Why It Makes Sense To Spend as Much in a Three-Star Hotel in Lenox, Massachusetts, as the Five-Star Ritz Carlton in Tokyo

(Japanese language version below. Translation by Michiyo Matsumoto Ikeda )

My wife and I spent the Fourth of July in Lenox, Massachusetts, to hear James Taylor’s 50th annual performance in The Shed at the famous Tanglewood Music & Arts Festival venue. We checked into a charming three-star hotel, and I must admit I had “sticker shock” when I found out how much the room cost. Even considering the sinking Japanese yen and the strength of the current US dollar, the hotel in Lenox was more expensive than a night at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo, where we are hosting the annual Global Fiduciary Symposium on November 11-13th this year. But perhaps the three-star hotel gives you access to a “five-star cultural experience” and is worth the price?

After taking a deep breath, and turning over my credit card, I began to reflect on my relationship with Japanese investors over the past eighteen years, and specifically, FinCity.Tokyo (東京国際金融機構) , that is working with Japan’s government to accelerate growth in the asset management community in Japan. FinCity is part of the larger group of global financial centers, the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) that published a white paper that supports the premise of investing in art (and thus, culture) and the importance this investment brings to financial centers and their population. FinCity’s leader, Keiichi Aritomo is a part-time jazz musician (and so am I), so we have much in common outside of our shared passion for Japan (My tribute to Dave Sanborn). At a time where economic decisions are often influenced by the desire for luxury and prestige, the decision to spend the night at a three-star hotel in Lenox, Massachusetts, to support Tanglewood and its music scene, was a “no-brainer”.

Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra , is more than just a venue for classical music; it is a cultural beacon that significantly contributes to the local economy of Lenox and many of the charming surrounding towns in western Massachusetts. As many of you might already know, the famous Japanese conductor, Seiji Ozawa joined the BSO in 1973 and held this top position until 2002. He also sparked the collaboration with Yo Yo Ma and…wait for it…James Taylor!

According to the white paper published by the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) , investment in art and culture has far-reaching benefits that extend beyond mere entertainment. The paper highlights that cultural institutions foster economic growth by attracting tourism, creating jobs, and stimulating local businesses. In Lenox, the influx of visitors for Tanglewood concerts leads to increased occupancy rates in local hotels, heightened patronage of restaurants, (amazing ice cream by many local creameries) and greater sales for local retail shops. This ripple effect sustains the local economy and ensures that small businesses thrive while providing a platform for art, music and high cultural experiences like the nearby Norman Rockwell Museum . (Research from Williams College and others put the cultural investment “alpha” to the local economy at more than $100mil per year.)

Moreover, spending money in Lenox supports the preservation and proliferation of the arts, which is crucial for societal well-being. The same white paper underscores that communities with robust cultural scenes experience enhanced quality of life, higher levels of civic engagement, and greater social cohesion. Something we could all use more of, right? When individuals choose to stay in Lenox and attend Tanglewood, they are not only indulging in a rich musical experience but also investing in the cultural fabric of the community. This investment is particularly important in smaller towns where cultural institutions may struggle to compete with larger metropolitan areas for funding and attention.

Tokyo, as one of the world's top financial centers, already enjoys substantial investment in its infrastructure and cultural institutions. It’s one of the reasons why Japan is such an interesting country to travel to by foreigners, as it has one the richest and deepest cultures in the world. According to the World Alliance of Financial Centers, cities like Tokyo have recognized the importance of investing in art and culture to attract global talent, and to facilitate the integration of the financial community with the artist community. Two groups that normally struggle to connect and coalesce.

To be sure, I am not saying you shouldn’t spend your money at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo! But I’m sure you’ll agree that investing in art and culture inside and outside of city centers in critically important, and one might even say this investment is a key contributing factor to longevity management and the improvement of the human condition. Coupled with prudent long-term investing and a sustainable stream of life-time income, we can all play a role in making the world a better place by choosing where to “invest”, both personally, and as professional investors.

So, now that I’ve convinced you on spending as much at a three-star hotel in Lenox Massachusetts as the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tokyo, mark your calendars for 11-13th of November and join us for the annual Global Fiduciary Symposium in Japan.  It’s an investment experience and cultural event like no other on the planet. www.globalfiduciarysymposium.com








世界有数の金融センターである東京は、すでにインフラや文化施設に多額の投資を行っている。日本が世界で最も豊かな文化を持つ点こそ、外国人にとって興味深い国である理由のひとつだ。W A I F Cによると、東京のような都市は、グローバルな才能を惹きつけ、金融コミュニティとアーティスト・コミュニティの融合を促進するために、芸術や文化に投資することの重要性を認識している。この2つのコミュニティは、つながりやまとまりに苦労することが多い。


マサチューセッツ州レノックスにある三ツ星ホテルで、ザ・リッツ・カールトン東京並みの出費をすることに納得していただけただろうか。ザ・リッツ・カールトン東京では11月11〜13日まで毎年恒例のグローバル・フィデューシャリー・シンポジウムを開催します。 他では味わえない投資体験と文化体験の機会をご提供しています。

Related: What Does Being a Good Steward Look Like?