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An Open Letter

January 27th, 2014 - 6:09 am

Dear Stage Parents,

I’m watching Justin Beiber’s public meltdown, but only because the headlines are so big. It’s a sure thing I’ve never actually listened to one of his songs, or at least not one all the way through. But I wonder if there might be a way for you to avoid having to watch your kids go through something similar.

What I came up with isn’t much. It might be enough though.

If you’re lucky enough to watch your kid have some success, take those earnings and put them in a blind trust. Let them have a generous allowance — enough to keep them comfortable, pay for tutors and college and all the rest. Just don’t let them have enough money to think they’re invincible and can load up the Ferrari with drugs and booze and yell obscenities at cops.

Because your kids aren’t invincible; they’re kids. Given that kind of power — and let’s remember that money is power — kids will almost always hurt themselves. We’ve seen it time and time again.

So put the bulk of that money in trust, where they can’t blow it all on booze and cars and whatnot. And keep it there until they turn 25. Or maybe even 30. Give them the opportunity to either transition gracefully and responsibly into adult stardom. Or should they fail that, give them the opportunity to learn to be responsible human beings before they come into a sudden fortune.

It’s the very rare child who can handle sudden wealth. It’s an even rarer child who ever becomes a real adult after acquiring it. And it’s rarer still for these grown child-adults to keep their fortunes.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of watching talented, beautiful kids grow up to become ugly adult addicts — if they live long enough to do even that.

-Your Friendly Neighborhood VodkaPundit

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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Ironically, (or maybe not), that’s the way the Honey BooBoo people are supposedly handling their new found riches. Saving and trusts.

Maybe the white trash Southerners have a bit more sense than the trendy Canadians.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Besides putting her love life on dispaly via every song she writes, what has Taylor Swift done with her money and success to embaress herself or her parents? How about Jennifer Lawrence?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Personally, I'm all for seeing this idiot, who's desperately trying to de-Osmond his image by becoming a tattooed gangsta-punk-thug D-bag, spend a few quality years in prison, getting to intimately know, deep in his bowels, as it were, the thug lifestyle he's embracing.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's good advice for non-stage parents, too, which I regularly provide in an estate planning context.

Never ever drop a large sum of money on an eighteen year old. Always set up a trust for the benefit of that age beneficiary. Depending on the amount invloved, don't terminate the trust all at once (give it to them in three or four equal pieces separated by, say, five years.

The way people learn how to manage money is, frequently and unfortunately, by (mis)managing money. Set things up so that the kid can make a disastrous mistake with a third of his wealth. Presumably he will learn, and will still have two thirds left.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nonsense. That's a first class ticket to a very public, very ugly court battle and serves only to plant seeds of resentment and hatred that will last a very, very long time. Perhaps forever.

The correct course of action is to raise one's kids properly so they don't act like blithering idiots, regardless of the freedom great wealth brings.

I've worked with a number of young performers over the years, and while none had the kind of success Beiber does, many of them were millionaires before they could drive. The ones who were micro-managed to death and beset by a gaggle of handlers were the ones who ended up making some very poor choices with regard to drug use and generally idiotic behavior. The ones who were raised properly had their fun, but there were lines they did not cross, much to their credit and that of the parents that raised them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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