Don’t Leave Your Finances to Luck

Elliot Kallen (pictured) has developed four pillars for long-term financial success

St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner; it’s the day of the year when Chicago dyes its river green, revelers in Boston and New York don green shirts, face paint and hats, and bartenders across America pour ice-cold beer tinted green. But while green is considered a lucky color, financial expert Ellen Kallen says, luck won’t add more green to your wallet. 

The president of Prosperity Financial Group, which won the Worldwide Finance Award for Most Trusted Asset Management Company in Northern California, urges people to not leave their finances to luck. Instead of engaging in risky financial behaviors, 2020’s Five Star Wealth Management award winner highlights the four pillars he says are necessary to financially succeed in life. 

  1. Grow Your Money

Kallen’s first pillar involves using all available resources to move up from financially surviving to financially thriving. This includes choosing the right career path, company and job, he says, and advises people to put away money every month and maximize their 401k. This, he explains, better positions them to comfortably take care of their families.

“If you’re an entrepreneur, you need to start thinking of an exit strategy the day you begin your company,” Kallen says. “If you have a job, you must think about a stable path that’s going to lead to greater and greater wealth.”

  1. Protect What You Care About Most

Growing your wealth is important, Kallen says, but of particular importance is the need to accumulate enough to protect your family and business, if you have one, in case a life-changing event hinders your finances. 

“There are two main issues that can happen along the way in your career besides losing a job or your company not surviving – you die too young or you live too long,” he says. “If you’re building up one heck of a company and you die at 52, are your kids going to college? Does your spouse have to sell the house because they can’t afford to stay in it?”

On the flip side, living a long life and running out of money in retirement is also a major concern. Kallen recently hosted an educational dinner event where he discussed the importance of health and wealth with Dr. Bill Lloyd, National Health Director of Transamerica.

“Americans are now living longer than any previous generation, and adults can anticipate living another 20 or 25 years (or more) after leaving work,” Lloyd says. “Retirement is one of the longest chapters in our lives. Over this period, healthcare costs can become a major concern. However, there are many ways to counter these concerns and, along the way, help plan participants improve their retirement readiness.”

  1. Preserve Your Growing Estate

Along with growing wealth comes maintaining it. Kallen urges people to invest in a way that both meets and mitigates risk.

“You do not have to be an aggressive investor, nor do you have to be a passive investor,” he says. “You have to be a smart investor and find people that you know, that you have confidence in, that can do a great job for you.”

Kallen notes that hiring experts to handle the preservation of growing estates, rather than leaving one’s financial future entirely up to luck alone, can be a wise move.

“The average ‘do-it-yourself’ investor earns around two percent per year, while the average investor that uses professional management earns three times that—that’s a big difference on doubling your money,” he says.

  1. Plan Out Your Wealth Distribution

Kallen’s final pillar is to distribute your lifelong earned wealth. This involves asking questions like: Will you start a charitable foundation, or will the next generation of your family be taking over your business?

While your St. Patrick’s Day traditions might give you a sense of good luck, the roadmap to wealth preservation doesn’t involve luck at all, he says; it’s all about hard work, having a plan to protect loved ones, making smart investments and developing an exit strategy so those you leave behind can succeed in your wake.

Kallen is hosting a series of events to equip participants with wealth management skills. Among those: a dinner on Thursday, April 20th at the Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville, CA, focusing on successfully transferring wealth to the next generation.