Recently, the New York Times ran a story by Nelson D. Schwartz, titled “In an Age of Privilege, Not Everyone Is in the Same Boat (A1, April 24).” John O. McManus – McManus & Associates’ founding principal who grew up in the Bronx but has worked with high net worth families for 25 years – penned the Letter to the Editor below in response:
To the Editor:
Marketers see countless opportunities embodied by those striving to scale our country’s caste system of privilege – but their target audience is mistaken about from where happiness springs eternal. For many years, I was the poster child for this market: making every effort to rise to the top, circling that zip code of privilege. Starting life in the Bronx, there was nothing more coveted than a future exodus and the concomitant elbow-rubbing with the financial elite. For the past 25 years, I have represented high net worth families as an estate planning lawyer. The journey has been deeply rewarding, but – unlike what I had imagined as a kid – I’ve discovered that the richness of life is not universal among, nor exclusive to, this financially homogeneous group. Rather than exerting unending effort to be included in the newest club of privilege, I’m learning that sharing the wealth with the less advantaged may be the greater source of enduring satisfaction.
To read Schwartz’s full article for the New York Times, click here.