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3 Keys to Building and Increasing Personal Wealth Today Learn how to address your personal finances to help you meet your long-term goals.


As a business owner, you're passionate about the company you've built and its future growth. One thing that many entrepreneurs lose sight of, however, is building personal wealth. You're not necessarily seeking a lavish, jet-set lifestyle, but rather confidence you will have the money you want when you want it and the ability to provide for yourself and your family in your later years.

Whenever your financial journey begins, the important thing is to get started. Wealth is accumulated over time. Work with a team that has a well-established record of providing financial guidance to entrepreneurs in various industries and stages of life. Experienced professionals can help you balance business demands and personal needs, so you can have peace of mind knowing your investments are working for you.

If you can dream it, a professional can help you plan for it.

1. Diversify investments and manage your risk.

Dedicated entrepreneurs are often so devoted to the success of their business that they lose sight of their personal financial goals. So, fundamentals of personal finance like diversification and putting your investment strategy in place as soon as possible may not always be top of mind.

"If you start early and diversify your approach, you're much more likely to reach your goals than if you were to start later and invest substantially more in those later years — it's hard to catch up," says Mike Prinzo, Managing Principal of Tax at CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP), which offers wealth advisory, digital, audit, tax, outsourcing, and consulting services.

Adopting a diversified approach to investing can help mitigate financial risk as you continue to grow income and net worth. You can diversify through various investments and assets in addition to leveraging the benefits of retirement plans and after-tax investment accounts.

Diversification isn't exclusive to investments within a portfolio. It should include the entirety of the assets an individual owns and how diversified and protected they are against different risks that may impact an investor.

Investments vary in risk, and many factors must be considered to determine your risk. "There's an art and science to understanding someone's risk tolerance — it's all about balance," says Chris Dhanraj, Managing Principal of Investments at CLA.

Someone's goals and risk tolerance may change over time with various life events, and CLA emphasizes having a financial plan and reviewing it with your advisor annually or quarterly. As Dhanraj explains, "We treat every client as an individual with a customized plan. CLA wants to work with clients throughout their lives to deliver their appropriate risk tolerance."

2. Stay on top of tax and financial planning.

Building personal wealth isn't necessarily about how much you make, but how much you get to keep.

Every financial decision you make has a tax consequence associated with it. Having a tax-efficient investment plan can help inform decisions that create confidence and peace of mind knowing your plan is connected to a longer-term vision of the things that are important to you.

"Weaving together tax and financial planning becomes an important process when we work with entrepreneurs to help them understand how to grow their personal wealth," Prinzo says. "As we look at individuals approaching retirement, we look at things like cash flow needs, income tax obligations and legacy goals to determine how to generate cash flow from their portfolio in a tax-efficient way." Business owners often have accumulated assets in various types of accounts that produce different tax implications such as:

  • Taxable accounts, which are subject to income taxes as they produce income each year
  • Tax-deferred accounts like IRA or 401ks, which don't create immediate tax ramifications as the accounts generate income, but generally are taxable when funds are withdrawn from the accounts in the future
  • Tax-free assets like tax-exempt bonds, Roth IRAs or Roth 401ks, and accumulated cash value in life insurance policies, which can be utilized to produce tax-free cash flow as long as certain conditions are met

3. Visualize your end goal and keep it in sight.

People too often wait for a life event to take place to prompt them to seek financial guidance. Whether you're single, have three kids preparing for college, or are on the verge of retirement, aligning your portfolio with your goals requires a plan and attention. Each financial decision CLA makes with clients is tied to a long-term vision of the things that are important and tailored to an individual.

CLA places an emphasis on the investment allocation and the alignment of the financial plan. As Dhanraj explains, "It's really important to continually perform due diligence on our managers and products, no matter the state of the markets. Just knowing that the managers and the products are doing what they say they do provides a lot of comfort for our clients."

Click here to learn more about CLA and how they can help you build personal wealth and prepare for a successful future. Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor.