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 »

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 »

Warren Buffett and Raising Kids

June 17, 2023Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My friend and colleague, Marvin Blum, is an estate planning attorney in Texas. He is a really good guy and has a wonderful and creative blog – The Family Legacy Planning Series . Marvin’s May 9th, 2023, post inspired the idea for this one. Warren Buffett is famous for saying “I want to leave my children enough so that they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing.” You may have heard this quote. At a Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Marvin had the “ chutzpah 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 »

LeBron, Wealth and Friendship

February 20, 2022Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

In the movie Trainwreck, Lebron James (playing himself) and Bill Hader (playing Dr. Aaron Conners) are in a scene having lunch together. When the check comes, Lebron suggests they split the check according to what they each ate. Aaron is shocked that LeBron James, a rich and wealthy basketballer, will not simply pick it up. LeBron’s response, “It is better for our friendship…Equals forever.” Watch the scene for yourself (only 50 seconds). While the movie is an Amy Schumer-written comedy, it hits on a serious point for wealth 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 and dynamically 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 »