Wealth is complex. Tax laws are constantly changing. And the establishment of trusts and the nuances of how they interact with your family dynamics can be unnerving.

Investment options have increased and become more sophisticated. Information arrives 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to your TV, phone, computer and now your car.

You now have advisors everywhere, claiming to offer customized, goal-based services, who may be under no obligation to do so. How are you making sense of it all?


You have spent your life accumulating and growing your wealth. It is now time to ensure that it lasts for the rest of your life, and can be successfully transferred to future generations. But the choices you make in every area of your financial life may have unintended consequences.

Investment-management decisions need to tie into your cash-flow needs and provide you an appropriate after-tax return, so that the additional trusts you have put in place can efficiently pass your wealth to the next generation, who may or may not be aware of your goals for the money. But implementing a successful strategy has proven difficult, as 70 percent of intergenerational wealth transfers fail, according to Roy Williams of the Williams Group, an expert on intergenerational family wealth. Simple enough, right?


There is a manager for nearly every asset class, investment style, liquidity period, capitalization and geographic location.


Everyone knows that his or her wealth may be changing day-by-day, hour-by-hour and even minute-by-minute. Privacy about the details of your wealth within your family has also surely changed, as now nearly everything is accessible on the internet.

How are you talking to your future generations about your intentions? How often are these crucial conversations occurring? At Waldron, we are finding that wealth has increasingly become a contributing factor to family tensions, and thanks to social media and a pervasive culture of oversharing, everyone knows everyone’s business almost as soon as it happens.

To prevent the potential fallout from these increasingly complex dynamics, transparent conversations need to happen earlier and more often with all family stakeholders.


There is a manager for nearly every asset class, investment style, liquidity period, capitalization and geographic location.

Further, there is likely an exchange-traded fund for each of these asset classes as well. Strategies and asset classes originally designed for more sophisticated investors and institutions have been democratized for people with lower levels of wealth; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are appropriate for everyone.

How are you integrating your investment decisions within the context of your income-tax, estate-tax and cash-flow planning? Matchmaking the planning you have conducted with your investment strategy requires patience, care and some forgiveness. Sound familiar?

Simplifying these considerations does not mean “dumbing it down”; it means making sense of the sophistication and noise, and providing you with decisions that are easier to make.

It means efficiently executing long-term strategies that most appropriately reflect your intentions. It also means having an advisor with a comprehensive, independent approach, and a diversely skilled and talented team that focuses its counsel on supporting your family’s goals. When you have the right team in place, simplifying your wealth can simplify your life.


Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by Waldron), or any noninvestment-related services, will be profitable, equal any historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Waldron is neither a law firm nor accounting firm, and no portion of its services should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of Waldron’s current written disclosure statement discussing advisory services and fees is available at www.waldronpw.com. The scope of the services to be provided depends upon the terms of the engagement.

This article was originally published in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Worth.