Generational Wealth – Take note of it

Generational Wealth is defined as Wealth/Assets passed on from one generation to another i.e parents to their children or grandchildren.

Wealth is also defined as An abundance of valuable possessions or money.

Those of you reading this article today are either parents with children who you expect to continue with your legacy when long gone or children with parents who are still fending for you while a third category is the in between like me who are both parents but still with parent(s) around too.

Wealth is usually perceived from the aspect of financial resources but it can also be educational, spiritual, intellectual, skill among others.

My focus is on those young men and women out there whose parents have some resources available for them to kickstart life. I see many of them taking this wealth for granted and largely being proud of what their parents have achieved as opposed to seeing how to grow that wealth to the next level.

There is someone whose father is very rich and owns one of the biggest poultry chicks companies in Uganda that competes head to head with Ugachick and Kenchick. Upon leaving University, the father placed him in the business and had his sights set on him to grow into the business and later take over. Within 2 years after university, the guy decides to follow the bandwagon of pursuing kyeyo abroad. I’ll honestly tell you that he has not had much impact in his life and that of those around him like he would have, had he chosen to continue with the initial line of his father.

Some of you reading this have deliberately chosen to settle for measly jobs just because they give you a better profile in society. You proudly speak with a lisp saying, “I work with XXX Bank” or “I am a Customer Service Agent with YYY Telecom and you ignore the 20 something rice acres your father has in Butaleja that need simple management to rake in not less than UGX 60 Million every four months. With your education, you can get into value addition and eventually earn 50% more than the above estimate. Within a span of 10 years, you will have grown your father’s business from 20 acres to probably 40 acres and that automatically implies greater income for you the individual as well as guaranteeing the education of all your siblings with ease.

Haji Naleba a big Rice farmer from Butaleja district had a hard time handling revenues from the rice farm and one day chose to place one of his sons Ahmed Naleba to be in charge. Ahmed had just returned from some studies and with his intervention, within a year, Haji was able to buy a brand New Tata Lorry loan free using farm revenue. This is something he had never believed he could do, never mind the son eventually left the operations (that is a story for another day.)

I therefore implore you to always look at building upon what came from your parents and ensuring that it multiplies. Many children upon the death of parents prefer to scamper and subdivide all that was left in order to sell it off and call it a day but that is small mindedness. If such assets remain as a collective to benefit all family members, they provide a cushion for future generations.

One of the reasons my industriousness was limited from the time I started working was the need to first guarantee my survival (It’s also the reason many are still stuck in employment despite the brilliant ideas they have). I had to first ensure I had food to eat and a roof under which to sleep (never mind that I lived in a leaking house at one time and would sleep standing whenever it rained.) This made me vow to ensure that my children will never have to worry about the basics of survival and instead invest their energies in pursuing greater goals. This is where our peers in developed countries have an advantage.

Steve Jobs had a garage he could work from when starting Apple and was assured of a meal and at worst a bed at home.

Bill Gates’ grand father was William Henry Gates who was a Furniture Store owner, his father who passed away last year was William Henry Gates II (Bill Gates Senior) and was one of the most highly accomplished attorneys in the USA. It is not by mistake that he is among the richest men in the world today. He built upon the networks of his parents to access huge companies like IBM while starting up.

In Uganda, a similar scenario is playing out with the Madhvani family, Uhuru Family, and I am having a big problem identifying an indigenous Ugandan family that fits the billing (forget the thieves we know).

For Uhuru, I witnessed while in my primary school at Buganda Road, Salim Uhuru the current proprietor of Uhuru Restaurant would run to his father’s restaurant after class to serve food, wash plates, collect money etc as we looked forward to eating mangoes and beating dogs while walking back to Naguru Estate. The father eventually passed on the business to him and it has grown over the years.

In conclusion, real wealth (forget the cosmetic wealth of the so called smart guys who are actually thieves donning makeup and lipstick) actually grows from generation to generation. Hence the need to seriously work towards building generational wealth.

What is your view?

Wire James

Business and Technology Consultant

Twitter – @wirejames

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