Future Returns: Protecting And Managing Digital Assets
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,587,785 (-9.64%)       Melbourne $968,477 (-1.28%)       Brisbane $894,769 (-1.51%)       Adelaide $810,780 (-6.94%)       Perth $764,276 (-4.92%)       Hobart $750,134 (+1.16%)       Darwin $645,801 (-3.38%)       Canberra $1,017,220 (+3.56%)       National $1,010,264 (-5.75%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $725,381 (-1.27%)       Melbourne $488,555 (-0.24%)       Brisbane $499,581 (-5.39%)       Adelaide $411,364 (-4.41%)       Perth $414,273 (-2.57%)       Hobart $498,192 (-6.11%)       Darwin $351,130 (-4.84%)       Canberra $480,942 (-4.46%)       National $506,040 (-3.24%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,047 (+6,578)       Melbourne 14,543 (+5,785)       Brisbane 8,228 (+1,243)       Adelaide 2,741 (+600)       Perth 6,788 (+1,322)       Hobart 1,219 (+48)       Darwin 269 (+17)       Canberra 1,013 (+155)       National 44,848 (+15,748)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,226 (+4,905)       Melbourne 7,846 (+2,295)       Brisbane 1,759 (+304)       Adelaide 499 (+101)       Perth 1,899 (+331)       Hobart 186 (-9)       Darwin 388 (+26)       Canberra 854 (+60)       National 21,657 (+8,013)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $780 ($0)       Melbourne $590 ($0)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $600 ($0)       Perth $650 ($0)       Hobart $550 (-$10)       Darwin $680 ($0)       Canberra $690 ($0)       National $652 (-$1)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $725 (-$5)       Melbourne $580 ($0)       Brisbane $620 (-$10)       Adelaide $450 (-$20)       Perth $600 (+$15)       Hobart $470 (-$10)       Darwin $570 ($0)       Canberra $570 ($0)       National $584 (-$3)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,614 (+7)       Melbourne 5,631 (-24)       Brisbane 4,055 (-125)       Adelaide 1,248 (+4)       Perth 1,830 (+7)       Hobart 380 (+12)       Darwin 153 (-19)       Canberra 664 (-12)       National 19,575 (-150)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,725 (-368)       Melbourne 5,038 (-276)       Brisbane 2,044 (-65)       Adelaide 394 (+11)       Perth 594 (-34)       Hobart 139 (+1)       Darwin 285 (-5)       Canberra 590 (-16)       National 16,809 (-752)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.55% (↑)      Melbourne 3.17% (↑)      Brisbane 3.60% (↑)      Adelaide 3.85% (↑)      Perth 4.42% (↑)        Hobart 3.81% (↓)     Darwin 5.48% (↑)        Canberra 3.53% (↓)     National 3.36% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.20% (↑)      Melbourne 6.17% (↑)      Brisbane 6.45% (↑)      Adelaide 5.69% (↑)      Perth 7.53% (↑)      Hobart 4.91% (↑)      Darwin 8.44% (↑)      Canberra 6.16% (↑)      National 6.01% (↑)             HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)        National 0.9% (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 36.6 (↓)       Melbourne 40.8 (↓)       Brisbane 36.8 (↓)       Adelaide 31.2 (↓)       Perth 41.1 (↓)       Hobart 41.6 (↓)       Darwin 49.2 (↓)       Canberra 39.9 (↓)       National 39.7 (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 36.2 (↓)       Melbourne 39.2 (↓)       Brisbane 33.8 (↓)       Adelaide 30.0 (↓)     Perth 43.3 (↑)      Hobart 43.8 (↑)        Darwin 33.7 (↓)       Canberra 45.3 (↓)       National 38.2 (↓)           
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Future Returns: Protecting And Managing Digital Assets

How to keep your crypto and NFTs safe.

By Rob Csernyik
Wed, May 25, 2022 2:36pmGrey Clock 4 min

For investors in digital assets like cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), it’s necessary to take special estate planning considerations into account. But a recent study conducted by the Northern Trust Institute suggests some investors are slow to adopt these measures, potentially putting their investments at risk after they die.

The Chicago-based wealth manager firm surveyed nearly 250 high-net-worth investors, uncovering critical estate planning gaps for digital assets, despite more than half of those surveyed owning crypto and NFTs. Only 42% of those surveyed said all their digital accounts and online management tools were incorporated into their estate plan. For 20%, none have been incorporated.

