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unHeritage – 11 Pitfalls to Family Legacy and How to Avoid Them
“unHeritage is definitely the lighthouse for protecting your family and wealth for generations. This book is a must read for anyone interested in legacy planning.” Enzo Calamo
Center for Family Conversations
The Center for Family Conversations (CFC) is a resource center that provides the integral tools and ideas in helping families establish a 100-year-plus Family Legacy Plan.
THE TYCOON PLAYBOOK – How Business Empires Are Built
The Tycoon Playbook course was created for business families who are already running a successful business and wish to ramp up their growth while preserving wealth for future generations. Specifically, the Playbook teaches high performance business owners the two most highly rewarded skills in business, namely deal-making and how to acquire cash flow producing business assets.
- Brent steady below $60, heads for fourth weekly decline as oversupply persists December 18, 2014SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Brent crude held below $60 a barrel near a 5-1/2-year low on Friday as a global oversupply of oil showed little sign of receding, even as companies cut upstream investments next year.
- Thai Union Frozen to buy North American tuna firm Bumble Bee for $1.5 billion December 18, 2014BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thai Union Frozen Products PCL , the world's largest canned tuna producer, said on Friday it has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of North American tuna company Bumble Bee Foods for $1.51 billion from a private equity firm.
- China 2013 GDP revision won't affect growth this year December 18, 2014BEIJING (Reuters) - China has revised up the estimated size of its economy for 2013 by 3.4 percent to 58.8 trillion yuan ($9.5 trillion), the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, but said the revision will not affect economic growth this year.
- U.S. to sell final $1.25 billion shares of Ally Financial from bailout December 18, 2014(Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department will sell its remaining 54.9 million shares of Ally Financial Inc acquired under the government's bailout of the auto lender, Ally said on Thursday.
- Unilever drops mayonnaise suit against Just Mayo maker December 18, 2014(Reuters) - Unilever Plc's U.S. division said it has withdrawn its lawsuit against food startup Hampton Creek over false advertising and unfair competition related to its Just Mayo product.
- China 2013 GDP revision won't affect growth this year December 18, 2014BEIJING (Reuters) - China has revised up the estimated size of its economy for 2013 by 3.4 percent to 58.8 trillion yuan ($9.5 trillion), the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday, but said...
- BOJ stands pat, offers brighter view on economy December 18, 2014TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary settings unchanged on Friday and offered a more upbeat view on the economy, signaling that no immediate expansion of stimulus was on the horizon.
- Japan's Amari: weak yen, falling oil prices good for economy December 18, 2014TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Friday that a weak yen is benefiting the country's exporters and that a fall in oil prices is also good for the economy.
- Asian stocks extend bounce on Wall Street, Fed cheer December 18, 2014SYDNEY (Reuters) - Japanese stocks led Asian markets higher on Friday, after Wall Street boasted its biggest two-day advance since late 2011 amid relief the Federal Reserve was in no rush to start...
- Russian ruble weakens as traders see no major measures in Putin speech December 18, 2014MOSCOW (Reuters) - The ruble weakened against the dollar and euro on Thursday with traders saying President Vladimir Putin had so far offered no concrete measures to pull Russia out of a crisis at...
- Alternative lenders are hot -- especially among millennials December 18, 2014With two recent IPOs and a digitally-inclined audience of entrepreneurs, non-traditional financing could finally get its big break.
- Reddit cofounder: The next Google is one visa away from leaving U.S. December 18, 2014Read full story for latest details.
- Oprah-approved startup raises $6.25 million December 17, 2014News startup The Skimm announced a new round of funding, 1 million active readers, and plans to expand into a 'lifestyle brand.'
- Cow farmers get high-tech tracking app December 17, 2014Brazilian startup BovControl is turning cows into data with a mobile app.
- Google Ventures: less Ubers, more health care December 16, 2014The venture capital investment arm of the tech giant has quadrupled its funding of life sciences and health startups this year.
- Mortgage rates hit a new low for the year December 18, 2014Amid falling gas prices and investor nervousness, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to 3.8%, a rate not seen since May 2013.
- Alternative lenders are hot -- especially among millennials December 18, 2014Read full story for latest details.
- Payday lenders throw millions at powerful politicians to get their way December 18, 2014Payday lenders are spending millions of dollars in Washington in an attempt to get powerful politicians on their side as a government crackdown on the industry heats up.
- Re-gifting is fine... if you follow these rules December 18, 2014Etiquette experts say re-gifting is generally considered acceptable, as long as you follow these rules.
- Toyota has best value: Consumer Reports December 18, 2014Read full story for latest details.
