GMB EP #119: Lessons on Fraud Prevention From the Former Iowa Lottery CEO

 

Ever wonder what it takes to scam the state lottery? Terry Rich joins us on the podcast this week to discuss fraud and how to prevent it in small businesses & other organizations. Terry is the former CEO of the Iowa lottery, and helped uncover a multi-million-dollar fraud before it was paid out. 

 

 

Show Notes

[02:35] Terry’s Story – Terry begins the conversation by sharing his backstory.

[09:46] Underlying Reason –Terry dives deep into three key reasons why people commit fraud.

[13:19] Remedies – Terry shares his thoughts on how to identify fraudulent activities and deal with scammers, and ultimately avoid becoming victims.

[17:02] Iowa Lottery Fraud – Terry tells the fascinating story of resolving the largest lottery fraud in the United States.

[38:48] Adjustments – Terry discusses the improvements made after the fraud was discovered and addressed.

[48:25] Entrepreneurial Spirit and Creativity – Terry explains how he preserves entrepreneurial spirit and creativity.

 

Resources

Connect with Terry:

Website: terryspeaks.com/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/terich/

 

Mentioned in the Episode:

Ep #117 – A Top Economist’s Take on Personal Finance With Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff:

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life: Before 8AM:

Iowa Lottery Fraud:

February Market Commentary: Action and Reaction

February Recap and March Outlook

February opened with a strong January employment number as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of 467,000 jobs. Instead of reassuring markets after a rough ride in January, it only served to fuel speculation that a strong labor market would lead the Federal Reserve to be more aggressive with rate increases than previously indicated, in its attempts to control inflation. The release of the January average annual inflation number of 7.5% in mid-February proved to be a shock to system.

Overnight, futures markets began pricing in a 50-basis point increase in March, and the two-year U.S. Treasury yield gained 24 basis points. This flattened the yield curve as the ten-year U.S Treasury struggled to get to 2%. The next step after flattening is to invert – which is usually interpreted as a sign of an impending recession. Investors’ worry was that more aggressive Fed rate increases would overshoot and stifle growth.

This was the backdrop as Russia’s saber-rattling in Ukraine, and the West’s telegraphed response of the threat of sanctions, unsettled markets further. And then Russia invaded.

Ukraine Defies Putin, and Defines Heroism

Stiff Resistance Provided a Window for Coordinated Western Action

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s reaction to the U.S. offer of help in evacuating his country was the now-famous “I need ammunition, not a ride.” Ukrainian soldiers rejected surrender with “Russian Warship: Go F*** Yourself.” And ordinary Ukrainians stood in front of tanks, or just simply kept going to work, despite the bombs and alarms.

The U.S. and the E.U. responded with incredibly harsh sanctions. The sanctions playbook has been fine-tuned since last fall, and officials in many countries have had time to build the trust needed to impose sanctions that can counteract Putin’s long-honed measures to insulate the Russian economy from the impacts of Russian aggression.

  • Western leaders have frozen the assets of Russia’s central bank, limiting its ability to access $630bn of its dollar reserves.
  • The US, the EU and UK have also banned people and businesses from dealings with the Russian central bank, its finance ministry and its wealth fund.
  • Selected Russian banks will also be removed from the Swift messaging system, which enables the smooth transfer of money across borders. The ban will delay the payments Russia gets for exports of oil and gas.
  • Sanctions are targeting Putin personally, and his oligarchs.

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Value Your Business Like it’s Your Retirement Plan, Because it is.

Building a successful business can take decades. While working to grow, it’s common to use all available assets above the salary you pay yourself to fund future expansion. Where does that leave you on the retirement side of things? For most business owners, the retirement plan is some form of exit and monetization of your investment.

As you get close to a transition, valuing the business is paramount. The value comes first, and then the sale, and only then do many business owners think about how the sale proceeds will fund retirement.

There’s a better way. Start with the amount of money you need to live the retired life you want. That’s your benchmark of the value you want to get for your business. Then work from there to create the value you need.

Continue reading

A Note on the Invasion of Ukraine

The news about the invasion of Ukraine is distressing on a humanitarian level and unsettling when thinking about the impact of increased volatility on investment portfolios.

Added to already high inflation and the market’s uncertainty around the Federal Reserve’s future interest rate increases, markets are now reeling from the added pressure of what will likely be more aggressive sanctions.

Let’s break it down and look at some of the threads we’re tracking.

