What makes a great family economy?

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4 min
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As a third-generation financial advisor, Tom Stadum carries on the tradition of his grandfather and father by delivering comprehensive financial plans, prudent investment strategies, and timely service.
September 30, 2023

Morning everyone, sorry for the absence the past few weeks. It’s great to be back writing.

A few weeks back, we talked about the economy of you. As a brief refresher – we all have our own little economy’s where we produce, spend, and trade with others.

As the CEO of Fjell Capital, I help guide our team and clients towards success, in return, I get compensated to do so.

I create value here, get paid for doing so, then spend and invest personally with Camila to live our life.

It makes zero sense for Camila and I to grow our own food so we happily take our income and trade it for the convenience of going on our iPhones and ordering groceries through Instacart.

You get the point. We all have our own little economies.

What makes a great family economy?

But what I want to talk about is what makes a great economy in a family.

Greatness is something we should all strive in our family economies.

Greatness means stability.

Greatness means transparency.

Greatness means growth.

Greatness means stewardships.

Greatness does not mean a lot of money for money’s sake.

As an aside, there are many natural resource rich economies in the world, and only a few of them are actually rich. Venezuela, Russia, and Libya being a few that could be great but have chosen different paths. Norway and the US are typically considered rich and great.

Just because you have, doesn’t mean you are great.

Anyways, back to greatness in our own economies.

Three critical pieces most people miss

Three things that come to mind and one critical piece most people miss.


The first thing that make greatness is what I call financial infrastructure. These are the pipes that need to be built to move your money around, for your own benefit.

Let me say that again, for your own benefit.

It is crazy how much infrastructure exists for us to SPEND our money. Yet the key thing to build if your own.

Easiest example is using your 401k at work. You have to be the one to put 7% into it from your own paycheck into the company plan.

If you have crummy infrastructure – your financial life will most likely follow suit.


I just did a quick Google search for “personal finance” – the result – 3.07 BILLION results.

To say there is a lot of information on the internet in an understatement. Yet, just this week, I learned that it takes, on average, 53 years for people to start making good financial decisions.

So basically it takes someone 2/3 of their career to get good at making money decisions.

What people need to get is: know yourself, your tendencies, and the context of your life with money (strengths, weaknesses, etc.).

Knowledge you can’t find on the internet.


Finally, vision. I’ve talked with many kids of multigenerational families over the years who are working in the family business. They are living the dream from the outside. But inside, they are living in their parents or grandparents dream.

It’s not their own.

Heck, many people probably think this of me.

“Oh, Tom just got the business from his parents.”

In some sense, this is true, but I also paid what anybody else would for it and I’ve spent 10 years growing, changing it and making it my dream, my vision.

If you don’t have a vision for your life, even just 3-5 years out, it’s hard to make progress.

This leads us to where people get stuck.

Where people get stuck

They simply don’t start.

That’s it.

Think of it this way, you are in a car, sitting on a wide road, with your dream on the horizon. There is a gas can, with gas, next to the car. All you need to do is put gas in and go.

But they don’t.

So they stay there looking at their dream, in the distant.

When all they need to do is start.

To wrap this up. Simple infrastructure goes a long long way. Put knowledge and vision on top of that and you’ve put yourself in a really good position.

They key in all of this is to start. And don’t stop.

That’s all for this week friends.

Hope this is helpful and that I’ve inspired a few of you to take action and get ahead.

Camila and I, personally, will be spending time this September tax planning and preparing for a successful year end.

See you next week.

About us
Fjell Capital is a leading wealth management firm designed to deliver results for people who desire to be excellent with their finances. Starting at $125/month and a 0.75% asset management fee you can work with Fjell Capital. No asset minimums. Learn more about Fjell Capital here.
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