Articles Archives - David Werdiger
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Wealth to Millenials

What is the most valuable thing you can give your children?

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As a wealthy family, 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 previous newsletter, I mentioned the relative importance of education and networks…

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diversified wealth or succession

Diversified Wealth or Succession?

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What proportion of your family wealth is tied up in the operating family business? According to Camden Research’s recent report, succession is a greater priority for families than wealth preservation. Of the two, succession is surely the harder to achieve. While we all push cliches and statistics about the survival of family businesses over three generations, perhaps we should be broadening our perspective? A family operating business is one store of wealth for a family,…

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Family Business Advisor

What Advice do you Need?

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When it comes to advisors, I have two simple rules: Get good advisors Listen to them Family advisors need additional skills because they must work with the various members or governance structures of a family, and key people & structures may change with time. They need to know about communication, in order to help the family members themselves communicate well. They need to understand family dynamics, and get to know the ins and outs of…

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Values are Foundation to Success

Values are the Foundation of a Successful Family Business Transition

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How to maintain family wealth through generations? Get the best financial advisors and managers for operating assets? Other things are more important. Families of wealth must learn how to work together in the sharing of assets. A key part of that is to integrate their wealth management with their values. That means the values need to be articulated within the family. Then, the family needs clear and open dialogue discussing values as well as financial…

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Charitable Habits of the Next Generation of Givers

Charitable Habits of 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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7 rules to avoid conflict of interest

Does Your Family Operate with Conflict of Interest?

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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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What Next? Retirement, Succession, New Career?

What Next? Retirement, Succession, New Career?

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We’ve previously discussed the effect of increasing life expectancy on wealth transition – the ‘problem’ of the ageing family member who refuses to step aside is more prevalent than ever (the popular TV series Succession makes for great watching on this topic). Traditionally, roles within families have very long tenure, For someone who has been managing the family wealth for many years, the thought of leaving a job they have become very good at can…

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Family Legacy Talk about money

Legacy; Let’s Talk About Money

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Money is one of the few remaining taboo topics for discussion, but in wealthy families, it’s something that eventually does need to be discussed. The challenge is to develop a greater comfort in discussing it. The first step towards this is to understand the reason for discomfort, and it is usually because discussions about money bring on fear: fear that there isn’t or won’t be enough, that the next generation might be spoilt by excess,…

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Wealthy kids rely on wealthy parents

Wealthy kids relying on wealthy parents

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According to a Merrill Edge report, one third of “mass affluent” (mid-range wealth) Americans say their financial stability depends on their inheritance. But interestingly, this is more a result of prevailing economic conditions (markets, unemployment, weak wage growth) than the generation being brought up with a silver spoon sense of entitlement. Economic conditions for creation of wealth have been challenging for the rising generation. There are even signals of a decline in social mobility. The…

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Political Preferences and Family Business

Political Preferences and Family Business

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With the recent US elections in the news, there is talk of generational shifts in the electorate (which will take some time still to have a significant impact), and with the further polarisation within the US, the way political affiliations have come between friends and family members. This fascinating NPR podcast discusses how political preferences are driven by hidden moral frameworks. The nation is often described using the family as a metaphor, with terms like…

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