Wealthy families


17Dec 2008

Leading the Family During the Holidays*

This is the time of year when families gather together – college students are on break, young adults return home to visit, and the extended family celebrates Christmas and New Year’s together.* So it is also the time when parents who have been successful in business turn their focus to their family. This is both a good thing and it

30Nov 2008

Family Wealth — The Difficulties of Differing Financial Backgrounds

I have had a number of situations recently where I have been involved in family situations where two members of a couple have come from significantly different levels of financial resources. The following are more in the category of “in process” observations — thoughts and reflections that I have that are still developing and not fully complete yet. Coming from

16Nov 2008

Family Philanthropy — Some Lessons Learned through Observation

Over the past several weeks I have been involved with a number of families, helping them with their philanthropic giving process.  What has been interesting is the fact that almost all of the families are at some different stage in their developmental stage of philanthropy.  Some are really just beginning, others have been “doing” philanthropy for a while but are

13Oct 2008

A Different Kind of Birthday Gift — Time & Fun

Most “gifts” in our culture are tangible presents — either something we buy, or sometimes make, for another.  So when we think of Christmas gifts, or presents for other events like birthdays and anniversaries, we think of “things”.  However, given that most people are hard to buy presents for because they “already have everything”, truly meaningful gifts are often taking

20Jul 2008

The Encouragement of Thanks

Recently, my wife and I have had a couple of experiences together on which we both commented to one another. One experience was actually two separate events that were similar and which occurred close together. As a family, we enjoy music and frequently go to music events of various kinds — concerts by professionals, school concerts, musical theatre productions, and

14Jul 2008

How to Create Problems in Your Life: Avoid Conflict

I have observed a common pattern across many areas that I work (and live) — people avoiding dealing with tense or conflictual situations in their relationships with others. And almost always, not dealing with the situation creates additional problems or makes the conflict larger and more intense (often involving more people than were originally involved). And it happens in lots of

08Jun 2008

The Foundation of Healthy Family Relationships: Consistent Time and Communication

Much of life is not magic or spectacular. As one of my friends says, “Life is daily.” And when we look at the goals so many of us have — to be healthy physically— in shape and not overweight; to be moving toward financial independence; to have healthy family relationships — in our marriage, with our children, and among our

21Jan 2008

The Price of Privilege

This week I have been gone five days for a series of business meetings. I am writing this as I travel home to be with my family. I have been reading, and have decided to review, a book entitled, The Price of Privilege by Madeline Levine. Dr. Levine is a psychologist who practices in the affluent area of Marin County,

21Oct 2007

The Dark Side of Wealth: Risks associated with growing up in an affluent family – Risk #3: Low self-esteem

The third theme I have observed in financially successful families is that many of their children and grandchildren struggle with poor self-esteem and low self-confidence.  Now let’s get this straight from the beginning — although I am a psychologist, I do not believe that feeling good about oneself is the goal of life (nor of parenting or education).  Self-esteem (that is,

13Oct 2007

The Dark Side of Wealth: Risks associated with growing up in an affluent family — Risk #2: No sense of direction or purpose in life

Following up last week’s entry on the risk of drug and alcohol abuse in wealthy families, the second risk from growing up in an affluent family I see among second- and third-generation family members is an overall sense of being “lost” in life. I frequently “interact with” individuals who have been raised in a wealthy environment, and they really don’t

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