Focusing on the Value of Things Is Not Enough

I’d like to bring your attention to a recent article in Campden FB because it confirms what I think is a fundamental cornerstone to successful, long lasting legacy families. By successful families, I mean the ability of these long lasting legacy families to stay connected from generation to generation.


The law firm Withers Bergmann along with research partner Scorpio Partnership conducted interviews with families of net worth from thirty million to well into the billions of dollars. These two firms wanted to ascertain the meaning of wealth from these families’ points of view. Was creation of more wealth a focus? Was the preservation of the wealth their aim? What was the meaning of wealth for them?


Interestingly enough, their interviews found that for families within this range of wealth, money is the family’s business, the family’s reason to get together. “Its’ management, its stewardship and its division” is fundamental, the researchers found. But this only brings the family together for their own agendas and desires, which, naturally enough can create great tension. Some family members may want growth, others dividends, still others distributions; a messy picture when not properly framed and addressed.


The interviews also discovered an emerging trend for these families. Legacy families are seeing that focusing on the money, its preservations and growth are not enough. They were versed at the investments they had but not its overall purpose. These families are thinking about the purpose of their wealth.


This is so exciting to me as I have seen the difference in families when the focus is on the money itself, and omitting the family members in determining and moving forward the purpose of the money…together.


We focus on the value of things and often miss thinking about the things of value, the purpose of the family money. This needs to involve the people who are impacted by the wealth, the family.


What does your family focus on? How do they do that as a unified community? Share your thoughts I’d love to hear from you.

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