Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Affluenza Antidote Book Review

I was given a copy of The Affluenza Antidote: How Wealthy Families Can Raise Grounded Children in an Age of Apathy and Entitlement written by James V. D'Amico.

This isn't your typical therapist critique of family relationships. It is written by an investment banker who has spent his career working with very wealthy clients and their families.

Many of the circumstances were outside my realm of reality (households with over 3 million dollars of assets not including the family home), but I could relate to most of the situations.

In our household, we also struggle with finding the line between helping and letting our children find their own way. Wealth is such a comparative thing. Where I grew up, my family was "wealthy" for the community we lived in. Today, in comparison to our current household, my parents were poor. (In comparison to Mr. D'Amico's clients, we're poor). Regardless, I want my children to appreciate what they have.

I enjoyed the anecdotal accounts of strategies that worked and those that failed. D'Amico also used more than just his own experiences. He summarized and quoted a number of well researched books on this topic.

The chapter on public and private education was well done. (But, I can't begin to understand why he would take out a second mortgage to send two of his kids to boarding school or why some wealthy families send their children to public school just for socialization.)

This book also made me very philosophical about some political issues. Those who inherit wealth look at things differently than those who earn it. For that reason alone, I would highly recommend this book.

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