Confirm you would like to unsubscribe from this list

Don't save

Remove strategy

Confirm you would like to remove this strategy from your list

Welcome to Thornburg

Please select your location and role to help personalize the site.
Please review our Terms & Conditions

For Institutional / Wholesale / Professional Clients

The content on this website is intended for institutional and professional investors in the United States only and is not suitable for individual investors or non-U.S. entities. Institutional and professional investors include pension funds, investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, financial intermediaries, consultants, endowments and foundations, and investment advisors registered under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.


Please read the information below. By accessing this web site of Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. ("Thornburg" or "we"), you acknowledge that you understand and accept the following terms and conditions of use.


Products or services mentioned on this site are subject to legal and regulatory requirements in applicable jurisdictions and may not be licensed or available in all jurisdictions and there may be restrictions or limitations to whom this information may be made available. Unless otherwise indicated, no regulator or government authority has reviewed the information or the merits of the products and services referenced herein. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments carry risks, including possible loss of principal.

Reference to a fund or security anywhere on this website is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any other security. The information is not a complete analysis of every material fact concerning any market, industry, or investment, nor is it intended to predict the performance of any investment or market.

All opinions and estimates included on this website constitute judgements of Thornburg as at the date of this website and are subject to change without notice.

All information and contents of this website are furnished "as is." Data has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but Thornburg makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of such information and has no obligation to provide updates or changes. Thornburg disclaims, to the fullest extent of the law, any implied or express warranty of any kind, including without limitation the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

If you live in a state that does not allow disclaimers of implied warranties, our disclaimer may not apply to you.

Although Thornburg intends the information contained in this website to be accurate and reliable, errors sometimes occur. Thornburg does not warrant that the information to be free of errors, that the functions contained in the site will be uninterrupted, that defects will be corrected or that the site and servers are free from viruses or other harmful components. You agree that you are responsible for the means you use to access this website and understand that your hardware, software, the Internet, your Internet service provider, and other third parties involved in connecting you to our website may not perform as intended or desired. We also disclaim responsibility for damages third parties may cause to you through the use of this website, whether intentional or unintentional. For example, you understand that hackers could breach our security procedures, and that we will not be responsible for any related damages.

Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange under U.S. laws which may differ materially from laws in other jurisdictions.

Online Privacy and Cookie Policy

Please review our Online Privacy and Cookie Policy, which is hereby incorporated by reference as part of these terms and conditions.

Third Party Content

Certain website's content has been obtained from sources that Thornburg believes to be reliable as of the date presented but Thornburg cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, or suitability for use of such content. The content does not take into account individual investor's circumstances, objectives or needs. The content is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument or any investment management services, nor does it constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision.


No determination has been made regarding the suitability of any securities, financial instruments or strategies for any investor. The website's content is provided on the basis and subject to the explanations, caveats and warnings set out in this notice and elsewhere herein. The website's content does not purport to provide any legal, tax or accounting advice. Any discussion of risk management is intended to describe Thornburg's efforts to monitor and manage risk but does not imply low risk.

Limited License and Restrictions on Use

Except as otherwise stated in these terms of use or as expressly authorized by Thornburg in writing, you may not:

  • Modify, copy, distribute, transmit, post, display, perform, reproduce, publish, broadcast, license, create derivative works from, transfer, sell, or exploit any reports, data, information, content, software, RSS and podcast feeds, products, services, or other materials (collectively, "Materials") on, generated by or obtained from this website, whether through links or otherwise;
  • Redeliver any page, text, image or Materials on this website using "framing" or other technology;
  • Engage in any conduct that could damage, disable, or overburden (i) this website, (ii) any Materials or services provided through this website, or (iii) any systems, networks, servers, or accounts related to this website, including without limitation, using devices or software that provide repeated automated access to this website, other than those made generally available by Thornburg;
  • Probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of any Materials, services, systems, networks, servers, or accounts related to this website or attempt to gain unauthorized access to Materials, services, systems, networks, servers, or accounts connected or associated with this website through hacking, password or data mining, or any other means of circumventing any access-limiting, user authentication or security device of any Materials, services, systems, networks, servers, or accounts related to this website; or
  • Modify, copy, obscure, remove or display the Thornburg name, logo, trademarks, notices or images without Thornburg's express written permission. To obtain such permission, you may e-mail us at info@thornburg.com.

Severability, Governing Law

Failure by Thornburg to enforce any provision(s) of these terms and conditions shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. This website is controlled and operated by Thornburg from its offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The laws of the State of New Mexico govern these terms and conditions. If you take legal action relating to these terms and conditions, you agree to file such action only in state or federal court in New Mexico and you consent and submit to the personal jurisdiction of those courts for the purposes of litigating any such action.


You acknowledge and agree that Thornburg may restrict, suspend or terminate these terms and conditions or your access to, and use, of the all or any part this website, including any links to third-party sites, at any time, with or without cause, including but not limited to any breach of these terms and conditions, in Thornburg's absolute discretion and without prior notice or liability.

Give Us a Call

Fund Operations

Ethical wills help clients leave a greater legacy than just money, a family sits around and looks through a photobook.
Practice Management

Ethical Wills Help Clients Leave a Legacy Greater Than Money

Jan Blakeley Holman, CFP, CIMA, ChFC, CDFA, CFS, GFS
Director of Advisor Education
25 Jun 2018
4 min read

Advisors can guide clients to start the tradition of an ethical will that will help future generations of their family know the values that guided their lives.

