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David Werdiger

Can Money Buy Happiness? blog by David Werdiger

Can Money Buy Happiness?

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And does being ‘happy’ mean something different to those who have wealth and those who don’t? These are the questions considered in a recent research study. Most anyone who has wealth would find it obvious that the answer to the first question is a resounding ‘no’, but it takes the rigour of an academic to first define happiness (life satisfaction and a set of distinct positive emotions), and then examine the correlation between them and…

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How Do Subsequent Generations In Your Family ‘Prove Themselves’?

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Consider this from two perspectives: the family and the individual. Do families demand that younger generations prove themselves in some way, perhaps before being allowed to join the family business or take some other role with respect to the family assets? The other side is the view of the younger family member. Being born into wealth can be a lodestone, especially the way ‘privilege’ is a dirty word in some circles. The world loves a…

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The downside to wealth

The Downside to Wealth

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This is a difficult topic to broach, and needs to be done only in appropriate settings – indeed, that might be the most important message of this topic. After the story of BMW heiress Susanne Klatten went public, she was slammed on social media. Her personal challenges – the responsibility, self-doubt, and being targeted by scammers – are real. But it’s very hard for anyone brought up without wealth to have any sympathy (and often it’s the reverse), so seeking it from ‘outsiders’ is almost a waste of time.

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Letting Go

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“How do I transfer wealth to my children without spoiling them?” That would be the most common question I am asked, and for most people, stands at the heart of the challenge of wealth transition. But often this question masks what parents really want, e.g. “how do I get my children to do/be what I want?” That question is not about wealth, but about parental power and control. And when parents say “I don’t want…

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The real problem with “OK, Boomer”

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You may have seen the latest viral meme sweeping the internet. “OK, Boomer” is the response of younger people to complaints by older people about their behaviour and attitudes. Readers of this newsletter may know my attitude to the whole “generation wars” narrative – it’s a load of crap and we shouldn’t get caught up in it. Older people have been complaining about younger people for as long as there have been multiple generations on…

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The Other 50%

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Women are at least 50% of the population, yet historically have been poorly represented in the wealth industry – as custodians and managers of family wealth, in family business, and as advisors. But that is changing on all fronts. The percentage of wealth in the world held by women is steadily growing – as a result of inheritance (females generally outlive their husbands), divorce and entrepreneurship. In the Middle East, 20-40% of wealth is held…

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Advisor Transition

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The rising generation stands to inherit significant wealth, and families are spending much effort and expense to ensure that they are well prepared to become effective custodians of that wealth. However, it’s important for families to also consider the services required to help manage that wealth: advisors. In any family, at some point in time, the wealth will shift from one generation to another. When someone inherits wealth, it becomes ‘theirs’. This contrasts with advisor…

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Resolving Conflict in Family Business

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When seeking to deal with conflict in family business, it is essential to understand the impact of the family dynamic on a business. Conflict in family business happens differently, therefore must be resolved differently. Disputes within a family don’t escalate suddenly. They are often built on years of relationship sentiment that is latent or suppressed. The triggers for those conflicts can be the smallest thing, because they are just the straw that breaks the camel’s…

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Generational Differences in Philanthropy

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Family philanthropy can be a very effective way to bridge generations and engage the rising generation. However, according to a recent poll from Key Private Bank, there are significant differences between parents and children on matters of giving. Most parents are not discussing philanthropy with their children, let alone agreeing on causes. 82% of advisors say very few clients involve the next generation in family philanthropy. Faith-based causes represent 73% of interest from parents, but…

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