Financial Focus: Using The Business Model To Run For President

Anthony RivieccioFinancial Focus: Does Dr. Ben Carson want to be President or be rich?

by Anthony Rivieccio, MBA

To run any business, big or small, you must know how to be successful in the four pillars of running a business: marketing, sales, finance and administration.

Marketing creates awareness and knowledge of the person, beliefs, and, ultimately, getting you to cast a vote.

In politics, the end game, the sale –in this case– is getting your vote.

Disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show that from Jan. 1, 2014 through May 5, 2015— the day he declared he was running for president—Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson traveled nearly every week to deliver paid speeches. During that time, he delivered 141 paid speeches for about $30,000 apiece. Total income from those speeches was about $4.2 million.

While Dr. Carson continues to earn lavish speaking fees (while also a candidate for President), he is also raking in book royalties and other income. Carson earned as much as $3.2 million on book royalties during the 18 months ending June 30, 2015, according to his FEC filings.

So, in 18 months, Ben Carson made $7.4 million in fees from book tours and speaking engagements.

Has his marketing plan worked? In some ways, yes. All polls show that he is holding a steady second place position for the Republican Party nomination.

But which is the real sale: your vote or his book sales? And if Dr. Carson is promoting himself (while running for the presidential nomination) should the income earned be separate from Carson’s campaign donations?

Because campaign money cannot be commingled with personal funds, and Carson seems to have held political events on some of the same trips he made as a paid speaker, many observers say it becomes very hard to distinguish a paid speech from a political event that the campaign is paying for.

The Carson campaign claims they are keeping separate accounts for personal and political events.

Even presuming that being true, the lines between the business of personal financial enrichment and running for President have certainly become blurred. By my estimate, Dr. Ben Carson’s two-year investment of time, travel and energy is earning him $10,137 per day.

While I am sure Dr. Carson will be disappointed if he does not win the Republican nomination in his run for President, I am sure makes his family will be happy as they are now set up for life!

Anthony Rivieccio is the founder & the CEO of The Financial Advisors Group, celebrating their 18th year as a fee only financial planning firm specializing in solving one’s financial problems. Anthony, a recognized financial expert since 1986, has been featured by many national and local media including: Klipingers Personal Finance, The New York Post, News12 The Bronx, Bloomberg News Radio, Bronxnet Channel 67 TV, The Norwood News, The West Side Manhattan Gazette, Labor Press Magazine, Financial Planning Magazine, WINS 1010 Radio, The Bronx News and The Bronx Chronicle.

For financial inquires or assistance, Anthony can be reached at (347) 575-5045 or

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