Dead End Gene Pool

Dead End Gene Pool

April 25, 2022

A client and friend referred me to a memoir written by an in-law titled Dead End Gene Pool: A Memoir.

The author, Wendy Burden, is a fourth generation descendent of Cornelius Vanderbilt on her father's side. The story focuses on her experiences growing up in the shadow of this enormous wealth as both the money and the family name becomes diluted over the years. What struck me most about the title and the reading was the concurrent decline of the family’s intellectual capital.

For years I have shared with individual and family office clients Jay Hughes’ seminal book Family Wealth-Keeping it in the Family. Click here to find the book on Amazon.

Hughes’ premise is that human capital is the most valuable asset that a high-net-worth family must pass on to the next generation. It is the real wealth that retains a high-net-worth dynasty. It is to the degree that the successful family can pass on the intellectual, emotional, and social capital - not the money - to their next generation that the family will create a true legacy.

I so strongly recommend Hughes’ book to anyone seeking core insights into wealth preservation. Feel free to reach out for a copy.