How to Benefit from Billionaire Techniques – Use an Inner Circle

Who does your family turn to when in need of advice? The ultra rich often have an Inner Circle of trusted advisors to help them with a multitude of issues – family and otherwise, according to Mark Haynes Daniell – author of Strategy for the Wealthy Family.

What is an Inner Circle?

Simply put, an inner circle is a group of people that you respect and trust and with whom you interact to discuss plans and resolve problems or concerns. Your inner circle can help you see beyond your circumstances and offer insight to you that may not have occurred to you or your family members. The members of your inner circle are the ones you go to with the most sensitive, vaguest, most thorny topics.

What can an Inner Circle do for the wealthy?

It can:

  • Provide for peer group discussion of issues
  • Act as an intermediary to convey information or instruction to family members from family leaders, if needed.
  • Serve as a counter point to the wealthy family leader – by not being yes-men/women.
  • Allow for open discussion with trusted peers without fear of disclosure outside the group.
  • Give the family leaders access to experienced, capable advisors with whom they have a shared background.
  • Add a less emotional and less personal sense to the discussions (as opposed to only using family members).

Who do the ultra rich allow into their Inner Circle?

  • Long time friends – people they knew before they grew rich
  • Professionals they have dealt with for a long time and whom they trust – such as lawyers, accountants, tax advisors
  • Trustees of their trusts
  • Old time private bankers – who hold the families interest above the firm’s
  • Non-family leaders of the family business
  • Third party advisors
  • Head of their family office
  • Religious advisors
  • Foundation heads

Does your family use an Inner Circle?

Families operating as single units, families still struggling to make their wealth or affluent families without a family business still need to present and discuss ideas with knowledgeable peers, but may not have had the opportunity to define who those people are or to develop the appropriate relationships to enable their participation in an Inner Circle.

In these cases, occasional use may have been made of professionals, clergy, friends, teachers or business associates. Look around at who you have used – or talk to the rest of your family to see who they have used. Figure out if you would like a continuing relationship with these prior contacts. Think about what kind of discussions you might find helpful if you were to use them. Think about starting a periodic touch base session with those you select – to start developing this peer group into a useful experience for each member.

Affluent families with a family business may have been forced to find and use more advisors, consultants and even board members of the business to get issues resolved. You may have already developed a solid Inner Circle of folks to go to. They might include business mentors, past customers, lawyers, accountants and etc. If you aren’t meeting periodically with a core group of your most trusted associates to kick around ideas and issues, decide if that would be beneficial in your situation and proceed with it if so.

Families with legacy wealth (wealth they inherited) most like also have an inner circle of advisors. Members of these families may need to have complex layers of advisors and may need to learn about which are the trusted members of the Inner Circle and which are used only for occasional or specific purposes.

If you really haven’t used any peer interactions as an Inner Circle and don’t know where to start, you could check out whether there is a sponsored group in your geographic area. Is there a professional organization you belong to that might present opportunities, are you a member of a religious affiliation that offers meetings that might help – is there an investment club, a book club, a mother’s or father’s club that you could use?

You could also investigate whether there are any online resources that appeal to you. Take a look at these two as possibilities (note that we are not endorsing them by mention here).

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