I encountered some information from research done on affluent individuals and families by the Spectrem Group’s 2017 Market Insights Report. Interestingly, the primary financial concern for those with a net worth of over $5 million was their children’s and grandchildren’s fiscal situation. It came as a bit of a surprise considering these are very successful families, whom I assume would have provided first-class educations and opportunities for their children. So naturally I had to put my thinking cap on and ask… Why this was such a big concern. Following is my conclusion:
Did you know that in our great nation, there are:
Approx. 368,000 Billboards 1
1,286 Daily newspapers published 2
7, 216 Magazines in circulation 2
1,767 Commercial TV Stations 3
15,503 Radio Stations 3
600,000 – 1,000,000 New books published each year 4
85 billion pieces of junk mail delivered each year 5
And we haven’t even mentioned websites… in 1998, there were 26 million web pages. In 2000, there were 1 billion. Currently there are over 1.3 TRILLION.6 1 trillion is an unfathomable number. I heard it put into perspective like this: Think of 1 second. It has come and gone, right? To get to 1,000 seconds, it takes 15 minutes. To arrive at 1 billion seconds, it takes 32 years. 1 trillion seconds is 32,000 years.
So back to my conclusion on why affluent families’ primary concern is for their children and grandchildren’s financial future: Information Overload!
In order to have a successful career, raise a family, and filter through the mountain of information we’re inundated with in order to make the best decisions regarding your finances would be nearly impossible. Remember the days of the Encyclopedia Britannica? That was generally accepted as a reliable source of information. But how do you know the information you are getting today is a good source, much less correct? You can’t know… and snopes.com only goes so far. Put it this way – with all the information available, if you broke your leg, would you decide that instead of going to a doctor or the hospital, you would just research everything you could find online and cast your own leg? Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it?
Since the beginning of time, we have been bartering our individual talents and abilities to put food on the table. Whether it was the trade of a loaf of bread for repairing a shoe or working to earn dollars to buy that first-rate education or an iPad manufactured by Apple, this really hasn’t changed. The world we live in today is wonderful, with endless possibilities especially considering the up-to-date information that is always at your fingertips. Yet technology doesn’t change the fact that we still need other people with their individual talents, abilities, and practical experiences for their expertise.
I think that one of the best gifts parents and grandparents can give to the younger generations of their family is opening the door to this expertise through a trusted advisor. Imagine if they didn’t have to fumble through good and bad information or learn from bad experiences. We encourage all of the families we work with to introduce us to their children and grandchildren, allowing us an opportunity to help them build a solid Life Plan to guide their financial situation – without reinventing the wheel.
- Outdoor Advertising Association of America
- Federal Communications Commission
- USPS Household Study