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When is a Family Office Right for You?

by Buddy Thomas

Over the past ten years, the number of family offices worldwide has increased tenfold.

What is driving this phenomenal growth?  The answers…demand and technology.

  • Demand is being fueled by the drastic decrease in the cost to run a family office and the rise in the number of families who see the benefits of this powerful structure.
  • Technology today gives you access to digital administration and storage capabilities that were once only available to the ultra-wealthy.

These developments, coupled with a breakthrough in simplifying the comprehensive family wealth planning process, have put the family office and all its benefits within reach of millions of today’s moderately wealthy families.

So, how do you know when you need a family office?

You know you need a family office when you:

  • Spend more time than you want on legal, accounting, and economic matters
  • Aren’t having fun juggling family finances and family dynamics
  • Have administrative tasks interfering with things you’d rather be doing
  • Feel frustrated because you know there must be a better way keep it all together
  •  Have a sense there are critical dangers and opportunities you can’t see
  • Are looking for ways to engage and educate family members on passing the baton
  • Feel you are the only one capable of handling all you have going on
  • Are concerned about what happens if you are not there to make decisions
  • Have goals you can’t get to because of other pressing issues
  •  Have a number of advisors giving you conflicting advice
  • Feel you could be more productive with better coordination and support

A family office helps fill all these needs and more. Like any multimillion dollar enterprise, guarding and growing family wealth requires a reliable process, capable staff, and the ability to source relevant insight and skillful guidance while you maintain total control.

Enjoying a life well-lived

Having been successful, now is the time to appreciate and bond with your family, travel, or take on a new project you are passionate about.  Unless you enjoy spending your days coordinating advisors and assuring your affairs are in order, there is no reason to do it alone.  Especially if you can engage a family office to mind the structure, while you make effective, informed decisions and spend your most valuable resource – your time – on something that invigorates you and those you love.

Every dollar invested in a family office can return three dollars…even in the first year

A good investment should generate a healthy return.  A recent study of 38 high-net-worth families revealed the average return from the efficiencies and strategies implemented by their family offices in the first year was more than three times their initial investment; and, for those families with total assets of $5M or more, it was even greater.

Change is rarely easy.  The biggest barrier to establishing something as transformational as a family office, is the status quo.  But as you begin to work with competent staff and hand off more and more time and energy consuming tasks, a weight lifts from your shoulders and new opportunities appear.

How comforting and enriching it is to know you have an experienced team looking out for you and your family’s well-being…while you get on with the business of living life to the fullest.

Buddy Thomas is Founder and Chief Planning Officer of Superior Planning. He can be reached at