The History of Family Money

with Eric Schoenberg / In Person

In 1982, 60 of the 100 richest Americans inherited most of their wealth, but by 2020 this was true for only 27 of the richest 100.  Why did the importance of inheritance in determining wealth drop so much over those 40 years, and will it continue or will it reverse? This class will examine the “deep” history of family wealth by focusing on three basic questions for each era — how was wealth created? Who created it? How did it get transmitted across time?

6 In-Person Sessions


Sept 21 – Dec 7, 2021

2:00pm – 3:15pm EST


Session 1: SEPT 21

Prehistoric & Ancient Wealth:
From hunter-gatherers to

Session 2: OCT 5

Wealth in Greece & Rome:
From democracy to empire.

Session 3: OCT 19

Medieval Wealth:
Mansa Musa’s Great Pilgrimage.

Session 4: NOV 2

Merchant Wealth:
Oh brave new world!

Session 5: NOV 23

Industrial Wealth:
Industrialization & The Gilded Age

Session 6: DEC 7

Technology Wealth:
Where do we go from here?

Meet the moderator

Eric Schoenberg

Eric Schoenberg is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Psychology Department of Columbia University with a research focus on the psychology of money, intergenerational wealth transfers and behavior in financial markets, particularly asset market bubbles.  He has taught classes in behavioral economics, decision making, family wealth and leadership at Wharton, Columbia Business School, Stern School of Business, and the Haas Business School. Previously, he was Managing Director and Chief Knowledge Officer of Broadview International, a boutique investment bank offering merger and acquisition advisory services to Information Technology companies. Before that, he served as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State. Learn more.