Book Summary: The Brower Quadrant – Live Life Deliberately – Written by Lee Brower

Do you ever think about generational transfer of wealth, fiscal accountability and contribution? The statistics for generational wealth hitting the 3rd generation are dismal. Basically, the first generation busts ass and creates something great. The second generation leverages the knowledge and the experience and expands the enterprise because they grew up seeing the work ethic and ingenuity exerted by the first generation. Now comes the third generation that basically is handed over the keys without doing the work and the enterprise dies. This is the fault of the second generation teachings and the third generation entitlement mindset.

Why is this important to me?

If you have a business and you are building your net worth and want to pass it along then this is critically important to you. Do you know that 90% of lottery winners are broke in 5 years and end up in worse shape than when they started? This is even worse for ex-athletes. Athletes are good at what they do and they simply think they are good in business because they have the money. Just like athletics, creating wealth is a science that takes hard/smart work and dedication.

Anybody who says that they will go into business and succeed without the work is no different than me saying I will start for at tailback for the Dallas Cowboys next year. Both are very unrealistic but most people don’t see it that way for business. Education is critical along with hard/smart work.

The Brower Quadrant is broken down into three key parts. For the sake of time, I will define what the quadrant is and then touch on how to start living it.

1. What is the Brower Quadrant? The Brower Quadrant consists of four components. The first component is the “CORE”. This is your special talents and what drives you as a person. If you are a musician, athlete, artists or business person, the core is what defines you. The “EXPERIENCE” quadrant is all the experiences that define you and your family. This is important and needs to be captured and put into story format. Example: My grandfather came over to this country by himself when he was 9 years old on a ship across the Atlantic Ocean. Put this into perspective as most 9 year old kids today are not even allowed to be outside after 5:00 in a good neighborhood. Unfortunately, I was too young when he died and I was not able to capture the whole story to share. The experiences that shape your personality and your core need to be captured and shared. They may seem trivial to you but are important because they define what you do and how you do it.

The “CONTRIBUTION” Quadrant is next. This is where you instill an attitude of gratitude and open up your heart. I realize this is esoteric but I cannot tell you how many books I have read that say the same thing. Basically this is Emerson’s law of compensation – If you want more then give more.

The “FINANCIAL QUADRANT” is the money and wealth preservation quadrant. Most Estate planning people will simply show you how to minimize tax liability and ask you how you want to divide up the assets once you go down for the dirt nap. Lee takes a whole different approach and shows you how to continue to grow your financial position with the Family Empowered Bank and pass it from generation to generation. The Brower Quadrant is the solution to fleeting wealth across generations.

2. Why is the Brower Quadrant important? I touched on this above but it bears repeating. Each of the quadrants can be thought of as assets. Family knowledge and skill sets are typically taken for granted and lost. Most hard working business people lose their businesses to their heirs. This also creates family stress and torn relationships. I can personally attest to this. Our business consisted of extended family and the entitlement of one of the partners was absolutely despicable and it tore the family apart and ended up in court.

3. How does it work? Lee says it best in a chapter subtitle – “Family Leadership”. This is much more than estate planning. Leadership requires vision, clarity, action, communication, influence and a whole host of other attributes. Implementing the Brower Quadrant requires clarity in each quadrant with a set of action plans that are communicated and acted upon.

The Brower Quadrant is required reading for anybody interested in preserving and building wealth across generations. Lee does an excellent job of outlining what is needed and gives additional resources. I started implementing some of the things in the book and will continue to implement all of it as our family and business grows.

I hope you have found this short video summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is the difference between Family Leadership & Estate Planning. These two concepts are very different and Estate Planning is simply a very small subset of Family Leadership and the Brower Quadrant.

Tips on What You Should Focus on at Different Stages of Your Life to Accumulate Wealth

If you’re in your 20s or earlier, it’s time to get smart with your money. It’s important to watch what you spend and have good savings patterns. A good start early on in your life makes a huge difference to your long-term financial wealth. Here are some quick tips for young people to avoid credit card and phone bills. Working hard on careers and maintaining self-discipline to put some money into a savings such as a managed investments or bank deposits. Set yourself a simple goal such as to save $7000 per year for 10 years which will accumulate approximately hundred thousand dollars. A simple way to help you along the way is to have a budget and to track your super expenditure against your budget.

Moving along then when you are in your 30s and 40s, it’s time to get on top your finances. So what’s important here is to learn the important steps of prioritising your debts, such as paying off any credit card and personal loans first, then home loans or private loans, and lastly repay investment home loans and business loans. Investment home loans or business loans should be the last priority to be repaid, as they may create your wealth through capital gains in your investments or give returns on your business. Although the same can be said for home loans, it has priority to be repaid because it is not tax-deductible.

In your 50s you should be beginning to plan for your retirement. So in this phase you should be looking at contributing more to your superannuation or to be topping up your investments outside of your superannuation such as to build up a portfolio of shares or properties.

In your 60s you should be well and truly considering how you will be situated when you stop working and planning for your retirement income. Additionally you will want to make your investments continue to work in your favour so that your maximum return ensures your money can last throughout your retirement and maintain your required living standards. As well as this you will be reducing risk to make your retirement nest egg stable and secure.

Of course there will always be some other considerations along the way. Some parts of life can mean you are strained to achieve optimising your financial life. Some of these circumstances are pursuit of hobbies/sports, growing your family, caring for elderly parents, sicknesses, deaths and supporting your children to adulthood. These are obviously important too as of course life is not just about money.