Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shrinking the Wealth

Well, it all started when my parents left me $100 million.

Yes, even the rich have mental health problems. Theirs are just different from those of the 99%. They feel unloved by the jealous masses. They face family stress because of estate planning feuds. Their self-esteem can be gnawed away by the lack of needing a career. They can fill too much idle time with substance abuse, shopping addictions and eating disorders. Luckily for the wealthy, help is close at hand. (But then, isn’t it always?) As reported in this Wall Street Journal article, a growing number of the affluent are relying on wealth psychologists to help them navigate the bewildering emotional wilderness of having loads of money. These specialists work closely with money managers to help their patients “root out everything from individual self-defeating attitudes to broader family trust and communication breakdowns” in order to better preserve their financial and mental well being.

Methods that these “wealth shrinks” might employ are diverse, as summarized in this extract: “Some try and remove clients' emotional blockages by linking money-related behavior to universal psychological types. (Message: You're not the only person to feel like "the victim" of a prenup, but it's also possible to approach the document as a resourceful "creator" or strong "warrior.") Others draw genograms, a sort of family tree that reveals a client's inherited attitudes and patterns about money. A handful of practitioners even strap clients to a biofeedback monitor—think brainwaves or heart rate—which might reflect fleeting thoughts or subconscious emotions during money discussions.” Got it? Or is it as clear as wading through a stirred-up pool of long suppressed oepidal memories?

In any event, it should be no surprise that the sessions don’t come cheaply. Some therapists charge up to $10,000 for day-long sessions. The price alone may feel insane. But perhaps that’s a reason why these professionals might be aptly nicknamed “wealth shrinks”. In any event, let’s hope that the privileged few among the world’s population who own the lion’s share of capital are able to keep their wits about themselves, so as not to constantly fall into the herd-delirium mindset of recent years.

No comments:

Post a Comment