 Continue reading

GMB Ep #118: DeFi State of Affairs With Matteo Binfarè

 

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is an emerging system of financial products and services built on blockchain technology. It utilizes secure distributed ledgers similar to those used by cryptocurrencies. In today’s episode of Grow Money Business, we have an insightful conversation with Matteo Binfarè, a professor at the University of Missouri. He teaches his students about investments, pensions, endowments, and decentralized finance. Throughout the conversation, Matteo imparts his insight and years of experience in decentralized finance and cryptocurrency.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:33] Decentralized Finance – To kick off the conversation, Matteo defines decentralized finance and discusses its current state.

[07:13] Cryptocurrency – Matteo shares his thoughts on the impact of cryptocurrency.

[10:34] Asset Class – Matteo shares his thoughts on whether cryptocurrency deserves its own asset class.

[13:28] Web 3.0 – Web 3.0, the next avatar of the internet’s world, is a technology capable of understanding and interpreting the concept of data on its own. Matteo explains Web 3.0 is and how it works.

[19:11] Governments and Bitcoin – Matteo discusses a variety of government viewpoints and regulations surrounding bitcoins.

[23:49] Smart Contracts – Matteo defines a smart contract and outlines its potential applications and benefits.

[26:25] Matteo’s Story – Matteo shares his background and journey thus far.

[32:03] Asset Allocation – Matteo expresses his thoughts on whether or not cryptocurrency deserves a place in most people’s portfolios, as well as how much an individual should consider allocating to it.

[43:47] Institutions – Matteo explores how institutions are approaching cryptocurrency and allocating resources.

[47:43] Research and Studies – Matteo discusses his research studies and plans to study cryptocurrencies and DeFi formally.

[24:59] Hazards – Matteo points out some key risks to consider while investing in cryptocurrencies.

 

Resources

GMB Ep #117: A Top Economist’s Take on Personal Finance With Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff

 

Economics applies to every industry at the individual, national, and global level. In this week’s episode, we have a distinguished guest who is on a mission to make economics useful at all levels. Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff is an economics professor at Boston University. He is also the author of Money Magic, a personal finance book written from an economist’s standpoint. Today’s podcast examines his book and financial outlook, which frequently counters conventional economic theories. Throughout the podcast, he shares his experience in handling personal financial decisions while also discussing some insightful observations about the state of our country.

 

 

Show Notes

[03:38] Introduction – Laurence introduces himself and discusses his current career emphasis.

[06:22] Personal Financial Decision Making – We must see individual financial decisions through the prism of consumption smoothing. Laurence explains what this is and why it is essential.

[12:42] IRA and Mortgage – Laurence outlines why under certain circumstances, it makes sense to withdraw funds from the IRA to pay off the mortgage.

[18:43] Investments – Laurence discusses investments, stocks, and the importance of making sound investment decisions. Furthermore, he evaluates the risk associated with each sort of investment.

[32:06] Social Security – Laurence discusses how individuals can navigate the complex social security web.

[34:10] Viability – Laurence discusses the Social Security system’s viability and what individuals may do to prop it up.

[42:54] Massive Deficits – Whether it is the aggregate federal deficit, unfunded liabilities, or Social Security, taxing one’s way out of some deficits is politically unappealing. Laurence discusses his approach to enormous deficits.

[48:28] Politics and Economics – Laurence discusses the causes of present crises, relating them to a lack of synergy between politics and economics.

[51:33] Campaign Trail – Laurence reflects on his 2016 presidential campaign experience, and shares what he would do differently in 2024 if he was running with an unlimited campaign budget.

 

Resources

Connect with Laurence:

Website: kotlikoff.net/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/laurencekotlikoff/

 

Mentioned in the episode:

Maxifi: maxifiplanner.com/

Economic Security Planning: economicsecurityplanning.com/

Money Magic: An Economist’s Secrets to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life: goodreads.com/book/show/56620849-money-magic

GMB EP #116: A Top M&A Advisor’s Perspective on Growing & Selling Your Business

 

An exit strategy is a key aspect in a business owner’s journey. However, the majority of business owners do not consider their exit strategy until it is too late. On today’s episode of Grow Money Business, our guest is Michelle Seiler Tucker, a mergers and acquisitions specialist. She has over two decades of experience in the industry, and in that time, has assisted in selling over 500 businesses. Michelle not only aids business owners in the sale of their companies but also helps entrepreneurs and investors in acquiring businesses. Throughout the episode, Michelle imparts some of her wisdom she has accumulated over the years on growing and selling businesses.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:34] Introduction – Michelle introduces herself and discusses her career.

