Defining Multigenerational Wealth

Paxson, Chas. , -1880, photographer. Learning is wealth. Wilson, Charley, Rebecca, and Rosa.
Slaves from New Orleans / Chas. Paxson, photographer, New York. New Orleans Louisiana, ca. 1864.

Why cultivate multigenerational wealth?

In my household, we focus on cultivating wealth across multiple generations. Below I cover a few of the reasons of how and why to work toward cultivating this type of wealth rather than simply generational wealth for one or two generations. My hope is that this post will help you decide where to focus your efforts when cultivating wealth and motivation to not limit your wealth building potential. 

Some differences between multigenerational and generational wealth. 

An understanding of multigenerational wealth begins with an understanding of how people understand generational wealth. Frequently, discussions and thoughts on generational wealth  typically focus on preserving and passing along wealth to one or two younger generations. Often times the younger generations the wealth is intended for are either living while the original wealth building generation is alive and/or are the children of the younger, living generations, or both. Limiting the building and cultivation of wealth for just one or two generation limits your focus and the potential wealth you can build in your lifetime. Multigenerational wealth, however,  removes those limits by suggesting that you broaden the scope of generations you consider when building and cultivating wealth beyond the present and immediate future to include those generations of the past and distant future.

Multigenerational wealth is wealth that can be built, cultivated, and shared for the benefit of people from  your parents’ and grandparents’ generations, as well as future generations of your great, great, great grandchildren’s generation that no person living in your lifetime could ever possibly meet. The needs of each of these generations is vastly different. While some are knowable or can be anticipated to some extent, others are unknowable. In other words, thinking about building and cultivating wealth across multiple generations requires a different mindset. 

Whitman Studio, photographer. Helen Keller, no. 8. , ca. 1904. October 28. Photograph.

To help you think from a different mindset, reflect upon the Seventh Generation Principle below.

“…when you sit in council for the welfare of the people, you must not think of yourself or of your family, not even or your generation…make your decisions on behalf of the seven generations coming, so that they may enjoy what you have today.”

Oren Lions (Seneca) Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation (

Success in building and preserving multigenerational wealth requires the building and cultivation of relationships within and across individuals from various generations, as well as active participation in the wealth building and cultivation process across individuals from different generations. Conversely, generational wealth need only come from one individual or couple. If that individual or couple fails to pass along their wealth building and cultivation knowledge and practices, then the accumulated wealth and means of building and cultivating wealth are quickly lost when the original wealth-building generation dies. As consequence, each generation has to start from scratch (or close to it) to find their own ways and means of building and cultivating wealth. 

A better method for building and cultivating wealth that is less wasteful of our limited time on earth, is to not have to do it alone or begin from scratch. Having multiple generations contribute to building and cultivating wealth not only reduces the burden of any one individual or couple from having generate and sustain wealth for multiple generations, but simultaneous participation across the generations of individuals dramatically improves the ongoing retention and continual generation of wealth building and cultivation knowledge and practices well into the foreseeable and unforeseeable future.

A formula for building and cultivating multigenerational wealth  

Investment in individuals + investment across generations = sustainable multigenerational wealth 

The building and cultivation of multigenerational wealth begins and continues by investing in and cultivating the wealth of individuals, young and old, together. This statement means investing in and cultivating wealth for yourself and each individual you want to benefit while you are cultivating multigenerational wealth. You cannot cultivate this type of wealth, or any other worthwhile wealth, alone. This point cannot be emphasized enough. Among the most successful builders and cultivators of multigenerational wealth in history, an essential underlying contributor to their success includes building and cultivating wealth alongside others. Therefore, when beginning your wealth building journey, make sure to not start alone.

ollier, John, Jr, photographer. Ojo Sarco, New Mexico. One-room school in an isolated mountainous
Spanish-American community, which has eight grades and two teachers. Most of the teaching is in Spanish,
the language spoken in the children’s homes, and as a result they rarely speak English fluently.
United States Ojo Sarco New Mexico Rio Arriba County, 1943. Jan. Photograph.

Although the above formula is fairly simple to understand, repeating it with each new generation is key to ensuring that the wealth cultivation process does not stop. With each generational repetition of the formula, the accumulated wealth grows for individuals and generations alike. Additionally, each individual and generation gains a sense of their responsibilities to preserving and contributing to building the accumulated multigenerational wealth; no free loaders here.

Are you ready to cultivate multigenerational wealth with me?

As you have read, there is a lot to consider when deciding to embark on cultivating multigenerational wealth. My hope is the above words have given you some inspiration and ideas about how to think about this type of wealth. Thankfully, as I mentioned, you will not have to cultivate multigenerational wealth alone; I will be right there with you. In the coming posts, I will be sharing some insights and personal experiences with you so that you will be able to learn from my successes and failures along the way to reach your own multigenerational wealth aspirations. In the meantime, think about how you define “multigenerational wealth” and what formula you have seen work for others that might work for you too.

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