Jim Grubman - Immigrants and Natives - Adapting to Wealth [The Business of Family]


19 October 2020

52 mins 55 secs

Season 1

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Special Guest

About this Episode

Dr. Jim Grubman has provided services to individuals, couples, and families of wealth for over 30 years. His work with clients at many levels of affluence - from the “millionaire next door” to The Forbes 400 - has earned him a reputation as a valued family advisor.

Jim is the author of Strangers in Paradise: How Families Adapt to Wealth Across Generations and co-author with Dennis Jaffe, PhD of Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations, offering ground-breaking explanations of how individuals and families can adjust to wealth effectively.

Standout Quotes:

  • "At the affluent and perhaps high net worth level, it's not that families leave wealth, it's that wealth gets distributed" – Dr. Jim Grubman
  • "People come to wealth without preparation for how they're going to sustain it in their family and that's really why it is so difficult for families" – Dr. Jim Grubman
  • "Most people just focus on the money and they forget adaptation" – Dr. Jim Grubman
  • “Everybody wants to get to the land of wealth but they don't realize what is going to be like once they get there and what their life is going to be like, the new problems that they're going to have and the adjustments in identity” – Dr. Jim Grubman
  • “Many inheritors are really disenfranchised citizens of the land of wealth, people think they have money but they really don't, it's in trust, tied up in partnerships... they don't control most of the wealth that is associated with them” – Dr. Jim Grubman
  • "Don't chase happiness; Happiness is a result, it's not a goal" – Dr. Jim Grubman

Key Takeaways:

  • Cross-cultural adaptation is much harder than people anticipate when they make the journey to wealth
  • In trying to adapt to a new environment, 2 dimensions make the greatest difference: the degree to which people hold on to or let go of connection to where they came from, and the degree to which they take on or resist getting involved with the new culture
  • Many of the things that are necessary for the business of family are completely unknown to the people coming to wealth.
  • Many inheritors are really disenfranchised citizens of the land of wealth, they don't control most of the wealth that is associated with them.
  • The 3 main cultural prototypes: HFD Dignity culture/individualist culture (the West) Face culture/harmony culture (East/Asia) Honor culture (across several countries)
  • The natives of global wealth get transformed into the 4th culture; a hybrid blending where they have roots in Honor or Harmony culture with strong influences from individualists and understand the struggle that their families have gone through cross-culturally
  • Is the 4th culture the destination for all of these different cultures?
  • One of the most difficult transitions for families is to move from a strong focus on the individual to understanding how much you have to build skills, processes, and structures for the interdependence of significant wealth. Honor and Harmony culture are much more prepared to understand interdependence.
  • The 3 main questions on adaptation; What from our background still serves us that we can keep? What from our background no longer serves us that we need to let go of? What from our new circumstances do we need to take on for the journey ahead?
  • Chase purpose; happiness comes from a fulfilled life

Episode Timeline:

  • [00:48] Mike introduces Dr. Jim Grubman and describes some of his work
  • [01:54] Dr. Jim narrates the history behind his involvement in Family wealth psychology
  • [04:16] The concepts of 'Coming to wealth' and 'Coming from wealth'
  • [10:19] The contrast between statistics that 80% of the wealth is created in the current generation and the amount of family wealth that is lost from generation to generation; where is all the wealth going?
  • [16:09] How do immigrants to wealth acquire the mental template to transition into the new culture?
  • [19:03] The known strategies that people go through in trying to adapt to a new environment.
  • [20:56] What individuals go through in making the journey to wealth
  • [26:08] Do the models and strategies for wealth preservation differ for those native to wealth compared to those coming to wealth?
  • [29:10] The main types of cultures as categorized in the book 'Cross Cultures'
  • [44:39] Jim's recommendation for G1s or wealth creators starting a healthy transition to G2
  • [47:00] Are there new trends emerging?
  • [50:16] Jim's letter to his kids

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