Happy Holidays – Make an Impact!

December 25, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Friends and Colleagues – Happy Holidays and Wishing You a Great New Year!!! A donation has been made to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (T.A.S.K.) in lieu of cards or gifts to our friends and colleagues. I’m coming up on my 10th year of volunteering at T.A.S.K. and it continues to be inspiring and energizing. The Patrons struggle to get by in a city bereft of opportunity and overwhelmed by violence, drugs, and desperation. Consistently, I am impressed by the strong ties that bind Read more »

Money Ain’t Everything

November 26, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Research shows higher childhood socioeconomic status (SES) tends to be associated with positive physical health later in life. There is even some research that many believe demonstrates that high SES (i.e., significant wealth and high social class) can take the place of warm parent-child bonds.  If correct, this means that even without close, healthy parent-child relationships, a high SES will lead to positive health later in life. However, research done last year by Matthew A. Andersson at Baylor University , shows that poor-quality parent-child relationships during childhood can negate the positive Read more »

Start Younger Than You Think

October 20, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Many years ago (and unfortunately still to some degree today) heirs had to wait for someone to die before finding out what they would inherit, with whom they would own a business or other assets, and what role they would be expected to play.  This often happened with little teaching and development to lay a healthy foundation for this intense experience and how to manage the technical, emotional and relational effects. Also, often lacking are conversations with the inheritor(s) to Read more »

Children, Wealth, & Peers

September 25, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

My colleague Barbara Spector, Editor-In-Chief at Family Business Magazine , recently interviewed me about children from financially successful families and situations they face with their peers around the family business and, in particular, money. Click here to read the article, “Help Your Kids Parry Classmates’ Comments About Wealth.” I’ve been interested for some time in wealth and identity and how “wealthism” –  bias against the wealthy – can be internalized by family members in a family wealth context giving them a sense of embarrassment and shame. Many wealthy people choose to be highly secretive about their wealth Read more »

NY City Family Enterprise Center (NYCFEC)

August 22, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I’m excited to share a new family business educational program in the greater New York City area: New York City Family Enterprise Center ( NYCFEC ). This fall, NYCFEC will open its doors with the 2017 Family Business Day on Friday, September 15th. This will be followed by five, half-day, in-depth NYCFEC Elective courses and I’ll be starting off at the “very beginning” by presenting: Raising Family Business Children (0-14 years of age) . I’m a firm believer that it is never too early to develop your family with intention. If you are part of a family enterprise in Read more »

Wealthism

July 28, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Last week I was in Colorado presenting at the Annual Rendezvous of the Purposeful Planning Institute . This is a great organization where a wide variety of professionals meet to develop and share best practices for enlightened planning around the broadest definition of wealth (way more than money). My colleague and friend Kristen Heaney and I developed a breakout session about wealthism. Joanie Bronfman originally coined the term “wealthism” in her 1987 doctoral dissertation at Brandeis University; Merriam-Webster defines an “ism” as, “an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or Read more »

A Candy Heir, the NHL and Next-Gen Passion

June 8, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Two common scenarios I see frequently in my work with successful, enterprising families are members of the rising generation strong-armed into the family business when they are not all that interested, and by contrast, those allowed into the business when they do not contribute or allowed in at higher levels than where they can contribute productively. What’s often missed is early conversation within the family about the interests and passions of the rising generation, well before any decision is being Read more »

Metallica and Family Business

April 26, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

This coming weekend I’ll be attending the annual meeting of Psychodynamics of Family Business (PDFB) in Chicago. I’m very much looking forward to it and being with some great colleagues.  We come up with interesting and creative ways to put our minds together to improve how we help business families be successful with business and family alike. Most of the attendees have some kind of clinical background (e.g., clinical social work, psychology, family therapy) although a few come from law or other disciplines and have Read more »

Trusts Take Over the World

March 28, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

OK, “take over the world” may be a bit much. However, trusts are a very popular vehicle used more and more in estate planning for business families and legacy wealth families. And the downsides are often not discussed. On the benefits side of the equation when transferring assets through trusts are reducing estate and gift tax liabilities, creditor/lawsuit protection (future divorce is often cited), and determining when heirs get their inheritance, how much they get and for what purposes it Read more »

The Power of Failure (Patti Smith and Adele)

February 28, 2017Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

If you’ve been reading my blog over time, you’ll know that I like to relate my posts to famous musicians. Keep reading to see how Patti Smith and Adele fit into this month’s post. I work with families that want their wealth to serve current and future generations in healthy and productive ways. Some family clients have active operating businesses and others have legacy wealth and in both cases the assets are often complex. Regardless of the form the wealth Read more »