1766 Experience.

A lot of good things come from the children of the very wealthy ruining their families with their stupidity. Public parks, museums, all kinds of things. Each successive generation of most wealthy families are worst than the last. Until, eventually, they are broken. It’s pretty rare for someone who is a genius in some way that makes them wealthy to have a child that can do the same thing, or maintain an empire. Parents who can make money tend not to be able to pass on those skills because the kind of personality that can will themselves to succeed resists transfer of knowledge. They’re controlling and selfish in a lot of ways.
I’ve read a lot of stories about the children of very wealthy parents. The parents had to fight for everything but ignored their children essentially, or abused them, browbeat them in an attempt to make clones of themselves. It turns out badly most of the time. Of course some dynasties do survive because the family is structured in such a way that the problems that cause failure don’t happen. The heads of them are capable of appraising their children properly and understand them. It’s so rare historically, but not so much so that it hasn’t happened even in recent times.
Reggie & Victoria’s parents are at least trying to give their kids the tools to succeed. Of the two it seems like Victoria is taking to the teaching better, but Reggie has his strengths and is learning. The hows and whys of all of that have yet to be revealed, but someday I’m sure I’ll get to it all.

30 Comments

Oh, I like this one … I like her a lot!

Unrelated, it’s a new month, so remember to vote. I know I’ve picked up a number of web comics from the top 100 page, so I’m sure others will as well.

She has a point. Look at heirs and heiresses who lost fortunes; or better still, idiots that wasted lottery winnings. These are the same problem approached from opposite ends: financial irresponsibility.

For the rich spoiled kid, they get what they want just by asking. And they always want bigger and better. And for the poor bastard who has a few million bucks suddenly dumped on them… well, they can suddenly live the Hugh Hefner lifestyle they dreamed of.

Both situations end the same. They live big, but big lives come with bigger expenses. Mansions need care, thus needing caretakers, and equipment, and wages. A Bugatti Veyron still has to obey the same speed limits as a cheap-ass Honda… then there’s insurance, servicing and registration.

That is why the smart ones hire financial planners, accountants, etc.

I do like Victoria. She’s dry, but I can sense passion behind those eyes.

I’m of the mind that everyone should serve a stint in some kind of service job. Food service, retail, whatever; it teaches you valuable lessons about empathy, and how you should try to avoid being a dick to all those service types whenever possible. Because you remember what it was like when it was YOU doing it.

Wealth does tend to democratize itself over time. The Kennedy family comes to mind, and the British Royal family has had to deal with arrogance born of privilege too, though the worst aspects sometimes seem to skip generations.

Being born with wealth or power by definition means you haven’t had to earn it or acquire the self-discipline required to keep it or the appreciation for it. It’s just what you grow up expecting. Extra parental effort needs to be put in to create children capable of truly coping with their heritage or being grateful for it.

The last panel made me chuckle.

Their banter made me think of Mushroom farming.
You need to shed a little light to see what is where but you don’t really want to be there all that much in the first place.

[for those not in the know the “loam” is from horses]

I do agree it’s a rare thing that wealthy kids somehow keep the family fortune going.

However –

I’m from a wealthy family that’s been wealthy for almost 7 generations now. Since my mother’s grandfather came from Scotland. So far, each generation has been taught how to fend for themselves, and treat the family money as a thing for the next generation. I live primarily off my own income, but I do get … stipends, I guess? … from time to time that improve my situation. It’s infrequent, and it’s mostly based on stocks I own but can’t really sell.

Or I could sell, but doing so would bankrupt me in taxes later. I really don’t like not having money or a house or my own car.

My point being – smart wealthy people don’t often get the attention that stupid wealthy people do. We don’t own mansions or cars or islands or jets or whatever. We own what we need and we try to preserve as much of the wealth of our family as we possibly can for our children. Although we raise our kids to save it for their kids, etc. The cycle continues, even after 6 generations of 8+ kids who could just blow all of it. The most expensive thing I own is a $6000 board game collection.

Eventually the wealth might collapse, but that would be because our assets expire or become valueless. Not because we spent the core of our family’s wealth.

Well, I guess there’s my $14k Scion XM that I bought last year that I still owe $8k on, that I’ve been throwing more money at per paycheck to get the loan paid off in a matter of months instead of years.

I applaud your restraint. All I have of the family wealth is photos of the last generations that enjoyed some of it. Looks as though they enjoyed themselves. More the pity.

I think the trick is to put it out of mind. If I’m not thinking about the money I have inherited, the less likely I am to spend the money I have inherited. I’m more likely going to think about the money I have earned with my own two hands first.

