Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (1888-1969) – Businessman & Ambassador
Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy was a prominent American businessman and investor. Born to a political family in East Boston, Kennedy was educated at Boston Latin School and Harvard University. He embarked on a career in finance, rising to be president of a bank by the age of 25. He was a successful investor during the Roaring Twenties, making a fortune as a stock market and commodities investor. In fact, he was able to manipulate the market with techniques that were then legal, but which would later be regulated under a new agency, that he was appointed to be the head of, the Securities Exchange Commission. Kennedy foresaw the end of the bull market and the inevitable collapse of that bubble and pulled his wealth out of the stock market during the summer of 1929, just a few months before the October crash. During the Great Depression, Kennedy vastly increased his financial fortune by investing most of his money in real estate. He went on to make another fortune in Hollywood from reorganizing and refinancing several Hollywood studios.
Joe Kennedy foresaw a transfer tax roadblock in his future. Left alone, his fortune would be diminished by more than half at his death and then diminished at each successive generation. Changing this outcome was possible by establishing generation skipping trusts. (This was prior to the generation skipping transfer tax.) Kennedy set up trusts that would pay a portion of income to his children each year but which would not be taxed in the estates of his children. The trusts were paying President John F. Kennedy $500,000 annually at the time when he was being paid $100,000 as President.
We honor Joseph P. Kennedy because his business acumen and estate planning for his children and grandchildren makes him a Legacy Champ. If you want to be a Legacy Champ in your own special way, then contact The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. for a free initial consultation on estate planning, trust planning, and/or probate issues.