Sunday, February 24, 2008

Financial Times: "Heir conditioning"

We are prepared for other life events. Why not prepare heirs for what they will face ... with a kind of inheritance "boot camp"? The Financial Times wrote:
The past decade has seen an enormous amount of wealth created in the UK and globally. But many of the newly rich have little idea how to prepare their families to receive it. Filling that knowledge gap has long been big business in the US, where financial “boot camps” are an accepted part of the wealth management process. It’s a boom industry – beyond the big banks, there are hordes of independent advisers offering private courses, seminars and counselling.

But the idea has been slower to take off in Britain, for predictable reasons. Wealthy Americans are willing to let outside professionals into the private realms of the family, according to Zoe Couper, who has helped to organise courses on both sides of the Atlantic, but “UK clients can be a little slower to open up emotionally”.
Most courses cover common themes: the practicalities of investment, how to choose asset classes, understand risk, select the right portfolio managers and decipher financial reports. They look at how young family members can use their money to engage with charity. And they talk through some of the psychological and emotive issues surrounding wealth.

“Coming into money can be very difficult to deal with,’’ says Fenn Smith. “Children need to understand the value and the power of wealth and what they can achieve with it. Without education, the tale of rags-to riches-to-rags-again is a real threat.”
Read the entire article here.

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