One of the most important concerns of our wealth management clients involves a resource even more finite than their money – their time.
A century ago, the rich were known as the leisure class, while poor and laboring classes toiled long hours. Nowadays, the situation is reversed, with wealthier people working longer hours and dedicating less time to leisure than the rest, a shift that is causing major changes in our bodies’, our families, our jobs, and our economy. The Economist recently surveyed the research on this topic in a fascinating read, but you will need to provide your email address to view it after clicking here. It’s worth the trouble.
There are two ways that wealth managers can help clients get more value for their time. Firms serving ultra high net worth ($20M+) households (sometimes organized into “family offices”) function as a concierge, with staff who function as personal financial assistants.
Less affluent, but still financial secure households, can make better use of their time, and their time with advisors, by thinking rigorously about how different financial strategies increase not only their net worth and financial security, but also how they use their time. For instance, simply deciding to spend less on lifestyle can allow people in their thirties to responsibly reduce career options in order to stay at home with children, professionals in their fifties to leave the grind to do public service work, or grandparents in their seventies to spring for expensive vacations that would otherwise be imprudent.
If this issue resonates with you, you are not alone, as evidence in the description of Gallup poll results below, providing further documentation of the tendency for people to feel “poor” in terms of time even as their wealth rises: