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The Family Compass by Jerry Nuerge
Families often lack a compass for navigating through potential distractions. Most high net worth people believe that if they have signed all their trust documents and wills, they have taken care of their future. After all, their attorneys and CPAs have assured them that the maximum amount of financial assets will be transferred to their spouse and then to their children with as little loss to the tax man as possible. Unfortunately, research shows that only ten percent of financial assets make it to the fourth generation.
A family’s values are just as important as those of a corporation, but they receive far less attention. I have found it more beneficial to families to focus on three often ignored components that have the potential to extend a legacy indefinitely:
1) What are your values?
2) What virtues will we pursue?
3) What do we want our family story to be?
Collectively, these are family brand equity, the core of a family’s culture. The values define the family, the virtues build the family, and the story describes the family.
Rather than elevate whatever human values are currently in vogue in our culture, we identify our family’s values based on the evidence of our calendar and pocketbook.
Virtues are frequently underestimated in importance. Aristotle argued that substantial happiness and human flourishing could be grasped only through the virtues. King Solomon stated it this way: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you.” (Proverbs 3:1-3)
The battle of morality is not so much about knowing what is right as it is doing what is right.
The family story is a crucial component. Think of the family story as an ongoing stream of past, present, and future stories of family members woven together. These stories, infused with the family’s values and virtues, provide a sense of identity as well as motivation to not be the generation that weakens the heritage.
Imagine the priceless joy when family brand equity is the focal point of our transfers to the next generation! These assets empower families to live intentionally productive lives for multiple generations.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO JERRY?
Jerry Nuerge is founder and owner of the Financial Independence Group. He is also the creator of the Wealth Integration and Transfer System™, the Generation Connection Process™, as well as the Revenue Retrieval System™. Jerry holds a BBA and MBA degree, holds the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP), is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), a Certified Family Wealth Counselor (CFWC), and a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). He is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), and has qualified for its “Top of the Table.” He also belongs to the National Estate Planning Council, the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is a past-president of the local chapters of these organizations.
Jerry is a member of Kingdom Advisors (KA) and a charter member of the Int’l Association of Advisors in Philanthropy (AiP), which he served as president in 2009.
Jerry has been married to his wife, Sharon, since 1967, and has three children and eight grandchildren, all living in the Fort Wayne, IN area.
Co-author of Family Wealth Counseling: Getting to the Heart of the Matter and author of The Priceless Gift, Jerry is active as a consultant and national speaker.
Buffett on technology replacing jobs
The Third Metric for Success
Tycoon Playbook Review
As a recent IRS report on America’s wealthiest proves, the surest way to becoming rich has always been and still is by building your own business. There are two basic approaches to building a business. One way is to focus on finding the home run product or service to build a single company around. The other way is to focus on accumulating many businesses over time. The first variation requires far more luck considering just how many failures there are relative to successes. The second variation is a simple numbers game based on the reality that once you have a system and team in place for acquisitions, you will have far more winners than losers over the long run.
This second path is often referred to as the PacMan strategy because you use your company to gobble up other companies. It’s the most proven path to billionaire status.
As with most things in life, the basic concept is simple while the devil is in the details. This is where the Playbook truly shines. The three month course reverse engineers the acquisitions strategy employed by tycoons and billionaires who made their fortunes through wheeling and dealing in businesses. Then it breaks down this complex topic into easy to understand and follow action steps. Equally importantly, it also shows you how to avoid the minefields. This is not a course built on dry academic theory.
The creator of the course worked for many years helping entrepreneurs and mini-tycoons to buy and sell businesses. In addition, he has also spent decades studying how they got started in the game and built their empires. As a result, the Playbook is rich in examples of actionable steps taken by tycoons to not only get going but to get it right.
What are the key rewards of the course in my opinion?
