How to Guard Against the Curse of “Rich kid-itis”

Parents who have become wealthy through their own hard work often worry that their children will turn into spendthrifts who fail to appreciate the true value of money. But their success need not ruin their offspring, writes Hugo Greenhalgh Bottles of Cristal on private jets, bar bills stretching to six figures and more bling than a Kardashian’s wardrobe: the Rich Kids of Instagram are every wealthy parent’s nightmare come true. A contagious social disease, the early symptoms typically include loss of work ethic, and the ability to spend money like water. Acute sufferers risk flunking an expensive education, and failing to settle into a career. Some parents may attempt to treat this with a strong dose of medicine from the bottle labelled “We are leaving it all to charity when we die” although, for many, this antidote will seem too harsh. Sadly, the world is awash with children of wealthy families who have become addicted to drink or drugs ( the Rausings , the Agnellis, the Gettys, to name but a few). Of course, many a “wild child” has rehabilitated their health and career prospects – but prevention is better than cure. So how do you ensure your success does not ruin your children’s lives? With at least $16tn of global wealth set to be transferred to the next generation over the next 30 years, parents need to consider how to pass on their money. (FT)

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