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Examples of What to Say

by Greg Curtis
Even small children love to hear simple stories about their ancestors, and as children grow into teenagers and then young adults the stories can become more complex and serious. For example, consider Great-​Grandpa Henry Knox’s many shortcomings as a rancher. Or the general klutziness of the Knox men, who are…

Tell the Right Stories to your Children

by Greg Curtis
In the last few posts I’ve spent a lot of time talking about kids who grow up in wealthy families and the issues they face, as well as talking about how virtually all American kids are raised these days. I’ve devoted so much time to these subjects because I want…

Trust Fund Baby Syndrome: An Interesting Case

by Greg Curtis
In the fall of 1997 I found myself in the spacious, many-​windowed living room of a large home in a southern state I’ll call Florida, although that’s not where it was. I have also slightly modified some of the details of the family to protect their privacy.

A Pampered Generation

by Greg Curtis
The typical trust fund baby is well-​known to all of us: a life devoted to spending down the family’s capital on themselves, not working, having difficulty maintaining relationships, living empty lives. The fear that people will be ruined by money is so pervasive that, following the French Revolution, trusts were…

Poor Parenting Saps the Wealthy

by Greg Curtis
We are talking in a roundabout way that has taken us back to first principles about the human maturation process and how it interacts with the fear of affluent parents that money will ruin their children. There are several characteristic ways that affluent families go wrong, launching the shirtsleeves-​to-​shirtsleeves phenomenon…

Understanding the Trust Fund Baby

by Greg Curtis
We are talking about the complex process through which infants and children are transformed from little beasts into responsible adults. More particularly, we are talking about how that process often goes wrong and never goes perfectly.

Make your Plan Now (While You’re Calm)

by Greg Curtis
“Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be.” –Janet Yellen. Last week I suggested six steps we could take to prepare ourselves for the next market crisis — which, Janet Yellen notwithstanding,…

What Will You Do in the Crisis? Part II

by Greg Curtis
“I’m less interested in the return on my money than in the return of my money.” –Mark Twain

What Will You Do in the Crisis?

by Greg Curtis
“The world is in the throes of a Bull Market in everything.” –The Economist. No, I am not — not, not, not — predicting a market crash. (On the other hand, if the market collapses just after I post this, I will naturally take credit for calling it.)

Passion and Independence: Two More Critical Requirements for Leaders

In a recent essay on leadership for Pittsburgh Quarterly, I listed several characteristics that I believe define great leaders. Among them were courage, vision and the ability to communicate. I realized last week that I omitted two important characteristics from the list after taking part in a couple of well-​attended…

Leading the Way

We asked five high-​profile executives: What do you believe to be the most important ingredients of successful leadership?

Investing in a Rigged Market, Part IV

If we care about the health of free market economies, then we need to care about how efficiently capital is allocated in those economies. And if we care about efficient capital allocation, then we need to care about the health and efficiency of capital markets, because those markets are the…

Seek, and You Shall Find … Conflicting Investment Advice

The run of this current Raging Bull of a stock market has been exceptionally long: eight-​plus years. (The average bull market has lasted four years, nine months.) In response there has been great conjecture by investment firms, financial advisers, brokers, and market pundits in Pittsburgh about how much longer the…

Squeezing out the Investment Experts

The core problems with central bankers, which have led directly to the catastrophes of the Tech Bust, the Financial Crisis, the pathetically weak recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-​09, and the near-​destruction of the asset management business, are: groupthink, arising out of the fact that every central banker in…

The Fed and Friends

We are talking about the traumatizing events that rocked the asset management business, to say nothing of the world, beginning in 2008, a calamity brought to us courtesy of the world’s central bankers.
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