November is Financial Literacy month. Over the course of the month we have been posting and sharing articles about wealth, philanthropy, impact investing and social economics. November is also the time of year when charities ramp up their fundraising efforts to tap into the spirit of the holidays. For some, connecting the dots between the month focused on financial strategies with the charitable season may seem incongruous. 

We are here to help think these things through!

Last year, around this time, we posted an article on values-based financial planning. What we highlight in this piece is that financial planning is not only about the money being managed; it is about the values that shape how we approach money. This year we want to take those concepts a step further.

Putting values-based wealth planning into the family wealth context

When considering financial parenting and setting up the next generation for financial success, it is important to consider how you align finances with the intangibles. These intangibles drive your decision making around wealth. 

Over the years while working with families around their legacy planning and philanthropy, we have come to realize that there are five key wealth influencers that directly shape the relationship you have with money. These five key concepts also influence how you model the “money relationship” with your family and friends.

The Five Wealth Influencers

  1. Self Awareness – This is about consciously taking time for yourself and entering into relationships and conversations from a point of curiosity and not judgement.
  2. Self Esteem – It is important to set goals, but unless you have someone to share them with to hold you accountable it is hard to keep them. Self-esteem is built upon the reward of being recognized for your efforts and how you move forward in the world.
  3. Importance & Value of Work – We all need our Netflix binge-watching days. The importance and value of work is about demonstrating the psychological and financial benefits of helping others through service as well as how work creates opportunities for independence (emotional, financial and social) from other family members and societal norms.
  4. Modeling behaviour – Those little folks in your life are ALWAYS watching. So it is important to walk the talk. This is especially valuable when you demonstrate how to express and accept gratitude.
  5. Family Values – At the core of all of this is how family stories and personal history is passed down. Having open dialogue about money, the economy, digital currencies and the connection to social impact is one of the ways of expressing these family values.

We can’t all be perfect at managing each one of these concepts. We can however set priorities on what we want to improve. At the root of all of this is communication; communication with others and within yourself.

Some ideas and tools for mastering these wealth influencers

To help you master these wealth influencers we have created a few tools and resources. You can download all of them from the resources section our website, and order topical books off of our bookshelf.

  1. Activities to do with your family. This document is a combination of activities we have done with families and individuals as they move along their philanthropy journey. We have broken them out into ages so that you can find the ones that best suit those in your sphere of influence.
  2. It can be hard to start telling your family story without an outline. We have created some basic legacy questions for you to consider as you begin to articulate your family story. 
  3. Figuring out what you can contribute to the broader society may seem daunting. One way to consider what you have to offer is to map it out. We call them the 4 T’s – Time, Talent, Treasures & Ties. This worksheet can help you think this through.
  4. In Tracy Gary’s book, Inspired Philanthropist, she outlines some of the things that are important to donors. We have taken this chart and added a few items based on feedback from our clients have shared they aspire to be as donors into a single document, “What Type of Donor am I?”

As alway,s we are interested in hearing how you pass along financial literacy skills to your kids and others you mentor and support. Please share this along with how money messages were transferred to you by your parents and others over your lifetime in the comments section of this blog.