Wealthy family money conversations
I was watching an episode of Comedians in Cars Drinking Coffee where Jerry Seinfeld, the host, was talking to funny man Kevin Hart. They were talking about how they’d both worked very hard, had some luck and are now wealthy and wondering how that could impact their kids. Kevin explained that he’d grown up in a tough neighbourhood in Philadelphia and those experiences shaped him and ultimately helped fuel his success. His kids will never know those sorts of challenges and he worries about how his kids will grow up.
It was a familiar conversation to me, although with a lot more humour than I’m used to.
Our wealthy clients often talk about the challenges and concerns they face about how their children are growing up with wealth, which might be different to their upbringing, and how they go about passing on that wealth. They are often concerned about the risk that their children may end up being spoilt, overly concerned about material things, and generally naïve about the value of money. Some have difficulty discussing wealth and money with their children.
As financial advisers we are in a unique position to help our clients in such situations by showing them how to have conversations about money with their families. It’s a part of the job that I enjoy. I sometimes like to throw in a thought from Warren Buffett that often goes down well with the parents but sometimes not so well with the kids. Buffett said “A very rich person should leave their kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing”.
These can be tough conversations but well worth having.