With some exceptions, old-money families that just sit on investments – those without active family businesses – lose the ability to create new wealth. Multigenerational wealth that endures over the long term must be constantly replenished by active businesses. We could call that “Bonner’s Third Law of Family Wealth.”
Multigenerational wealth is an abstract idea. And it’s an unusual one. It can take a while for that idea to sink in. There’s no better way to convey an idea than through a good story. In order to get your family on board with your plans for multigenerational wealth, you need a family narrative – stories, myths, and legends that support that idea.
The big advantage families have over individuals when it comes to building and maintaining wealth is that they can act as a unified force. A unified family can execute a plan, grow a business, and allow wealth to compound over multiple generations. It has the advantage of an ultra-long time horizon. Using its built-in human capital, it can build businesses and wealth beyond what any individual could do alone.
We recently held our third annual Family Wealth Forum in Rancho Santana, Nicaragua. The Family Wealth Forum is a chance for Bonner & Partners Family Office members from around the world to come together and discuss the challenges of successfully growing and protecting their wealth, while ensuring that their families are successful.
“Daddy, will you buy it for me?” In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I heard this question almost incessantly from my four-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. And now, even with the holiday over, it continues.
Message from Bill regarding the Chairman’s Letter: It is with regret that I inform you that I will no longer be contributing a monthly Chairman’s Letter to the Strategic Review. The reasons for my decision are twofold. First, as you can imagine, I can only write so much each month. Frankly, I’m running out of bandwidth. So I’ve decided to focus exclusively on one main area – the family business.