I was listening to a podcast today – Motley Fool Money – and they were interviewing author, Christian Davenport about his new book, Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos. The author was saying that Messrs Musk and Bezos and Branson are pursuing goals that won’t fully realize for one hundred years or so, if they’re
at all. Being billionaires, they have the luxury of doing that sort of thing. Most of us aren’t there yet. You are probably further along than you think though. We’re definitely beyond survival mode. We’ve got food and shelter covered. Some of us are able to look out as far as paying for the grandchildren’s college. It’s just a mental shift to start thinking out a bit further; to where you might be able to create some income for future generations.
If you are from humble beginnings and have achieved some reasonable financial means, you have a fear of inherited money. “The road to indolence is paved with inherited money.” Well, it’s not. If you’ve raised slothful, indolent children and set that example, then they’ll be more of the same with money. If you’ve managed to raise generous, ambitious, thoughtful children, and you’ve set that example, imagine what they will be able to do with greater resources.
Imagine what your heirs might be able to accomplish with a little trust fund income. Not money to live on, but enough that they are not troubled with mundane financial concerns – student loans, car notes, insurances, et al. Just a little financial relief might make it possible for your great grandchildren to do wonderful things in philanthropy and changing the world. Mother Katherine Drexel founded and funded a bunch of schools for Native and African Americans, gave a ton of money to her beloved Catholic Church and left a sizeable endowment to the university that her Uncle Anthony founded, and she was made a Saint, all because her rich uncle left her a little money so that she didn’t have to work overtime at a bank or insurance company to make her ends meet. How many Saints are there in your future bloodline?
When you next meet with your financial advisor, dream a little bigger. She/He can help you get there, or at least a couple of big steps closer to there. All that’s keeping you from it is the belief that you can’t and/or shouldn’t be the founder of a familial wealth dynasty. But really, why shouldn’t you?
William S Jiggetts