For over three decades, I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working closely with the Jones* family. We’ve watched as the world around us evolved, from a space where we had to create what we wanted to a digital age overflowing with information and technology. This transformation has been nothing short of exciting as we’ve adapted to think like the new generation and anticipate their needs, having made some mistakes so having to adapt, but all while safeguarding the family’s wealth.
The Jones family spans four generations, each with its own set of financial needs and aspirations. Our shared goal has always been to ensure their financial security, provide for the education of our children and grandchildren, and explore opportunities for philanthropy that transcend generations.
To truly serve each generation effectively, understanding their distinct financial goals, special needs and values was paramount. The younger generation was deeply immersed in AI, technology, and digitalisation, while the older generation cherished capital preservation and life experiences. Through ongoing meaningful conversations with each family member, we delved into their individual financial circumstances, risk tolerance and deeper aspirations. Building personal connections was the bedrock on which we built trust across the generations.
Our journey began with crafting a comprehensive financial plan that embraced the family’s history, mission, goals and objectives. This plan laid out a straightforward roadmap that addressed the complexities of each generation’s financial life, something they all could embrace together. Key components included:
- Investment Strategy: We embarked on an educational journey with the Jones family, enlightening them about the advantages of diversification. We then tailored investment portfolios for each generation, aligning them with their unique risk profiles.
- Income vs. Capital: Encouraging each generation to prioritise income over capital was crucial for maintaining financial stability while meeting their objectives.
- Investing for the Long Term: We emphasised the significance of long-term investment horizons, aligning their investments with multi-generational goals like securing education funds for children and ensuring a comfortable retirement for grandparents. Throughout, we accommodated evolving family dynamics, fostering transparency and open communication.
- Philanthropic Legacy: Acknowledging the family’s desire to create a lasting philanthropic legacy, we structured their charitable giving to resonate with each generation’s values while optimising tax benefits within their financial plan.
- Regular Family Meetings: Encouraging regular family meetings allowed us to come together, reevaluate values and adapt the financial strategy as circumstances changed.
Over 34 years, the Jones family remained dedicated to their multi-generational financial plan. By steadfastly adapting & adhering to the plan, they experienced the rewards of long-term investing, providing stability and growth for education funds, retirement savings, family unity and their philanthropic legacy.
Their financial wellbeing was secured, and their collective impact on the community grew, even as some members lived on different continents.
The Jones family’s journey is a testament to the power of holistic financial planning across generations. I learnt a lot in assisting the Jones Family & this assisted me in looking after my own family & other families by starting with a comprehensive approach, understanding the values and goals of each generation, and incorporating every facet of their financial lives, to achieve not only financial objectives but also fostered a lasting and, most importantly, trusting relationship within each family.
Financial planners have a unique opportunity to make a profound impact on multi-generational families. By aligning strategies with values, educating on sound financial principles, and helping navigate special circumstances through external professional expertise, planners can guide families in creating lasting financial legacies that benefit generations to come. The Jones family’s journey reminds us that financial planning isn’t just about wealth accumulation; it’s about crafting a legacy that leaves a positive impact on our world.
*Please note: To protect the identity of the client, an alias has been used throughout this article.
This article was written by Private Wealth Adviser, Garth Curry.