Help Others & Build Character

April 14, 2022Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Helping other people is powerful. One of the main concerns of families I work with is how the financial success of the family will affect the rising generation. They are particularly concerned about the potential negative effects. I’ve worked with families for many years; family has been my area of focus in many realms. I’ve worked in different roles with some of the wealthiest and poorest families in America. I’ve consistently witnessed when families (regardless of their level of wealth) Read more »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Rock ‘N Roll & Family Business (Neil Peart)

January 19, 2020Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

If you’ve read any of these posts over the years, you know I like to connect rock music and family business one way or another. Earlier this month elite rock drummer Neil Peart, of Rush fame, died. I’ve been a Rush fan since 1980 and have been mesmerized by the speed and complexity of Peart’s drumming and the deep, meaningful lyrics for which he was mainly responsible. Often known as “nerd rock” or “cerebral rock,” Rush quoted Shakespeare and Ayn 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 »