If your family is like mine, the holidays represent the only time of the year when everyone in the family gets together in person. Our family governance strategic partner Joey McLiney calls it the “Family Office Season.” He says, “November begins this season where, more times than not, I’ll hijack a family get-together and force a family office meeting on everyone.”
The multigenerational families who succeed over long periods of time typically do so because the core of the family wealth is relatively illiquid. They have a family business, real estate, or investments that keep the family money tied up. Each generation works in the business, manages the assets, and then passes those assets on to the next generation intact.
Family offices must constantly prepare for a crisis. Making your family and your wealth resilient to shocks is a major part of the family office strategy. Family offices must withstand the tests of time. And we know if history is our guide, the tests of time will include all kinds of crises.
Like so many other things, family offices look at education differently than other people do. The general public sees education as some great cure-all. You can never have enough, they say. But that’s not true. Too much formal education can sometimes be a bad thing. And there are often secret motivations hidden behind the guise of “education.”
Last month, we looked at why family offices have to stay dynamic in order to compete in the business world. That is an often misunderstood aspect of family wealth. Many of the clichés associated with “old money” are true. But multigenerational families are known for sticking to traditions.
Successful ultra-rich multigenerational families put extra effort into making sure that their children are productive and living meaningful lives. If your children are engaged in productive pursuits, they will be less likely to be in conflict with family members, make big mistakes, or get into trouble. They will also be less likely to overspend. At the same time, they will be more likely to achieve their personal goals, and help the family enterprise continue to succeed.