Phoenix of Fatherhood

January 9, 2022Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Last month’s blog, Wet Leaves and Humility , left me in a humiliated but (slightly) wiser position as a father and consultant to business and legacy wealth families. Please read it over if you have not (only takes a couple of minutes to read) – it sets the stage for this blog. In a nutshell, my last blog tells the story of how I thought I was doing something well and my son pointed out that he had a much better way to do Read more »

Wet Leaves and Humility

December 5, 2021Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Stories of fatherhood can be embarrassing. They are often instructive. For me, this tale has been both. I’m a parent to sons ages 23 (Jeremy) and 20 (Matthew). The older and wiser they get, the less intelligent I seem to be. I’m getting used to it. We have a pool in our backyard and we closed it for winter in late September. It has a huge tarp over it. In NJ this time of year, there are lots of leaves. Read more »

NHL Hockey and Family Business Leadership

October 26, 2021Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

If you know me or have followed this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know I like to make parallels between family business and pro hockey and rock bands. Both have similarities to families and, I’d make the case, ARE families when at their best. Is blood connection necessary to be a family?     FAMILY BEYOND BLOOD For most of history, family was primarily defined by blood connections. In more recent times, family has taken on a broader Read more »

Toddlers and Wealth Stewardship

September 20, 2021Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I’ve seen quite a bit in my work with families who share complex assets across generations (businesses, real estate, investments, trusts, foundations…) And I continue to find support, from families and professionals who serve them, for my ideas and creative strategies for developing stewards at the youngest of ages – before they are born and during the first few years of life. Before birth? Yes. Couples can clarify the meaning of wealth and how they hope it will serve future Read more »

Inheritor’s Wisdom

June 24, 2021Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I was recently speaking to a client who received a significant amount of money from his parents upon graduation from college. He lived simply during college, starting in your average dorm and moving on to sharing an old house (without air conditioning or other upgrades) in a worn-down, high crime neighborhood with a bunch of friends. He also worked very hard earning degrees in a fine art and finance. He always struck me as humble and kind, frequently looking at Read more »

Resistance

May 27, 2021Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Sigmund Freud was known for a lot of things. What most non-psychoanalysts are unaware of is his foundational idea of the importance of RESISTANCE – in psychotherapy and in life. Freud believed that as much as people seemed to be clear about what they wanted in life, they also often resisted getting it – usually in ways they were unaware of. Without getting lost in a rabbit hole of psychoanalytic theory, here is his basic premise: people are openly aware Read more »

Next Gen Development

February 23, 2021Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

When does a family business become a family business? Answers vary but usually include something to the effect of two or more family members owning a majority and having significant strategic influence over the business. One of the most common seeds of a family business (FB) is sown when the founder of a business decides to include other family members in ownership and leadership, whether now or in the future. While the founder can engage cousins, a spouse or other Read more »

Teens Role in Family Spending Decisions?

January 13, 2021Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I was captivated by a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Should Parents Involve Their Teenagers in Big Spending Decisions?” The article featured two financial advisors with opposing views on this question. I thought I’d weigh in. Lazetta Rainey Braxton, co-CEO at 2050 Wealth Partners in New York, basically says that “if done right, it can be empowering and educational,” while Michelle Perry Higgins, a financial planner and principal at California Financial Advisors in San Ramon, Calif., says teenagers shouldn’t have a say in these decisions. Ms. Rainey Braxton is basically taking the tack Read more »

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 »