The Occupy Wall Street protests are highlighting the vast wealth inequalities in the U.S. And while almost everyone involved in the protests probably doesn't care if the wealthiest people in the country lose their cash, it's important in many cases that they don't—what would happen, for example, if Steve Jobs's kids squandered their money and lost the opportunity for large-scale charitable investing?
That's why portfolio reporting platform WealthTouch and TILE Financial (a company that helps young adults ages 15 to 25 better manage their money) have teamed up to teach future wealthy adults how to successfully manage their cash—because in the next decade, $1 trillion will transfer to the next generation of the wealthy, and those kids might just spend it all on XBoxes. Instead, what if that easily squandered money could be managed so that, say, the next Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation could thrive?
"Watching my husband, who has four kids from his first marriage, I could see it was easier for him to talk about sex than talk about money," says Amy Butte, CEO of TILE. WealthTouch and TILE's solution is simple: a Mint.com-like platform developed specifically for wealthy young adults. The platform features digital shorts, videos, interviews, and easy-to-understand explanations of everything from bankruptcy to philanthropy.
"Everything is short, engaging, and at the end of day [users] have a financial identity profile that tells them anything they want to know about themselves," says Butte.
The pilot partnership between TILE and WealthTouch has gone well so far; Butte says she is receiving positive feedback. "We needed to retranslate the way a lot of this financial jargon is spewed out at them," explains WealthTouch CEO Norman Jones.
TILE's services are already available through UBS and Citi Private Bank, but they will be rolled out to all WealthTouch customers—that's 1,000 families with $23 billion in assets—in the first quarter of 2012.
It's hard to care about successful wealth transfer when the economy is so bleak—and hard to totally buy the argument that helping rich people manage their money so they might give it away is a noble cause—but the potential philanthropic opportunities still can't be ignored. "If you're going to make young people responsible, there's a responsibility to help equip them," says Butte.