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Surprising Similarities Between Multigenerational Wealth and Jazz

Surprising Similarities Between Multigenerational Wealth and Jazz

| February 17, 2023

Listening to John Coltrane or other favorite jazz musicians is like watching the leaves swirling through the city streets on an autumn day. The cedar and oaky smoke smell from a fireplace can spark a feeling of nostalgia that takes you back to memorable times. The same goes for assets and wealth passed down through the years to family and friends by a loved one. Such gifts could be a painting, real estate, or even a specific account, like a trust, they contributed to that shows you how much you meant to them by planning ahead to leave you with something meaningful after they are gone.


A love and appreciation for music is often multigenerational, just like wealth. Grandparents will pass their interest in the music to their children and so forth. The same goes for accumulated wealth over a lifetime of working. But you may be surprised that jazz and finance share several things in common.



Jazz musicians don’t solely play a set collection of notes during performances. Many famous jazz musicians are known for their improvisation. When it comes to financial matters, it is also essential to improvise and evolve with an ever-changing market that could affect your investments, retirement, spending, and savings habits.


Staying focused

To become a great jazz musician requires staying focused on methods for self-improvement, including patience, a willingness to practice, the discipline to learn the instrument and the music theory behind the sounds, as well as getting help from a professional with a different or broader knowledge then theirs. To become confident financially takes the same kind of effort and steps. You can’t rush into financial decisions without doing your research and getting the necessary help if it is needed (see section below on getting the help that you need). Investing or saving for retirement takes patience, and expecting to have any significant gains too quickly is not a beneficial approach. You can even practice improving financially by regularly checking up on your finances and discussing strategies with a financial professional. Doing so can help expand your knowledge and build financial decision-making skills.


Getting the help that you need

When you read about jazz musicians, take note of how many of them studied under mentors or teachers to learn their craft. John Coltrane studied music theory and harmonic technique under Dennis Sandole. [i] The same practice goes for people interested in learning about finance and managing money. When it comes to improving financial literacy, it can be helpful for people to work with a financial professional who can help them through the often complex nuances of retirement and estate planning, day-to-day financial management of accounts and portfolios, and future goal setting.


Being consistent

Financially-focused individuals can learn an important lesson in being consistent by listening to jazz music and reflecting on how it has developed over time. Although improvisation is one of the signature features of jazz, many jazz greats also mastered techniques and styles that worked for them and others in the past, just like you have the benefit of sticking to what has been successful over time regarding generational wealth.


Young people will sometimes inherit wealth from a parent or grandparents that may have been passed down over multiple generations. Along the way, the money was likely managed by the same financial professional or firm. Continuing to use this individual or firm to manage your money may be worthy of consideration. Why is this a good idea? For one thing, they are familiar with the accounts and investments involved. Another reason is if they have been successful with your parents and grandparents, there is a chance they will also perform well with your investments and help to guide you in the same way.


Important Disclosures


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.


This article was prepared by LPL Marketing Solutions



[i]John Coltrane: From World War II to Jazz Genius | The National WWII Museum | New Orleans (nationalww2museum.org)



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