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The Accumulators of Wealth

June 12, 2023

The Accumulators of Wealth:


Over my career, I have witnessed three types of individuals that started with little to their names and, despite many challenges, have amassed significant wealth. These alpha accumulators achieved their financial means in the following ways over several decades.

The first type of accumulator is the small business owner. Often starting with an idea and an incredible work ethic, studies have shown that business owners have a greater chance of amassing wealth than their salaried counterparts. Remember, when spotting a successful owner, they often take on significant personal risks and have toiled for decades at their company during good and bad times. They do not hesitate to clean the toilets, throw out the trash, and get to work before the sun shines. Owning a business is not always glamorous! You have payroll, human resource challenges, and customers deserving your best work and attention. The owner can accumulate assets in several ways. Once cash flow is positive, they pay themselves a reasonable salary and receive profits if they have a successful year. If the business is healthy and the cash flow is positive, these same owners will ultimately look to sell the business and cash in their equity as they approach retirement age.

The second accumulator success story is the corporate executive. After climbing the organization’s ladder through grit, smarts, and luck, the successful executive will receive valuable longer-term incentives such as restricted stock units, stock options, and other performance-based shares. This combination of high salaries, equity compensation, and the ability to fully fund their 401(k) each year can help corporate executives accumulate an enviable net worth over time.

Finally, the third type of accumulator success story is the everyday hero—nurses, teachers, firefighters and police officers, and those that work in middle management. Being an hourly or salaried employee is one of the harder ways to accumulate a significant net worth, but I have seen it done many times before. The most successful in these careers tend to live below their means, maximize their 401(k)’s, work overtime, or have a side hustle business.   The key is to save as much as possible because you don’t usually have the possibility of building equity like business owners or corporate executives. That said, you may have an old pension which can be a game changer from a retirement income standpoint in retirement. Whatever category you fall into, take time to understand your options to improve your chance of success.

Originally published in New Haven Register on June 3, 2023

 Eric Tashlein is a Certified Financial Planner Professional™ and financial advisor with Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. He can be reached at 800-878-7152. Offices: OES Wealth Partners, 71 Bradley Road Suite 4-A, Madison, CT 06443 & 30 Old King Hwy S, Darien, CT 06820. The information provided is for educational purposes only and doesn't intend to make an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed. Be sure to consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance." Advisory Services offered through Investment Advisor Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc, and OES Wealth Partners are not affiliated."