Wealth of Wisdom Podcast
The Wealth of Wisdom podcast is meant to be an audio companion to the Wealth of Wisdom book. Each episode involves Tom or Keith interviewing one of the over 50 top global thinkers on family wealth that have contributed essays to the book. The interviews are intended to be conversations where the contributors will get a chance to talk about themselves, their work, and the ideas in their specific chapter in the book. We think there is real value in these interviews and we hope that everyone enjoys them.
Jay can rightly be said to be the founder of the field of family wealth. In this discussion he reflects on the journey that brought him to this work, his current role as an elder, and the paramount importance of elders for families who wish to succeed over generations. Jay also discusses the true meaning of the proverb “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” (hint: it’s not just about money) and specific practices that families can and must adopt to face a future of radical changes.
There are few assets that generate as much emotional heat as a family vacation home or estate. Jamie Forbes knows the power of family vacation property through his growing up part of the Forbes family, with their shared estate of Naushon Island off Cape Cod, which has been in the family for over 150 years. In this podcast Jamie shares specific practices that his family and others use to strengthen family communication and decision-making. He also talks about what it is like to grow up as a member of a prominent family, both the positive and negative aspects of the experience.
This is a question that practically every parent asks, whether or not they have money. But wealth can deprive children of the natural education in financial literacy. Coventry Edwards-Pitt has written an entire book about how successful heirs develop healthy money skills. In this podcast she shares concrete practices that parents can adopt, whether you are parenting young children or adults.
Conflict is a normal part of family life. But it can be difficult to talk about and to manage, especially when significant wealth or a family business is involved. Blair Trippe is a counselor who has years of experience working with families in conflict. In this podcast Blair defines the different types of conflict, shares strategies for dealing with different forms of conflict, and talks about measuring the “family factor” needed to help families weather the usual slings and arrows that fortune sends their way.
Family unity sounds like a good thing, but in this podcast a senior advisor to families, Andrew Hier, argues that unity is in fact vital to the long term success of a family or its enterprise. In his conversation with Tom McCullough, Andrew talks about the corrosive effects of disunity (including disputes, divisions, mistrust, political maneuvering, entropy) that can fester and ultimately crush a family and its enterprise. Thankfully, Andrew also provides practical ideas on how to build and strengthen family unity.
EPISODE 9: Patricia Annino – How Can You Prepare for Longevity and Mental Incapacity Among Family Members?
With an increasingly aging population, families need to turn their attention (sooner rather than later) to the issues of mental competence. This may refer to the traditional problem of older family members living longer with diminished competence, but also to those who live longer in good shape with sustained competence (-think Queen Elizabeth). Both of these scenarios have significant consequences for families. Tom McCullough talks to lawyer and family advisor Patricia Annino about this critical topic and how families can anticipate and prepare for it.
Life is complicated, and it gets more so as wealth increases. While advisors are almost always necessary, it can be hard to find good one, with the the skills, experience, empathy and integrity you want. And, once found, it can be often difficult to manage them in a effective way that stays focused on the needs of the family. In this podcast, Tom McCullough has a fascinating conversation with Philip Marcovici, a retired lawyer and consultant to global families, about the challenge of finding and keeping effective advisors you can trust.
In this episode, Tom talks to contributing author Alex Scott, a business leader and a member of a multi-generational family of wealth from the UK. Alex answers the question ‘Can a Family Stay Together After the Operating Business Is Sold?’ with an enthusiastic ‘yes’. But of course that result does not come about without considerable intentionality and effort, so Alex describes some of the practices that worked well for his family and how other families might apply them. Note that this episode has a lot of relevance for families that don’t have operating businesses as well as those that do.
In this special episode of the podcast, Keith Whitaker (Tom’s co-author on Wealth of Wisdom) is interviewed by Scott Dickenson. Scott and Keith discuss Keith’s career, his past books, and his experience working with Tom while writing Wealth of Wisdom. Be sure to listen to the end, where Keith speaks about a few of his favourite essays in the new book, and what he hopes that families get from it.
EPISODE 5: James Grubman – How Do You Balance Family Stability with Resilience Over the Generations?
In this episode, Tom interviews contributing author Dr. James Grubman on his chapter in the book titled, ‘How Do You Balance Family Stability with Resilience Over the Generations?’. Jim is a psychologist and consultant to multi-generational families about the issues that arise around wealth. He shares from his own experience with families and talks about how they can successfully adapt to changing conditions over time, yet not lose the benefit of the values and skills from the past that got them to where they are today.
In this episode, Tom interviews contributor Barnaby Marsh on his chapter in the book titled, ‘How Can You Wisely Develop a Long-Term Strategy For Your Philanthropy?’. Barnaby is co-founder of the philanthropic services agency, Saint Partners. In this podcast, he reflects on the massive (and probably inevitable) societal changes we are going through, and how you can wisely develop a long-term strategy for your philanthropy in that context.
In this episode, Tom interviews contributor Heidi Druckemiller on her chapter in the book titled, ‘Does Family History Matter?’. Heidi is a senior consultant at The Winthrop Group and suggests that the story of your past can help you to discover your family’s unique values, shape its moral purpose, and direct its strategic decision-making. It will also, inevitably, give your life meaning in ways that you can’t yet imagine.
In this episode, Tom interviews contributor Scott Hayman on his chapter in the book titled, ‘Is It Worth Having a Financial Plan’. Scott is the President of Northwood Family Office and has been Tom’s business partner for the last 15 years. Scott discusses his thoughts on the benefits of having a financial plan and expands on some of the ideas he brings up in his chapter.
In the first episode of the podcast, Tom McCullough is interviewed by his colleague Scott Dickenson on the new book, where the idea for it came from, and how his co-author Keith Whitaker got involved. A great overview of what the book is about, who it is for, and what Tom hopes readers get from it.