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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
16
The Cycle of the Gift: Family Wealth and Wisdom
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:$30.24+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on June 14, 2014
Although the examples in the book deal with millions and even tens of millions of dollars, the path to wisdom the book develops applies to families with much less money to give. As a grandparent helping grandchildren with college expenses, I have used the teachings in this book to convey my values while respecting theirs. It has lead to an even more enriched bond of affection between us. And my children are not only comfortable with the bond, but derive their own joy from it.
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on February 1, 2013
What a refreshing perspective this book brings to the topic of wealth transfer. A must read for family members who engage in gifting, and for estate attorneys, CPAs and consultants who advise clients on this topic. The book addresses the sensitive issues of what to give,(not how much to give),and how to prepare the receiver to accept the gift in a manner that will enhanse the quality of their life. This book is not about the tax benefits of gifting, it is about the human side of gifting.
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on May 11, 2017
Worth reading
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on December 22, 2013
This book targets the upper .1% but the advice is mostly good for anyone with moderate wealth dealing with family issues. Core lesson is to plan gifts so that they enhance freedom and growth rather than subsidize entitlement and dependency. That means often that it may be best not to give away free money to your children. See also the book "The millionaire next door."
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on July 15, 2013
I am a huge fan of James Hughes' view of wealth perpetuation through investing a family's human capital. His notion of using gifts to enhance, rather than subside, the beneficiary's life is spot on. Anyone looking for a sustainable path to multi-generational family well being should read this book.
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on December 11, 2012
In many books that discuss giving, the focus is typically on the giver. In a wonderful new book, The Cycle of the Gift,: Family Wealth and Wisdom, , Dr. Keith Whitaker has joined with James E. Hughes, Jr. and Dr. Susan Massenzio to bring us a refreshing new perspective on giving that doesn't get lost in giving techniques. "This book encourages mindfulness about ourselves and our families. It offers giving as away into the spiritual core of individual and family flourishing, something we call the `spirit of the gift.'" The book takes our eyes off the mechanics of giving, off the how, and helps us consider the who of our gifts. A powerful twist is a strong focus on the impact of gifts on the recipient rather than the giver.

Keith and his co-authors tackle some typically touchy topics:
* gifting challenges for spouses, including a sensitivity to blended families and couples that are "fiscal un-equals"
* grandparent gifting and family philanthropy
* control versus freedom
* fair versus equal and separate versus together

My favorite chapter comes at the end of the book, where this very seasoned and experienced trio shares the why of giving. There is wonderful discussion about patience and the time it takes for children to develop their own values. Although many people make gifts contingent on values, the authors caution that we must be mindful of the distinction between values and character. "If you dislike the values, but you trust the character, then you probably don't have to worry about your financial gifts being misused. If the situation is reversed, proceed more cautiously." Communication is so important and cannot be assumed or taken for granted. "Communication makes it possible to respect each other as reasonable people while perhaps disagreeing about beliefs." My focus with women and families has been intentional wealth--aligning financial decisions and actions with values and beliefs. The Cycle of the Gift provides much insight into the idea of being intentional and aligned with our giving. It would make a wonderful gift for family members, friends, clients or financial advisors--one that would continue to "give" beyond the recipient.
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on November 27, 2012
The Cycle of the Gift is a must read for any family who wants to give a gift with spirit and wisdom. A truly wise gift is one in which the recipient and the giver both end up better for it. So many family gifts end up doing more damage than help. The authors of this book ask and answer many of the questions we are too afraid to ask. Should we give outright, a loan, or through a trust? Should we give the same gift to each child or grandchild? How much control should we attach to the gifts? With the advice in The Cycle of the Gift, the reader can structure a truly special gift, a gift that helps the recipient realize their full potential in life and family!
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on January 20, 2016
Great book with great advice
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on December 8, 2012
This book does not answer the most common question in family giving: "How much is enough?" It goes deeper. What families most want for their children and grandchildren is that they will flourish. True flourishing includes mind, body, character and spirit. The authors reflect on how giving money is too easily divorced from spirit and can do more harm than good. Then they provide principles and stories to guide you in how to give well and help your family to thrive. It will give you hope and courage and then perhaps even some insight into that question of "How much is enough?"
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on June 22, 2013
Raises many important points about talking and working with family members around a sensitive issue. The assistance with clarifying goals and attitudes so that everyone thrives is extremely helpful.
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