Introduction to neuroeconomics for the family office: a toolkit for success
We all want to be able to make more empowered choices to live the life we want. Yet, the more choice power we have, the more vulnerable we become to their effects on our lives and happiness. For family offices, the research of neuroeconomics could be beneficial for both protecting high-net-worth members from being bitten by their success and for helping them achieve a balance between happiness and success.

What you need to know

  • It has been said, “happiness is in the waiting room of happiness”. Arguably, sound financial decision-making may ultimately be made in the waiting room of numbers data, facts, and logic. And that waiting room is the brain’s black box reality. We all want the power of choice, but oftentimes the more choices we have, there’s bigger the risk that we lose the ability to enjoy the freedom we set out to achieve from making them.
  • We say we know that the unconscious runs the show, but thanks to the fundamental attribution error, we tend to think that we’re exempt from this fact.
  • For a family office leading many high stakes decisions transgenerationally, it would be wise for senior leadership to increase humility about what they think they know is best – something that research has shown is skewed by a life of dopamine-related hits of affluence, convenience, and rewards.
  • The research of neuroeconomics is thus beneficial for the successful, driven players in the family office space, to both protect them from insidiously being bitten by their success and to keep them on a path that can aid in balancing happiness and success distinctions.
Mental health Updated on April 7, 2022

There is a rarely acknowledged yet highly prevalent paradox that runs deep and strong in human life, and it is this – we desire to have more empowered choices to live the life we want. And yet, the more choice power we have, the more vulnerable we become to their ability to dissatisfy our hearts, brains, and desires.  Said another way, the more choices we have, the bigger the risk that we may lose the ability to enjoy the freedom we set out to get from those choices.  In the family office space, and with wealth specifically, it is an understandable means to obtain that place of fulfilment of one’s life and yet the decisions one makes in, with, and through that life of “wealth management and flourishing” carry many unintended consequences unbeknownst to the success-seeker at the beginning of his and her journey.

Grey Matters International and the work of Dr Kevin Fleming, its founder, employ wisdom-based strategies to lay out those neural laws that carry such a huge hidden influence. Starting with the ending, in the beginning, the work of this innovative company leverages neurotechnologies and the research of neuroeconomics – a field designed to find the neural underpinnings at play in our choice scenarios and decision-making playing fields. From here, the brain research allows Dr Fleming to “work backwards” and to find both immunisation strategies to protect the highly-driven success seeker from insidiously being bitten by the thing that is sought, as well as prevention strategies to keep them on a path that can aid in balancing happiness vs success distinctions.

About the Authors

Dr Kevin Fleming

Dr Kevin Fleming

Neuroleadership & mental health

Dr Kevin Fleming's research into the neuroeconomics of decision making has been instrumental in helping both the at-risk high net worth client and the mainstream prevention-seeking family office to incorporate and implement best practice behaviour change solutions to preserve both one's wealth and one's brain.

Connect with Dr Kevin Fleming

Simple solutions for complex times.