It’s Time to Make Wellbeing Part of the Family Wealth Journey

Generations of family members enjoying their time together

We’ve talked a lot about how to make the wealth transfer process easier on your family, and how to create a modern-day family legacy, but the reality is, wealth can play a broader role in facilitating your family’s connectedness, happiness and greater sense of purpose. 

In fact, if you look at the etymology of the word wealth, you’ll notice that it comes from the Middle English “wele” or wellbeing. Thinking of wealth as a vehicle for wellbeing can be a useful frame for considering how best to leverage your assets for the good of your family – now, and into the future. 

Shifting your focus away from asset transfer and onto the family’s wellbeing allows you to consider what’s most important to you – and to your family members. “The clients we work with tell us that the most important thing to them are their children and grandchildren,” says Genus Partner and Portfolio Manager Grant Conroy, “and adult children often say that it’s the ability to forge their own path in life. While financial capital helps with this, it’s not always the answer to what’s most important.” 

Here’s how to broaden your perspective on family wealth, and align it with what’s important to you and your family. 

Rethinking Your Approach to Family Wealth

Whether your wealth is generational or stems from a family business or other financial management strategies, it’s not the only asset that makes your family truly wealthy. When you broaden your approach to wealth, you might include consideration of many other factors, such as your family’s purpose and goals, intellectual capital and charitable work or values. 

Here’s an exercise to help you broaden your perspective on family wealth. The following steps can help you to define what wealth means to you, and how to ensure it includes your family’s wellbeing.

Family siting on a couch together enjoying their wellbeing

Step 1 – Explore what wealth is – and isn’t: Financial wealth can influence an individual or family’s sense of self-identity, but it shouldn’t be the sole defining factor for your family legacy. We encourage our clients to consider financial wealth as just one layer of the family’s foundation – a tool to facilitate achievement of your goals and fortify your wellbeing.

Step 2 – Focus on what’s important: Put aside the focus on transfer of financial assets for a moment and ask yourself what’s most important to you – and to your family. What kind of legacy do you want to leave? What’s most important to your children?

Step 3 – Look ahead: Close your eyes and think forward 75 years, envisioning your family. What do you see? Most people don’t picture the material aspects of life – the type of home their family members live in or the cars they drive – they envision a state of being: their great grandchildren playing or their adult grandchildren living their lives with happiness.

Step 4 – Have conversations about the future: It’s always a good idea to have a conversation (or many) about family finances and legacy, but we suggest that our clients go beyond money and discuss wellbeing more holistically. What are the family’s values? What do your children and/or grandchildren see for their future? How can the family work together to achieve their collective goals?

Step 5 – Consider the path to the future your family wants: How can you best support your family members in achieving the kind of future you hope for them – and that they hope for themselves? And how can your wealth best be leveraged here?

Ultimately, your legacy and future may be facilitated by financial assets, but the difference it makes to your family’s wellbeing is the true measure of its success. “When we work with clients at Genus, we see them as people and families,” Conroy says. “We understand that what’s most important to people are their loved ones, and a future in which they can live out their dreams and values.”

Book a meeting with Genus Portfolio Manager Grant Conroy to explore how to create a holistic legacy for your family.


Client impact

“Graduating from a big bank to Genus was one of the best financial steps we've ever taken. Genus has delivered reliable asset growth despite our moderate risk tolerance. As our financial security has grown, we've also been the beneficiaries of a great client experience. The company's communications have been consistently transparent and informative, including educational webinars and a well-designed web portal where we can track investments daily. Most importantly to us, our portfolio manager has always responded swiftly and thoroughly to our questions and requests. ”
Martin T.
"Having relatively diverse financial goals and needs, along with a slight reticence regarding the stock market, Genus skillfully addressed all of our concerns, and put together a truly exceptional plan: Fossil free funds and a diversified investment portfolio, check; An effective Impact investment portfolio that coincides with our hopes and dreams for a better world, check; Professional advice and assistance to create a donor advised charitable fund with immediate charitable receipts for tax purposes, check. Returns? Way beyond our expectations! We even had some fun along the way and certainly enjoyed an incredible two-year start to what will be a satisfying long-term relationship with Genus."
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Bob Q.
“For over 15 years, I have provided selection and performance evaluation of multiple investment managers for a significant family office. Leslie and Genus have been foundational for me in my role. I have always found Leslie and her colleagues to be insightful and proactive, and found the performance of their portion of the portfolio to be well above benchmarks. And they have been a great pleasure to work with.”
Douglas H.
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Marnie C.
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Allan S.
“Back in 1992 when I found myself at fifty with a substantial amount of money to invest, I knew just one thing — that I didn’t want to contribute to tobacco companies, arms manufacturers, or oil. But over the ensuing years the options for socially responsible investing have become far more sophisticated and I’m very happy that this is a big part of the Genus approach. I also very much appreciate the long-term relationship with my portfolio manager, Mary Lou.”
Ann P.

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