Three Ways To Get the Family Involved in 2019

January 9, 2019 - Max Osbon (3 mins to read)

The power and beauty of true family wealth is that it has the power to make a difference generation after generation. Therein also lies the challenge. Passing on the knowledge and values younger generations need to put wealth to work in a sustainable way for the family and for others is a specific area of education not taught in school. What will they need to know? Where should you start? How much information is too much? To get you started, here are three ideas inspired by one of the world’s leading experts on true family wealth.

Charlie Collier was the Senior Philanthropic Adviser at Harvard University for 25 years and was known for his effectiveness in navigating the complex emotions, challenges and opportunities that wealthy families face. He takes a practical approach to sharing information and lessons about wealth. Here are three ideas from Charlie you can use to get the ball rolling in 2019.

Take an inventory

A good place to start is to simply take stock of where you stand today in these four categories of True Family Wealth.

  • Financial Capital – Assets, cash, securities, business interests, LLCs, trusts, estates, wills, real estate, and artwork. What’s changed most recently and why?
  • Human Capital – Family values, talents, passions, dreams, spirituality and ongoing goals. What did these look like last year and what do they look like today?
  • Intellectual Capital – Stories and lessons learned that can be passed along to the next generation to foster a sense of belonging and identity. This can be especially valuable to help bridge the gap between your many successes and the long road ahead for your kids.
  • Social Capital – Advisors, lawyers, accountants, key close friends, civic engagements, philanthropy and the bonds you have with your various communities. How can your kids leverage your expansive network?

Introduce a new topic

You don’t have to go from 0 to 100 and reveal the full financial picture at once. Real estate is a good place to start because it’s tangible. Take the opportunity to tell your story and how this picture evolved over time. What were your visions when you purchased these properties? Do you have the physical deed to show them? Who advised you and how did you arrive at your conclusion? How much does it cost to run each of these properties? Leave pleanty of room for questions and participation… you may be surprised.

Assign a task

Introduce a family member to a Family Wealth activity that you do routinely but might not be something they consider:

  • Philanthropy – Assign $1000/yr to be donated to a cause of their choice. Giving has been proven to foster a sense of value and gratitude.
  • Reading – The Big Short is a great fit for its strange-but-true stories and plenty of lessons about the real quirks of the financial system. Ask us for other suggested reading materials.
  • Help them pick a stock – Much like watching soccer, placing bets on the future of a stock makes the process infinitely more engaging.

As we enter 2019 we encourage you to try these ideas or others to get your family involved in the possibilities and responsibilities of wealth. Any progress on this journey is better than doing nothing. What are the primary ideas or information you want to share with the next generation? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Please share your experience with us.



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