[07:18] Exiting a Business – Michelle shares key points and considerations when exiting a business.

[19:34] EBIT – Michelle explains why technology trades on multiple sales rather than EBIT.

[20:51] Additional Key Points – Michelle continues to provide her perspectives on a number of crucial elements that influence the sale of a business.

[31:48] Databases – Michelle describes the challenges and concerns regarding databases.

[34:08] Exit Rich – Michelle presents an overview of why she wrote her book, what it is about, and its target demographic.

[37:20] Interest Rates – Michelle shares her views on how interest rates affect the market for business acquisitions and sales.

[43:11] Biggest Mistakes – Michelle covers several of the most common errors she sees sellers make throughout the process.

[45:01] Confidentiality – Michelle emphasizes the importance of maintaining confidentiality when selling your business.

[50:19] Private Equity – Michelle outlines when it makes sense to start a private equity firm.

[56:15] Network of The Professional – Michelle describes the value of a professional network and how that impacts locating future opportunities.

[56:55] More on Mistakes – Michelle shares more insight on common mistakes people make when selling their business.

 

Resources

Connect with Michelle: 

Website: seilertucker.com/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/michelleseiler/

 

Mentioned in the episode: 

Exit Rich – Website: exitrichbook.com/

Exit Rich: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit:

amazon.com/Exit-Rich-Method-Business-Profit/dp/1732510288

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results: goodreads.com/book/show/the-one-thing

Behavioral Economics With Professor John Howe:

growmoneybusiness.com/podcast/behavioral-economics-with-professor-john-howe

GMB EP #115: How to Keep You & Your Business Safe Online With Amir Tarighat

 

Protecting assets and data from digital threats is crucial for the integrity and reputation of any business. In today’s episode of Grow Money Business, we have a fascinating conversation with Amir Tarighat. Amir is the founder and CEO at Agency, a firm that provides enterprise-level cybersecurity solutions for growing companies. Throughout the episode, he delves deeper into enlightening aspects of cybersecurity, including why it is vital to have a plan in place for your business.

 

 

Show Notes

[03:34] Background – Amir talks about his background, how he entered the field of cybersecurity, and why he decided to build his own company.

[05:16] Cybersecurity – Amir explains the necessity of cybersecurity as more firms migrate from on-premises to cloud-based services.

[07:38] Vulnerabilities – The list of online vulnerabilities is extensive and ever-changing. Amir discusses the vulnerabilities through applications such as Amazon and Google.

[10:12] Dark Web Monitoring – Amir explains how his company helps its clients through dark web monitoring.

[12:54] Malware – Amir describes types of malware, how malware can get into a business’s computer systems, and the consequences once that occurs.

[16:23] Remedies – Amir walks us through the process of recovering from a ransomware attack.

[19:43] Stay Safe – Amir highlights the procedures that must be taken to remain safe online, both as an individual and as a business.

[22:44] VPN – Amir discusses VPNs and their relevance to online safety.

[26:02] Password Managers – Amir emphasizes the need for password managers, as well as two-factor authentication, and shares his preferred password manager software.

[30:36] Mobile Applications – Amir explains why it is critical to be cautious about the apps downloaded onto phones.

[33:12] Updates – Amir discusses the importance of keeping all the devices and software up to date.

[35:36] More on Agency – Amir shares about his company and the numerous ways in which they assist people.

[40:47] Debit Card vs. Credit Card – Grant offers sound advice on the usage of debit and credit cards.

 

Resources

Connect with Amir:

Website: getagency.com

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/atarighat/

Twitter: twitter.com/atarighat

GMB Ep #114: Behavioral Economics With Professor John Howe

 

When confronted with significant decisions, our thoughts frequently stand in the way of rational decision-making. Today’s episode of Grow Money Business features John Howe, a finance professor at the University of Missouri. He is an award-winning educator and researcher with expertise in investments, behavioral economics, household finance, corporate finance, and corporate governance. He is also the author of the book The Foolish Corner: Avoiding Mind Traps in Personal Financial Decisions. Throughout this episode, he shares his expertise and wisdom on behavioral economics, focusing specifically on the behavioral biases we all have regarding investing.

 

 

Show Notes

[03:36] Behavioral Economics – Prof. Howe discusses his background, career, and current activities.

[07:23] Kahneman’s Nobel Prize – Behavioral economics is a field of study that lies at the nexus of economics and psychology. Prof. Howe discusses how the Nobel laureate’s teaching of behavioral economics impacts his teachings.

