Family Office

Wealthy Families Lose More Sleep Over Personal Affairs Than Finances - Study

Josh O'Neill Assistant Editor 4 January 2018

Wealthy Families Lose More Sleep Over Personal Affairs Than Finances - Study

New research from a US-based family office showcases how ultra-high net worth families are more concerned about personal issues than their finances.

Wealthy families find their personal issues more difficult to manage than their finances, according to new research from Pitcairn.

Yesterday, the family office published the results of its first Wealth Momentum Index, designed to help ultra-high net worth families benchmark key aspects of their wealth across both financial and family spheres on a scale of one to 10. 

The index, which averages respondents’ scores to present broader views, highlights that family meetings and wealth transfers to succeeding generations stand out as points of contention with low average scores of 5.3 and 5.7, respectively. According to Accenture, the consultancy, some $30 trillion of wealth is forecasted to change hands, so it is no surprise families are vying to execute transfers efficiently.

“When it comes to protecting a family’s assets and legacy over generations, the differences in these scores can compound to create significant challenges,” said Andrew Busser, Pitcairn’s managing director of strategy. “Figuring out exactly where those friction points exist and benchmarking your family’s unique situation against others are key steps in maximizing your wealth momentum through transitions and successions.”

Family meetings, for example, scored more than a point lower than the average of all other scores combined and more than two points lower than the highest ranked category. 

Although the 24 respondents were less confident about their family affairs, they were, on average, more optimistic about their financial outlooks. 

Families were most confident about their investments, with an average score of 7.3. Tax affairs closely followed, with an overall score of 7.

However, the index suggests that decisions involving family and personal convictions were “more likely to cause strife within families,” Pitcairn said. 

Specifically, trusts and philanthropy scored 6.7 and 6.8, respectively, noticeably lower than the likes of investments and tax. 

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