Five Ways To Build Enduring Wealth

Our name “Wealth By Design” has a backstory.  When I recalibrated the business in 2006 from a financial product focus to a comprehensive financial life planning firm, I wanted a name that reflected how we were going to serve our clients. The word “wealth” means something different to every person and the word design is reflective of conceiving, creating, planning with intention.  While we are in the “money” business, our team works with clients on a deeper perspective on what living a prosperous life looks like.

Many times, we associate creating wealth from the financial perspective.  Is the equity growing in your home?   How is your investment portfolio doing compared to the benchmarks?  Is your business in the black and what is your profit margin?  Does your estate plan pass your assets on tax efficiently?  This view of wealth building is singular in its perspective and distorted in its directive.  Wealth as a noun is a “great quantity, an abundance or profusion” of anything.  To create sustainable and regenerative prosperity, we need to recalibrate our definition of wealth and expand our endeavors to create it.

James E Hughes, Jr. has built out these concepts in association with perpetuating family wealth.  I have taken the liberty to build on his work and the acumen as applied to our communities at large.

Human Capital – Growing wealth with our human capital is focused on maintaining physical, mental and emotional wellness.  This could also be looked at through the lens of growing your “character assets”.  Are you creative, resourceful, kind, collaborative, curious, compassionate, generous?  Can you envision how these traits will build wealth in our community?  What does it look like for you to invest in these assets for yourself and others?  In many cultures, they esteem their elders and look for guidance and insight.  What can we do to bring our elders out of “retirement” and tap into their communal wealth?

Intellectual Capital  – Every human brings to bear their unique world view, their stories, their knowledge and wisdom.  It will include educational and life experiences, both positive and negative.   As life-long learners, squeezing every ounce of growth from each experience will cultivate our life cornucopia.  How do we tap into this wealth?  We can take the time to empathetically listen to each other with curiosity.   It is with brave vulnerability that we can share this wealth and with respectful humility that we will receive it.

Social Capital  – How do we connect with the world, knowing we are a part of something greater than ourselves?  The wealth found here is in embracing the dignity of work.  We each are called to participate in a unique way as we find fulfilling and meaningful participation in the world.  For a while, this probably includes “earning a living”.  In other seasons of life, building our social capital will include “paying it forward” with volunteer our philanthropic pursuits.  It may be investing our time or skills in our families and communities as we ask “how can I encourage or support you?”

Spiritual Capital  – This type of capital defines our “stand”.  A stand is different than a position.  A position will change over time and can be useful. Many times, though positions alienate others.  A stand is God moving in you, through you and for you.  A stand involves communion with others and it will draw people to you.  It is your purpose in life, the rapture of your heart, the connection to your life’s work.  It is not measurable and won’t be accomplished in your lifetime. It is playful and powerful.  It may be based on religious traditions or a set of virtues and love is its foundation.  This well runs deep in its abundance and will quench the thirst of many.

Financial Capital – Financial capital should grow, be preserved and deployed in support of constructing the other facets of wealth.  You want to know what financial tools you have and how they positioned to facilitate building your human, intellectual, social and spiritual wealth.  Discernment in how you invest in these other areas takes time, thoughtful consideration and the wisdom of professionals that understand who you are and what is important to you.

While financial capital is tangible, and the most sanctioned expression of wealth, (by our culture) it is by no means exclusive. As we acknowledge and advance the wealth inherent in all aspects of our human experience, we will forge true wealth that endures.  As you step into 2022, consider how to utilize your financial capital to pave the road of true prosperity for all.  Let us know when you are ready to allow us to walk alongside you!

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