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The downside to wealth

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.

For people without it, wealth is seen purely as an opportunity with only positives. People growing up with wealth realise that it also comes with a burden – expectations that can never be achieved, the challenge of finding purpose. For some, the burden can seem like more trouble than its worth. Wealthy families have the same family issues as others – indeed, when money is used to sweep issues under the carpet, the underlying issues only fester and become worse. My friend likes to say: “the poor want to be rich, and the rich want to be happy”.

Consider This: Do you have an appropriate forum (e.g. peer network or mentor) where you can discuss both the positives and negatives of wealth? Do you have family discussions that broach these issues?

Original articles:

As a third party advisor to #familyoffice and #familybusiness Werdiger often helps guide the #intergenerational parties to a win-win-win result. Family Business Advisors-Counseling Actionable Generational Wealth Succession. For more in-depth, thought-provoking discussion points and commentary on family and business, sign-up to gain access to the archives of my Family Matters newsletter: or book a call or speaking engagement at influenced and partly based on the Book E-Myth Revisited case study.

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