Stewardship: How Young to Start?

May 14, 2024Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I work with wealthy families, some very wealthy families, and even some uber-wealthy families, and the truth is that they want what poor, working class, and all families want: happy, healthy, and productive kids. One of the growing areas of my practice is coaching wealthy couples before they have kids and parents of very young children—babies and toddlers. I call my work with them the Purposeful Legacy Family Project . While I’ve always included teens and young adults in coaching and family retreats, I’m Read more »

Fairness, Once Again

March 25, 2024Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

“Once Again” is in the title here because I’ve already written several blog posts about fairness in the context of family; this is one of the repeating topics arising with the enterprising families I work with. It is understandable that families often ask me for the best way to be fair in their situation. It makes complete sense that they ask this. If there was a rule book or definitive guide, I’d share it freely. Of course, there is no Read more »

Mom’s Death Gift

February 21, 2024Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

First of all, my mom is still alive. She is wise, has a wicked sense of humor, and is always willing to talk about topics most people find challenging. All of this is a gift, in and of itself. Let my explain, then, why I am referring to this lesson as: Mom’s Death Gift. Death is a typically challenging topic of conversation. I see people avoiding death (thinking about it, planning for it, discussing it with others, even believing it Read more »

Engaging Families With Flexibility

November 16, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Meeting a new family is one of the most interesting parts of my consulting work. Often they are eager to meet me and tell me their story and, at the same time, are hesitant to open up that very story. There is usually some level of hope that I can help them manage the complex family dynamics that every family contends with—and families sharing a variety of assets have to manage such dynamics in exponential form. And there is usually Read more »

Mentor Or Tormentor???

September 19, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I recently took on a new client, a family business going strong in the fourth generation. At our first meeting I asked the family (mom, dad, brother and sister) to tell me their story – always interesting. As they dug into the various perspectives they each held about the history of the family and the business, and there are always a variety of perspectives, the patriarch described his father and grandfather, both long gone. “I was looking for mentors but Read more »

Next Gen Pushback

July 22, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

“Pushing back” is one of the ways members of the next generation assert their independence and differentiate themselves from parents and other, older family members, and even the family system as a whole. Pushing back can be subtle, such as frequent polite disagreement, or it can be glaring, such as disregarding specific, important requests from parents. A natural part of growing up, resisting the control and authority of parents and other senior family members and caretakers is common in one Read more »

Talking to Young Kids About Family Wealth

April 23, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

You can talk to kids about family wealth without talking about money.    You can talk about money without mentioning numbers.    These principles are the essence of the philosophy I use when coaching parents of young children in financially wealthy families. I use the term “financial wealth” to refer to wealth based on money. There are other aspects of wealth – health, community, family relationships, social support — and it is important to recognize all kinds of wealth in Read more »

Money Tales – Next Generation

January 22, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My son Jeremy recently did an interview for the Money Tale$ podcast with my friends and colleagues Sandi Bragar and Cammie Doder of Aspiriant . He had fun doing it and I could not be prouder. Here’s the backstory. Last July I was interviewed for the Money Tale$ podcast and had a great experience. At the end of my interview, they asked if I knew anyone who might be a good guest. I thought of my older son, Jeremy, and he went for it. Sandi and Cammie’s mission is to take the taboo out of talking about money, and Read more »

Christmas in August???

December 15, 2022Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Friends, Clients and Colleagues, The Christmas season (and season for holidays of many traditions like Kwanzaa, Diwali, my own Hanukah, and others) is upon us and I have made a donation in honor of all of you to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). I appreciate you as part of my life in some way. Rather than cards or pies or other gifts (which are all really cool and appreciated by me when I receive them) I decided to write to you here and Read more »

In-Laws

November 8, 2022Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

In-laws. They marry into our families, and we marry into theirs. Immigrants from one family to another. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, or know me personally, you likely know that my family’s commercial printing business was sold long ago. But when I was in college, I had to decide to enter the family enterprise or go my own way, and I went my own way for several reasons. Top among these: knowing the best chance I had Read more »