give any of your children a single penny, pass everything ideally into trusts and… appoint professional trustees along with lay trustees to manage the underlying assets.
Imteaz: And specifically on this, I’ve moved around a couple countries now, so across the US, Australia and the UK, and I’ve had to do this exact process in each one of those countries because the legislation and the setup of such trusts are completely different per jurisdiction, right?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Correct, correct. So yeah, so someone like you, who’s a nomad effectively, so you’re going to need specialist advice throughout your life until you begin to reside in one particular area permanently. Because one of your issues is going to be confirming where’s your domicile. And even now that’s not necessarily quite clear. All right, I would say your domicile would remain in Australia. but you could acquire something called deemed domicile status in different jurisdiction based on the time you’re actually staying there. And that can have an impact on a whole host of your investment holdings in various locations. But yeah, so
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: effectively,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: good advice is really important, all right? And you highlighted something a little bit earlier, the fact that you’ve got multiple professionals who are specialists in their own fields, but… they’re not necessarily conversant in others and it will actually impact the client. So what I say is that particularly in the private client domain, you ideally need a professional who holds to, sorry, you need a professional who holds high levels of qualification in at least two disciplines. Okay, two of the three disciplines would be fine. but they still need to be conversant in all three areas. And those three areas are effectively legal services, particularly with specialization in trust administration, trust management, trust taxation, regulated wealth management services, and also accountancy and tax. All three of those disciplines are fundamentally important. Now, I’m dual qualified on the regulated wealth management and also… I’m an associate member of the Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners. But I’m also well aware of accountancy practices and also taxation implications on various different strategies that take place. Now your accountant though may not be a tax specialist. Okay. Don’t think you go to an accountant and you’re going to know about that you want to learn about tax. different strategies to actually mitigate tax. Now, accountant’s role isn’t that. An accountant’s role is to file your accounts every year compliantly to the relevant authorities depending on which jurisdiction you are. Mitigating tax, that is where it requires different types of discipline. An accountant who holds chartered tax advisor status, they would be the type of person you’d speak to, but you’d also… speak to regulated boss managers too, and you’d also speak crucially to members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.
Imteaz: Um, and step is exactly where I found, um, outside of yourself, obviously in the UK, um, but back in Australia, as well as here in the U S, um, that’s where I found, um, local step members to kind of guide me through the process for the, um, local jurisdictions when it comes to setting my affairs here as well. So.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: You can probably appreciate he thinks differently as well. I mean, he approached the subject very differently from any accountant that you’ve actually dealt with previously.
Imteaz: Oh, for sure. Like my accountant, you know, doesn’t necessarily have any clue in terms of, you know, the implications of tax when it comes to, you know, money that I would be receiving in my inheritance. Like when I spoke to my accountant about this stuff, he was completely unaware of all this stuff. And their job is to file your annual income tax and not necessarily wealth managers or tax finance, right? Okay, so what’s the most important thing that people can do to get started or start to prepare for their financial future?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: All right, so fortunately, right, I come from an industry, okay. I’ve got a lot of positive things to actually say about it as well. Right, most of my colleagues in the UK, okay. And I’m not talking about colleagues who I just work with, I’m talking about industry colleagues here. They are among some of the most highly qualified financial planners in the world, based on the standards that have been set now by the UK regulator. I would say, near enough, any one of them would be willing to have an initial 30 minute conversation with somebody. They may not take you on as a client, but within that half an hour, you can probably get a really good insight on what you should be thinking about based on your current financial context. Many of them are actually quite resourceful as well. So when you’ve got complex financial planning needs, they will be able to point you in the right direction of somebody like me, let’s say. But yeah, it’s taking the first step, picking up the phone or going online and just booking in that initial consultation to have a review of your personal financial situation. I wouldn’t trust Google, by the way. All right, so Googling ways to reduce your inheritance tax bill. Googling ways to reduce your corporation tax bill, right? It’s not gonna come to much, right? If I were to say protective cell companies, if I were to say define benefits SaaS arrangements, okay? You’re gonna find very little information and how that can actually apply to individuals and businesses in the UK to a high degree. online because
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: it’s actually really bespoke because you need to structure these type of solutions very carefully for that particular individual. And also, particularly when it comes to some of the strategies, it also requires knowledge of multiple disciplines as well. And many wealth managers in the UK will not have access to the knowledge in-house to implement some of these type of solutions.