- NBA confirms L.A. Clippers sale to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer May 30, 2014Donald Sterling sues the NBA for damages and demands to be reinstated as owner.
- FBI and SEC probe into Carl Icahn and golfer Phil Mickelson May 30, 2014Authorities are looking into the potenial insider trading.
- Google launches "right to be forgotten" service in Europe May 30, 2014Now European citizens can request to have search results removed.
- Five crazy things Steve Ballmer has done May 30, 2014In light of Ballmer placing the highest bid on an NBA team in history on Thursday, here are some of his wackiest actions and greatest hits.
- Zuckerberg's latest donation reawakens concerns over mixed results in Newark May 30, 2014Facebook founder and his wife donate $120 million to Bay Area schools, claim to have learned from previous gift to Newark, N.J. schools.
- Avon fined for bribing Chinese officials with Gucci bags December 18, 2014Beauty goods company Avon has been fined $135 million by the SEC for bribing Chinese officials with luxury goods -- everything from Gucci bags to Tiffany pens.
- Russia crisis hurts these brands the most December 18, 2014Read full story for latest details.
- Uber agrees to temporarily suspend service in Portland December 18, 2014Uber is standing down for the next three months in Portland, just one of the cities where it has run into trouble.
- Top 1%: What they made, what they paid December 18, 2014Read full story for latest details.
- Toyota's futuristic, freaky fuel-cell car December 18, 2014Toyota's new Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is worth a good, serious look. It won't be easy, though. While hydrogen fuel cell cars are mired in controversy, there's one thing everyone seems to agree on about this one.
- FOREX-Yen slips vs dollar, euro as risk sentiment improves December 18, 2014* BOJ maintains massive stimulus as expected, Kuroda presser eyed
- BOJ stands pat, offers brighter view on economy December 18, 2014TOKYO, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary settings unchanged on Friday and offered a more upbeat view on the economy, signalling that no immediate expansion of stimulus was on the...
- GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks extend bounce on Wall St, Fed cheer December 18, 2014* Swiss central bank imposes negative rates to restrain franc
- FOREX-Yen edges down vs dollar, euro as sentiment improves; BOJ awaited December 18, 2014* BOJ set to maintain massive stimulus, Kuroda presser eyed
- GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks catch Wall St tailwind December 18, 2014* Swiss central bank imposes negative rates to restrain franc
- Dow soars more than 400 points December 18, 2014Stocks soared for a second straight day with the Dow topping 400 points for the first time since November 2011 and the S&P 500 posting its biggest jump since January 2013. Leah Duncan reports.
- Mixed reviews on Sony movie cut December 18, 2014Sony's controversial decision to cancel the release of "The Interview", is getting mixed reviews- some saying they had no choice- but others fearful of the broader consequences to hollywood. Bobbi Rebell reports.
- EZ leaders grapple with economy, Russia December 18, 2014Ahead of the last summit of European leaders this year, German chancellor Angela Merkel warns there's no quick and simple fix to the euro zone crisis. The economy is top of a heavy agenda for the two-day meeting, as is the possibility of further sanctions against Russia. Joel Flynn reports.
- I give Sony Pictures leadership a "D"-Mike Paul December 18, 2014Reputation consultant Mike Paul, President of Reputation Doctor LLC, says the current crisis at Sony is a failure of leadership, and a change is needed. Bobbi Rebell reports.
- Breakingviews: Biotech bonanza December 18, 2014Robert Cyran and Reynolds Holding discuss Juno Therapeutics' IPO and the prospects for its cancer drug as well as other promising technologies in the booming sector.
The Idea of Family Wealth This topic is absolutely foreign to the middle class, and even many high income earners. I myself have never experienced it;, my education comes directly from speaking with wealthy individuals and observing some of the richest families in history. The Idea of Family Wealth.
