“Imagine you began your life with all the money you’ll ever have. The instant you were born, you were given one account, and anytime you had to pay for something, it came out of that account.
You don’t need to work, but everything you do costs money. Food, water, housing, and consumer goods are as expensive as ever, but now even sending an email requires some of your precious funds. Sitting quietly in a chair doing nothing costs money. Sleep costs money. Everything you encounter requires you to spend money.
But the problem is this: you don’t know how much money is in the account, and when it runs dry, your life is over.
If you found yourself in this circumstance, would you live in the same way? Would you do anything differently?
This is a fantasy, but change one key element and it’s not far from our actual situation as human beings. Only instead of money, our one account has a limited amount of time - and we don’t know how much.”
If time were a person, this is her mic drop moment. It’s an excerpt from The Good Life by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz who summarize the findings of the 84-year Harvard Study of Adult Development. Broadly known as “The Harvard Happiness Study” because it found (over and over and over) that being “socially fit”, having strong, happy, and healthy relationships was the leading indicator of a long, happy life over anything else. More than eating healthy or being physically fit (although those matter, of course). More than having more money than you need or an incredible career at the top of your field. And our reaction to this excerpt tells us that we already know it’s true.
Social fitness is a term you likely haven’t heard before, but you will hear it more and more very soon. Social fitness is positively interacting with purpose. With friends, parents, children, grandchildren, your spouse. Devoted time. And social fitness works like physical fitness. The more you flex your social fitness muscles, the stronger your relationships will be and the longer you will live, literally. But how do we go to the mental gym as a family?
This is the heartbeat of TFM. Helping families improve their connection, communication and relationships over time. But we’re not in the fad business. There is no quick fix (like 6 minute abs). Your family relationships will always require work. Like maintaining closeness over decades with a great friend, or adjusting to stay in shape as you age. Our technology, workshop IP and dedicated coaches show up to provide all of the support a family needs to stay engaged and connected. Clients work with TFM year over year, because what really matters “right now” changes over time and the need for support doesn’t go away.
Wealth advisors work with TFM to support their client’s family culture and relationships. Their social fitness. Because no matter what you have or who you ask, wealth means more than money. Good relationships and strong family connections are overwhelmingly valued above almost anything else. By the time a client needs strong communication skills, it’s often too late to establish them. However, when client family communication improves, advisor planning, process and delivery improve.
If you’ve had a wealth client for 30 years, have you accumulated 30 years worth of knowledge about their family? Or one year 30 times? Can you imagine access to a portal of client knowledge that grew with each TFM coach conversation, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of a family over time? Or an improved connection to the rising generation or non-financial decision maker in the household? TFM lowers the time, cost, and resources needed by RIAs for family meetings. An offering traditionally reserved for the ultra-wealthy, is accessible further down market than ever before.
“If we accept the wisdom—and more recently the scientific evidence—that our relationships really are among our most valuable tools for sustaining health and happiness, then choosing to invest time and energy in them becomes vitally important. And an investment in our social fitness isn’t only an investment in our lives as they are now. It is an investment that will affect everything about how we live in the future.”
The Good Life: Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness
Why have top tier RIAs made the decision to partner with TFM?
- Standardized client experience, delivering consistent excellence
- ROI through intergenerational relationships, referrals and competitive differentiation
- Scalable family meeting solutions for important clients
- Unbiased support from a non-financial entity - TFM is not in the wealth business
- Customized, personal client solution, easily embedded into any firm process
TFM is an expert resource used by RIAs to support the non-financial domains of client wealth in a continuous way. To practice social fitness. To connect to and support the rising generation. No one understands the need for improved family communication better than a wealth firm that intimately supports families through mostly smooth but eventually choppy waters. Silence is a missed opportunity.
Before our values workshop almost every single client agrees that they have a list of values that they proudly live by. And they do! But then they enter the TFM workshop and use every last second of the 90 minutes to select 5 that represent the direction of their family. It's surprisingly dynamic and reflective. It's easier to focus on successfully acting on your values when you take enough time to define and prioritize them. The TFM benefit to an RIA is our expertise in coaching families. We are family culture experts, not financial experts.
Let’s talk. Reply to this email and we will share how we are helping RIAs like yours set the new family meeting standard.