A Gift to My Family

January 11, 2019 - John C. Tolleson
3 Min read

I can’t believe it’s been more than 20 years since I sold the business I ran, First USA, and started our single-family office. I was younger then and was excited about the next chapter of my life, but I recognized the fact that my personal financial affairs had just become much more complex and that they were very different than simply running the business that I was used to. I understood that to secure my family’s financial future I needed more than just investment management. I needed to get organized. I needed the services of a full family office.

Wealthy families have an inherent complexity that few can comprehend. I started the family office because there wasn’t another solution available. Not one that could provide all the services I needed and not one that I knew would be focused solely on me and my family, undistracted by corporate bureaucracy and other conflicts. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I wasn’t alone. Other families observed what I was doing for my family and wanted the same for their own. So, we built a platform for other families that took advantage of the services we built to support my own family, thus creating Tolleson Wealth Management. And while the firm was born on the needs of the Tolleson family, the evolution and growth of services throughout the years has been in response to other family’s needs.

As my wife Debbie and I have gotten older and been through the life events that many go through, our needs and desires have changed. I’m now more interested in simplicity, financial protection, securing the future of my family and, most importantly, enjoying life. I want to spend more quality time with my family and my grandchildren. I want to enjoy my friends and pursue my hobbies without worrying about financial “stuff.” Turning over the administrative burden of my financial dealings allows me to do this – and it is a tremendous relief. I consider it a gift not only to myself, but a gift to my family.

I wanted to tell you this story because it’s important. It’s also a call to action based on my personal experience. I want you to give the same gift to your family that I gave to mine. My family uses all the firm’s services: bill pay and bookkeeping, tax advisory and preparation, estate and insurance planning, philanthropy services, investment management, trust services and private banking. We also recognize that not all families are the same; therefore, others are free to use the services that best fit their circumstances and help accomplish their goals.

I strongly recommend this approach to my friends—and I recommend beginning the process now. Many people don’t realize that if you wait until you’re no longer at the top of your game, it’s very difficult to hire an advisory firm and even more difficult to implement what’s needed. The payoff for me—and my family—is substantial and it will be for yours, too.

In closing, thank you for reading this. It is important to me to share some of my story and why I believe so strongly in what our firm can do for families. It is so much more impactful than traditional “wealth management.”

We all know that we won’t live forever and, regardless of your level of sophistication, there is a time to bring in an advisor to help ensure your financial affairs are organized and your family has someone they can trust. It can eliminate anxiety and administrative burden and allow more time for the important things in life. There is a time when you must focus on these things and I believe that time is now.