Toronto Book Review

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THE 100 TRILLION DOLLAR WEALTH TRANSFER: HOW THE HANDOVER FROM BOOMERS TO GEN Z WILL REVOLUTIONIZE CAPITALISM BY KEN COSTA

An exploration into “the most significant transfer of wealth across generations ever witnessed in human history” reveals a different perspective on millennials and Gen Z than the prevailing narrative of entitlement and ingratitude. According to Costa, a former UBS Investment Bank chairman, these younger generations possess a deep prophetic vision, willing to critically assess various aspects of society and envision a future yet to be realized. However, as baby boomers age and the impending transfer of wealth approaches, it is essential to mentor the younger generations so they can responsibly manage their financial inheritance and contribute to society in a mature manner.

Costa introduces the term “Zennial” to encompass both millennials and Gen Z, emphasizing the importance of bridging the gap between generations. He reassures his fellow boomers that many Zennials are already displaying mature behavior, while also cautioning that failure to engage with them effectively could jeopardize the future of capitalism. Despite acknowledging his generation’s role in shaping the circumstances faced by Zennials, Costa’s analysis is limited, attributing social developments of the 2010s and 2020s solely to younger generations without considering broader socio-political factors like Brexit and Trumpism.

Addressing an audience of presumed intellectually privileged boomers, Costa overlooks his own patronizing tone while advocating for a more respectful intergenerational dialogue. However, his argument lacks depth, relying heavily on buzzwords and vague assertions about the necessity of combining the boomer experience with Zennial insight to ensure the future of capitalism. Moreover, Costa fails to provide practical strategies for managing the anticipated $100 trillion transfer of wealth, instead promoting a vague concept of collaboration and a shift towards collective responsibility.

In summary, Costa’s analysis comes across as verbose and condescending, prompting the dismissive response “OK, boomer.” While he highlights the potential of younger generations and the importance of intergenerational collaboration, his approach lacks substantive analysis and practical solutions for addressing the challenges posed by the largest transfer of generational wealth in history.

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