Why Practice Generational Wealth Building?

When anyone talks about generational wealth, most people mean wealth that lasts for generations. Wealth made in one generations and kept in the family over time, like the Rockefellers or the Johnsons.

But, there can be, actually is, another meaning – the one I choose to use. To me generational wealth means building wealth over generations. Family Money Values is all about building wealth over time – generations in fact.

Why bother to build wealth over generations?

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Roosevelt’s Wealth Building

Ken Burns has done it again. He has created yet another fascinating documentary – this time one about Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt as well as Eleanor. We’ve been watching the 9 part series on PBS all week. These two men had a great influence on the direction the government of the United States has taken (whether you like that direction or not).

The documentary acknowledges that both men and Eleanor were endowed with inherited wealth. Having that wealth allowed them to gain access to education, people and experiences that helped them become the men and woman they were. Without it, America may well have been a different place. Continue reading

Keeping Wealth in the Family

Our nation has a mixed view on the morality of keeping wealth in the family. Most of us want our children and grandchildren to have a better life than we do, yet many Americans turn up their noses at the uber rich trust fund babies – people with third generation (or more) wealth.

Some believe that to keep America being the ‘land of opportunity’, it is necessary to strip the wealthy of money and make it available to those less fortunate. Some even want big government to enforce that view – with programs to address things like ‘income inequality’.

Very few of us want to see a caste system develop here, where your birth family determines your station in life. No matter the reality, we want to believe that each new baby has a chance to become a Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or a US president.

Maybe it is a good thing, then, that most wealth is dispersed before the end of the 3rd generation of the creator. Riches to rags in three generations or shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations – there are a number of popular expressions that attest to the commonality of the condition.

What if, though, a family could continually grow and thrive, with wealth creators in each generation. Doesn’t building a base of financial and personal assets in each family generation make sense in support of providing increasing opportunities, not only to family members, but to the ever widening circle of associates, partners, shareholders and employees around them?

Personally, I love rags to riches stories – and they abound in our literature. But what of those families, like mine, that work hard, save well and build wealth over time? One generation continually provides a step up for the next. The story isn’t one of a single shooting star, but of multiple family members earning and growing resources which they share with the next generation. How do they do it? What is the secret to their legacy of wealth building across generations? Continue reading

The Myth of the Trust Fund Baby

Silver baby spoonThe recession through which the world recently suffered has raised many questions on whether the rich deserve to be richer by far than the rest of the population.

A new study (from oxfam.org) , reported on by CNBC today says that the richest 85 people in the world have more than the bottom 3.5 billion of the rest.

Barrack Obama is making income inequality a 2014 campaign issue.

Some even think that the disparity will cause social instability – as noted in the Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014 – reported by OxFam:

“Outlook on the Global Agenda 2014’, in which it ranked widening income disparities as the second greatest worldwide risk in the coming 12 to 18 months. Based on those surveyed, inequality is ‘impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.”

Historically, the American credo has been anyone can succeed. Rags to riches stories are legendary and much loved in the USA. Now we are lamenting the end of the middle class and the rise of ‘the one percent’.

Why then, do I propose to help families ‘keep their wealth and well being for generations’? Am I subversive in trying to shed light on why and how families can pass wealth from generation to generation? Am I helping to create dynasty families with trust fund baby’s generation after generation? Continue reading