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The Long View

What Does It Take To Get Rich?

By Charles Lowenhaupt

In my experience, getting rich takes vision, hard work, and good luck.  Wealth inheritors have the luck, but they often lack the vision and hard work.  So preserving wealth is a whole different matter from creating it.

I have been very fortunate to have known wealth creators, either directly or through their descendants.  One of the most impressive I ever met was a Japanese industrialist who I had the privilege of meeting as a teenager.

He is still alive today and almost one hundred years old, and his life is instructive about what is possible.Read More

Market Tranquility and Geopolitical Risks in 2014

By Donna Gilding

Geopolitics and political economics typically have a lot of impact on the financial markets. Given all of the recent turmoil, it’s therefore surprising that the markets remain unfazed by the growing instability around the world.  Of note, we have looming civil war in the Ukraine, Cold War rhetoric between the West and Russia, territorial tensions in Asia and populist nationalism in Europe.  A Dutch columnist recently wrote:  “……If anything characterizes recent history, it is the degree to which the 19th century, unexpectedly and to the astonishment of many, makes itself felt in the 21st century…”Read More

The Joy of Collecting

By Charles Lowenhaupt

Philip Shulman was one of the great collectors I have ever met.

When we were first acquainted, he had just retired as a postal worker in San Francisco. He had spent many years in the military and then working for various companies before he took the position with the post office.  His wife had died and her two children, his step children, were his only family.  I was introduced by a Japanese print dealer who told me that for a number of years. Phil had purchased prints of the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars, our own interest, but had not been heard of for five or ten years.Read More

Five Priceless Pieces of Wisdom

By Charles Lowenhaupt

For more than 100 years, we’ve been helping individuals and families manage significant wealth. During that time, we’ve learned a lot and wanted to share some of our collective wisdom – and humor – with our friends.Read More

Conventional Wisdom and Interest Rates

By Donna Gilding

Conventional wisdom in the investing world asserts interest rates will rise, but probably not for the next two or three years.  The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve seem to be shuffling toward an exit from easy monetary policy.  In addition, the European Central Bank seems to be considering an easing.  On March 25, Jens Weidmann, president of the Bundesbank, suggested that the ECB might have to be “a little more forceful to keep the Euro zone economy out of deflation.”  It is likely that the ECB will continue to be dictated to by its weakest members, which have been known to produce resentment and tension.Read More

A $3 Billion Mistake

By Charles Lowenhaupt

The entire world is wondering why 23-year-old Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s co-founder and CEO, turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook last month.

Media reports said Spiegel won’t entertain offers for Snapchat until next year, when the messaging service (now all the rage, particularly among women) may have even more users and a higher valuation. In other words, they believe that maybe he just wants more money.

But there’s another reason that could explain his decision. Perhaps a 23-year-old couldn’t imagine what to do with billions.Read More

Reg Reform Won’t Bring Clients Back to Public Markets

By Charles Lowenhaupt

Financial Advisor IQ
July 2013

Speaking at Finra’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., last month, Richard Ketchum, the securities industry self-regulator’s CEO said, “The financial services industry has weathered many challenges in the last few years: a recession, significant frauds, a flash crash. And while we have worked hard to prevent those kinds of events from being repeated, they have had a lasting effect on investors’ trust and created a true crisis of confidence in the markets.”

So what does Finra propose to do about the financial chicanery and technological glitches that have shaken financial markets in recent years? Impose more regulation. For the world’s wealthiest families, however, mere regulatory reform isn’t enough.
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