[10:53] Diversified Portfolios – Prof. Howe highlights the importance of diversifying one’s investments.

[15:00] Confirmation Bias – Confirmation bias is a term that refers to our natural predisposition to be receptive to new information that confirms our existing beliefs. Prof. Howe explains how confirmation bias affects the decisions we make on a day to day basis.

[20:19] Transitions – Individuals frequently undergo transitions, such as selling a business they have built over the years or acquiring another. Prof. Howe shares his insights on what should be considered during such a transition.

[26:43] More on Biases – Prof. Howe explains the reason behind biases by presenting examples from evolutionary psychology.

[30:00] Reproducibility – One of the trademarks of the scientific method is the ability to replicate an experiment and obtain the same results. Prof. Howe broadly discusses the reproducibility issue in psychological research.

[40:49] Better Decisions – Prof. Howe explains how being well informed on biases can help us making better decisions in the future.

[49:31] The Future – Prof. Howe discusses the current research going in the field, as well as the future of behavioral economics.

[57:59] Research – Prof. Howe shares the current scientific issues that pique his interest.

[01:02:29] Mental Health – Prof. Howe shares his observations concerning the state of mental health in the United States and the way it affects people’s financial decisions.

[01:06:28] Gamblers – Prof. Howe outlines his view on gambling and how this relates to the human capacity for pattern recognition

[01:08:52] Books – Prof. Howe shares several books that are worth reading.

 

Resources

Connect with Professor John Howe:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/john-howe-1013498/

Newsletter: johnhowe.substack.com/welcome

 

Mentioned in the episode: 

Your body language may shape who you are | Amy Cuddy:

youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

The Foolish Corner: Avoiding Mind Traps in Personal Financial Decisions:

amazon.com/Foolish-Corner-Avoiding-Financial-Decisions/dp/099851070X

Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth:

amazon.com/Science-Fictions-Negligence-Undermine-Search/dp/1250222699

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters:

amazon.com/Rationality-What-Seems-Scarce-Matters/dp/0525561994

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics:

amazon.com/Misbehaving-Behavioral-Economics-Richard-Thaler/dp/039335279X

Thinking, Fast and Slow:

amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-Slow-Daniel-Kahneman/dp/0374533555

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness:

amazon.com/Psychology-Money-Timeless-lessons-happiness/dp/0857197681

GMB Ep #113: Leveraging Mindset to Build & Sell Businesses With Dominic Rubino

 

Regardless of what profession or industry we’re in, our mindset is a crucial factor that defines growth. Today’s podcast deviates slightly from the norm in terms of technical content and delves deeper into the philosophical domain. Our guest, Dominic Rubino, is an entrepreneur with a unique background. Dominic has worked in various enterprises and is now a coach, supporting employees in the construction industry in developing a positive attitude and increasing profits. Throughout the episode, he shares his expertise and experience on aligning your business activities with your personal life and creating the life you desire through your business operations. 

 

 

Show Notes

[02:55] Dominic’s Background – Dominic explains his background, his current endeavors, and how he got to where he is today.  

[05:58] Mindset – Dominic discusses how our success or failure is determined by unique perspective, and the lens through which we view the world.  

[10:35] Business Coach – Dominic discusses the importance and role of a business coach.  

[12:47] Success – Dominic shares his thoughts on defining success and suggests ways for individuals to plan strategically toward it.  

[17:49] Circle of Friends – Dominic emphasizes the importance of having a supportive community of friends. 

[20:42] Strategic Planning Process – Dominic discusses the strategic planning process, and highlights simple exercises and reading material to help you along the way.  

[26:21] Personal Experience – Dominic shares personal experience gained from his entrepreneurial endeavors. 

[38:21] Mindset in Coaching Business – Dominic discusses how he maintains his mindset as a coach. 

[41:28] Dominic’s Podcast – Dominic talks about his podcasts and what inspired him to start them. 

 

 

Resources

Connect with Dominic: 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/dominicrubino 

Website: profittoolbelt.com/ 

 

Mentioned in the episode: 

Traction: 

goodreads.com/book/show/8549192-traction?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=L77ID7gyYk&rank=2 

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm: 

goodreads.com/book/show/16120.Mastering_the_Rockefeller_Habits?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=wctFOxvrHH&rank=1 

The Ultimate Playbook On Building A Profitable Construction Business: 

constructionmillionairesecrets.com/