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Wealth and longevity

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting blog on wealthy people, and there’s an interesting post yesterday about “Where will all the mansions go?”

I’ve thought about this a bit because it’s something you see here in the UK all the time. Amazing houses were built by ridiculously rich people over the past several hundreds of years. They used to be virtual cities in and of themselves, because of the servants required. (Have you seen Gosford Park?)

It’s fascinating to me that wealth lasts so few generations, largely because the work ethic of a generation isn’t passed down or is just lost over the course of a couple of generations.

At the same time, I have a friend who does wealth management for these kinds of families. One of his clients made their money over a thousand years ago, and has kept it in the family. Amazing! The discipline to do this is incredible, and relies on only one child ever getting the inheritance. (The rest get a pittance.) Then for that one child not to spoil it over 30 generations is again amazing.

Makes me remember that the best thing you can do for your family is to raise your children with a healthy perspective on life, family, work and money.