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Ben Kingsley Blog post by Ben Kingsley

Someone Took a Calculated Risk

Question: How many generations can you trace your family back to? 2, 3 or 4 maybe….. Now looking at your family’s wealth base how many of you can easily see the millions of dollars within the family estates in property, cash, shares etc?

What……. your family doesn’t have all those tens of millions in the family estate? (Don’t worry I’m speaking to 99% of the reader base now – I’ll talk to the 1% who are superiorly wealthy shortly).

How is that possible, all those generations, all those years of earning millions of dollars in income and paying off debt and yet the family estate is somewhat paltry- Maybe a home debt free and a caravan or holiday home, but still very little income being generated for a superior lifestyle in retirement. Now you’re thinking, surely my parents have been wise with their money right, because they are certainly happy to give me advice about money and debt? Hmmmmm… maybe now that you put it that way, maybe they along with my grandparents and my great grandparents weren’t so great at managing their money at all.

LIGHT BULB MOMENT – So why am I listening and taking their advice about my money and debt?

Sorry to make such an obvious point and it’s not the first time I have written about it in my monthly comment, however it’s a lifelong challenge of mine to change the money habits and ways of others, in taking advice about money from those that had a chance of becoming wealthier, but managed their money either ‘poorly’ or ‘just ok’. For the record, ‘poorly’ is not having enough to sustain you through your retirement years and just having a property to live in. ‘Just ok’ is having some income being generated (say $50,000 a year or about $1 million in investment assets) – yes that’s just ok! Now you get an understanding of the enormous task and responsibility I have on my shoulders to spread the word – DON’T EVER TAKE MONEY ADVICE FROM ‘WELL MEANING’ FAMILY & FRIENDS.

Now I want to talk to the other 1% – the Superiorly wealthy family members of large estates and wealth bases, because I have a message for you too – even if you have been born into money. The other 99% of you are also allowed to read on………

For those born into money, I want you to ask your Mum and Dad, who in the family took the calculated risk? If they ask you what you are talking about reply with who was it that put the wealth foundation under us. The reply would go something like – Oh that was your great grandfather, he started a business…..he made some wise investments…… etc, etc. In short he took a calculated risk and was rewarded financially.

Loosely speaking, that’s how I think the vast majority of those conversations would go, because I doubt any of your parents’ replies would go like this…..he paid of his home loan because he was taught that debt/borrowing money was not a great idea. You seen in all great wealth stories, someone within the family unit need to take a risk, hopefully calculated and well researched and often they would have borrowed money, just as some of us do today to start our own families on a better wealth journey.

For the remaining 99% of you reading this – next time you get advice from well meaning family members or even friends for that matter – why are we/you better off financially? Interesting isn’t it, given many generations of families have had the time, the opportunity to make a real financial difference to theirs and their future families’ lives, but the vast majority of us fail as we follow the poor money and financial advice of those who come before us and never take that calculated risk to leap frog ourselves out of the pack. So for those who want to leap frog and get ahead the only advice you want to seek out is that of the family member who took the risk – if they are not alive then seek out someone who can help you. I’d be delighted to be that person and I am more than happy to answer any questions you have – I’m on a lifelong challenge remember!

Knowledge is empowering – if you act on it!


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