My shelves and Kindle are packed with great books; below are just a few that have guided me on my journey.
- Cycle of the Gift, by James E. Hughes, Susan E. Massenzio, Keith Whitaker
- Wealth in Families, by Charles Collier
- Borrowed from your Grandchildren, by Dennis T. Jaffee
- The Voice of the Rising Generation, by James E. Hughes, Susan E. Massenzio, Keith Whitaker
- Wealth 3.0: The Future of Family Wealth Advising, by James Grubman, Dennis T. Jaffee, Kristin Keffeler
- Family Trusts, by James E. Hughes, Hartley Goldstone, Keith Whitaker
- The Opposite of Spoiled, by Ron Lieber
- Gratitude Works, by Robert A. Emmons
- Start with Why, by Simon Sinek
- The Trusted Advisor, by David H. Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford
- Bridging Generations, by Roy O. Williams and Amy A. Castoro
- Wealthy and Wise, by Charles Rosenberg
- Let the Story Do the Work, by Esther K. Choy
- Transfluence: How to Lead with Transformative Influence in Today’s Climates of Change, by Walt Rakowich
- The Giving Book, by Ellen Sabin
- Loving What Is, by Byron Katie
- Hyper-Learning, by Edward D. Hess
- Silver Spoon Kids, by Eileen Gallo and Jon Gallo
- Wealth of Wisdom, by Tom McCullough and Keith Whitaker
- Beyond Gold: True Wealth for Inheritors, by Thayer Cheatham Willis
- Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for Inheritors, by Thayer Cheatham Willis
- Finding Her Voice and Creating a Legacy, by Amy Hart Clyne and Dennis T. Jaffee
- Strangers in Paradise, by James Grubman
- The Defining Decade : Why Your Twenties Matter, by Meg Jay
- Myth of the Golden Spoon, by Kristin Keffeler
Articles and Stories
Click on the links below to read thoughts and insights by, and about, individuals of wealth.
Perspective on Impact Investing by Molly Stranahan (PDF)
I grew up with an investment portfolio, thanks to my great-grandfather (and his brother) who founded Champion Spark Plug Company, and the generosity of subsequent generations who shared the wealth with my generation. In the 1980s my Aunt Dinny noticed that our family foundation, The Needmor Fund, held stock in KerrMcGee at the same time we were supporting the organization Karen Silkwood was part of that wanted employees and local residents to have a right to information about potentially toxic chemicals being used in their communities. All of this resulted in The Needmor Fund adopting socially responsible investment screens back in the early 1980s.
Why Did They Get So Much More Than Me? (PDF)
A SHORT STORY: Two brothers (Hamilton and Edward) started a business, which became quite successful. Eventually, the brothers decided to sell sold the business at a tremendous profit. Because the brothers had very different plans for disbursing the funds, Edward asked Hamilton if they could arrange for their conversations to happen at the same time (different locations) with their respective families. Unfortunately, this did not happen.
THIS IS ALL YOU’RE GIVING US?: When Edward gathered his children together for their inheritance conversation, he disbursed a small portion of the funds to each of them. His children were shocked, disappointed, and angry. “How could you?” they asked. “That’s not fair, our cousins are rich. Aren’t we as worthy as they are? You’ve put us on unequal, uncomfortable footing with our cousins! What have we done wrong that you don’t want us to benefit like our cousins?”
Inspirational Gift or Straight Money Transfer : What is Your Intention? (PDF)
Gift? Transfer? What are you talking about? In Jay Hughes’ recent book The Cycle of the Gift, he defines a gift as “one that combines the giver’s intentions with the gift’s own qualities … a gift with spirit causes both the giver and the recipient to grow and feel free … A gift without spirit is simply a transfer … a figure from my accounting column to yours … Now that You have Your Inheritance, it’s Time to Step Up. Step up where? To what? When and how were the hopes and expectations made clear? How to Begin? Believe it or not…the work actually starts with YOU!
Personal Stories: Accepting the Gift As-Is (PDF)
A Conversation with Molly Stranahan : Based on an Interview with Pamela Gerloff.
My grandfather and father set up trusts for my generation when we were small, as an estate and income tax avoidance device. When I received my first trust at age 18, my immediate reaction was to find out how much money, in total, would be coming to me. I wanted to know how much I could spend without running out of it before I died. That’s when I learned there were other trusts, which I would receive at ages 21, 30, 35, and 40. Knowing this, I financed my college education and gave myself a yearly “allowance.”
