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Private wealth owners discover peer power, not pressure


For private families faced with the opportunities and challenges of affluence, a peer network can offer a powerful remedy for the high degree of isolation and socio-economic pressures that often come with the territory.

During Community Square, a private, three-day wealth education session involving 30 wealth owners and experts from across the US, participants confirmed the remedial power of the peer network as one of the best tools for addressing difficult family issues – parenting, next-generation philanthropy and how to confront that endless onslaught of “unique” investment pitches.

“The ah-ha moment comes when you put the right people together in the right place. It’s ironic that we view peer pressure as a negative influence when, in the case of family wealth issues, peers become the best allies for trusted advice,” says Kristen Bauer, organiser of the Community Square session and Senior Managing Director of Threshold Group.

After more than 15 years of creating and managing a family office for private wealth owners, Bauer created Community Square for this purpose. She said nothing can compare to the value of being able to create connections and relevance between wealth owners who otherwise remain isolated from one another and from other important social or educational networks.

Based on feedback from family members attending Community Square, Bauer compiled eight basic nuggets of family advice that surfaced during the session:

1. Be bold. Set big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs) for your family. Think without boundaries. Let creativity allow you to stretch uncomfortably to devise and attain goals. We do it in business, why not for family?

2. Listen; really listen to your children. They often have unforeseen answers, not just questions.

3. When you begin to inform and educate your children, give them equal parts information and responsibility. They are often ready for responsibilities before we perceive it.

4. Recognize in-laws as powerful for the positive. They have insights into situations, often without the bias or baggage that comes with having grown up in the family. Be courageous enough to embrace their ideas.

5. Real wealth is exhibited by reaching out to those who surround you, and by making them strong, wise and better in the process.

6. Authenticity counts. Children, families and communities are seeking real, genuine relationships more than ever before. The more we text and Tweet, the more we hunger for authenticity.

7. Those who express gratitude on a daily basis are reported to live seven years longer.

8. When it comes to all of the above, practice, practice, practice. That which we practice, tends to become easier over time.

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