Trophy Money

Trophy Money

January 07, 2019

How do you celebrate your financial success?

There are important achievements in our lives we recognize with celebration. However, when it comes to celebrating our financial successes, we often don’t give it much celebration or forethought.

Many times, people mark their financial successes by paying down debt, purchasing a new vehicle, going on holiday or upgrading the family home. There is nothing wrong with these, however I’d like to offer an alternative introduced to me by a client years ago.  It’s a concept he called his ‘trophy’ money - simple to explain but requires above average personal financial discipline.

What is “Trophy Money”?

His ‘Trophy Money’ is money that comes his way that is over and above what he normally earns and uses for living expenses. He sets it aside never to be touched and becomes part of his permanent personal balance sheet.

How it works

While his employment situation only enabled him to apply this to his annual bonus, I have shared this approach with many clients regarding inheritances, out of the ordinary commissions, non-recurring profits or proceeds - anything over and above the norm.

This money is placed in an investment, designated as a trophy and represents a specific personal achievement. It’s a keepsake intended to be held for a lifetime. A keepsake that will serve as a reminder of what he is capable of and reinforce his self-confidence just as a sports trophy is intended to do.   

When we discussed various investments, he insisted we confine our search to common stock of companies that have a long history of paying and growing their dividend.  The ‘Trophy’ would then produce an ongoing cash flow. 

 2nd Source of income

Over time, he essentially became a trophy collector.  Not only are his trophy investments reminding him of his past achievements but the recurring dividends (an ongoing second source of income) reinforce those memories.

 Collecting these trophies became second nature for him and he has done it now for over 20 years.  It is a rather unique approach to building wealth and recurring income. We have all heard countless wealth-building variations but of all that I have heard and helped clients with over the years the Trophy money idea has stuck with me as perhaps one of the best I have ever heard.    

It’s a different way of thinking

In a past article I talked about how we most of us are not well prepared for sudden wealth. Whether it comes in the form of an inheritance, year end bonus or simply fortunate circumstances. When sudden wealth comes into our hands many of us are just not well prepared to give it the attention and respect it deserves.

 Life is about celebration

It’s important to celebrate our major achievements in life including our financial successes. Trophy money is a way to look at building your wealth while still holding onto a tangible reminder of your past successes. If you are interested in other ways to approach money and wealth building, I’d be happy to chat.


Bruce Kramer is a Financial Advisor with LPL Financial and has been helping clients in that capacity for 35 years. While not able to reply to comments posted on this article due to regulatory reasons, if you would like contact him with questions or comments he can be reached via email or through his website at:

 The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.