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True Wealth: All that Money Can’t Buy

True Wealth:  All that Money Can’t Buy

By LouAnn Schulfer, AWMA®, AIF®
Accredited Wealth Management Advisor®
Accredited Investment Fiduciary®

I googled “wealth” recently and got about 280,000,000 results in .42 seconds.  I scrolled through the top few pages of hits and to no surprise the results were all about money.  As an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor, I work with people and their money day in and day out, predominantly in planning for and accomplishing a successful retirement.  I can tell you unequivocally that money is an important tool.  Money puts a roof over our heads and food on the table.  It pays for education and healthcare.  Money helps us help others who are in need.  Adequate reserves of money create independence which ultimately allows departure from the daily grind into retirement.

But money is just that.  It is a tool.  In my years of working with people and their money, I can tell you that money is not their true wealth.  To be clear, I am wholly for working on and accumulation of one’s net worth.  Your net worth is the total of your assets minus your liabilities.  Net worth is what we have to show for our years of hard work and disciplined financial habits, and rightfully it should add up to something significant.   But your money, even your net worth, is not your true wealth.  Rather, True Wealth is all that money can’t buy.

One of my favorite quotes is “The first wealth is health”, Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Take time to work on your health.  I spend a few minutes every morning learning something new or refreshing my memory on nutrition and health.  My favorite part of the day is when I’ve finished my workout!  Two points we all know about health:  without it, the rest of life is unproductive and unenjoyable, and poor health can significantly erode or even totally consume your net worth.  Dedicate time and resources to good health.

“An unhurried sense of time is in of itself a form of wealth”, Bonnie Friedman.  This is worth self-reflection.  Of 168 hours in each week, how much is unhurried?  How much of our time is spent on the most significant aspects of our lives that we value the most?  Take time to sharpen the saw.

“The real measure of wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all of your money” – unknown.  An intense thought.  Each Friday our team at Schulfer & Associates dedicates the morning for business development.  Today we will be deeply examining the values that define our business practices.   But that is only a manifestation of something greater:  each of our personal core values.  I highly recommend taking time for deep introspection of your personal core values.  Is the life you live, and the actions of your day, in alignment with your personal core values?  How much would you be worth if you lost all of your money?

Finally, John Ruskin, an essayist (1819-1900), said it most profoundly.  “There is no wealth but life.”


LouAnn Schulfer is co-owner of Schulfer & Associates, LLC Financial Professionals and can be reached at (715) 343-9600 or

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC.