NextGen high net worth individuals, stewards of tomorrow’s wealth, live in a dizzying information age. For getting the most recent photo of their grandchildren on their cell phone from wherever they are, this is great. But for assimilating fragmented financial and legal information pertaining to their wealth and getting a clearer, more accurate view of their financial position, they have probably yet to see the benefits.

Often, the process of information discovery is the most laborious and time consuming task for professional advisors. And it is distracting from their core practice of advising. Yet in a rapidly changing world, NextGen wealth has probably never been more desirous for this sort of snapshot view of their wealth.

The trouble for NextGen wealth runs deeper. The more fragmented and complex information is, the harder it is to communicate basic financial concepts and financial position to their heirs. If it is difficult to effectively explain the basics, it is even more difficult to instill in the next generation the subtle principles that lay behind the acquired wealth, principles embodying not just wealth preservation, but philanthropy and social responsibility.

“Wealth professionals say wealth often doesn’t make it to the third or fourth generation not because of estate taxes or an inability to transfer the wealth. It’s an inability to transfer the knowledge of how to create it and how to keep it.”[1]

The risk of heirs falling away from the principles that drove wealth creation is the generations above them is real. “About 75% of parents worry that heirs’ lives may be adversely affected by wealth. Estate planners who have watched inheritors over the decades will almost always agree that these fears are well-founded. 60% of families waste away their wealth by the end of the second generation. By the end of the third generation, 90% of families have little or nothing left of money received from grandparents.”[2]

Moreover, many wealthy individuals who have been driven by the idea of forging a positive legacy, are concerned with inculcating principles responsibility, stewardship, and social justice in their children and other heirs. “Money can do a lot of things . . . but the last thing parents want it to do is create bad behavior patterns from a young age.”[3]

The important question is whether today’s technology can be leveraged to help educate the NextGen and their children to preserve their wealth and increase their sense of responsibility. At Wealth Access, we think it can. Our platform is designed for NextGen clients and their advisors to provide a simple, clear view of total wealth position. The Virtual Family Office experience we provide is the ideal place to collaborate not just with advisors on a real time basis, but also to have more informed and inclusive discussions about finances, investments, and estate planning with your children and other heirs. We offer a platform for family values to be expressed.

[1] https://www.fa-mag.com/news/why-wealth-disappears-8227.html

[2] https://www.wealthcounsel.com/free-resources/why%20most-families-lose-their-wealth-by-the-third-generation/

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/your-money/a-building-and-loan-built-on-the-family-tree.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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