Most of us had the opportunity to know our grandparents. But did we really “know” them or did we just know their names? And what do we know about the generations that came before them? If we were fortunate, we may have known them and had a sense of who they were as people and if we were very fortunate, we may have heard their stories from them or other family members which gave us some insight into who they were, what they believed and what they learned from their lives.

Today we want to learn everything we can about our ancestors and the lives they lived. Many of us are searching for our roots. Fortunately, we have more access to that information than we’ve ever had. Genealogy websites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org can provide us with facts about our ancestors, dates of birth, marriage dates, names of their children, census data, and death dates. Genetic tests from 23andMe.com and Ancestry.com examine our DNA and give us a report on our ancestry, the peculiarities of our genetics, and in some cases, even identify living relatives we never knew we had.

Yet, that information isn’t as personal or as valuable as the stories we hear directly from our family’s elders. Sure, we may know where they lived, their names, and how they fit into the family, but unless detailed family history and specific stories are shared between generations, there’s no way to know what our ancestors believed, what they valued or what events shaped their lives. Most of us don’t have the answers to questions like: What happened when our family came to America? Why did my great-great grandparents move from New York to Ohio? Why did my great-great grandfather take the life path that he took? Why did my grandmother make the career decisions she made? But don’t you wish you did?

What is an Ethical Will?

As an advisor who works with multiple generations of your clients’ families, you are in the position to help your clients start a tradition that guarantees future generations of their family will know them, the life decisions they made, and the values that guided their lives. That tradition is called an Ethical Will.

Unlike a legal will that distributes an individual’s property at death, an ethical will has nothing to do with the transfer of property, and it has no standing in the courts. Instead, it is the product of an ancient tradition in which an individual shares their life story, personal values, beliefs, blessings, and advice with future generations. According to Dr. Barry K. Baines, the author of Ethical Wills, “legal wills bequeath valuables, ethical wills bequeath values.”

Ask your clients what their values are and they might respond with a blank stare. Why they made the choices they made, why they took the path they took, what have they learned along the way, and what they would like future generations to know about them are questions they are rarely asked. But imagine the gift you will be giving your clients and their families if you show them how to share that information with future generations.

Using an Ethical Will

There’s no doubt that an ethical will is wonderful for a family to have, but it’s also a great tool for you. As a financial advisor, your job is to build relationships with your clients. The nature of your work requires that you take clients through an intensive discovery and financial planning process that requires you to help them identify their life goals, the resources they can earmark for those goals, and the timing of those goals. When you think about it, while this information is personal, often it lacks emotion.

You know your clients’ finances intimately, but do you really know everything about them? Do you know anything about their parents? Do you know the story of their lives? Do you know what their values are? Do you know what they would like future generations of their family to know about them? If you are like most advisors, you would answer those questions with a “no.”

Creating an Ethical Will

An ethical will is a written document, which unlike cassettes, VHS tapes, or Beta tapes, written documents will endure. Beginning the process is simple. The only things the person creating the ethical will need is some paper, a pen, and some direction from you on where to begin.

For example, you may suggest that they divide their ethical will into three parts:

  1. Lessons from the past
  2. Lessons from the present
  3. Thoughts for the future

Or, if that is too broad, you can give your clients a list of specific questions they can answer, such as:

  • What was your childhood like?
  • What did you learn from your parents?
  • What did you learn from school?
  • Why did you make the career choices you made?
  • What are the three most life-changing events you’ve experienced?
  • What do you believe in? What are your most important values?
  • What do you want most for your children?
  • What is your philosophy of money?
  • What gives you joy?
  • What would you like future generations of your family to know about you?

Answering these questions will allow your clients to speak from the heart, talk about things that may be too emotional to say face-to-face, motivate them to communicate family stories, give them an opportunity to explain controversial decisions, and provide them with a forum to speak to future generations of the family.

Even if you are not a financial advisor who works with multi-generational clients of a family, you may want to consider making an ethical will a part of every client’s planning. It is sure to be a tradition and legacy that will endure.

Discover more about:

Stay Connected

Subscribe now to stay up-to-date with Thornburg’s news and insights.

More Insights

Racers at the finish line on a track
Global Equity

Forget the Magnificent 7 – Why You Should Invest in Europe’s Fantastic 5

Europe has its own crop of market-beating growth stocks that are overlooked compared to the Magnificent Seven in the US.
Choosing between an older advisor and a younger advisor.
Investor Advice

Should You Opt for an Older or Younger Financial Adviser?

Do you want the wisdom that comes with age or the innovation that comes with youth? Maybe you can have both with an advisory team.
Markets & Economy

Observations: The Value of Dividends and Munis to Stoke Income

Our Co-Heads of Investments make the case for dividend-paying stocks and the tax-free feature of Munis as tax hikes are possible, given our government debt levels.
Markets & Economy

Observations: Market Concentration and the Fed’s Policy Outlook

Our Co-Heads of Investments discuss whether the equity market rally is finally broadening and whether the Fed's forecast for three rate cuts makes sense.
Markets & Economy

Observations: Are Investors Too Complacent?

Our Co-Heads of Investments discuss whether the financial markets' substantial gains following last autumn's 'Fed pivot' left investors smug amid potential dangers.
Woman with her smart phone and plexus connection
Global Equity

Avoiding Concentration Risk in AI: Is It Time for a Reality Check?

Overexuberance for all things AI can create concentration risk. See how we’re curating diversified exposure designed to perform over the long term.

Our insights. Your inbox.

Sign up to receive timely market commentary and perspectives from our financial experts delivered to your inbox weekly.