Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves

The progression of wealth begins with a Builder, transferring down to a Janitor, and finally disappearing from the clutches of a Debtor. There is a better way to leave an inheritance for our Children.

One of the greatest burdens on children is the inheritance of wealth. Yes, I know this sounds counterintuitive. Yet, with 35+ years of experience working with three generations of families, I can attest to the validity of the premise.

Each culture has its phraseology:

  • Old English: “there’s nobbut three generations atween a clog and clog.”
  • Italy: “from the stable to the stars and back again.”
  • Japan: “rice paddies to rice paddies in three generations.”
  • China: “from peasant shoes to peasant shoes in three generations.”
  • Scotland: “father buys, son builds, grandchild sells, and his son begs.”
  • America: “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

Why is this true? Answer: “We want what we don’t have.

Continue reading “Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves”

Time & Money

Every decision we make involves the dimensions of Time and Money. Furthermore, for every decision, we have a choice to Spend or Invest.

Right about now, the contrarians among us are busily thinking of an example that doesn’t involve both Time and Money.

While I wait for them to exhaust the possibilities, I’ll continue with the thoughts about — and facets of — Time and Money. Because, after all — and between the two — Time is the most precious.

Continue reading “Time & Money”

Leverage or Lifestyle

Notorious for bragging about their lifestyle are the Montana ranchers — while they use the leverage of debt as a crutch to hobble down to oblivion.

There is a better way.

Million or Penny a Day?

What would you rather have — a million dollars, today, or a penny doubled for a month?

Continue reading “Leverage or Lifestyle”

Trust Fund Babies

I must confess my sin. For more than thirty-five years, as a CPA very good at what I do, I assisted in building little empires.

Having grown up poor, the intent was pure. I wanted those for whom I served to have the best that money can buy. Although, I discovered my Grandpa Foard was right, “Too much money will make people go crazy.”

There is never enough money. The more stuff people accumulate — the more unhappy they become. Which then fuels the fire for them chasing after even more of what is making them miserable.

Continue reading “Trust Fund Babies”

Free Advice

Through the years, I’ve given lots of free advice. I’m beginning to realize that’s been a very bad character trait.

» Advice — the wise don’t need it and the fools won’t heed it.
» Free — the perception of something worth nothing.

So, this week, when I said “No, thanks,” to an opportunity of continuing in my tradition of offering free advice, the response was enlightening. Well, I was enlightened. The person making the request was shocked. They were shocked that I would, could, should, and did say, “No.”

Continue reading “Free Advice”