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SUPPORTER’S REPORT


It seems most families delay talking about wealth and the majority are dishonest when it comes to talking about wealth. But why?


It seems most families delay talking about


wealth and the majority are dishonest when it comes to talking about wealth. But why? I conducted a series of multi-faceted


interviews with about 20 UHNW families in the Asia-Pacific region (wealth ranged from tens of millions to billions). I interviewed patriarchs, matriarchs, their children, those who ran family offices, executives in family businesses and their trusted advisors. The families ranged from first generation entrepreneurs, to families preserving businesses now in their fifth generation of family ownership, to passive portfolio wealth holders. The result? There is no doubt that


families have great difficulty in discussing family wealth.


Top five reasons it’s taboo Here are my top five reasons families don’t discuss wealth (in no particular order). z Families fear that their children will develop a sense of entitlement to the wealth and lose ambition in life. It’s what drives Warren Buffet’s philosophy that he wants to leave his children enough to do something with their lives, but not so much they choose to do nothing. z They fear their children will develop a sense of superiority that will harm


relationships with their peers. Do you really want your children being viewed as ‘spoilt little rich kids by their peers?’ z They fear their children will blow the family fortune. It’s the old proverb that wealth can’t survive the third generation. z They are trying to protect their children from the burden and responsibility that wealth brings. I think of the story of a lottery winner whose parents became kidnap and ransom victims. z Families avoid direct conversations to preserve family harmony. Yes, families will ignore the difficult conversations for the sake of peace!


 FAMILY OFFICE: THE FUTURE 81


INVESTMENT, WEALTH & SECURITY


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