Preserving and building family wealth - MoneySense

Preserving and building family wealth

True Family Wealth explains the importance of giving families the power to create wealth


This is an excerpt from Chris Clarke’s book, True Family Wealth: Love, Money & the Inspired Life. Read our review here.

Most of us think wealth is just money: the cash in our bank, the value of our home, or the size of our financial portfolio. Some people chase it; others hoard it or fear it. For most, money represents safety and security, and we spend a considerable chunk of our lives trying to accumulate it. And we worry about it—for some, almost constantly. As a consequence, all too often families break up over money distress.

Money no longer goes as far as it once did. As the co-owner and CEO of a family office wealth management firm, I have been fortunate to work with families of wealth for the past thirty years. I can tell you many of these folks have trouble with the idea of money too. These wealth creators have millions of dollars at their disposal and yet they’re often afraid it will be lost, which makes them feel insecure about their and their children’s future (the more you have, the more you have to lose in so many ways). But being “rich” means little if  you do not  feel “enriched”.

Most young adults are worried about money too, which distorts the choices they make in life. Even if they grew up with money, they too often don’t know how they’ll ever afford a home of their own or the lifestyle they once had. In their eyes, opportunities are few, competition is fierce, money is scarce, and hope is drying up. They often feel they have to choose between a career that makes good money and one that would be inspiring and fulfilling to them. Why must they choose one at the expense of the other?

Wealthy or not, we all have something in common. Most of us struggle with our relationships to money and to each other. Clearly, our attitude toward money is all wrong. Too many of us accumulate money only to feel safe rather than use it for the joy of creation. It’s time to remember what money is meant for: as a tool of exchange between people who care about each other’s well-being, to equalize everyone’s right to a good life, and to play with in the act of creation.

It’s also time to rethink wealth. Wealth is having an abundance of what we most treasure. That is True wealth. Yes, this includes money, but it also includes a loving group of people who support us. We call that group “family,” whether by blood ties or not. True wealth is good health, self-confidence, and high self-esteem. It is having an education and continued opportunities for lifelong learning. True wealth is having a personal mission and clarity of life direction. It is the opportunity to give our unique talents to the world and create. True wealth is our experiences and life lessons, our traditions and memories. It is our hopes, dreams, and challenges. In other words, a life of True wealth is built upon a clear and great purpose, loving relationships, and many achievements. Money without loving relationships is shallow. Loving relationships without money is wasted potential. A family is truly wealthy only when each member thrives. Many will agree with me when I say we are only as happy as our least happy child.

This brings me to the purpose of True Family Wealth.  I want to share what I have learned and to inspire you to think differently about your resources, regardless of whether you currently find them lacking or abundant. Do you have to be financially wealthy to benefit from this book? No. But you do have to be interested in wealth creation, and see yourself as a wealth creator.

This book offers a different perspective on money and family. I also provide you a system that has helped me and my family thrive. It has given me the power to create and preserve the business I want, the family I want, and the life I want by working with change instead of fearing it. My goal with True Family Wealth is to provide a tool to empower True wealth creators so they can experience the life they want themselves and the next generations. This includes money, to be sure, but also the power of family relationships and our ability to create together. I call this system The Family Treasury™. It creates Enriched families as it cultivates True wealth and helps sustain it for generations.

In True Family Wealth, I share the step-by-step Family Treasury process that will equip you to achieve the wealth you truly want and to keep it for future generations to enjoy. This system enables family leaders, successors, and follow-on generations to steward True family wealth in a sustainable way. Your family can be an Enriched Family today and into the future.

True Family Wealth is about putting the power to create and preserve wealth back into the loving hands of family. Although I chose to focus on family because this is typically the place where people feel most free to express themselves, the system can also just as easily be used by the individual, a business, or community groups.

It is a holistic approach to wealth stewardship for the new age. For family’s who have achieved a certain measure of financial independence, this can lead to the “family bank”, which you can use to invest in your family’s well-being for generations to come. More important, as CEO of The Family Treasury, you will have the opportunity to mentor the next generations and pass on the values, experiences, and wisdom you have earned over the years.

If you already consider yourself blessed with abundant financial wealth and professional success, this book is written for you. If you are or want to be, a wealth creator this book is for you. If you consider yourself still stretching toward your own financial security, then this book is written for you. If you are somewhere in between—successful but not wealthy or wealthy but not successful—this book is, you guessed it, also written for you. But if you think you have all the money you want and need, both for your benefit and for the benefit of subsequent generations; you have no fear of losing it; your family relationships are warm, unconditionally loving, and supportive; and your future is even bigger and brighter than your past, then please still read this book. Why? Because you have a responsibility to teach what you know to your next generation, and the Family Treasury can help you do that.

Read our review of True Family Wealth here.