This millionaire has started and sold multiple businesses. Lots of wisdom in this one….. enjoy!
$150,000 + bonus/yr
Pension Plan Consultant
What type of employment do you have and what does your comp plan look like? Any side income?
I work for a large pension planning provider and am paid a salary and bonus.
When did you cross the million dollar mark and how did that happen?
When I was about 40. Two small businesses I had just started, grew my equity to over $1.0m.
What was the single best thing you have done with your investments?
I've started about 6 small businesses, mostly in the financial services and business consulting fields. Four of those were complete flops but the other two were home runs. I think small business ownership is one of the best ways out there to grow wealth. Someone starting a small business really needs to be strong at sales. If you can bring the business in, you have a good shot at making a lot of money.
Where do you have your money invested and what are your debts? (account balances) Whats next?
I recently sold my small businesses, taking my winnings off the table so to speak. I have $1.0m+ invested in low-cost Schwab ETFs; all equities domestic and foreign, and REITs. Also $1.0m+ plus in guaranteed, fixed deferred annuities. So my overall allocation is about 50% equities and 50% fixed income, just about right for someone my age. I know a lot of people are not fond of fixed annuities. I don’t like the interest rate exposure of bonds and if I can get 4% – 6% interest from my annuities with guarantees, which is what I get, then I sleep much better at night. I do not have any debt and really never had except a mortgage. I paid off my mortgage many years ago and having no debt correlates very nicely with increased peace of mind. I plan on working until age 70.5 then retiring and going on missions for my church, interspersed with family vacations.
What is the biggest pitfall or mistake you have made with your money?
Biggest mistakes: investing in gold and alternative investments. Stick with the tried and true, unless you have more money than you know what to do with.
What are the primary tax strategies you follow?
Always have maximized qualified retirement plan contributions, and have equities in after-tax accounts so that I can obtain capital gains treatment as I sell for income.
Do you follow a budget and how's that going?
My dear wife (I'm the luckiest man in the world to be married to her) takes care of our budget and the checkbook. Best decision we ever made.
What steps have you taken to protect your money? (estate planning, trusts etc)
Have wills, trusts and life insurance.
Do you use a financial planner or software to track your assets?
No, I don't use financial planners. Most of them are clueless and are driven to sell high-cost investments and unnecessary life insurance. A person's financial life is too important to trust to others. Take the time to learn all the basics then take care of your finances personally. Trust the proven strategies of asset allocation, diversification, low-cost passive investments, term life insurance, and disability income insurance. Never try to time the markets. Stay in the market through the ups and downs. Dalbar studies confirm if you invest for the long term, then you will be rewarded handsomely (https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/31/youre-making-big-financial-mistakes-and-its-your-brains-fault.html). Read and live by the books written by Richard A. Ferri, the smartest investment guy ever.
What's your best money advice for someone who is just starting out?
You have two things to be concerned about when starting a business: sales/marketing and operations. Most entrepreneurs fail because they are not able to bring in sales. Revenues can help you build a nice operations team. You can build an operations team first, but unless sales are coming in you will lose a lot of money fast. When selling a business, work with a good CPA that has experience selling/buying small businesses.
If you could do it all over, what would you do different?
I would have specialized more within my profession. I’m a jack of all trades but master of none. Specialization in a niche makes one very valuable/employable.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Up at 7 am, reading, then into work. While driving I listen to talks by church leaders and Joel Osteen. After work (around 5 pm) I play racquetball or work out at the gym. In the evenings I try to spend as much time as I possibly can with my wife. There is nothing I enjoy more than being with her.
Any advice on life you can share? (school, career, family, personal development)
Pay the most attention to your spouse – treat him/her like the queen/king they are. If you have a great marriage, then your family will be fine. God has fully equipped us to make it great. Spend a lot of time with your kids just playing and having fun. For every negative thing you say to them (and they need the negative), say 5 positive things. Get as much advanced education as you can. Always put God and family first and career will follow. Best advice for personal development is to read incessantly, avoid surfing the web, and associate a lot with people of all kinds. Avoid all addicting substances like the plague (drugs, pornography, alcohol, social media). See in the Bible, Proverbs 4:14-15 and in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12:17. I have always gone into the office on Saturday mornings. I get more done in 3 – 4 hours on a Saturday that I do the whole rest of the week!
Any books you would recommend on money?
Richard A. Ferri books.
Do you have a retirement goal? What are your plans? Concerns?
See above for goals and plans. No concerns.
Favorite restaurants in Utah?
I’ve eaten at burger places all across the country. 7 Brothers Burgers in Saratoga Springs is the best.
Favorite golf courses in Utah?
Favorite ski resort?
Favorite Hotel in Utah?
Where is your favorite Utah vacation destination? Outside of Utah destination?
Bear Lake- Utah Siesta Keys, FL
Favorite things to do in Utah?
Visiting Family/friends, outdoors, skiing, pickleball, and football games.