Is a Self-Directed 401(k) Right for You?

Contributing regularly to a 401(k) plan is the foundation of retirement savings for many people. You determine the percentage of each paycheck you want to contribute, and you either select a target-date fund based on your expected year of retirement or pick from a relatively limited selection of mutual funds.

But what if you had more control? Suppose you’re a do-it-yourselfer in other areas of your investment plan. In that case, the limited options in a 401(k) can be very constraining – especially when it is often your most significant investment pool. If you prefer to have someone else manage your investments, you may be able to find an advisor that will make recommendations inside your plan, but again, they will be limited.

If you have multiple plans from different employers or a concentrated stock position, it can be difficult to line your 401(k) investing up with your risk tolerance and overall financial picture.

There is another option for investors whose employers offer the ability to self-direct your 401(k).

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GMB Episode #128: Using Technology to Drive Business Value With Chris Hood

 

We live in the era of tech giants, where technology-driven businesses keep innovating and newly emerging technologies are becoming a key factor in driving business value. Our guest today, Chris Hood, is the Head of Business Innovation and Strategy at Google Cloud. Throughout the conversation, Chris discusses how he assists enterprises in driving economic value through the smart application of technology.

 

 

Show Notes

[01:38] Chris’s Background – Chris shares his background, as well as some of his daily duties at Google.

[04:48] Digital Strategy – Chris describes how the process of deploying technology changes based on the desired customer experience and explains how difficult this can be to navigate in larger organizations.

[15:20] Frequent Technologies – Chris cites specific types of technology that he sees commonly employed and explains how they assist organizations in generating commercial value.

[22:56] API – Chris expresses his thoughts on API monetization.

[27:41] AI and Machine Learning – Chris describes common applications of AI and machine learning.

[39:12] The Future – Chris shares his predictions for the future.

[47:09] Business Owners in Transition – Chris provides some important considerations for business owners in transition.

[54:58] Twitter Deal – Chris comments on Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer to acquire Twitter.

 

Resources

GMB Episode #126: Pulling the Wisdom From Jeff Bezos’ Investor Letters With Steve Anderson

 

It’s an undeniable fact that Jeff Bezos did some exceptional work to develop Amazon into the e-commerce giant it is today. What if you could discover Amazon’s secrets and translate them into your business? Our guest today took on the task of analyzing every investor letter addressed by Jeff Bezos to Amazon shareholders dating back to 1997. Steve Anderson, Co-Founder & CEO at Catalyit™, and the author of the international bestseller, The Bezos Letters, joins us to dive into the 14 principles that created the Amazon that we know today.

 

 

Show Notes

[02:52] Summary of Letters – Steve starts the conversation with a synopsis of the letters, as well as what we can take away from them as we manage our own businesses.

[05:08] Beginning of Amazon – Steve explains Jeff Bezos’s background, how his childhood inspired him, and how he ended up launching Amazon.

[11:14] Becoming a Tech Giant – Steve dives into the growth of Amazon from its IPO in 1997 to current day.

[24:38] Four categories– Steve discusses the four categories mentioned in his book, and provides an excellent explanation of the 14 principles.

[31:44] High-Velocity Decisions – Steve explains how Jeff Bezos used a unique decision-making process to accelerate Amazon’s growth.

[45:56] Amazon’s Culture – Steve expresses his thoughts on Amazon’s culture.

[54:40] Steve’s Background – Steve shares his background, his career as an entrepreneur, and how he came to produce his phenomenal work.

 

Resources

GMB Ep #122: How to Retain Top Employees Amid the Great Resignation With Jeff Kortes

 

In today’s day and age, it takes more than just money to keep top performing employees from moving on to better opportunities. Jeff Kortes joins us today to discuss employee retention amid the Great Resignation. Jeff possesses a wealth of experience in this subject, and spent ten years in human resources before resigning and establishing his consulting practice. Throughout the episode Jeff shares the importance of workplace culture, as well as tips for hiring and retaining the right people for your business.

 

Show Notes

[02:51] Great Resignation – Jeff describes the Great Resignation and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the workforce.

