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A Different Way of Looking at Investments

Colorado Springs business owner and entrepreneur Mitchell Yellen prefers “the road less traveled,” especially the road to building wealth.

Mitch Yellen helps clients build wealth using the investment road less travelled.

Mitch Yellen helps clients build wealth using the investment road less travelled.

Today he and his partners own a number of Colorado Springs businesses, including Taylor Fence Co., The Pinery in Black Forest, Alpine Catering and Garden of the Gods Gourmet. His newest and most visible enterprise is the $13 million 24,000-square-foot Pinery on the Hill, a resort-style wedding and special events venue on the Bijou hill overlooking downtown.

The project is a crowning achievement in an already-successful 27-year career.

“We’re already getting calls to reserve it for weddings in 2014,” he notes, adding that after the Mayor heard about the size and money invested, he asked Yellen to work with the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority to assess how to best rejuvenate the city’s near west side.

“I am truly honored,” he says.

His ventures demonstrate Yellen’s untraditional approach to wealth building, honed first as a securities representative with Park Avenue Securities and later as an untraditional advisor to high-net-worth individuals. Singer Pat Boone and basketball icon Rick Barry both espouse his “creative” approach.

“What I advocate today is not what Wall Street tells people to do,” Yellen admits, recalling the day he decided to leave traditional financial wisdom behind.

It was in 2000 when Enron collapsed, wiping out thousands of individual retirement accounts, pension plans and investors, that he decided to take action.

“As I watched what happened to good people who had entrusted their savings to traditional investment programs, I knew there was a better way. So many have 401ks and IRAs in mutual funds and stocks. They’re advised to lock up their money until age 65, leaving it to earn compounded interest until retirement when they’ll qualify for a lower tax bracket,” he explains.

That philosophy didn’t work then and doesn’t work today, he says. Yellen subsequently launched an advisory program to help others get ownership and control of their money.

His approach encourages use of self-directed IRAs and a private reserve strategy to pool money and ultimately become their own “bank.” Today his clients - mostly doctors and high-earners - invest in revenue-generating businesses and real estate projects like The Pineries.

Their goal: an attractive return on investment. Once The Pinery on the Hill begins operation, Yellen estimates it will gross $6 to $8 million annually.

Another client is a group of United Airline pilots who saw their employer’s stock plummet from $140 to 40 cents per share a few years ago. Their 401(k)s were devastated.

Yellen encouraged them to adopt a private reserve strategy, a “banking-on-yourself” program that focused on little or no bank debt. Now they’re able to get double-digit returns because they’re not following the pack.

A firsthand testimonial comes from Dr. Jim Yohanan and his wife who met Yellen 10 years ago during a seminar at The Broadmoor and liked his message. In 2006 while The Pinery at Black Forest was just still a concept, they decided to join other investors to build it, even as the economy crashed.  

“It’s a testament to Mitch’s skills and vision; he picked the right people who showed energy and creativity. They built our model and reputation, one wedding at a time,” Yohanan says.

He believes Yellen’s guidance provides a sense of empowerment that Wall Street can’t match. As a result, each investor’s money is safe and grows – and can be easily accessed for other business purposes.

“Thanks to Mitch’s teaching and vision, I‘ve truly developed a framework to control my own finances,” Yohanan says.