This survey, conducted last year for Northern Trust’s 2022 Wealth Planning Outlook suggests there are demographic differences among investors based on generation and estate size. When asked if their plan has a full accounting of traditional and digital wealth accounts, 78% of millennials said their plan did, compared to 59% of investors born before 1945. While 75% of those with estates of US$5-to-US$10 million have made this full accounting, the rate declines to 55% for those with US$50-million plus. Respondents with higher asset levels were also more likely to own investments in digital assets.

Without access to critical information or the assets themselves, heirs are left with the added burden of incomplete transparency—a particular challenge when settling complex estates.

One reason it’s critical to pay special attention to these assets is that the category continues to evolve. “The tax implications of digital assets like crypto and NFTs are also currently under debate and continued regulation is likely,” Northern Trust said in its report.

Jon Jackson, central region practice leader for estate settlement services at Northern Trust Wealth Management says it’s necessary to be proactive. “Especially for a rapidly evolving asset class such as digital assets, review your plan frequently to take advantage of the legislative and technical changes that are likely to occur with such assets.”

In a recent interview, Jackson shared with Penta how individuals and families can ensure peace of mind with their digital estates.

Create an Inventory and Paper Trail

“The first step is to start with an inventory,” Jackson says. This includes detailed records of assets, the digital wallets in which they’re stored, and any crypto keys. Private keys, the passwords used to manage and access cryptocurrencies, may be informally written down or memorized, which can cause access issues after an investor dies if not safely stored.

The survey suggests 59% of respondents have included only some of their digital accounts or none at all into their estate plan. Estate planners and fiduciaries can’t evaluate digital assets without necessary guidance to access them, which makes sharing this information critical.

“In the best case scenario, (not leaving information) could lead to extra time and expense to track down the information, and possibly even litigation to access the accounts,” Jackson says. In the worst, most extreme cases, he adds that “not having the right password could lead to losing the entire asset.”

Horror stories about lost crypto keys have made global headlines. New York blockchain data firm Chainalysis suggests that about one in five of existing Bitcoin—a figure they once valued at US$140 billion, but is likely less because of the currency’s falling value—are in lost or inaccessible wallets.

Lock in a Digital Fiduciary

Whenever a client enters a new asset class, Jackson says it’s necessary to consult with an attorney and estate-planning advisors. This ensures estate plans cover the assets and allow fiduciaries to properly control them and pass them to future beneficiaries, whether through probate, or where possible, using beneficiary designations or revocable trusts.

“Consider specific language for handling digital assets in your estate, including a digital fiduciary, rather than relying on more general provisions of estate assets,” he says. (It’s also important to check on the requirements for a digital assets fiduciary which can vary between jurisdictions.)

Northern Trust’s survey suggests the people set up to use online management tools post-death are spouses, children, or parents. The intended fiduciary needs to be “not only willing to take on the responsibilities of setting your estate, but also the responsibility of managing these types of complicated assets,” Jackson says. About 90% of fiduciaries have been informed, according to survey responses, yet of those informed only 89% have stated they are willing to act on the investor’s behalf in this critical role.

Prepare for Volatility and Tax Implications

Digital asset investors aren’t strangers to volatility, but this can create unique impacts on estates. “The volatility of the asset class, and the time it may take to access the asset, makes them riskier for administration purposes, more so than valuation issues,” says Jackson.

Due to constant price fluctuations, these assets can pose challenges to value for estate and gift tax purposes. If an investor’s net worth is above or near the federal estate tax exemption (US$12.06 million as of 2022), cryptocurrency investments must be closely monitored. Because the IRS treats crypto as property for tax purposes, there’s also the issue of assessing capital gains and losses.

“Because many cryptocurrencies are held and traded on exchanges, those types of digital assets aren’t necessarily hard to value for estate and gift purposes,” Jackson says.

Other types, such as NFTs for digital artwork, sports collectiles or digital real estate, require hiring a qualified appraiser. Given “the unique nature of the asset and limited market data,” digital assets like those are more complicated to value. Jackson likens them to rare paintings, in that both are subject to the professional opinions of appraisers and the IRS to determine value.



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Even amid two international conflicts and an upcoming U.S. presidential election, some philanthropic leaders are optimistic about the direction of overall giving through 2024.

