Integenerational Wealth: A Case Study of the Rockefellers

The late Dr. Thomas Stanley’s research in The Millionaire Next Door offered the statistics that 92% of millionaire households in the United States were first-generation wealthy. There are three primary factors that explain why wealth is not stagnant in America: an extensive spirit of philanthropy (American millionaires are more likely to donate half their estates to charitable causes than the wealthy in any other country); general mismanagement by the heirs (there seems to be something in human nature that suggests people who do not directly earn wealth from their own labor cannot maintain it as well as those who did); and an increasing divisor of heirs makes it difficult for idle wealth to perpetuate.

Few very investment articles discuss the mechanics of this third element. To conduct a case study into how this plays out in real life, let’s take a look at what we know from the trust of … Read the rest of this article!