Review of: The Business of Family

The Business of Family – How to Stay Rich for Generations.

This book by Linda Davis Taylor was published in 2015. Linda Davis Taylor is a participant in a 4th generation business and has experience as an investment counselor and leader in educational institutions. She is also the parent of two grown daughters.

Summary

Ms. Taylor shows through corollary and example how running a successful business and running a family to maintain wealth across generations are similar.

She covers many of the same ideas and concepts as in James E. Hughes Jr.’s book: Family Wealth – Keeping It in the Family and in the Mark Haynes Daniell book: Strategy for the Wealthy Family – Seven Principles to Assure Riches to Riches Across Generations.

Specifically she covers:

  • Agreeing on and writing down family values,
  • Developing a family mission statement,
  • Having family meetings – with tips on how to get started as well as sample agendas,
  • Setting goals and celebrating milestones as a family,
  • Writing a family constitution including roles, responsibilities and decision making,
  • Financial literacy training for family members,
  • Talking about money between generations,
  • Mentoring family mentors,
  • Managing money and dealing with risks, and
  • Charity.

What I liked.

The author went from general business practice concepts to give examples of particular companies and then translated the actions taken by those (successful) companies into action items a family could use.

She also presented multiple interesting examples of families trying to do the things she covers to sustain their wealth through multiple generations.

What I wished for.

Although Ms. Taylor hinted at the difficulty families might have in executing what is covered, I wished for more depth in this area. Trying to change the way a family operates from having a one generation focus to having a multi generation focus is a challenging task. I know as I am trying to do that with my family.

I also wished for other examples of surveys to use to get started. She provided the one she uses and talked about it so exclusively that it kind of seemed like she was trying to sell her services. Less emphasis on her survey might have alleviated that feeling.

Favorite quotes.

P. 19

“The ultrarich have always known that managing a family is part of managing money. In today’s hyperconnected world, families cannot afford to think of their members and their money as mutually exclusive.”

P. 51

“Breaking new ground is hard. Even Steve Jobs couldn’t convince Apple of his new ideas in the early days. Industrial revolution requires time, money and dedication. It’s a massive commitment. Changing minds and opinions is equally difficult in a family, if not more so.”

P. 92

“As talented and motivated as they are, members of the next generation still need to be properly prepared for positions of influence they will soon hold. Financial acumen is at the top of the list of what they need.”

I would like to thank Courtney Allen from FSB Associates for supplying a free copy of the book for me to review after reaching out to me based on post: Why practice generational wealth building.

I also want to reassure my readers that getting the book free did nothing to influence my review.