Penta spoke with heads of several non-profits and leading philanthropists to gauge whether charitable giving will continue its reported slump from 2023 or rebound alongside renewed interest in various political and economic issues.

“Contrary to what some might expect, philanthropy has had resilience in these times,” says Stacy Huston, executive director of Sixdegrees.org, a youth empowerment non-profit based in Virginia founded by actor Kevin Bacon in 2007.

Huston’s view echoes recent data from the biennial Bank of America Study of Philanthropy published last year, which found that while affluent giving is largely down, the value of the average philanthropic gift is up 19%, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The notion of what these gifts look like is changing, and is partially responsible for the growth. Philanthropy can be executed through more avenues than ever, whether through celebrity association, tech titans stewarding large endowments, or  athletes using their platforms to advocate for and create meaningful change.

“The industry and movement is creating new models, and you want to get it right,” says Scott Curran, CEO of Chicago-based Beyond Advisers. “No one should take their foot off the gas pedal.”

Curran spent a number of years with the Clinton Foundation in its infancy before leaving in 2016 to open his own consultancy, which focuses on philanthropy strategy at the highest levels. Curran and his team work with celebrities, athletes, multi-generational family foundations, and other affluent givers who need guidance in directing their philanthropic efforts. It’s a growing area of interest: Over half of affluent households with a net worth between US$5 million and US$20 million have, or are planning to establish, “some kind of giving vehicle” within the next three years, according to the Bank of America report.

Corporate philanthropy, rather than individual giving, is the cornerstone of Marcus Selig’s work as chief conservation officer at the National Forest Foundation, a Congressionally chartered non-profit based in Montana responsible for protecting millions of acres of public lands.

“Our outlook is business as usual,” he says, advising that giving may slow down, but not enough for the foundation to change course.

Factors such as political polarisation in the U.S. and the wars in Eastern Europe and the Middle East are pushing nonprofits to consider their niche, and how they might work with other groups, both on the corporate and philanthropic levels, Selig says.

“It leads to a little more sharing on the ground in what needs to be done,” he adds.

Steve Kaufer , founder of Massachusetts-headquartered e-commerce giving platform Give Freely and founder of TripAdvisor, says that the economy has a much bigger role in election years, as he looks to build and grow something that can act as a “counterbalance.”

“There’s a trend towards democratisation, and acting collectively can lead to greater impact,” he says.

Kaufer’s new platform hopes to leverage the everyday philanthropist through online shopping dollars to benefit major charity partners like UNICEF and charity:water, who earn funds as shoppers choose an organisation to benefit through an online clickthrough process.

“Whether a good year or bad year, e-commerce will continue to keep growing,” he says. “Nobody doubts that.”

Whether a legacy foundation, corporation or individual, the political landscape this year is requiring some to exercise caution as they consider what their own charitable actions might be and how it could be viewed more broadly. For the personal philanthropist, every move is now scrutinised more closely. On the nonprofit side, entities are exercising more due diligence to understand if a specific donor aligns with their mission and that there aren’t any underlying issues that could cause greater pushback.

“You have to be able to walk the walk,” Huston says. “For example, we’ve had to turn down very large donor checks from corporations because there’s a Reddit stream calling them out on their human rights practices.”

She adds that even a routine charity activation could now be aligned with a political party, and that adds complexities to how a higher-profile organisation like Six Degrees can activate, especially as the film Footloose turns 40 in 2024 (which Bacon starred in).

“A lot of organisations and states want to align themselves with this feel good moment, and we should be able to stand side by side with everyone, but we have to be aware,” she says.

Another topic attracting donor interest today is  mental health, an area that historically has been underfunded and under-resourced by philanthropy, according to Two Bridge partner Harris Schwartzberg, who has been closely linked to the mental health space for more than a decade.

Today, the issue for mental health nonprofits is less about resources and more about societal divisiveness and polarisation around the topic. There’s an “overwhelming demand” for solutions, but the space is in a “perfect storm” for the broader political issues to make things worse, Schwartzberg says.

In Curran’s opinion, the storms brewing are troublesome, but they are also creating new opportunities for corporate and personal giving. The  current state of philanthropy is one of “dynamic, expansive, and blurred lines,” meaning a careful blending of targeted giving combined with an understanding of the broader geopolitical landscape could lead to a successful overall philanthropic strategy.

“There are a lot of headlines that distract, but shouldn’t,” he says. “2024 needs more serious philanthropists than ever.”

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