FAMILY FORTUNES

HOW TO BUILD FAMILY WEALTH AND HOLD ONTO IT FOR 100 YEARS

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

The father-and-son authors, who run an international publishing company started by the dad, Bill Bonner, reject most of the conventional wisdom about creating, growing and inheriting family money. “Very few people are able to generate a fortune and hold onto it for many generations,” says Will Bonner. “The outlying ideas are the ones that create breakthroughs.”

WHY YOU NEED TO READ IT

Achieving and maintaining wealth requires that the family members, investment strategies and legal structures all be aligned. The Bonners provide a system that allows families to achieve such coordination.

QUESTIONS FOR WILL BONNER

In the book, you call wealth managers “parasites” and the stock market “a scam” and equate charitable giving to “throwing [your money] down a storm drain.” Why so negative?

We don’t want to represent things that aren’t true just because they’re comfortable. Most people don’t get rich. Families that do have to take it upon themselves to look after their own wealth.

What do you suggest families do instead?

For one thing, we believe in trying to get beta. Typically, from stock investments, you are trying to get alpha and beat the market. That’s almost always a losing bet. The odds are greater that you can make a beta bet on a certain market and allow time for those returns to be realized.

What strategies do you recommend to pass wealth on?

We advocate for creating a family council where the members are the beneficiaries of the family trust. This body decides how the distributions are made to younger generations based on protocol outlined in the trust document — for example, distributions could only be made for productive purposes, such as getting an education or pursuing a business opportunity. That allows children to have the resources to achieve anything, but not the resources to sit and do nothing.

What fatal mistake do you see wealthy families make?

Focusing on the money and not the family. Wealthy families get caught up in creating legal structures to protect their money. There is no legal framework to protect the wealth 100 percent. But the one asset your family always has is its human capital — the talents and abilities of its members.

And the best thing they can do?

Engaging the next generation and focusing on developing human capital. Then you have a group of capable individuals who can continue a successful family legacy.

WILEY, JULY 2012, $29.95, 352 PAGES

THE LOST BANK

The Story of Washington Mutual — The Biggest Bank Failure in American History

BY KIRSTEN GRIND

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Grind, a former reporter for the Puget Sound Business Journal, details WaMu’s rise and fall, from the first blips of trouble in the summer of 1981 to its collapse on September 25, 2008.

WHY YOU NEED TO READ IT

WaMu is an often-forgotten casualty of the recession, which is astonishing given the bank’s centrality to the economic meltdown that followed. Grind’s account reminds readers of a cautionary tale that shouldn’t be forgotten.

SIMON & SCHUSTER, JUNE 2012, $27, 400 PAGES

THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY

How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future

BY JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Shut out of a post in the Obama administration in favor of more Wall Street-friendly economists, the Nobel Prize-winning Stiglitz fights back by plunging into the debate over inequality, decrying how the United States devolved into a country where “the 1 percent are walking off with the riches” and the 99 percent receive “nothing but anxiety and insecurity.”

WHY YOU NEED TO READ IT

Stiglitz is a powerful rhetorician, but he doesn’t shy away from pragmatism. “There are alternative frameworks that will work better for the economy as a whole, and, most importantly, for the vast majority of citizens,” he argues. Like him or not, Stiglitz provides the intellectual credibility that Occupy Wall Street has so far lacked.

W.W. NORTON & COMPANY, JUNE 2012, $27.95, 448 PAGES

DREAMLAND

Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep

BY DAVID K. RANDALL

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

After a bout with sleepwalking, journalist David K. Randall set out to discover as much as he could about “the bodily state that we know about but never really experience because, well, we are asleep.”

WHY YOU NEED TO READ IT

Who wouldn’t like to sleep better? “How you slept last night has a bigger impact on your life than what you decide to eat, how much money you make or where you live,” Randall writes. For anyone who’s ever felt like they’re passing through life in a state of chronic sleep deprivation, it’s hard to disagree.

W.W. NORTON & COMPANY, AUGUST 2012, $25.95, 336 PAGES

Welcome!

Magazines Review offers you a broad range of popular American magazines online. Browse an extensive directory of magazines, covering most important aspects of your life. Find the most recent issues of your favourite magazine, or check out the oldest ones.

About content

All the articles are taken from the official magazine websites and other open web resources.

Please send your complains and suggestions through our feedback form. Thank you.