For most people income, wealth and wealth levels are pretty straight forward concepts.
However financial education isn’t something that was taught at school, and beyond basic common sense there’s a lack of understanding that can be quite limiting.
The Wealth Spectrum, developed by Roger Hamilton, provides a very clear picture not just of 9 wealth levels but also the characteristics, behaviours and actions associated with each level.
I’ve personally found this very insightful, and a very useful planning tool for my own circumstances. I also find it valuable when working on some client engagements.
Roger Hamilton introduces the Wealth Spectrum
Listen out for what Roger says about the mindset, decisions and sphere of influence at each level.
As you watch the video you’ll probably find it helpful to look at the diagram below and read through my summary below that.
The Wealth Spectrum levels
Infrared – Victim
Spending more each period that is being earned. Going deeper into debt. Typically someone out of work, between jobs, or in full-time education. This could also be an entrepreneur working on ‘the big dream’ project.
Red – Survivor
Just about managing to be cash neutral each period. Surplus cash spent on essential or non-essential purchases. The JAM generation. Typically a junior employee, or someone in a low paid job, or someone self-employed trading time for money at a low daily rate eg. trainer, coach etc. They may also have a high cost lifestyle so even with a high income there’s nothing left at the end of the month.
Orange – Worker
Cash positive each period. Able to save money. Typically a senior employee. Could also be self-employed, trading time for money at a high daily rate, eg. Consultant, Interim Manager. Part of someone else’s enterprise. Key factor is that if they stop working their income stops.
Yellow – Player
No longer trading time for money. Has product or scalable service to sell and deliver. Typically a sole trader, business owner or solopreneur. Has some flexibility over when and where they work. However if they stop working then the business slows or stops due to lack of marketing, sales or delivery.
Green – Performer
Leads a team who collectively generate revenue. Typically a Managing Director working in and also owning the business. Has a team around them to perform the tasks of the business. However they make most decisions so without their presence there would be implications.
Blue – Conductor
Leads or has set up multiple teams of income and now manages a portfolio of business interests. Typically a Chief Executive with several fairly autonomous teams reporting results and requesting resources. Works mainly on strategy, culture, resourcing etc with stakeholders.
Trustee, Composer and Legend
The levels of millionaires and billionaires who are creating or steering eco-systems and economies.
- Which of the wealth levels is the closest match for you?
- And which level would you like to be at?
What do successful professionals and entrepreneurs do?
Likelihood is they will be performing consistently at a specific level to maintain, sustain and consolidate their position. They will have built up a position of trust to be reliable at that level to others in their team, and with clients and business partners.
What happens when something changes?
Whether by choice or circumstances things can and do change.
- Training, experience and promotion move people to higher levels within companies and organisations, to Orange level.
- Redundancy and early retirement create opportunities for alternative arrangements at Orange level (typically), or to move to Yellow, or unfortunately to drop back to Infrared or Red.
- Business growth from a start-up Yellow level can lead to Green as staff are taken on, and to Blue as the portfolio expands.
- However, moving to Green and Blue can cause issues in areas such as delegation and finding a new level of job satisfaction.
I rather like the expression “True wealth is what’s left when the money is taken away”. Have you noticed that many entrepreneurs whose businesses have failed have been able to start again and get back to where they were, based on their skills, mindset, connections, reputation etc.
Discover which of the wealth levels you operate at, and what actions to take
For each level there are 3 action areas to focus on, to consolidate our position, or to move up a level. These actions are nuanced by our Wealth Dynamics personality profile and the ways that we create value.
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