The Joseph Group

What’s in a Name? A WealthNotes Reflection

March 28, 2024

To Inform:

Shakespeare’s Juliet might say of our weekly publication, “that which we call WealthNotes by any other name would be just as inspirational and informative.” The idea that a name means something is inimical to her worldview. We will cut her some slack, though. After all, it was specifically her name that kept her from her dear Romeo. Far be it for me to criticize perhaps the greatest playwright and poet in history, but names should and often do reveal something of that which they represent.

But WealthNotes? Notes for the wealthy? I grew up the youngest of 12 kids on a busy street next-door to a clock repair shop. My parents are still there, going on 52 years in that home. The clock shop is now an HVAC shop, but little else has changed. So, you may understand why, at first glance, I wouldn’t want to read something under the name “WealthNotes”. My error, though, like Juliet’s, is that I didn’t understand what the name is revealing about its content. I’ve come to find, with time and a modicum of reflection, that we were arguably the wealthiest family on Columbus St.

Wealth is not about being materially rich but is about living an enriched life. Certainly money, being a very useful tool and being properly ordered in the hierarchy of goods, can assist us in living an enriched life. It can also be a distraction from and hindrance to it. We see plenty of examples of that in the news.

This begs the question, how does one use their financial wealth, small or great, to live an enriched life and make an impact on the world? This is our team’s primary focus here at The Joseph Group. We love getting into the weeds of planning and portfolios, but only because of the great purpose those plans and portfolios serve. Plans and portfolios are our tools for accomplishing our mission of Helping Clients Live Great Lives, One Story at a Time. In other words, helping clients understand and realize their purpose.

The question of purpose can be a tough one to answer, but we find it easier to access through a series of more practical questions like:

  • What brings you the most joy?
  • What enriches your life? Family, faith, travel, service, giving, something else?
  • If you could do more of one or more of those, what would you do and what might that look like?

While we are working and building material wealth, we do not often give ourselves the luxury to think about these questions, but if we don’t, we may find that all that we’ve saved and built is not for anything other than staying fed and sheltered. Those things, including money, are goods, but are not ends in themselves.

In our typical, technically focused WealthNotes Inform publications, we say something like, “talk to your financial advisor if you have any questions about this concept.” On this topic of purpose, that applies more than ever. Very few planning and/or investment concepts apply to everyone, but living a life of joy, enrichment, and true wealth certainly applies to you. So, please talk to your financial advisor about purpose. Whether we call it wealth or by any other name, we hopefully can agree that if it does not serve a purpose higher than itself, it is of little value to a life worth living.





Written by Nick Boyden, Client Advisor & Team Leader