Political unrest and extremism. The rise of unsustainable socialism. The replacement of religion and family values for virtue-lacking atheism and nihilistic hedonism. Media rife with censorship and propaganda. It’s becoming increasingly clear by the day that generational wealth is something that will become increasingly important in the years ahead.
And as I frequently say, generational wealth is about more than the money.
BUT – Now I’ve said that, the subject of today’s post IS about the money. More specifically one of the methods to build financial capital within a family – The Great Accumulator Method.
This is one of 3 core methods families can use to build family money for themselves.
The Great Accumulator method of building generational wealth does exactly as the name suggests. There is typically one figure in the family, nearly always the founding father/patriarch, that builds some sort of asset or multiple assets that either generates significant income, or go through a liquidation event to generate significant financial capital.
Figures that have achieved this may be household names, such as Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart and the Patriarch of the Walton Dynasty. Another that comes to mind is John D Rockefeller, who was an oil tycoon and business magnate. His lineage still stands strong today.
Here’s an example that is less in mind for the public is the Mars Family. Yes, that’s Mars Chocolates, though they do a lot of other product lines too. The Mars family still own and operate the Mars Company, which is now the 3rd largest privately held company in the world.
So even though most of us probably won’t become famous billionaires unless your country pulls a Zimbabwe, the great accumulator method is still a viable method to build generational wealth.
Other less notable potential assets could be a patent that gets sold, a trucking company that generates a substantial income or an e-commerce business that is bought by an aggregator for a healthy sum.
For some reason, a lot of earth movers are family businesses.
The Heart of the Idea
The idea behind The Great Accumulator Method is that the wealth built by the accumulator is foregone and ‘put in the middle’ for the sake of the benefit of the family. This is the largest difference between this and The Collective Method – which is where family wealth is built by pooling resources.
These funds are then used to improve the lives, not the lifestyles of the family members.
I won’t get into the uses for family money here, that’s a subject for another post.
The Most Important Capital Dependency
Social capital is one thing that this method leans heavily upon. As although the money generated may be significant enough to take care of all of the family members for generations to come, it will eventually be exhausted.
You can’t simply hand money over to people, this is the fallacy of universal basic income. Before we get into a debate, just look at the dole bludgers of NZ – that’s your universal basic income experiment failure right there. Same goes for lottery winners, sports players with big pay cheques, rappers etc. Easy come, easy go.
And the same goes with inheritance. Most people who receive an inheritance, kind of blow it – and yeah that’s due to a lack of an intentional culture in a family, hence why human capital is so important regardless of your financial capital building method.
Wealth of Problems
Even in families with massive wealth, this level of excess leads to a wealth of wealthy problems, drug abuse, mental illness, expensive and excessive habits among many others.
Therefore it’s important that family members of this clan learn to provide for themselves. And fortunately, great accumulators have two of the key components to do this.
- Financial Resources – the family money can be drawn from or borrowed form to start entrepreneurial ventures.
- Social Capital – all of those connections and the reputation that comes along with the success of building assets of significant value.
By leveraging these two things, individual wealth can be built from this family money, as is necessary for any individual to feel fulfillment.
There’s a reason some iteration of the adage: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” is found in all civilized cultures globally. It’s because they pay no heed to build upon the families capacity to continue to build wealth. This is another reason Human Capital(in the form of culture) is so important as well – thought I should mention it here.
Yeah, not everybody is going to be an entrepreneur. I get that. I have heard of families doing an income match for employed people in their families. So if somebody takes a job earnings 30k a year as a teacher, the family grants an additional 30k. Or the family may even use their prestige to get access to higher-level positions or use capital to improve the education of the teaching individual to open the door to greater earning roles.
This allows for individuals to build individual wealth of their own to fuel their lifestyles, while not becoming pure mooches off of the family, but still benefiting from the wealth and status the family has attained. It by no means is an excuse to be a slacker though. Everybody needs to work and can’t rest on their laurels just because ‘the family’ has money. But working for the sake of work is no better than polishing a turd.
I’ll touch on more examples like this in another post or video if that is something you’re interested in, leave me a comment down below and let me know.
So what kinds of things can you use to build this significant capital for your family?
Most public examples involve businesses. The founding father or occasionally mother builds an outstanding business that either generates significant capital under management, or liquidates it by an event such as a private sale, or perhaps by publically listing the company on an exchange, and selling a certain % of their shares in the company.
The Family Business Model(when an actual business is used) can be adapted by future generations to be a Great Accumulator Asset
Businesses aren’t the only Great Accumulator asset, however.
Real estate is a popular choice of asset for Great Accumulators
Often times a real estate portfolio that throws off cash flow will be this great accumulator asset. Over the years the portfolio may increase in value to the point a liquidation event will secure massive wealth.
Or perhaps the rents grow by such a significant amount, if not drawn down and allowed to pool, can create a self-sustaining fund that can be grown through multiple generations or put under management and allowed to bloom even more.
A stock portfolio can be another asset, though is far far less common. Whether this was a growth portfolio that gets liquidated and reallocated or a more dividend-esque portfolio on a DRiP that gets changed over to throw off appreciable income. There is no reason a stock portfolio can’t be the asset you use in The Great Accumulator Method. It’s just not going to be as clear cut.
Other assets may be:
- Small Business Portfolio
- Web Assets
- Private Equity
- Unlisted Funds
- Angel Investments
- Precious Metals(not likely though)
There is a tonne more all with their upsides and downsides to building family money, some more effective than others.
I will make a video/posts on many of such assets for anybody looking to build generational wealth and link to it here when it’s complete.
Is The Great Accumulator for You?
This probably is the toughest method of building generational financial capital, at least at any grand level.
The wealth you create in your lifetime doesn’t have to be Warren Buffet level to make a noticeable dent in your families future for generations, however.
If you are interested in building wealth this way, the best advice I can give is pick the kind of asset you want to utilize and stick with it.
Remember that at the core of this strategy is sacrifice. All of that work you are going to have to give up and give it over to the family.
If these assets are unable to provide for you, in a CEO/CIO/CFO kind of role in late life, or by providing non-strenuous employment in a more managerial role of an operating business.
If the personal wealth you also build isn’t going to be enough to sustain you late in life.
This is going to mean you won’t be able to retire.
But regardless of that either way, the sacrifice you make won’t be in vain. It will help future generations jettison forward through the financial, social and intellectual trials of the world.
Archimedes once said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”
Through The Great Accumulator method, these funds will be your family’s lever.
The Great Accumulator
And I will leave you with that.
Let me know your thoughts on this approach, is this something that appeals to you, or, are you eyeballing one of the other approaches?
In the next post in this series, I will be talking about the most accessible method to build generational wealth which relies heavily on human capital, The Collective Method.
Thanks heaps for your time.