Preparing Heirs by Bill High What is it about our kids that prompt such great emotion – from elation to depression? Certainly, there is no greater joy than to see our children flourish and no greater agony than to see them wander from our values and our beliefs. Irony: neglecting the “soft” side The greatest irony in family estate planning: spending countless hours on the “hard” side of assets while giving lip service to the “soft” side of people development. The tendency in estate planning is to prepare legal documents that transfer financial wealth without preparing our children for true legacy. What does preparing our children for true legacy mean? Preparing children for true legacy Life is often a blur in the child-raising years. In the same timeframe that we are raising kids, we are building our careers. And frankly, some of us tend to do a better job of building financial wealth than “family wealth.” Much of what our children learn is left to chance: whatever they observe along the way. When things finally settle down a bit, the children are graduated, off to college, or even absorbed with starting their own careers and families. What is family wealth? In his book, Family Wealth, James Hughes discusses the importance of human capital that includes the following outcomes – ideally for all family members: They are thriving They have a strong sense of purpose, passion, and calling They have a strong sense of work ethic and character qualities like integrity, honesty, and compassion They have interpersonal relationships both within the family and externally They understand that life does not revolve around them but that instead they are part of a greater whole, a greater cause They have spiritual grounding They are generous. These are big ideas, which go way beyond transferring financial capital. They go to transferring intellectual capital, social capital, emotional capital, and spiritual capital as well. Good relationships require intentionality It’s time spent with children with intentionality – making sure they understand our story and that we understand theirs. It is time spent repairing relational damage that is unintentional but inevitable. It is making sure they are healthy, thriving, and feeling fulfilled. Giving together creates unity One of the best tools I’ve found to bring families together is giving together. Structurally, that may take the form of creating a foundation or a donor advised fund. But practically, it simply means doing some giving together. Giving is the great equalizer. Suffice it to say that giving prompts conversations that everyone can participate in regardless of age or experience. Investing in legacy So what do you want when you think about your heirs – great joy or great agony? It will take great effort to achieve the former. It must go beyond estate documents. Estate documents are a part, but they really should be guided with the influence of all forms of capital – […]
Change to an Elder Culture | Rich Grehalva In this short talk, Rich Grehalva shares an idea drawn from his Native American heritage about how our society needs to transform from an “elderly” culture to an “elder” one. Rich Grehalva, is an experienced sales & marketing executive, author, speaker and coach.
Family Farm succession planning – equal or fair? by John Mill The recent appeal decision in Mountain v. TD Canada Trust is a classic example of how badly things end up without proper business succession planning. The case involved a farm that had been in Mountain family for five generations since 1830. Gary the son had been working on the farm for 24 years since high school and had received less than average wages so money could be used to build up the farm. Gary said that his father Jack had promised to pass the farm onto him. Gary’s sister Louanne never worked on the farm. A universal problem in family farms and businesses is that there are usually children who do not work on the farm or in the business. The question becomes how do you treat these children fairly? A common misconception is that the child on the farm or in the business will be getting a very valuable asset; however if the farm or business is not to be sold then what the child really gets is a job. The problem in this case was that Jack and Helen Mountain had identical wills. Each left all of his/her estate to the other absolutely, or if either spouse died first, the estate would go to Gary and Louanne to share and share alike. This is the default will pattern employed by most families. But in family business succession cases the default will pattern creates havoc as happened with the Mountains. After Jack’s death Gary’s sister Louanne took the position that under the will she was entitled to half the farm. So Gary started a lawsuit to enforce what he claimed was an oral agreement that the farm was to go to him. In the period between January 2000 and November 28, 2001 when he died, Jack had made a number of attempts to transfer the farm to Gary. First Jack saw Mr. Riley his bookkeeper and tax preparer. Mr. Riley had detailed notes of their discussions about how to transfer the farm to Gary. The Judge ignored these notes because Jack did not act on them. In October 2001 Jack was hospitalized. He was first visited by retired lawyer Don Elliot who referred him to another lawyer Chris Moon. Mr. Moon prepared powers of attorney to be used if Jack was disabled but he did not recall discussing any land transfers. It seems odd that this lawyer would not have asked about Jack’s intentions for the farm. In mid November Jack met with Mr. Riley again. Mr. Riley sent a letter addressed to Jack, dated November 13, 2001. The letter says: This letter summarizes our discussion of the farm rollover from you and Helen to Gary. If I understand your desires correctly, the two farms, the 46 acre lot with the helper house and the trailer on the 97 acre farm are to be rolled over to Gary. The one-acre lot at Conc. 4, WHS Pt Lot 33, is to […]
