TIGER 21 – Where the Wealthy Seek Out Kindred Spirits
TIGER 21 – Where the Wealthy Seek Out Kindred SpiritsMay 11, 2013 | G√©rard B√©rub√© | Finances personnellesJohn Koloda has set himself the goal of doubling TIGER 21’s Montreal membership. Potential members bewarned: you need a minimum $10 million in investible assets to join this highly confidential learning group.John Koloda is introduced as a consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in financial services. He has justbeen named co-chair of Tiger21’s Montreal chapter, which serves Quebec and Eastern Ontario. He plans to addtwo or three new names to the eight people who currently comprise the Montreal membership, with the goalof reaching 20. Candidates are recruited all over Quebec and in the Ottawa region. The main eligibility factor:a minimum $10 million in investible assets, which excludes the primary residence, and a commitment to attendmeetings for two years. “There is a deep pool of wealthy individuals from Trois-Rivi√®res to Drummondville and inthe Beauce, passing through Quebec City, Montreal, Gatineau and Ottawa. I see at least two groups of 20 peoplewithin the next couple of years,” predicts John Koloda.Created in the United States in 1999, TIGER 21 has been in Canada for one year. The Investment Group forEnhanced Results in the 21st Century has chapters in 12 North American cities, including four in Canada, andboasts 208 members who collectively manage $19 billion in assets.Giving Back to SocietySome cities have two or three chapters of approximately 20 people each. Members include entrepreneurs,retirees, people active in financial services or real estate investors. Potential members are invited to a preliminaryinterview, if just to discuss affinities, to identify traits in common and how they give back to society.The purpose of TIGER 21? To create a community of interests allowing wealthy individuals to share with eachother, to access a confidential group in which multimillionaires can discuss with their peers, with others whounderstand what they are going through. “They can talk about divorce, vacation, donations, family matters andother personal concerns in complete confidentiality, in an open, but safe-harbour environment,” explains JohnKoloda.A typical monthly meeting begins with the introduction of a personal subject. It starts with a round table whereeach person shares their point of view on the state of the world. “Each person has their own network, their ownsphere of influence. Their contribution is unique.” This is followed by an address by one or two speakers, a NobelPrize winner or a specialist discussing a unique investment subject. In the second part, members will presenttheir portfolios and open up their investment strategy for comment and the objective criticism of their peers,each one emphasizing their own experience or vision.99 vs 1%And how does the TIGER 21 membership experience the divide between activists and the 1%? How do theyrespond to the grievances of the 99% denouncing the widening equality gap? What do they think of tax havensand other tax evasion methods? As a general rule, these wealthy individuals “will feel they are misunderstood.They too can experience problems or go through rough times,” argues John Koloda. They are in the highest taxation bracket. They believe they pay too many taxes, that they contribute more than anyone else, even on arelative basis. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with looking for ways to pay less, like any other taxpayer woulddo. “These people are more average than we believe. They do not just live in a bubble and do not believe theyare above anyone else. They understand and are sensitive to what is going on, the trouble that everyone faces.They do not feel excluded, but rather poorly understand. Their attitude is not one of ‚Äòpoor me’, but rather, ‚Äòhowcan we work better, together?'”John Koloda also observes that these wealthy individuals give a lot back to society. “Most of the time, they giveback to society anonymously,” he adds.***According to TIGER 21 founder, Michael Sonnenfeldt, members currently prefer private investments and theequity markets, although there is no run on equities. Therefore, equities investments (25%) and privateinvestments (19%) make up the lion’s share of the average portfolio, where liquidity remains high. They areshunning bond securities over fears of rising interest rates and their main concern is a massive monetary easingthat raises fears that soaring stock prices are inflated, with no basis in the real economy.