How Do I Talk to My Heirs about Their Inheritance? (PDF)
Are they Ready for the Great Wealth Transfer? Over the next 30–40 years in North America alone, an additional $30 trillion in assets will pass from Boomers to their heirs. Between 2031 and 2045, when the transfer reaches its peak, 10% of total wealth in the US will be changing hands every five years. Are you and your heirs ready to receive this? Will this inheritance truly be an inspirational gift, or simply a transfer of wealth? Gift? Transfer? What are you talking about? Imagine that something that felt like a meteor landed on your house….Now imagine that the meteor is composed of money…lots of money.
Nice People Don’t Talk About Money (PDF)
The Aspen Times, 2012 March 12
Nice people don’t talk about money. Really? What else are we not supposed to talk about? What else is taboo? On March 20th, three brave…and very nice…women will be opening up their hearts and sharing their stories and journeys through wealth. They’ll also talk about how philanthropy helped to define them…and transformed the world, as well as themselves.
Gender and Corporate Social Responsibility: A Matter of Sustainability (PDF)
Companies with the highest representation of women leaders financially outperform, on average, companies with the lowest. In fact, companies that maintained board gender diversity in at least four out of five years significantly outperformed those with zero women directors. Even as a commitment to gender-inclusive leadership, particularly when sustained over time, is associated with higher returns on the short-term balance sheet, the benefits of gender-inclusive leadership extend beyond financials. New data from Catalyst and Harvard Business School suggest that gender-inclusive leadership and corporate social responsibility are linked. Companies and society win when business leaders are made up of women and men.
What Women Want: Understanding the Needs and Objectives of Women’s Philanthropy (PDF)
Women tend to focus on specific sectors and want greater accountability for their gifts. On the whole, women want to create new solutions, seek more contact and control, and want to be kept informed of the results from their giving. Many also seek social networks within the organizations that interest them.
2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy (PDF)
The 2011 Study of High Net Worth Women’s Philanthropy provides a focused analysis on gender differences between high net worth men and women and the effect of participation in a network on giving behaviors and attitudes. The report provides new insights around gender and philanthropy,
Women Drive Philanthropic Decisions in Wealthy Households, but Nonprofits Must Work for Their Trust (PDF)
In nearly 90 percent of high net worth households, women are either the sole decision maker or an equal partner in decisions about charitable giving.
Philanthropist George Stranahan (PDF)
The Aspen Times Weekly, 2011 December 29
George Stranahan has made a career of empowering people. He’s made a career out of a lot of other things, too. However, the core, underlying rhythm for George has been about empowering the underdog – questioning authority – encouraging people, especially himself, to explore outside the box.
How Two Local Corporations Look at Philanthropy (PDF)
The Aspen Times Weekly, 2011 December 22
Reese Henry & Company and Aspen Skiing Company are two organizations that have expanded their portfolio to include grant making that is active, strategic, and sometimes catalytic in nature
Aspen’s Unsung Heroes (PDF)
The Aspen Times Weekly, 2011 December 15
Philanthropy in its purest form is about giving from the heart. The term “philanthropist” is often reserved for those who donate at the five or seven figure level. In reality, philanthropists – those who volunteer their time and give at a financial level that honors their capacity – come from all walks of life. One of the more endearing qualities of Aspen is how neighbors…our extended family…run (not walk) to support someone in need.
The Meaning of Wealth (PDF)
Over the years I have learned the importance of provocative and insightful questions that take one on a journey – questions that open one’s heart and mind to what is real. What does your wealth – your human, intellectual and financial capital – mean to you and your family?
Diminishing Dollars: The Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis (PDF)
In the second half of 2008, the U.S. experienced a severe economic downturn. Often called the Global Financial Crisis, it is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In the U.S., the effects of the downturn were felt across every sector of our economy and society. Philanthropy was, of course, no exception. According to Foundation Center data, in 2008, U.S. foundation assets declined a record 17.2%.
Growing Philanthropy in the United States (PDF)
Growing Philanthropy in the United States : Executive Summary (PDF)
In the United States, charitable giving is estimated to be around two percent of average household disposable (after tax) income (Giving USA Foundation 2011). Regrettably, this is also the 40-year average for this figure, indicating that, despite an increasing effort on the part of nonprofits, individuals today are no more generous than their predecessors were over four decades ago.
Review of Literature on Giving and High Net Worth Individuals (PDF)
Philanthropic activity among high net worth individuals has received much attention in recent years, becoming the focus of scholarly research and policy interest. High net worth philanthropy has received media attention with a number of stories about wealthy individuals making substantial pledges or contributions.