Elephants: The unseen power
Elephants are endangered in their natural habitat but they are doing very well in living rooms all over the world. Not gray (or white) elephants but metaphorical creatures that take up space in a family’s life. “When elephants make unwanted appearances—at dinners,...  more
529 plans are great for grandma and grandpa too
The 529 plan, a “a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for higher education,” can be funded by any family member, making it an excellent opportunity for grandparents to help out with the expenses of college and graduate school. “A 529 Plan...  more
The ‘Hit By The Bus’ binder
It began with a dream—a nightmare, really. “Late one night, my wife receives a call that, while on my way home from working late, I have been in a terrible car accident,” advisor Brian Zdrowak writes. “She rushes to the hospital, anxious, hoping and praying, only to...  more
Transition will happen. Are you prepared?
Change is inevitable, as anyone who owns a business understands. Yet business owners resist the change that affects them most personally: the transition to a new owner. It is an understandable response, yet it can have detrimental effects on their companies, and by...  more
How the wealthy teach children about the value of money
"Volatility aside, the wealthy have generally fared well during any era of the nation’s history," Hemalee Govind says in this client memo from Anchin, Block & Anchin. "One reason that families fail in attaining multigenerational wealth is that they overlook wealth...  more
The Right Way to Manage Wealth
There are many ways to manage a family’s assets badly, but Ballentine Partners’ CEO Roy Ballentine believes there is a right way to manage wealth. It begins, he says with a plan. From the plan come goals that support a family’s values and beliefs. In this white...  more
Cultivating generosity: Inspiring the next generation of philanthropists (video link)
“We all want the next generation to be generous, but how does one truly cultivate a generous spirit from within?” investment advisor Ballentine Partners asks. “In October, we were joined by Danielle Oristian York, director at 21/64; Jamie Forbes, partner at Opus...  more
What do Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials have in common?
“Research tells us communication is the most essential ingredient for sustaining wealth across generations. But cross-generational communication can be particularly challenging, especially within families of wealth,” GenSpring Family Offices says in this report from...  more
The seven stages of sudden wealth
“The path to wealth is often a slow one, a journey that takes place one step at a time over the course of several decades,” Convergent Wealth Advisors President Douglas Wolford says. “But for some people, certain events—receiving an inheritance, selling a successful...  more
Choosing a 529 college savings plan
When it comes to saving for a child’s education, many parents choose a 529 College Savings Plan. But what 529 is right for you? Selecting the right plan can be stressful and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. This checklist, created by Summitas, is part of a...  more
Asian family offices as cornerstone LPs
Private equity has been popular with European and American family offices, and indications are that Asian families are making similar investments. One difference in their approach is that they are utilizing “funds managed by friends, family, or people in their...  more
A brief guide to employing staff
For all but the most fearless—or foolish—staffing a family office for the first time can be challenging. Withers Worldwide attorney Melissa Paz calls it “daunting,” in a guide that is intended to forestall some of the errors a novice can make. Among her suggestions...  more
Preserving your legacy: Educating the next generation
“Being a steward of your family’s wealth means preparing your heirs for the decision-making and the responsibilities that come with inheriting significant wealth,” Stephanie Zaffos and Ned Muskie say in this guide from Convergent Wealth Advisors. “Family discussions...  more
Building a legacy: An introduction to multigenerational wealth planning
It is a confusing fact of life that while money does not grow on trees, it requires care and tending just as if it did. This is especially true if you want your money to benefit future generations, as Stephanie Zaffos explains in this white paper from Convergent Wealth...  more
To sell or not to sell: Considerations of family business
Selling a family business is both a financial and a personal decision, and the financial considerations are looking better than they were five years ago. “Over the past few years, the U.S. economy has begun to see an increase in mergers and acquisitions,” GenSpring...  more
Five top tips when recruiting family office employees
Whether you are staffing a newly created family office or replacing existing employees, there are many details to keep in mind. In this checklist from international law firm Withers Worldwide, Melissa Paz summarizes the most important points for employers as they...  more
What Is a Family Office?
The simple definition of a family office, “an office whose staff’s sole function is to manage the financial, business, and personal affairs of a family or families,” barely even begins to describe what a family office does. It ranges from expense management to taxes...  more
Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves: Beating the Odds of Sustaining Family Wealth
That a family’s wealth is rarely maintained for more than three generations is an often-heard observation. Sometimes credited to a Chinese proverb, there are also British, Portuguese, and German versions. GenSpring Family Offices believes the proverb does not have to...  more
The Advisory Talent Crisis: How firms and advisors can maximize hiring potential
As more advisors reach retirement age it is important to properly position your firm in order to recruit new talent and find a successor. If you are a would-be successor, understanding how to maximize your hiring potential and benefit from the shortage of talented...  more
Taking Advisor Due Diligence to a New Level
“Over the past several years, especially after the 2008–09 global financial crisis, families have been choosing advisors with more care and, in many cases, taking the due diligence process to new levels when creating a team,” Family Office Exchange Senior Consultant...  more
Engaging the Next Generation: Philanthropy
“Through our work with ultra-high net worth families, we have learned one of the most common values parents want to pass on to their heirs is the importance of giving back,” the GenSpring Wealth Advisory Center says. “Many children of philanthropic families are raised...  more
Sharing and Archiving Documents in the Cloud
Cloud-based file storage is ubiquitous in business and consumer applications, but security is a real concern when handling sensitive documents. In this webinar, “Financial Navigator’s David Campbell and Rob Shearer use specific third-party tools to demonstrate the...  more
Social Media Risks: The Winding Road Ahead
Posted lately? Or linked, tweeted, pinned, or just generally shared? Most do, without realizing what may be involved. “Social media is an incredible gateway to a treasure trove of personal information, and it’s an insecure gateway,” Rick Control Strategies CEO Dr....  more
Global Investment Brief: 4 Steps to Determine Your Need for Multi-Currency Accounting
Even after the recent rout in emerging markets stocks, foreign equity markets still have some appeal to U.S. investors. Most invest through U.S.-listed securities, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. Some, though, go straight to the source, according to...  more
You cannot <em>not</em> communicate: The importance of family communication
In a family, a failure to communicate can be serious, even devastating, as everyone surely knows. Yet establishing open and direct communication with family members is much more easily said than done. Consider just some of the obstacles that can make even a simple...  more