INVESTORS CAN—AND CERTAINLY SHOULD—SUBSTANTIALLY increase their lifetime financial and emotional success by paying appropriate attention to what all chess players know is important: the endgame.

If you are fortunate, as many Americans are, to have earned or inherited more than you need to live out your own definition of the good life, you’ll have the opportunity and the responsibility to decide where and how to direct the funds not spent. Most affluent people focus on two quite different kinds of beneficiaries, which both can be deeply meaningful: people (usually family members) and values (usually such philanthropic organizations as colleges, schools, hospitals, and religious organizations).

Deciding what will be done with ...

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