Growing Your Wealth

Personal Money Planning |

By Gary Silverman, CFP®

Instead of discussing “Your Money,” today I want to talk about “Your Wealth.” According to Wikipedia (it was either that or asking ChatGPT), “Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions.” What is your most valuable possession or resource?

I’ll give you a hint: It’s you!

The only thing you possess that you cannot separate from is your Self. Sun or moon, rain or shine, your Self is right there. On the negative side of things, you’re kinda stuck with your Self. Fortunately, you have the ability to improve.

Don’t get me wrong. You’re probably fine the way you are. But I don’t want you to be so in love with your current Self that you don’t see room for improvement. I don’t know what you should work on since each of us is different. Yes, most of us are human, but there is an infinite variety of humans. We’re all a bit eclectic.

You may have heard that you have one particular purpose in life, a single mission to perform. I disagree a little with that. After all, once that goal is achieved, there is nothing left to do but wait to die. You are probably familiar with those who were defined by their children or their work. But once the children left the nest or retirement was achieved, they either drifted aimlessly or became limp.

No, I believe you have multiple purposes in life which will never be complete, because once one is fulfilled, a new one takes its place. This way, you will never exhaust your capacity to grow toward your full potential.

What does this have to do with wealth?

Several of your purposes either center on your job or affect it. Your earning potential is your greatest source of financial wealth which many people fail to consider.

You have opportunities to make yourself more valuable to your clients, your boss, or your peers. Take a class that will benefit your business. Develop relationships that can turn into prospects, centers of influence, referral sources, or points of expertise. Improve your soft skills by joining Toastmasters or learning etiquette or how to dress for success.

No matter your job status, you spend money. Learning how to save or invest what you already have is another way to gain or preserve wealth. One of my managers was so good at researching discounts and coupons that sometimes she actually made money on it.

You can increase your value in other ways besides money.  Becoming a more interested person makes you a more interesting person—one valued by those around you. Opening yourself up to new worlds through travel, reading, or the arts expands your visible horizons. Developing your spiritual side creates value in ways you cannot see. Taking time to help others through volunteering or giving adds value to the world around you.

We are all capable of growing. You may not have the best education or background. You may not be the sharpest tack in the box. But as President Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”