The Family Wealth Sustainability Toolkit, by Fredda Herz Brown, PhD and Fran Lottery PhD.
I have seldom gained as much, sentence by sentence, from any book in the field of family wealth counseling. That is just as well since the book is 102 pages long and has a list price of $125 (I got it second hand for less). The authors have decades of lived experience in working with uber-wealthy families. The book leads into an online assessment tool, with several dimensions that a wealthy family (measuring net worth in fractions or multiples of billions) should consider. Now, my Fellow Americans, read the passage below, and reflect:
Surprisingly, we learned that one dimension we had included, philanthropy (or giving), was considered both by families and many colleagues to be a value statement on our part. We removed that dimension but felt strongly that the items be included, so we preserved them under the two dimensions of family legacy and connection, and human capital and development.
That passage speaks volumes for the state of our society where so few have so much; so many have so little; and the highest calling of wealth advisors to billionaires is to be trusted advisors, giving good advice and no offense, so that billionaire families remain "sustainable" for generations even as the communities around them fail. The authors deserve credit for this little exercise in communication, like prisoners in a Dungeon in Wealth Bondage, tapping, tapping, tapping -- is anyone there? They do delete "philanthropy," but they leave the trace of the word where the eraser went. Read Gifthub in that light. It is the writing and erasure of what must not be said.
Symptoms speak to the physician. Hives and pustules. A red rash. Welts. Itchy skin. A heaving stomach. Racing heart. Lock jaw. Despair. Uncontrollable laughter. That is how a passage like the one quoted above is best read. The truth, like a psychosomatic disease in the body politic, is making itself felt like a lump growing larger by the day.
You in the next cell! Tap, tap, tap. What cell? What is he talking about? Exactly. Write and erase so that you have no idea.