First, if you’re thinking that becoming wealthy requires an element of good luck in addition to work and perseverance, you are absolutely correct. The course reveals how you can maximize your luck if we agree that luck is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It does so by having the second learning module reveal how insiders spot emerging opportunities well before the masses do. The eighth module teaches you how to take a calculated risk by revealing the do-able deal test for acquisition opportunities. Once you have digested these two lessons your ability to do successful acquisitions increases dramatically.
A second reward of the Playbook is in how it takes a complex subject such as acquisition finance, which intimidates most people, breaks it down into its constituent parts, and lists the many options you have available for buying a business. You need not be a mathematical genius to understand how tycoons acquire control of businesses. By the end of the financing section you will feel like an up and coming Kirk Kerkorian.
A third reward in taking the course comes from discovering the Golden Feedback Loop used by tycoons to disrupt and dominate industries. The GFL may not be available in every situation but the Playbook shows you how to recognize pre-existing ones and even trigger your own whenever possible.
Finally, the biggest and most important pay off comes from the details in how tycoons started down the road towards fare and fortune. The difference between them and people who don’t accomplish much is that they simply started and kept moving towards their goal. Most people never even leave the starting blocks.
The Tycoon Playbook contains the details of a billion dollar strategy. If you take the course and only apply 1% you will still be further ahead than most.
Any small business owner can begin to put these lessons into action immediately.
“Wealth by Design”: Kevin Talma
Kevin grew up in Barbados in the sixties and seventies when there was unprecedented change happening to the environment which affected him profoundly and he always wondered why development had to destroy the nature he loved. These observations and interest in art and environment led him to the field of landscape architecture. Kevin has been practicing landscape architecture since 1988 apprenticing in California, Hawaii, Italy and Barbados before establishing Talma Mill Studios in 1990. Kevin’s passions include art, the environment, water sports, percussion music, travel and family all of which inform his practice of landscape architecture. Kevin holds a Master of Landscape Architecture.
Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body
What does wealth mean to your family? That’s really quite a loaded question. There are endless possibilities, endless outcomes and endless ramifications.
In his book Wealth in Families, Charles Collier encourages you and your family to ask yourselves that very question. Despite common approaches, wealth preservation actually has a lot more to do with evaluating your family than it does with evaluating tax and legal structures. As Collier puts it, “The focus of wealth preservation, it turns out, is not really financial.”
Here are some key questions for you and your family to work through. The answers to these questions should be the compass for your family’s estate planning.
What kind of family do you want to be?
What are your family’s true assets?
What is really important to your family?
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?
What do you want to accomplish, or help others accomplish?
The key to all of this is that it can’t all be tackled with one family meeting—regardless of how well organized, cordial and thought-provoking that family meeting may be. This is a long-term and developing process. By “long-term” we mean that it should be a life-long process for you and every single one of your family members.
Take a look at this list. Collier writes that in his experience, the most successful families include the following in their planning process:
They focus on the human, intellectual and social capital of their family.
They stress the priority of each family member’s individual pursuit of happiness.
They work on enhancing intra-family communication.
Their time frame for defining success is long term.
They tell and retell the family’s most important stories.
They create mentor-like relationships when establishing family trusts.
They have collaboratively defined a family vision statement (AKA the shared dream).
They teach children and grandchildren the competences and responsibilities that come with financial wealth.
They work at building strong relationships and getting to know each other.
They give younger family members as much responsibility as they can manage as soon as possible.
A successful family “knows who it is, what it stands for and where it is going.” You may not have all the answers yet regarding your family’s estate plan, but if you start with what’s important, then you’ll get it right every time.
Gary Kunath: “Mastering Life Balance”
This presentation centers on elevating employee well being and helping people maximize the joy and contentment in their lives so they can a great home life and a great work life. Recent research shows that 70% of employees today would sacrifice pay increases and promotions for family well being. People are overwhelmed by the complexities of their own lives. Instead of employers recognizing this and bringing humanity back to the business and serving as a source of relief, they often compound the issues by adding more complexity to their peoples’ lives.”