Ethical Wills – Share Your Love and Wisdom!

August 13, 2020Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting

Several years ago, I wrote about ethical wills. While they sound “legal”, they are not legal documents at all. An ethical will is a letter to children, grandchildren, really any loved ones, written to express wisdom, values, life lessons. It is a way to transfer non-financial/non-material wealth. Best shared when the writer is still alive, there can be invaluable interaction between the writer and recipients. I found the process of writing my own (shared in the blog several years ago) Read more »

Article with Merrill Center for Family Wealth

May 27, 2020Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I consulted with a grandfather who achieved a high level of financial success (and also had a lot of emotional intelligence and love for his family) and with his daughter and her husband who have a two and a half year-old. The grandfather attended a workshop I gave about raising children in a family business/wealth context and thought his daughter and son-in-law would benefit from some ideas and coaching. The daughter said early on in the conversation more or less, Read more »

Thanksgiving in August???

November 26, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Friends and Colleagues, The Thanksgiving/holiday season is upon us and I have made a donation in honor of all of you to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). Rather than cards or pies or gifts (which are all really cool) I decided to write to you here and send money to TASK to make an impact on the issue of hunger – an area important to me. I’ve been volunteering monthly for over 10 years at TASK and am always moved by how the Read more »

Jeff Interviewed by Jane Scaccetti

October 24, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Jeff was interviewed by Jane Scaccetti of Drucker and Scaccetti – “The Tax Warriors .” Really more of a conversation between friends, sprinkled with great questions from attendees, they discussed wealth transfers within families. Please have a listen . Among the most significant insights for attendees was how early this process can begin and how little focus on “money” is necessary to set a solid foundation. As far as starting early, an example was given of how NOT to talk to a four-year-old about a family business (and how TO do Read more »

Race and the Field of Wealth

September 10, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

  *Note – as a white man I struggled with writing this blog post. Would I make a mistake, be insensitive, or offend, possibly in some way specific to my experience as a white male? Should I write it at all? For example, I needed to decide whether to use the term “African-American” or “Black.” I chose the latter based on feedback from three friends who identify as Black; two of them felt “African-American” was politically correct in a way Read more »

NY Times Quote – Client Interview

January 17, 2019Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

In the November 16, 2018 “Wealth Matters” column in the NY Times, Paul Sullivan wrote about his interview with me and one of my family clients. My thanks to Paul and a special thanks to the Buckwald family – David, Jennifer, Jack & Morgan for their openness (and for their hospitality to the Times photographer who became stranded at their home overnight in a snowstorm while David was stranded elsewhere and could not make it home until the next morning!) Read more »

The Conversation

November 16, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I recently received a referral from an attorney I’ve known for years. The referral was for a married couple who were both children of immigrants who valued education and had earned PhD degrees in science. They started a company that became wildly successful in terms of financial success and respect from colleagues and investors. The couple sold it for a large sum and when they decided to start another company, investors swooned and supplied cash. The couple had been having Read more »

Sharp Knives & Fire

October 26, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My friend and colleague Pierre duPont, Partner at HPM Partners in New York City, recently wrote a great piece entitled, “Raising Children Into Wealth – Hungry, Productive and Compassionate.” I hope you will read it. One of his points really resonated with me and brought to mind the work I do coaching parents with significant wealth and working with them and their kids together: “…show your children that life is not about the things in it but about the people in it and the individual moments lived and shared. Money can sometimes enhance those, but Read more »

Wealth, Privilege & Leadership

September 12, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Last month, Sam Walker, writing in The Wall Street Journal , took on the issue of privilege in the context of Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony on Capitol Hill. I am not going to offer my opinions here about Kavanaugh and the hearings; Walker did not either. What Walker did address is the issue of how growing up in an affluent and “rarefied upbringing” might affect perceptions of leaders and how well they actually lead, especially when leading diverse teams. Walker makes an interesting point about the unfair advantages children Read more »

Parenting as Governance

February 27, 2018Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Governance can be intimidating to business families and legacy wealth families who may not have operating businesses any longer but share and manage complex assets. This is especially true if they have not educated themselves about good governance and committed themselves to it. Governance is crucial for achieving both long term business/financial success and family harmony. Simply put, governance is coming together and getting clear about how decisions will be made, who will be involved with making decisions and in Read more »