Imteaz: Like I think about this particular situation when it comes to you know investing in said advice in terms of ROI and You know, yes, you could just go to wheels calm and get a will set up for 50 bucks hundred bucks, whatever But you know, had I not and my parents had already done that But had we not got the specialist advice and yes, it did cost you know in the thousands of dollars I would be missing out on and my sister would be missing out on hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars worth of Benefit over the course of a lifetime. So yes, it was a steep price to pay initially But it pays multiples if you know do it properly and at the right time as well
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: I’ll give you an example, each other, right? You structure your planning well, okay? Let’s say your parents set all assets into a trust, or into several trusts. It should never be one trust, by the way, for various different reasons. Ideally, it should always be multiple trusts. And they’ve got a few children, okay? And the children get along. Assume the children will get along. And there are grandchildren here as well. The trust has its own trust tax rates. But what you can do, you can mandate the income from the trust fund to a grandchild, okay? That is very powerful. Why is it very powerful? Because I’m probably sure that most of you are not gonna be putting your grandchild to work if they’re minors, okay? And… if they are minors and they’re not at work, they will have their personal allowances available to them. So the income that’s now been mandated to that particular child or that particular grandchild because they’re not paying any tax, right, could be received legitimately tax-free. That will be crucial in relation to funding, let’s say, private school fees, okay? That could be crucial for funding those private school fees. you thought you would never have been able to afford for your child. But now you can because you’re not paying 40% tax.
Imteaz: Bang on.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: game.
Imteaz: Okay, when it comes to on a personal front, shifting the conversation a little bit now, what are the productivity hacks that you use in your life? As a founder and as a person who’s leading a business and has got a family and all of these things going on, what are some of the productivity hacks that you use on a day-to-day basis to make your life more efficient?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Good question. All right, first of all, if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re in that phase of growing your business, okay, you’re not gonna find a balance, all right? You have to be all in, right? All in. And your family are also going to need to make sacrifices. So you need a hell of a lot of support from the children, from your spouse, if you want to invest the time. energy, money, effort into setting up a particular business. Now that doesn’t take away from the importance of improving your productivity. Now I spend a lot of time in how to make my work that much more efficient. Now the setup that I have, particularly with the nature of my work. is I’ve set up a whole host of different systems to make my work a lot easier. So I have a CRM tool that I use, which is fantastic, which is ActiveCampaign. I also combine that with a tool called Zapier. And Zapier, I think you introduced me to Zapier some couple of years back. Yeah,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: of course.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah, indeed.
Imteaz: I introduce you to a lot of things. I should have set up affiliate commissions, man. I would have made
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: You
Imteaz: a lot
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: probably
Imteaz: of money
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: should.
Imteaz: out of that.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: You probably should. So yes, I’ve connected a whole load of different types of software. So all of our lead gen that happens on the landing pages, the Facebook, all of that feeds into the CRM. And then I have our caller who calls the lead. So I don’t actually have to be involved in any of that until I get a ping on my phone saying, call has been booked into your diary for X date X time with all the relevant notes and I just enter into it enter into the Zoom session the Google Meet session or whatever so yeah how the software is a big part of my productivity management I guess the second aspect of this all in terms of maintaining say mental capacity in relation to all of this would actually be doing as much as you can to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So try to exercise a bit more and also try to eat healthier. And you need to do that as an entrepreneur as well, if you wanna be 100%. Now, you’re not gonna always be able to do that because especially on my particular journey, there were times when my weight would just go way up because I’m working really late. and I’m getting take weight in multiple times of the day and that sort of stuff and don’t have time for exercise. But yeah, but what I found is when I managed to control that then my actual productivity over the longer term and during that particular week or two weeks actually improves. I’m still on five and a half hours sleep though.
Imteaz: Dude, you gotta improve for sleep. Five and a half hours is not enough.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: I know man, I know. But it’s something that has to be done, I think has to be done for this particular period that I’m in. And it’s natural by the way, all entrepreneurs actually have to go through this particular journey. But it’s not sustainable, it’s not sustainable. I’m actually quite young right now, relatively speaking. So I can abuse my body for a few more years before I’m forced to actually. you know, slow down. So we see how it goes. That’s why I’ve got a new co-director in tears. You’re gonna
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: love him. So his name is Prajesh. All right, so he’s quite a bit younger than me, but he’s super smart and he works really hard. So when I wind down, he’s gonna be taken over.
Imteaz: It’s good to have a succession plan on. We can talk about succession planning in our next episode when we do it together in
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Thanks,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: bro.
Imteaz: So I always like to ask this question, which is what are some of the books that have inspired you and or helped you figure out what you wanna do and how you wanna do it?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: So can you repeat that question? I didn’t hear the first part of it.
Imteaz: What are some of the books that you have found that
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Ah,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: okay,
Imteaz: inspire you? Yeah.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: in terms of the book. Yeah, so in terms of inspiration. Okay, so. I don’t know if you can see my book. No, you can’t see my bookshelf. Let me bring this one up. I want to say, this is a really good book. Power by Robert Green. I don’t agree with everything that he says. Maybe it’s because it’s not part of my psychology as such. Knowing how to actually deal with people and deal with different types of people in different circumstances, it is very important. Now, you cannot go through life making all of the mistakes and then learning from them. You’re not gonna live long enough or you’re not gonna have sufficient experiences. So what you need to do is learn from other people’s experiences. okay and then when those circumstances come about in your own particular life you know how to actually behave so yeah
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: that
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: particular
Imteaz: interesting point because I meet a lot of people or a lot of people that I’ve come across, they typically want to go through and experience themselves and then take the learning from there. Even if you’ve like told them, dude, I’ve done this, I’ve made this investment, don’t copy me, don’t do this, they end up doing it anyway. I’m like,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah.
