After 35 years as a wealth manager, James D’Amico was used to dealing with rich families and their privileged lifestyles but he never lost his fascination for one aspect of their lives — their children.
While some wealthy families raise successful, well-adjusted children, others produce sons and daughters who seem incapable of functioning in the world outside their gilded gates and, with their parents watching, careen out of control.
“I was disappointed in the level of dysfunctionality in way too many of the families we dealt with,” D’Amico, retired president and CEO of Genesee Valley Trust Company in Rochester, says.
“They just could not meet the challenge of developing a value system in the next generation in the face of affluence and all the distractions that goes with it.”
To explore this, D’Amico spent a year interviewing several wealthy families who had raised successful children, as well as, studying findings by researchers, educators, psychologists and other wealth managers.
From his research he developed a list of traits to avert what he calls the devastating infection of “affluenza.”
I admit, I wouldn't mind the opportunity to see how I would handle that situation!