Protect. Preserve. Build.

A hand up, not a hand out . “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations”. This saying is so true that virtually every culture has some version of it. There’s even a 2,000-year-old Chinese proverb for it.

The first generation works hard and creates a fortune; the second generation enjoys the trappings that such wealth brings with it, substituting idleness for hard work while the third generation, with no role model to follow, squanders what remains of the wealth, leaving the fourth generation to have to start all over again.

As a result of the sale of a company in which I had a significant shareholding, I found myself in a situation where I had significant wealth to manage and invest, but neither the time nor expertise to do it properly.I was looking for more than just a financial adviser. I was looking for a firm that would work with me to make a financial plan for my life and my family.

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Facing the future. Encouraging the next generation to engage early and understand the value of working with a professional adviser is the first step towards increasing the chances that your wealth will survive for future generations.

If you are concerned about your wealth in your own lifetime you are probably even more concerned about its preservation when you are no longer managing it yourself. We know this from many conversations over many years with people like you.

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Buck the trend. Nearly one in five parents with children over the age of 25 has not discussed their family wealth with them because they don’t think they are old enough or mature enough, while four out of 10 parents over the age of 70 believe that their children won’t be ready to deal with the family wealth until they are aged at least 40.

Getting to know the family at an early stage in the relationship is a great way for us to help you to develop a plan that takes account of the family dynamics and is designed to promote open discussion, agreement and decision making.

How should you start the conversation?

Education, education, education. Learning the fundamental principles of managing wealth early will make it second nature for future generations and smooth the transition when the time comes for them to pick up the baton and ensure that the succession of the family wealth is placed into well informed and safe hands and in a position to continue to build for generations to come.

Read our top 15 tips to teach your children about money