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Talk is cheap for the rich

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

The rich would prefer to discuss politics, sex, religion and personal health rather than money, according to the results of a recent global survey by deVere Group.

An important aspect of money management is being able to discuss it.

An important aspect of money management is being able to discuss it.

Six out of 10 individuals with more than $1.6 million in investable assets from five countries, including the U.S., said personal finance is the most difficult subject to discuss with friends, family and colleagues.

Walking the walk

But while the high-net-worth might not be talking about money, per se, they are often communicating about it in other ways, says Kathryn Smerling, psychotherapist in New York City.

"They're wearing it -- in jewelry, purses, watches -- and they're not reticent about talking about their vacations or homes," she says. "And even the wealthy complain about taxes. So while they might think it's crude to talk about money itself, it's very present in conversation; it's just done in a much more subtle way."

Concerns about money usually come out in discussions with wealth management experts, says Smerling, especially when it involves how they want their children to perceive money. "They know the pleasures and responsibilities that come with wealth and want their children to be good stewards," she adds.

Avoiding the tough conversations

In a statement about the results of the survey, Nigel Green, deVere Group founder and chief executive, said he believes the wealthy are sometimes embarrassed about their net worth and take a "bury their heads in the sand" approach to money discussions.

However, this attitude has consequences, he added. "Ignoring or putting off tackling any personal finance issues is always the worst way to handle such things as you will, almost inevitably, be creating far bigger challenges in the future. This is especially true when it comes to managing debts and investments and saving for retirement."

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