Does Money Grow on (Family) Trees?

From the silent generation to millennials, money habits are sculpted by experience. They are developed over years and decades, passed down from our parents and to our children.

Upbringing has a big effect on our relationship with money and a lot of that influence comes from our parents. Here at Singer Xenos, our parents must have been doing something right, given that their children grew up to have careers as financial advisors. So, we asked each of the SX Senior Advisors about the lessons they learned from their mom and dad, and how that shaped their relationship with money.



Faith’s parents impressed upon her the need to be charitable and selfless. “My parents always said ‘all that you earn does not belong to you’. The fact that they were of modest means was never considered.” Even as success came, they reaffirmed, “to those whom much is given, much is expected.” Faith says these lessons have grounded her and remained guiding principles throughout her life, both personally and professionally.


Raised during the Great Depression, Marc’s father’s lessons were rooted in humility. He taught Marc to value financial security over luxury by spending less than you earn, as there is no reason to flaunt your wealth. Marc remembers his father’s hallmark advice that shaped the way he runs Singer Xenos: “Always have integrity in business. It’s much easier to sleep at night when you know you’ve chosen the ethical path.”


Jay’s parents both came from meager beginnings. Having escaped pre-World War II Europe just ahead of the war, Jay’s parents used stories of their past to remind their children to be appreciative of all they had. In what seems to be a recurring theme of Singer Xenos parents, Jay’s parents encouraged him to live within his means, saying the wealthy person is the one that is happy with what he or she has. They valued education, honesty and charitable giving, and taught Jay that those that give to others “receive that amount back tenfold.”


The charitable inclinations of Neil’s parents permeated every financial lesson he remembers growing up. They taught that it was the responsibility of people who had means and education to help those who did not. Healthcare and education are incredibly important and if you have those, they taught, it is meant to be passed on. Neil’s parents also stressed the importance of family. They showed that money should never get in the way of life long relationships.


While Lonny’s baby boomer parents may have come from a different generation than some of the other advisors’, the advice echoes the same. His parents taught him early on that money was not the key to happiness. By the same token, he learned to make money decisions that made sense for him, not based on what anyone else was doing.