Almost every decision we make in life has a capital component to it. In other words, there is an exchange or investment of value involved. As we’ve outlined before, the Five Capitals that make up a “Full Inheritance” are:
Today, I’m going to briefly touch on the first.
THE DOLLARS AND CENTS:
Simplistically, Financial Capital is made up of dollars and cents. We work hard at our jobs, analyze our investment choices, consider expenses, and often develop anxiety over how much (or how little) money to leave behind to the next generation. As a matter of fact, the #1 question we are asked by our ultra-high net worth clientele is, “How much money should I leave my kids?”
More often than not, we tend to spend an overabundance of time on creating, dispersing, analyzing, and panicking about Financial Capital. Common sense concludes that its emphasis therefore diminishes the time (and resources) we invest in the other capitals.
Ironically and important to note: Of the Five Capitals listed above, I’ve never had anyone tell me that Financial Capital is the most important. In discussion with families, it consistently ranks at the bottom of the list.
But that doesn’t mean we should disregard it, either.
TWO QUESTIONS: How do we give it the appropriate amount of time and attention? How does one answer the question “How much money should I leave my kids?”
A RESOURCE AND TOOL:
I submit that the answer to both of those questions lies in putting Financial Capital in its proper place with its proper framing. When we consider the Five Capitals in totality, we see that they all relate to one another. In other words, one might describe a successful person as having an abundance of all of these capitals.
Intellectual Capital can help me in life, in my career, in my choices. Relational Capital can provide emotional support, accountability, and a network. Character Capital can deliver a firm foundation of who I am at my core, and the values I stand upon. And Spiritual Capital can yield a faith, hope, and wisdom that transcends the challenges of today. All of these capitals are intrinsic at their core.
But only one capital stands out as a tangible tool. Financial Capital is external. It is simply a peripheral resource. As we all know, it won’t solve problems. But it can help me attain things.
PUTTING MONEY IN ITS PROPER PLACE
The Bible says that the love of money is “a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10). I’ve added the bold text to the word “root” for a reason. We see here that money has the ability to connect us to things. And, per the verse, if we do not put money in its proper place it can connect us to all kinds of evil.
But what if we put money in its proper place? What if it serves as a tool to help us connect to things that produce life? In plants and trees, roots connect to sources that help it grow and thrive.
So the question becomes, how do we use this “root” that can connect to so many aspects of life, as a resource to fuel the things that help us grow and thrive?
An easy place to start is to view your Financial Capital, however limited and abundant it may be, as a resource that can help fuel the other four capitals.
When money is put in its proper place, the decisions for your family will start to become clearer. And in this context, money does matter. Not as a necessity to be successful. But as a resource that can be leveraged to contribute to the other four capitals. And in that context, it is worth stewarding with excellence. Not that for the purpose of having a big pile of money, but that a big pile of money might have purpose.
Ready to dig deeper? Get started today, by better understanding your risk tolerance level and how that fits with the investments you currently hold.
Cale Dowell serves as Chief Operating Officer for Archetype Wealth Partners and resides in Houston with his wife Lynne and their two kids. Cale is seeking to create a paradigm shift in the way the financial services industry serves and impacts people. Archetype exists to help families thrive across generations.
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