In 2007, Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy launched an ambitious four-year study, titled “The Joys and Dilemmas of Wealth.” Funded in part by the Gates Foundation, the study set out to explore the innermost hopes and struggles of the ultra wealthy, those with fortunes in excess of $25 million, and how prosperity has shaped their lives. What the study designers learned is changing how wealth advisors today serve their clients’ changing needs—whether they have $1 million, $10 million, or $100 million in assets.
It’s Never All About The Money
The study consisted of several open-ended questions, encouraging participants to freely talk about how their money helps, or gets in the way, of their deepest aspirations for themselves and their children. What the study designers learned from participants with children is that they tended to worry less about making more money and impacting the world through philanthropy, than “to be a good parent.”
One parent wrote, “My ultimate goal for my children is that they grow up to be self-confident, engaged citizens leading meaningful lives.” Another wrote, “I would hope our children would live in ways that make the world a better place, that they would be concerned with others and the larger world and live in ways beyond their own personal concerns.”
At the Institute for Preparing Heirs, our experience tells us that today’s affluent families are looking for guidance on how to enhance the positive affect of wealth on their children. Affluent clients want a Trusted Family Advisor who brings a broader definition of wealth, beyond money, to the advisor/client relationship and is able to address the non-financial topics critical to a successful transfer of wealth from parents to children, grandchildren and others they hold dear.
Institute for Preparing Heirs defines these enlightened advisors as Trusted Family Advisors—one who looks beyond the money to develop many different relationships with the entire family, and addresses the family’s need to be prepared for the successful transition of wealth. For families, successful wealth transition is when the heirs receive and manage assets in a manner that fosters their development and lifetime goals. On the other hand, for wealth advisors, successful wealth transition occurs when advisors build a relationship with the entire client family and retain the beneficiaries as clients.
Learn to Build Lasting Relationships with Generational Families