Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for Inheritors Hardcover – January 1, 2003
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About the Author
Willis earned an MA in English from the University of Oregon and worked at writing, teaching, and leading counseling groups as an apprentice. Desiring to find ways to better help her peers with the emotional issues common to inheritors, she returned to graduate school to earn an MSW, leading to a License in Clinical Social Work.
Willis has a national reputation as an expert, caring presence in assisting people who are working through issues related to wealth. She has presented at numerous conferences, workshops, and seminars in connection with professional associations across the country.
- Publisher : New Concord Press (January 1, 2003)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 201 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0972549404
- ISBN-13 : 978-0972549400
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.75 x 9.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #623,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Note on the author: She is a fellow heir to a substantial fortune, and now a counselor for wealth issues and previously eating disorders.
My summary of this book: Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth is book primarily written to the inheritor of substantial wealth. She has helpful tips, insights and the main benefit is the sense of identifying some of the same feelings in others. There are some really good points in here, but many of the answers tend to be trite or simplistic but there is still very good content in chunks.
Strengths of this book are:
1. The case study format. The book is riddled with very helpful snap shots into the lives of different struggles of a inheritor or the affluent in general. Thayer tells stories that are very helpful as an inheritor to put words to the struggles. As a financial planner they provide insight into clients and cases.
2. Chapter 5 is a really good chapter on the dilemma of training children on handling wealth. She gives practical steps from allowances, to conversation ages, and on page 102 the idea of a personal financial trainer. Good stuff!
3. The scales of the America view of money need to tip toward understanding the strong negatives of affluence. She dives into some of the serious ones from a physiological perspective. So her strengths here are looking at isolation, loneliness, living in the shadow of the family founder, relationship struggles, a false sense of pride in others accomplishments, entitlement with children, etc.
4. This book is great for financial advisors who have not come from wealth to understand the mindset of the wealthy. But better book for that in my opinion are the first four chapters of the Golden Ghetto by Jessie O'Neill. But this book is good for those points too.
5. She points out consistently that there is more to life than accumulating cash. Page 40 she claims, "True happiness comes only from a profound sense of purpose and from nurturing relationships with other, particularly with God."
6. Her point that "Do you like me for me, or my wealth?" really plays at a trust issue in relationships. This point is made around page 59 and is again worth the read for this concept alone.
Weaknesses of the book:
1. In general, Thayer's applications are can tend to be trite or simplistic. For example, most of her professional observations which follow the case studies are obvious to the reader by how she told the story.
2. Trying to address the inheritor of substantial wealth she relies too much on them not having a job or worth outside of money. In the first four pages of the first chapter, which is important ink space of any book, she spends too much time of describing the downsides of being at a social function and not being able to answer the question, what do you do? This can be a very real dilemma but her answers are not too helpful and it's not the strongest place to start.
3. Her faith in trying to be inclusive dumbs down the hard issues out of a helpful range. She is a Christian but as said on page 166, claims to be inclusive. For me, at times, her "spiritual advice" is trying to be inclusive was too open-minded to address any of the real needs Christians or other worldviews would face. Her definition of god for instance is anything from the God of the Bible, or "[your] God is simple who or what you value the most in your life...your family, spouse, or your wealth (page 178)."
In don't want to be too harsh since most of it is very good but the downsides need to be pointed out.
The book is worth it for chapter 5 alone. Check it out.
A very good book to sensitize the advisor as to the viewpoint of the children of business succession clients.