Strategic investing concepts to help you reach your financial goals

The investment milestone map of the 3-to-1 money growth concept is the foundational depiction of wealth accumulation for CWA clients.

The philosophy came to Darrell Cain one day in an unlikely place. On his drive home from Thanksgiving weekend in 1985, in the dark of night with his family sleeping in the backseat, he sat listening to a cassette tape a friend gave him about investment principles. The narrator touched on an illustration of compounding interest, and Darrell began putting the pieces together of how to communicate this age-old concept to his own clients.

“In my mind, I’m driving along, and all of a sudden I could explain the hyperbolic curve [and its] break points,” he said. “You don’t need an illustration on how compound interest works, what you need is an illustration that tells you what to do based on where you are in the spectrum.”

Audio: Hear the full story from Darrell of this pivotal moment in our recorded interview.

CWA has embraced this concept ever since.


Darrell summarized 3-to-1 wealth accumulation in his own words:

“Three to one is the visualization of the process of accumulating wealth through compounding interest,” he said.

The fact is, based on the concept of compounding interest, “3-to-1” is actually a milestone within the wealth accumulation process; it’s where an investor is making three dollars to every one dollar invested. Before hitting 3-to-1 money growth, there’s also the milestone of earning 1-to-1 and 2-to-1, and after an investor could hit 4-to-1, 5-to-1, and so on.

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The concept is based on the premise that a principal sum of savings gains interest over time. By reinvesting that interest, it adds to the principle, in such that the interest accumulated in the next period is added to the principal sum thus increasing the previously accumulated amounts.

Read more to look at Darrell Cain’s breakdown, examples and 3 reasons why this milestone can be a north star for investors at