Bluerating | September 2023

Whether their bequest is made of material goods or not, the best legacy a father can leave to his son is the ability to build an independent life nourished by his teachings and exemplary life. 

Material goods are indeed a necessary condition to lead a good life. Alone, however, material goods are not enough to guarantee happiness and self-fulfillment.

The loss of a father raises existential questions: what teachings did he leave me? do I wish to emulate him, do better than him or build my own path in life?

Massimo Doris’s and Pier Silvio Berlusconi’s commemorations of their respective fathers, their words and emotions, touched me very much. In both cases, their fathers’ legacies transcended material goods – which were certainly consistent – and has resulted in a strong sense of duty to follow in their fathers’ footsteps.

When I lost my own father, son of entrepreneurs, I reconsidered his beautiful life and how he had chosen a different path in life from the one built by his father.

My father was a historian of philosophy, a university professor endowed with keen intelligence, scientific rigor, moral values, empathy, education, and unique listening skills.

I have chosen my own path in life, different from my father’s – to academia, I preferred a managerial and then entrepreneurial career. However, he was my guiding light in every important decision in life: FINER was born thanks to his precious advice and to two of the people who were dearest to him and who have become my partners.

What makes a son happier, following in his father’s footsteps or finding his own path in life? I believe there is no right answer: happiness and self-fulfillment depend largely on the passion and motivation underlying individual life and career choices.

I have known people who followed in their fathers’ footsteps with devastating results, to the detriment of both business success and, even worse, personal happiness.

Vice versa, several second- and third-generation entrepreneurs and professionals, eager to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and driven by deep gratitude, were able to add value and improve what they had received.

Then, there are founders – one of them, Brunello Cucinelli turned the humiliation endured by his working-class father at work into determination to release himself and his family, creating an empire based on ethics and respect towards people.

Deeply rooted in human capital, the field of financial consultancy suggests that passing the baton from father to son is an issue worth exploring.

These considerations are also to be taken into account when we consider that not every daughter and son of financial advisors chose to take on their parent’s job.

According to 98% of financial advisors, children should feel free to choose their own path in life, even if 66% of them would admittedly prefer having them by their side to guarantee the continuation of their business; this figure reaches 75% among professionals with a portfolio above average.

Clearly, professionals who love their job are very much tempted to condition their children’s life choices, encouraging family continuity; however, a parent’s happiness is seeing their children happy, fulfilled, and satisfied with their individual life choices.

For this reason, I am glad that my son graduated in Physics and that my daughter is currently a student in Architecture.

Nicola Ronchetti