What’s Your Greatest Legacy? Hint: It’s Not Your Family Business by Tom Deans, Ph.D I was playing my regular Saturday morning squash game and had my friend two games to zero. I was only three points away from taking the match in a clean three-game sweep. But something happened. I started to drift and lose focus. To make a long story short, I flamed out and went down three games to two. The sting of defeat is always more acute when you’ve already begun to celebrate before victory is earned. On the drive home I wondered how many business founders have always imagined that the surest succession plan – the sale of the business to their own children – is a slam-dunk, only to find out too late that their children love their jobs but hate risking capital. The plan is to talk later I also wondered how many business owners never really know how to broach the subject of selling the business to their kids. The issue feels so emotionally complex and dangerous; the best plan is to plan to have the conversation…later. Many business owners in my audiences express to me the sentiment that if their kids were “real” business owners they would make the first move and raise the subject of a buy out. Similarly, kids will say “hey, I’m waiting for the big guy to make the first move.” I wondered how many families feel the sting of defeat, never experiencing what could have been a great transition because no one knew how to start what is perhaps the most important conversation of a business owner’s life. The blunt truth is that too often owners never have the conversation. Life unfolds, and parents who are controlling shareholders become incapacitated and die. And then their family discovers that the owner has done what feels so utterly right: he or she has treated their children “fairly” and proceeded to gift, via the owner’s will, an equal number of shares to each child, irrespective of whether the children are working in the business or not. What unfolds next is unpredictable and often wealth destroying. Children working in the family business can find themselves reporting to their brothers and sisters outside the business. And too often children outside the business are disappointed with the dividend stream and clamor for more. Many children on the outside looking in assume that their siblings working in the business are overpaid – not because they know this to be true, but because they find themselves awash with emotion about what the business is, what it was and where it ought to go. Exceptional advisors force awkward conversations Advisors can play a hugely influential role in sparking the right conversation among the family about the sale of the business – when everyone is still healthy and thinking clearly. When the answer emerges that there is a buyer in the house, what a magnificent event for the […]
Are you accidentally putting your next generation at risk? by Family Wealth Coach No one wants to think that their successors would be in harm’s way of any kind, as a matter of fact, most leaders of family businesses are actively working to ensure that the next generation is not at risk. Who would want otherwise? But there are certain conversations that need to happen, or it can put the next generation at substantial risk. Let’s take a look at one of those conversations. Kelly Lector and Jennifer Pendergast, the authors of the book Roadmap, offer a thought that there is a single critical theme that must be handled properly, if a succession is going to be successful. That theme is Shared Vision. The overriding theme of the book is that it is critical to invest time and resources to develop a vision for the future of the family business, and it should be started sooner rather than later. But this kind of vision casting is often overlooked by business families for five great reasons: It’s not action oriented — it doesn’t seem practical and it seems like a waste of time It typically doesn’t solve a particular problem at hand Many families don’t know how to do it, what questions to ask, who should be involved, or who should lead it Sometimes there’s a fear of asking big questions in case stakeholders [including children in the business, sibling partners, etc.] have different answers They fear conflict – avoiding the conflict is much easier than facing it These are good reasons. Unfortunately, not facing them can put succession at risk. It’s better to clearly understand the motivations of all the constituents sooner, rather than later. What would happen if you reached a crucial moment in the succession, only to discover that someone has a completely different goal? If there is uncertainty in the business succession with the owners, it will affect all stakeholders. Clarity of vision helps ensure confidence for everyone involved. So what kind of questions would you ask if you wanted to arrive at a shared vision? Here is just a handful: What are we trying to be as a family? As individuals? As a business? How will we know when we’ve achieved it? Why is it important for us to own this asset together? Is it because it’s profitable? It keeps the family together? It is our heritage and our purpose? Under what conditions would you sell? Is it important that a family member lead the business? You may want to consider having some conversations with stakeholders, having a family meeting, surveying stakeholders, and becoming more prepared to take on hard questions. If your values, principles, and vision are aligned, you can likely have a shared vision and smoother continuity. If you have different values, different principles, and a different vision, perhaps you can’t follow the same purpose. We encourage you to start a process of continuity planning, not just succession planning. Succession implies […]
The New EBITDA: Emotions Before Interest Taxes and Depreciation by Tom Deans, Ph.D. Sitting in the departure lounge at LAX, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between an investment banker and his younger associate. I learned two things. First (and most business travelers can relate), it is amazing how cavalier people are about discussing confidential details in public places. The second confirmed something I had been thinking about family businesses for some time. The older of the two bankers was whining about how he thought the slam-dunk deal they had just presented was now probably never going to happen. On and on he grumbled about the time he had spent running the numbers, lining up partners and generally bringing the deal to a crescendo, only to have the business owner change his mind about selling. The investment banker was completely perplexed about why the offer, the numbers, the multiples that looked so good weren’t enough to entice the owner to do the deal of a lifetime. It took everything I had to stop myself from leaping into the conversation and selling him a copy of Every Family’s Business (it wouldn’t have been the first time). But I exercised extraordinary restraint and settled back and listened to him talk about the clever