The keys to the American Dream revealed: From family to business

The American Dream is alive and well for Rocco Carriero.

The New York-based entrepreneur comes from a large Italian-American family. His father arrived in the United States from Italy in his 20s and opened a small tailor shop in the Long Island village of Patchogue, where Carriero was raised along with 21 first cousins who lived within blocks of each other.

There, Carriero learned the value of family, skill sets, trust and commitments, which he transferred to his role as CEO of Rocco A. Carriero Wealth Partners – a comprehensive Wealth Advisor practice specializing in working with Business Owners, CEO’s and Entrepreneurs. He also shared the lessons in his first book, Three Cords Approach to Life and Wealth Management for Business Owners. Carriero recently released an updated version of the book, which examines how the most important areas of your life — personal, business and family — are interwoven and serve to strengthen one another, creating the foundation of a life fully aligned with your highest goals.

“Growing up, my family was not wealthy, but everyone had a skill set and we helped each other,” said Carriero, who now lives in Southampton, New York. “We created our own culture and environment, and I saw how helping each other got us through a lot of things. No one ever hired anyone for anything.”

Carriero first felt the entrepreneurial bug when he was 7 years old while running an ice tea stand with one of his cousins. While running the front of the stand, Carriero said he sold “20 times as much ice tea as my cousin, who went into accounting.”

Carriero’s father was named Paul. His Italian birth name was Paolo, and, in America, family, friends and customers would call him “Paul The Tailor.” He immigrated to the U.S. from Montescaglioso in southern Italy, where Carriero eventually would like to buy a hotel in the town with a population of just under 10,000.

Carriero said he’s immensely grateful for his father’s journey, which included his dad becoming an American citizen in 1984. He’s also thankful his dad, who died in 2011, saw him become an entrepreneur, plus a husband and father. Carriero’s wife is a fourth-grade teacher and his children are 17 and 14.

“My dad loved America, and he would vote in every election after he became a citizen,” Carriero said. “There was no work for him in Italy, and he came here so could take care of his family and grow a business and do well here, and he could give me an opportunity to grow in the United States.”

Carriero noted his firm works with highly successful trade-related businesses, including those with Italian-American backgrounds. He added that a good percentage of his firm’s clients are Italian-Americans with others’ families coming originally from Europe as well.

Carriero’s greatest gift, he said, is an ability to sit with someone, understand their dilemma and then align them with the right resource.

“It’s just like when I was growing up, in terms of helping people find the right solution,” Carriero said. “We help people clarify what it is they want for themselves and help them develop strategic financial plans to help them and their families.”