What the world’s richest people are really saying to their “wealth therapists”

Billionaire Warren Buffett, CEO and chairman of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, speaks at the 25th anniversary of the Washington Economic Club, June 5, 2012.

Atlantico: We all know the saying “money can’t buy happiness, but it helps it”. However, the wealthy man went, like everyone else, to the therapist. Above all, a category “wealth therapist”. What do we knowreasons driving the super rich to consult?

Pascal Neveu: What do rich people mean and the personal and external perspective of being rich?

Allow me some numbers.

In France, according to OECD figures, the average salary in France in 2021 was 2,238 euros total monthly (i.e., approximately 2,000 euros net), while INSEE published 2,424 euros net!

25% of employees receive less than 1,500 euros per month, 80% less than 3,000 euros, 90% less than 4,000 euros.

9.3 million people live below the poverty line (a person is considered poor if their income is less than 1,063 euros per month, for a median standard of living established at 1,771 euros per month for a people after taxes (including social allowances).

Forbes magazine, in December 2021, estimated within the world’s population more than 2,600 billionaires whose average wealth is approximately 14 billion dollars!

For these millionaires and billionaires, a global market of coaches and thepareutics of wealth and heritage has formed in Geneva, London, New York, San Francisco, etc.

Why do they come for consultation?

Depressive state: they feel bad and have no desire to live

The shame of wealth: growing social inequality, the “ambience” in politics that focuses on them … reinforces this feeling

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Inheritance guilt: how to 18 manage apartments or even businesses with family duties so as not to kill the deceased a second time?

Social isolation: fear of courtiers and profiteers, but also fear of judgment and popular tribunal, separation from friends

Loss of self -esteem and lack of confidence: “I feel like a wealthy man to whom no value of success is credited to my work, but an ease of life”

Loss of meaning and interaction with reality: spending money (Johnny Deep would spend 52,000 dollars a day, according to a recent revelation) or the opposite of greed (in a pathological setting, a woman dies, eating less, turned away from home, leaving a legacy of 3 million euros)

Family cracks

Is the subject of money, taboo especially in France, a particularly thorny element to deal with? Does it bring more problems than we think? What are they?

The Anglo-Saxon countries, but also others like the Middle East, Russia, Asia have no taboos when it comes to money.

While in France it is easier to talk about having sex with friends, in the United States we show our money, both for one’s own work and an heir. Although, let’s talk about it in the end, thoughts change.

4 reasons for this:

educational: a child has no idea of ​​money until about 7 years old, when he learns to count and then makes a difference between 1 and 10 euros, and begins to take an interest in his piggy bank, mint his money out of pocket and the services provided. Growing up, his parents taught him financial management.

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cultural: whether born rich or poor, the link to money is not the same. It will carry a lot of symbolic value. I will cite a few examples. Obviously the relationship with money is not the same over the world.

religious: let us observe, for example, the difference between Catholics and Protestants (especially Calvinists who desire the redistribution of wealth) … Also how to be or not to be ashamed of our success and our ease, and how much envy and jealousy can arouse some who observe inside houses with curtains or without curtains, who are possibly hiding their wealth, or otherwise show it by leaving them na nakabukaka? Not to mention anti-Semitism through the most stupid clichés.

emotional: from friends to romantic relationships and within couples, it can be the source of secrecy, frustration … Friends who tell you you’re not connected and found you changed, but as well the ones who tap on your shoulder to bring you back. on the ground, or others do not care. The flirtation where you are immediately asked what your profession is, when you can’t say (or on the contrary some flatter yourself) that you are “rich”, annuitant, won a euromillion … When you don’t think that in your profession, as well as your clothes you are rich! Not to mention the couple separating because he or she earns the most or has the most wealth, not to mention bank accounts, the pro rata sharing of salary (and assets) of expenses, marriage contract, and days . when a new inheritance comes and the husband claims half of it!…

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Money always arouses passions, desires, sometimes the most animal strife (even in crime). Because money delivers power, pleasure, security.

Without stating the details, how many stories relate that silver and gold are attached to the Devil, sometimes under a pile of dirt?

Yes money is coveted.

Not to mention high delinquency, how many “not rich” people spend a lot of time looking out the windows of the most beautiful boutique or the largest department store in the world, without buying anything?

How many scammers, fake love relationships to live out what fairy tales promised us when we were kids?

But how many wealthy people don’t look at prices, or are otherwise conscientious about going to a store on Place Vendôme?

And those who count their vintage cars, their watches, know the size of their heart villas, or forget their number …?

How many have fantasized about the movie Pretty Woman?

Everything can be very complicated because of money, while affective relationships come from the heart … even if the portfolio is positioned at its level. How many times have I heard “He impressed me so much, he would never like a poor man like me.” but also “She will be afraid if I give her such a gift; I didn’t tell him everything as protection.

How can you best advise the people concerned? Do we advise the super rich in the same way as the rest of the population, especially on the subject of money?

I received a very wealthy man. I remember one who, having received an inheritance of several tens of millions of francs at the time, when he was 20, had almost squandered his entire wealth. Bad preparation, bad surroundings, he carried enormous guilt.

I got people, during the time at RMI, but during this pandemic in enormous financial hardship because life and professional accidents can happen and cause the loss of everyone.

The accompaniment of a therapist is the same: it is not about his wallet but about the man and his sufferings. Some would tell me that setbacks take the place of priests … except that there is no dynamics of redemption or salvation of a soul, but to restore the true meaning and personal values ​​of the patient who knocks at the door. , whoever.

Also, it’s a “classic” accompaniment: first the anamnesis, his life course.

It goes from penetration to inheritance. Of course their experience with money, but who also make financial decisions in their parents’ house, if it caused disputes … Then their first salary, their first purchase, to show in them their first monetary behavior within the family and friendship system.

When a 7-year-old child is transported by helicopter from his private school and his parents alert you to his academic failure … What is the impact? It can make a child dream, make life easier for parents or glorify them … but in what reality is it developing? And what are the consequences?

Sessions are both individual and personal regardless of income.

Because to have money or not to have it … it’s complicated!

France has 43 billionaires, and approximately 715,000 millionaires.

Some “ultra-rich” patients came in who were depressed because they no longer knew what to do with their lives because they no longer needed to earn money and expressed their shame in front of people they could no longer imagine.happy than them.

They don’t know what to do with their million.

Each time I cite two examples of some I have met:

– the philanthropic approach: MacKenzie Scott who, after her divorce from Jeff Bezos, donated $ 3.9 billion (of her $ 49.3 billion fortune) to charities that support growing children below the poverty line.

– Warren Buffett who decided in 2006 that he would give 99% of his wealth not to his children but to associations, so the “ultra-rich” are shocking. But in 2010, he partnered with Bill Gates to create the “Giving Pledge”. So far, 231 philanthropists from 28 countries have signed it.

I know someone will tell me that the “ultra-rich” can cry (I remember someone telling me that you know, when I’m in New York, in my limousine or on my Rolls, my driver doesn’t see that. Crying) me and I do not know my grief) and they have a roof over their heads, compared to those who on the 10th of the month are already in the open, and working hard, anxious, tired.

But my profession is to accompany the two and I can assure you that the richest gave to associations (and studies show that the youngest funds more donations) or told me “I’m setting the time to you so that you can receive people who are unfortunate but suffer so much because of this pollution of money ”.

Sophocles, in Antigone, probably summed it up: “Money, ah! Plague of the people! »

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