I have to admit that I’m not entirely original when it comes to the title of this article. I took it from Franco Lombardo’s latest book entitle, “The Great White Elephant: Why Rich Kids Hate Their Parents”. The book says a lot of things about the wealth of the rich families in Canada. (Mr Lombardo is a wealth advisor based in Canada.)
Lombardo’s work is based on his observation that when it comes to wealth succession from first generation to the second, there is a dismal 70% failure rate among the wealthy families. It seems to confirm the old Chinese Proverb that goes like this: “A family’s wealth seldom lasts beyond 3 generations.”
Lombardo contends that there is more to Estate Planning that goes beyond expertise of lawyers, accountants, financial planners and investment advisors. Funny but no matter how sophisticated they are in dealing with the issue of wealth transfers (meaning passing it from one generation to the succeeding generations), wealthy families fail miserably in dealing with the emotional issues the family members have to deal with. The family’s Great White Elephant is sabotaging the whole process of succession planning.
During his interview with USA Today, Lombardo said, “The emotional component just wasn’t being dealt with. The more money families have, the more these problems are magnified.”
He also identified the three common reasons why wealthy kids hate their parents.1. Wealthy parents don’t say, “No” to their kids. You know… the kind where parents give anything that their children want. This is a perfect recipe for raising spoiled kids. But wealthy parents can’t seem to connect this relationship.
They say too much love can kill you, but I think it’s exaggerated. However, here is a fact: too much love can spoil your kids.
2. Not spending time with their kids. Acting as if everything revolves around money is especially dangerous for the rich families. A lot of wealthy parents seem to be addicted to money that to the point of relegating time with their kids on the side lines. While many of them think that they can make up for the lost time by giving their kids money, well it actually only adds insult to the injury. “Money is the wrong currency to pay back lost time,” Lombardo said.
Author’s Note: Rich or poor, I think once you become a parent, you should take to heart the meaning of song, “Cats in the Cradle.” The song is rock, but it nails down the message quite effectively. Watch the video below and pay attention to the lyrics.
3. Societal Influence. What’s true in about people’s attitude toward the rich in Canada is also true here in the Philippines. Realizing that the society at large actually makes fun of rich kids, wealthy parents instruct their children to hide their wealth to blend naturally with everyone. In other words, these kids spend a large part of their growing up years with their real identities camouflaged so they can be accepted by the crowd. Unfortunately, children grow up to resent their parents for teaching them such a “fake” display of behavior.
In the Philippines, the society’s influence is even worst. As a nation, we hate the rich.
However, here’s one irony that bothers me the most: We hate the rich, but at the same time, we also wish to become one of them.