Bringing Children into the Family Business

February 19, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

One of the main ways that a single entrepreneur takes the first step toward a “Family Enterprise” is by involving the next generation: children. Often, this process is informal; summers and weekends turn into a full-time job after college or right after high school if college is not in the cards. There is, however, such a thing as being too informal about this transition, and it can and does lead to trouble down the road. Here are some suggestions for Read more »

Family Business: Efficient Machine or Social Welfare State?

January 16, 2014Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Who would describe their family business as a social welfare state? Not many. Although I’ve been called by some families in tears, fearing this is exactly what they had created, it is certainly not the norm. However, upon a closer look many families may find they have traded business value for family involvement. While some families are sophisticated and have formal compensation policies for family members (in addition to other policies regarding how and if a family member earns the Read more »

Cupcakes, Family Wealth and the Power of Giving Back

December 10, 2013Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

Two years have passed since I have accompanied my synagogue’s social action group to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) in Trenton, NJ. I sent some donations since then but a highly prized personal value (and one that my wife and I have worked hard to instill in our children) is getting directly involved with causes that are important and meaningful to us (see also my November post ). I was falling short because I was “busy.”I was becoming the guy who Read more »

Instilling Values in Children

November 8, 2013Family Business Consulting, Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

One of my strongest interests (personally and professionally) is about how values are instilled in children. While virtually all parents desire to hand down their deeply held values, the process for doing so, and its success or failure, has particular importance in wealthy families.  Many of them want to develop motivated young adults with strong character in the face of assets that can potentially dampen or even eliminate the need for work and independence. I am honored to have been Read more »

If You Are Not Falling, You Are Not Trying

September 19, 2013Family Business Consulting

I have been coaching youth sports for many years and ice hockey is my favorite.  Currently I am working with eleven- and twelve-year-olds. During practice while teaching the players skating techniques, they inevitably make it a point to avoid falling. They try so hard to stay upright. This might seem logical and even desirable considering you can’t play hockey well if you’re always falling during a game. This logic misses the point. The only way to truly improve is to Read more »

Family Wealth and Legacy: Values are Valued

July 1, 2013Family Wealth Consulting, Wealth Psychology Consulting

I recently heard an interview with John Densmore (drummer for the famous rock band The Doors). He described the intense conflict he got into with former bandmates Ray Manzerek and Robby Krieger over, primarily – money. No big surprise there. Densmore explained that he was sued by the former band members for harming them financially. He proudly gave the example that he would not agree to accept millions from Cadillac for the rights to a Doors song for a commercial. Read more »

Friends and Colleagues:

June 12, 2013Family Wealth Consulting

I am happy to be back at my firm, Blum & Savlov LLP – Family Business Consulting, after over a year at the firm Relative Solutions. Please note my contact information at bottom and add my cell to reach me directly at 732-266-7572. My time at Relative Solutions was well-spent yet I am an entrepreneur at heart and being back at the firm I founded in 1998 is the best place for me in terms of serving multigenerational enterprising families Read more »

Economic Extremes

March 12, 2012Family Wealth Consulting

I love working with families to help them realize their full potential. Early in my career I worked with very poor families – many of which were homeless – at a university-based community mental health center. Currently, I work with families of ultra-high net worth in my consulting practice. Odd as it may sound, there are similarities between the two. Families from both of these groups have a similar 800-pound gorilla in their midst: economic circumstance. The state of being Read more »

One Step at a Time…

February 12, 2012Family Wealth Consulting

“Governance” can be a daunting term for enterprising families. It tends to conjure up images of a large group of grey-haired “suits” sitting around a long table, staring at an executive, expecting some fancy graphs with lines shooting up and to the right. The fact is that governance is simply a process for having discussions about how things are done (which are often difficult when family is involved) and then making decisions everyone can stick to. Research shows clearly that Read more »

Strike While the Iron is Cold

January 12, 2012Family Wealth Consulting

Recently I was contacted by three cousins. They were successful being in business together, said they got along really well and wanted to know if I could help them. You might be thinking, “With what? This sounds great – an enterprising family with no major family conflict.” The cousins wanted to avoid the pitfalls that tore their fathers (two brothers) apart. The fathers’ business was ruined and they barely speak to each other now. Fortunately, the cousins managed to stay Read more »