At the Alchemia Group we are helping our clients think & act differently in regards to their wealth and its impact on thier family - because we know it is more than just numbers and plans, it's the Balance of Art & Science with Pragmatism and Vision.
Decision making is not something that can be learned in a classroom. While there are no shortage on theories and methods for decision making, the real skill is only learned through practice. Developing the capability in the rising generations to make decisions is a critical element in a successful Family Wealth Transition Plan. For our June experience, think about your own family and decision making practices as you read this story.
A colleague told me how her father helped her learn about responsibility and decision making. Her family lived in New York City and as a child her father would take her on day trips exploring the city. On one such trip, when she was eleven years old and after a full day of exploring, her father turned to her and said it was time to go home. She agreed but then her father said she had to get them home. She looked at him and asked how. He replied that it was her job and he would be there to support her but not help her figure it out. She said she hadn’t been paying attention so only knew they were on Staten Island. He asked her how they got there and she replied on a boat. What boat he asked. The Staten Island Ferry she explained excitedly. And so they made their way home with her making all the decisions.
She told me she realized that her father had stopped treating her as a child and instead, as a child who would eventually be an adult. He did it all in a very age appropriate way. He gave her skills that she benefited from the rest of her life.
Take a minute and think about opportunities you may have with your own children or grandchildren to help learn and practice decision making. It may be as simple as asking them what do they think about a decision you have to make. It will make a difference for them.
Planning Pointer: How is skill development for the rising generations supported in your Family Wealth Plan & Strategy, both currently and in your Legacy documents? If you are curious about how skills can be brought to life in trusts etc. take a look at the Financial Skills Language you can find here:Sample Financial Skills Guidelines. There is an even more in-depth article here:Gallo Gallo and Grubman Article for Heckerling v11-17-2010.