Imteaz: you know, why did you just waste your time and money doing something that… you could have leveraged my experience from, or you could learn from someone amazing, for example Warren Buffett when it comes to investment strategy, and take the same thing, take the same principles from that and just believe, rather than thinking that you’re better than 99% of the world.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Yeah, no, good point and good observation. It’s something that I’ve observed as well. And I don’t know what to say other than a lot of people have a gambling type of innate disposition.
Imteaz: when it
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: And
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: they
Imteaz: to investing.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: feel
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: when it comes to investing correct. You know, the irony is, all right, because I’m very much in the regulated space. So it’s… very controlled the type of work that we do by the regulator and rightly so, even though my industry colleagues, many of them do lambast the regulator quite a lot, but having worked on the regulatory side as well as part of my background, I can most certainly see the value add of the regulator, particularly in the consumer space. But putting that to one side, all right. when it comes to investors who then seek to go into some incredibly high risk initiatives, I mean investing in small startups when they don’t have the capacity to handle the loss of that particular investment. And it’s not just the loss of that investment, it’s also the lack of liquidity. So they invest in a particular business or invest in a… in a tech fund of startups, and there are so many of right now, okay? And they can’t get their money out. And their money’s locked in for like 10, 15 years. They can’t do anything. It’s as good as gone in any manner of speaking. So yeah, so I would actually say it is very important to do all of the boring stuff first. and the boring stuff is actually quite straightforward. Protect your lifestyle. How do you protect your lifestyle? Okay, you put in place the right type of protection policies, okay, which are affordable. Some policies you may not need. Other policies you would. It will free up your mental energy. It will free up your need to do sophisticated planning later on in life if you. set up some of these protection policies while you are younger, healthier, because they are so much more affordable. Okay? If you do, if you, in addition to the protection planning, if you do things like utilize your annual allowance for your pension, that is a step in the right direction. Because if you were to do that, you’re benefiting from income tax relief, potentially corporation tax relief. and you’re also building up within a particular tax wrapper, which is free from inheritance tax. But…
Imteaz: which in the US is very similar to a rough IRA for
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: correct.
Imteaz: US listeners.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: But the issue here is people don’t want to go down that particular route and what they do is invest in property. They invest in property and they forget the fact that this low interest rate environment, i.e. a few years ago, isn’t going to last forever. Okay, and that’s a whole other subject area that we could actually talk about and that is very much linked to… the nature of global economics. I mean, the US debt ceiling right now, I think it’s like Congress has granted it to like 31 or 32 trillion a couple of months ago. Maybe it was last month. That cannot continue to be extended year upon year upon year. Now, when it stops being extended, what do you think the reverberations are going to be globally? It will be immense.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: So the other thing that I mention is that our social contract with our government is going to be radically changing. Oh yeah,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: maybe one for another video.
Imteaz: your thing. So wrap up, one of the things I want to say is that, you know, just like you would get a coach or a personal trainer when it comes to your health and, you know, building muscles and building your fitness regime, I think it’s very important to have the right advice from the right people who actually understand the trifecta that we talked about. So tax planning, estate planning. as well as the legal implications of having a will. So you need to find someone who knows this stuff in and out for your local jurisdiction, so that your family doesn’t go through a nightmare when the inevitable happens, right? So, you know, I’ve personally gone through this in three countries, and thanks to Muhammad, I’ve done this properly now across the three countries that I’ve lived. So that, you know, there’s nothing else that you take from this conversation today. Please do this properly for yourself and particularly for your family. To close, Muhammad, do you have anything else you want to share with the audience before we close out?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Let’s see. I would say… me sing. This is the bit you’re gonna have to edit.
Imteaz: Yeah, that’s fine.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Alright, so… I would say, let me think. Yeah, so what I would share with the audience that we have here today would be, like, it’s never too late, okay? At the very least, something can be done, okay? It may not be the most optimum solution, particularly if you’ve left it till you’re within two to seven years of you passing away, all right, but something can actually be done. To mitigate a whole host of different types of threats that could affect your family. The crucial thing is to get advice as soon as possible. W.
Imteaz: super cool. So in closing out, how can people reach out to you if they want further information?
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Cool, they can connect with me on LinkedIn. They can also connect with me via the website, www.adlestateplanning.co.uk, and on the site,, there are options to actually book a 30-minute no obligation conversation with one of us. Cool.
Imteaz: Thank you for being on this week’s episode of Applied Intelligence. It was always a pleasure to chat with you, man, and I look forward to coming.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Good
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: night.
Imteaz: the ditch and visiting you sometime soon.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Looking forward to it, bro.
Imteaz: All right,
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Take care, man.
Imteaz: thank you.
Mohammad Uz-Zaman: Bye.