structure of the deal, the tax that could have been saved and the instant wealth the owner would have secured if only he had been smart enough to take the deal. Emotions are Squishy – Not the Stuff of Deal-Makers in Suits The funny thing about listening in on a conversation is that the longer you listen the harder it is enter the conversation. So I bit my tongue and instead simply wondered how many other business brokers, M&A professionals and investment bankers expend such effort trying to bring deals to fruition only to have sellers back out. I wondered how an entire industry of intermediaries could so badly underestimate the emotional connection that owners have to their businesses, and also fail to understand how these emotions can scupper so much good work and extraordinary planning and lead the owner to ultimately destroy the business’s value. When really bright finance experts hear the word “emotions” you can so often see their eyes roll back and the calculators shut off. Yet students of the greatest financiers of all time – deal-makers like Warren Buffett – know that these people get deals done by running the numbers and then engaging business owners in the one corner of their life where most number crunchers don’t go – their family. It is the rare rainmaker who has both the left and right brain firing on all cylinders. Warren Buffett Buffett and other great deal-makers know that the sale of a business will typically result in a “liquidity event” that will leave owners with more wealth than they feel comfortable consuming. Most business owners accumulate wealth precisely by denying themselves consumption. Sellers will often kill deals, blaming a low bid price, […]
Why Do Family Business Owners Often Die at their Desk? by Tom Deans, Ph.D. I was speaking to a friend who owns a successful manufacturing business and asked him when he plans to sell his business”. His response echoed something that I’m hearing more and more from business owners in my audience. “I can’t afford to sell – if I sell and take the proceeds and invest in this market, I couldn’t replace half my current salary”. Of course the danger with this logic is that if unforeseen risk visits the business and it fails, my friend will neither have his salary nor the equity that he’s accumulated in the business over the past 20 years. Misaligned financial interests of family members But here’s the real problem. My friend, like so many, has other shareholders, namely other family shareholders who aren’t working in the business who want the sale proceeds now! His family dinners can best be described as a food fight waiting to happen. What to do? What we do know is that doing nothing is a plan. Do nothing long enough and we know that a business owner will die at his desk. But where does the stock in the company go? Will it go to his or hers estate, to minority shareholders? What usually unfolds is chaos especially when family is often left out of the planning loop. Financial advisors are doing a much better job these days of getting business owners to play the “what if” game. In fact there is a brand new breed of advisor brandishing a tough to acquire professional designation known as the Certified Business Exit Consultant — CBEC. I delivered a keynote to a recent convention of CBECs in Boston and they’re a rather impressive group of professionals committed to exit planning excellence. The best advisors never stop reminding clients about the risks of business ownership Asset allocation has forever been the first principal of sound investing. As investors near retirement, advisors constantly rebalance portfolios away from equity to income. The business owner who allows their high salary to cloud their thinking about the dangers to their equity in their business don’t need to travel Las Vegas to gamble – they’re already there!! Extraordinary advisors will keep this risk in focus for their business owner clients and work on divestiture strategies and timelines that meet the financial needs of both business owners today, their retirement tomorrow and the needs of surviving family. Savvy advisors remind business owners that the sale process seldom unfolds quickly and even after the sale of a business, the new owners may either insist or welcome the seller to continue working and drawing a salary. It took our family 5 years to find the right buyer for our business and another 4 years to receive the full sale proceeds – that’s almost a decade from start to finish. Business owners in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s often completely […]
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- Washington governor pushes capital gains tax in face of budget gap December 18, 2014SEATTLE (Reuters) - Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday proposed a new tax on capital gains to try to close a projected budget shortfall of more than $2 billion, rolling back on a...
- U.S.-based emerging market stock funds see $831 million outflows in week: Lipper December 18, 2014NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $831 million out of emerging market stock funds through the week ended Dec. 17, the third straight week of ouflows, data from Thomson...
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- Schwab's Clendening leaving with more than $5.2 mln package December 18, 2014NEW YORK (Reuters) - John Clendening, the former co-head of Charles Schwab Corp's retail brokerage business, will collect a cash payment of $5.17 million as part of a separation agreement he signed...
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- ETF Trader: Stock market in a giving mood December 18, 2014Nothing in this week’s reports derails Jim Lowell’s view of and for slow and reasonable economic growth.
- Mutual Funds Weekly: How Colbert’s ‘truthiness’ hit home with investors December 18, 2014Stephen Colbert broadcasts his final show tonight, and viewers can only give “The Colbert Report” a tip of the hat for being the award-winning investing advice program it is.
- Personal Finance Daily: The 12 bottles of Christmas, how to avoid airline fees December 18, 2014The bottles of booze you should gift this holiday season, and how to avoid baggage fees.
- This Corvette is faster than Hellcat, Ferrari, McLaren December 18, 2014The new 2015 Chevy Corvette Stingray Z06 will come out of the box with wicked fast performance times.
- 6 industries that can’t find workers fast enough December 18, 2014Companies are looking for employees in these areas.