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actionable intergenerational wealth planning practices Archives - David Werdiger

why communication is important

Why communication is important

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Research has shown that 60 per cent of failed intergenerational family wealth transition are due to problems with trust or communication. Communication isn’t important in families. It is everything. If a family cannot communicate, it cannot function as a group. It’s that simple. What does poor communication look like? An absence or lack of communication (e.g. “it’s none of their business”, “they don’t need to know”, “we know what is best for them”) is patronising, infantilising,…

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Cultivating Entrepreneurship

Cultivating Entrepreneurship

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Not every entrepreneurship story is “rags to riches”. Many high-flying entrepreneurs came from from upper-middle-class families. While they don’t owe their success entirely to mom and dad, without their parents’ help, be it financial or otherwise, they may have never gotten their ventures off the ground. Research has shown that 75% of entrepreneurs from 48 countries said that their family was involved in starting their businesses. Family money and background plays a critical role when it…

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non-blood-family-business

Family Business – blood non-blood

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Unless your family business is a “mom & pop corner store” (which is more akin to owning a job than owning a business anyway), you will need to have a mix of ‘blood’ and ‘non-blood’ people working in it. As any business matures and grows, there becomes a need for professionalisation and systemisation. While owners may put a high value on the people in the business (especially family), the true value created in any business…

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The problem with Boomers

The Problem with Boomers

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A while back this viral meme swept the internet. “OK, Boomer” is/was 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 this earth,…

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wealth and happiness

Wealth and Happiness

By Articles, Familosophy, Featured Posts, In The News, LinkedIn, original No Comments

Q: If the world’s two richest men cannot keep their wives happy, what hope do we have? A: No, that’s not a real question – it’s a meme that circulated following the news of the divorce of Bill & Melinda Gates. Many people with wealth realise that money can’t make a wife (or anyone) happy, but that doesn’t stop them trying. In business, sometimes we decide to “throwing money at a problem”. That means directing significant resources…

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Keys to Transition Family Business

Keys to Family Business Transition

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“How to transition the family business to the next generation?” The answer depends on (a) who is asking (incumbent or rising generation) and (b) when (in the life-cycle of the business) they are asking. More often than not, the question is raised too late – when the incumbent generation is thinking of retirement, when there are already unstated expectations from both generations, and when there is already latent conflict. The key ingredients to a successful…

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Buy- vs Sell-side Philanthropy

Buy- vs Sell-side Philanthropy

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There are many consultants out there who advise non-profits on things like strategy, marketing, grant-writing, etc. The market for the philanthropic dollar follows the usual 80/20 rule: 80% of the funding comes from 20% of the donors (it’s probably far more skewed than that – more like 95/5). A particular area of focus for consultants is therefore how to capture the high-end of the market – HNW family giving. We can think of this as…

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Lawyer or Friend?

Lawyer or Friend?

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Friends and family members often turn to lawyers (and other professionals like accountants and wealth managers) they know in because they naturally trust a lawyer who is close to them rather than a stranger. But is this the best approach? Advisors can provide the best services when they are objective and are governed by reason and not by emotion. Often, and especially in a family situation, they specifically need to be the voice of reason…

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Owners and managers of a family business

Owners and Managers of a Family Business

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Family is (hopefully) for life. If the family business starts to interfere negatively with the relationships in the family, then there is imbalance. Family businesses are challenging because of the overlapping of family, business and ownership (known as the “three circle model”). Researchers from Harvard have extended this into four “rooms” by adding in the board room. Because family members wear multiple hats, are in multiple circles, or sit in multiple rooms, they need an…

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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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