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Inheritance or Purpose

Inheritance or Purpose?

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The challenges of bringing up children with wealth are predicated on the idea that said wealth will transition to said children. But what if it won’t? Some families are thinking more about giving away the bulk or almost all of the family wealth to charity. In the US, families are talking about giving a maximum of $15M to each child (and the rest to charity). There are different reasons driving this (don’t want to leave…

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Lets Talk About Family Wealth 2

Let’s Talk About Family Wealth

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One of the biggest challenges in wealthy families is when/how to talk about the family wealth to children. There are a number of factors to consider: 1. Being aware of other ways children will learn about it themselves, e.g. from the media, direct research, and from friends (it’s a bit like sex education). Would you rather your children find out about the family wealth from reports and rumours that are laden with assumptions? It’s better…

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Trust; Family vs Business

Trust; Family vs Business

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Can you have the best of both worlds? Family businesses have to tread a fine line: they must compete like any business, while also maintaining harmony amongst the family – both those who are involved in the family business and those who are not. There are a few common themes that help families maintain this balance: 1. Trust is essential, and what builds trust are good communication and transparency. Anywhere information is not provided, people…

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Family Business Socioemotional Wealth

Family business socioemotional wealth

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A ‘family business’ is more than just a business owned and operated by a family. In addition to being a vehicle of wealth creation and entrepreneurship for the family, these businesses can bring other non-financial benefits – known as “socioemotional wealth” or “social capital” – to family members. Being part of the family enterprises brings feelings of pride, personal reward and satisfaction, and can constitute a part of family members’ identity. These additional intangibles are…

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Politics of Boomers and Millenials

Generational Politics of Millennials & Boomers

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While I abhor the “generation wars” narrative that pops up regularly, the article below is about a novel – Boomer1 by Daniel Torday – that captures this generation wars zeitgeist, and tells the story of a frustrated millenial who takes his fight to the internet, complaining about boomers who refuse to retire and make jobs available to those of his generation. The article makes some great points about this ongoing debate, and postulates as to…

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Rising Generation Says No Thanks

When Rising Generations Have No Interest in Taking Over

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A common challenge for family businesses is when the rising generation have no interest in taking over. This can be especially common in sectors like manufacturing or farming which may be considered an attractive or exciting career path for younger family members to join. There are two concerns for the family members currently in control: (a) who will look after the business? (b) who will look after the customers? Both of these are important, because…

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Is family wealth the most valuable thing

Is Family Wealth The Most Valuable Thing

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As a wealthy family, what is the most valuable thing you can give your children? One sure way to find out the answer is to ask (too often parents don’t bother). According to a Wells-Fargo survey of Millennials, more than 90% of children say they want to inherit their parents’ values, not their wealth. Some 84% want top sustain and build on their family’s legacy. This should be very heartening news for parents. In a…

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The NextGen of Charitable Givers

The Next Generation of Givers

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Philanthropy can be a great way to engage different generations in a wealthy family, and for family members to find purpose where there is no imperative for paid employment. It’s worth keeping in mind the intergenerational differences and trends in giving so that the family giving experience can be as positive as possible. The Blackbaud Institute’s report on the next generation of American giving has some useful insights. Giving priorities differ by generations, but health,…

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Conflict of Interest in Family Business

Is There Conflict of Interest in Your Family Business?

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The essential problem family businesses must deal with is conflict of interest, which arises when people have multiple roles – in the business, as an owner, and as a family member – that can potentially conflict. Thinking about the issues of a family business in this way is a good path to mitigating the challenges they can bring. Establishing explicit rules is a good start, and this article covers several good ones: only put family…

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Trusted Advisor Transition

Trusted Adviser 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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