Why Billionaires John and Laura Arnold Won't Leave Their Kids Money
Houston billionaires John and Laura Arnold have decided not to leave their staggering fortune to their three children.
In October 2012, John closed his hedge fund company, Centaurus Energy, and retired after making about $4 billion in the last 10 years.
Arnold, who began his career at the infamous Houston energy company Enron, wants to give the money away to support innovative ideas and solve society's problems, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The couple has formed the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to carry out their charity work.
John claims it's a mistake to believe that leaving children enormous amounts of money will make them happy.
"I've never seen evidence that giving your kids a lot of money either makes them happier or makes them more productive members of society. In fact we've seen a lot of anecdotal evidence to the contrary. And if that's so, then what's to be gained by giving your kids a large sum of money?" John told GiveSmart.org.
"If you're concerned about trying to make society a better place, then marginal utility of wealth would dictate that you should do things that try to spread around some of the benefits of that money rather than giving it all to one person and so we've always had that as a philosophy with our kids."
His wife Laura is in full agreement about not sharing the wealth with their offspring.
"We don't believe that our children should inherit vast amounts of money. We think that many people have been quite successful at creating dynasties that have been effective and where people are productive and terrific members of society but we just don't want to run that risk. We want to give our children the opportunity and the ambition to create wealth themselves," said Laura.
The couple has given their money to a Houston food bank, research for pension reform (which has upset the local teachers union) and possibly lobbying for prison reform for non-violent inmates.