[05:41] Shifts in the Workforce– Jeff explores the implications of younger workers seeking other opportunities or relocating within an industry.

[06:36] Give Your Employees C.R.A.P – Jeff discusses the correlation between workplace culture and employee retention, and shares a few ways that businesses can kill employee loyalty.

[13:33] Jeff’s Work – Jeff describes how his practice helps companies diagnose the underlying cause of their issues.

[17:52] Employee Retention Problems-  Jeff describes how he determines whether a business has undetected or misdiagnosed staff retention issues.

[20:30] Strategy and Correction – Jeff shares their top strategies for correcting issues they find along the way.

[27:35] Finding the Right People – Jeff provides his perspective on how to know that you are hiring the right type of individual for your company.

[34:19] The Future of Work – Jeff discusses the recent shift in the workplace, and how this will affect future generations’ work habits.

[36:17] Virtual Connection – Jeff and Grant discuss how to develop and sustain culture in the day and age of remote work.

[44:04] Jeff’s plans – Jeff shares his future plans and how people can connect with him.

 

Resources

Buy-Sell Agreements: Ensuring Smooth Business Transitions

Building a business is all about the day-to-day decisions. But what happens to the business if the primary decision-maker isn’t there? Creating a continuity plan that outlines transition planning should be part of the foundational documents of a business at any stage. Valuing the business, codifying the steps that will be taken and planning for transfer of ownership can help protect both the business and the interests of everyone involved – including family.

When partners start a company, they may document how to maintain its management and control if a partner dies, becomes disabled, or leaves the company. A well-designed, buy-sell agreement, or buyout agreement, is a legally binding agreement between co-owners of a business that stipulates the procedures if a co-owner dies, chooses to leave the firm, or retires.

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Estate Planning for Small Business Owners

Building a business is all about taking risk. You put your belief in yourself, your money, time, and more on the line to create something that can grow and succeed. But whether your business will fund your retirement plan, or you hope to create a multi-generational family enterprise, there’s one area of risk you shouldn’t be taking.

If you own a business, you need an estate plan. And not just any plan. It needs to cover your wealth and safeguard your family. It also needs to ensure that the business can carry on or that there is an orderly plan for a sale or wind-down.

You’ll most likely need to consult with a financial advisor, a trust and estates attorney, and a tax accountant to get a comprehensive plan in place.

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GMB Ep #120: A CFO’s Perspective on Managing Cash, M&A, ESOPs, & the Changing Business Environment

 

Have you ever heard the saying that revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is reality? Today’s guest, Robert E. Bendetti, is the CFO at Life Cycle Engineering. He holds a master’s degree in accounting and financial management and an MBA specializing in small business management and entrepreneurship, as well as being a certified public accountant. Throughout the episode, we cover several key concepts that help business owners grow their businesses and adapt to ever changing markets.

 

 

Show Notes

[03:21] Background – Robert shares his background and the company’s operations.

[05:20] Cash Flow Management – Robert emphasizes the importance of cash flow management and gives his perspective as a CFO on appropriate cash management for small enterprises.

[08:48] Cash Conversion Cycle – Robert discusses approaches to optimize the cash conversion cycle, emphasizing the importance of timely invoicing, collection challenges, and the smoothness of the payment process.

[11:50] Tips – Robert shares an approach for reducing turnaround time and illustrates a simple mechanism to increase collection rates.

[20:29] Profitability – Robert points out how to convert cash to profit, describing what balance sheet and income statement items need to be monitored.

[23:25] Paying Yourself vs. Reinvesting – Robert outlines how to decide whether to invest additional funds to boost profitability and future growth or pay yourself.

[31:41] Transition – Robert addresses what individuals approaching retirement or transition should consider 18 months before leaving a firm.

[40:25] Employee Stock Ownership Plan – Robert dives deep into ESOP and related topics.

[51:31] Global CFO Council – As President and Founder of Global CFO Council, Robert mentions what he hopes to accomplish through the organization.

 

Resources

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:

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.

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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