And if I do spend money, the first thing that always pops into my mind is how much will I use and why do I need the thing I’m looking at. If the answer is never really compelling (like I really don’t need it and it will sit unused), then I don’t buy it.

Yeah this is actually a rather uncertain topic in academic circles. Getting data from very wealthy families has proven to be difficult. On the one hand we have some early work that suggested that wealth in families typically did not survive 3 generations. On the other hand there is a lot of work on intergenerational wealth mobility that has observed very long term wealth stability within a family line (like ten generations). Families that own a lot of income producing property (renting) specifically tend to do well long term. maybe the self made business billionaires are less stable long term, because their assets are more volatile, but it is tough to say. It all might depend on what we consider to be the line at which someone is wealthy. After a certain point though, there is a lot of buffer room that can allow a generation or two to be buffoons and still not fully exhaust or even dent their families capital holdings. Capital is powerful stuff.

Regardless of how the pile of cash was first amassed one generation of gamblers and drinkers and well the rest is obvious.

Yeah, it’s hard to track wealth because it really depends on who it is that has it and the availability of the information to the people making the study.

I hadn’t realized how very little my family displayed their wealth until I started looking at the people my parents associated with. They don’t advertise it like the lady I know from Vale, Colorado who has a huge mansion and a Tesla car. She’s always dressed like she’s some sort of celebrity. She goes on trips all the time, takes pictures with her expensive phone and wears a lot of jewelry that makes my significant other jealous.

I have a small house. I have two cars (mine and my SO’s). I wear jeans and polo shirts, and my pair of well-worn Merrill shoes. Maybe my nice watch when I go out with friends. And only a suit in formal situations. And I go on vacation maybe once a year if that.

Although it sounds nice and upstanding, the idea that ability to instill some manner of responsibility and sympathy gained through toil, the research into multi-generation wealth really does not point to proper upbringing being a deciding factor. Yes, it makes for less messed up offspring but in the long run does not really counter the forces that work against building vast wealth.

As stated before, it has much more to do with where that wealth comes from that defines the duration of a family line to maintain it. Control of the primary assets by just a few individuals also plays a role, as successive generations dilute the fortune unless that wealth if built.

It has already been pointed out that regardless of upbringing of the children, most fortunes do not persist after 3 to 4 generations. It really is not how well you are raised, but rather what you do with the fortune and how easily one can liquidate it.

Top Factors in order:
1) Source and nature of the wealth
2) Degree of susceptibility (how easily can it be lost or liquidated)
3) Luck (being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing… repeatedly)
4) Having few offspring (fewer heirs means less division of wealth)
5) Diversification over time
6) Willingness to take risk

This list can be applied to most common examples to demonstrate how fortunes are gained and lost, with no need to analyze the person to deeply. It also can be used to review the differences between Old Money and New Money and demonstrate how the latter rarely becomes the former.

So, as long as you have an understanding of the role of money and wealth you should do well. It has little to do with the person’s character. For, as anyone can attest, there are plenty of rich jerks/idiots out there or perfectly decent people who just can’t catch a break and slowly fade.

I can say that 4, 5 and 6 are a huge part of my family’s wealth maintenance. My parents have three kids – the oldest (me) being the only son, and two daughters. If we had any more, it might be harder to keep tabs on everything.

We are invested and vested in several companies, my sister and her husband have invested in property that they rent and they share-crop on. My other sister went to a nice school and is now an RN, so she makes nice money. I still work in IT, but as a manager.

I have expanded my ownership of shares into other companies that have some value (I invested in Amazon a while ago, as well as Disney, Apple, etc) and potential growth in their markets. So my share has actually gained momentum, and I’m keeping a close eye on it. I bought some bitcoins a while ago, when they were $485, and might keep them a little longer. It’s things like that that I do to grow it, and not merely sit on it and drain it slowly.

I like this page!

However, this is a side of Victoria that I did not think I would be seeing.

It’s sort of like seeing the much makeup-ed horror film host, Elvira / Cassandra Peterson, giving us a lecture on- the scientific curiosity of Benjamin Franklin!

O-o

Smart AND fun to be around. Good for you, babe!

It’s probably smarter to have your kids work in the family business, though. That way they learn it from the ground up.

So if Reggie is the heir apparent to the chain, he’d move up to take Mike’s place, then move on to a regional office, etc., all to learn the ropes. (Before it all goes into Chapter 11, of course.)

Victoria might do a stint in the animatronics repair shop, run the restaurant, then marketing or finance, rolling out new restaurants, whatever is useful.

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