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Wealth in Families

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

Charles w. Collier of Harvard published a second edition of his book, Wealth in Families. The second edition was released in 2006. I just reread the book and I find it to be a wonderful source of information and perspective into the lives of families. He poses “essential questions” for consideration. These are: What is really important to your family? What are your family’s true assets? What should you do to guide and support the life journey of each family member over time? How wealthy do you want your children to be? Do you feel you have a responsibility to society? These are tough questions that deserve some hard contemplation. Articulating the answers helps energize and bring together first a couple and then a family. Sometimes having an objective person in the room helps so that you can hear yourself and your partner speak without having to worry about capturing the precious information being gathered. Collier defines a successful family as “one that knows who it is, what it stands for, and where it is going.” This sounds simple, but in reality it is more difficult to achieve. The book is full of questions and live examples of families who have been on a journey. I highly recommend this book and I don’t think that you need to have significant wealth for it to be meaningful. The issues are truly fundamental.

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