In 2020, the pandemic presented many small business owners with a crash course on financial metrics and why they matter. You may be one. I imagine you’ve owned your business for a few years or more, endured some ups and downs but overall enjoyed steady growth, watched your cash flow and know your bottom line. Why was selecting, applying for, and tracking small business relief funds such a challenge? Let’s start by taking a close look at the factors creating the challenge and how to prepare your business with metrics that matter for the future.
Money and You
If you are like many investors, the wild swings in the markets since the coronavirus pandemic began have made you wonder what, if anything, you should be doing. While every investor's situation is different, CFP® professionals Christina Ubl and Adam Robert sat down for their inaugural audiocast to answer the most common questions asked about Covid-19, the stock market, and some ways you can help calm your worries.
Just about anyone can start a business.
Get an idea. Fill out some forms. Register with the necessary local and state agencies. Tell the world about your fantastic new service or product.
But following your dreams is never easy — it’s hard work, fear of failure, loneliness, and mistakes. Running a successful business over time takes a lot more than starting up. And running a successful business without undermining your personal life and finances is an entirely different story.
Buying or starting a business used to be unusual if you were considering a second career. But encore careers as a business owner become more popular each year despite the wide-spread perception of risk. Let's explore what is driving the trend and your options for transitioning in a way that can help safeguard your business dream and your financial well-being.
Three Numbers to Remember: 5 – 2 – 9. Every year we hear that private and public college education costs are rising. And now we hear that college graduates’ debt loads are climbing right along with tuition prices. (According to the 2019 student loan debt statistics the average undergraduate who borrows leaves school with about $30,000 in debt.) The economic downturn a decade ago added some discouraging footnotes to this fact, including a burgeoning list of students dependent on financial aid from higher education institutions and disturbing headlines now asking "Is it worth it to go to college?"
How to know you need to talk with a different financial advisor
You leave your financial advisor’s office with a nagging doubt. They’re the one with the credentials, of course. But something’s not right. Should you get a second financial opinion?
Yes, say those who have done so, and don’t think twice. A fresh perspective can make all the difference for your financial health and confidence. Here are a few good reasons to schedule an appointment with a different advisor.
Back in second grade, it didn’t really matter much if you failed to make a decision. If one of your parents called out into the back yard to ask if you wanted a PB&J or grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and you were intent on climbing the tree and didn’t answer, you suffered no lasting harm from being served your second choice lunch option that day. But things are different now that you’re a business owner.
Life is complicated these days. And if you’re part of the sandwich generation, with a parent 65 or older and either raising a child under 18 or supporting an adult child, then calling life complicated may feel like a ridiculous understatement. But while being squeezed in the middle will never be easy, there are a few steps you can take to manage your financial and emotional risks.
There are times when imagining the worst-case scenario helps you prepare most effectively for the best case. The transition of a family or closely-held business is one of those times.
Ask yourself, why is it that while Harvard Business School reports at least half of all companies in the US are family businesses - and just over half of all publicly listed companies in the US are family owned - that the most-cited family business statistic is from John Ward’s seminal study finding only 30% of firms survive through the second generation, 13% survive the third generation, and only 3% survive beyond that?
The Family Business Institute identifies a major cause as the failure to imagine and plan for worst-case situations that could dramatically affect not only ownership succession, but management succession planning and leadership development as well.
Your marriage isn’t working - you respect each other but have drifted apart over the years for whatever reason. Now you and your spouse have decided to divorce and close this chapter of your lives. You’ve heard the stories and perhaps witnessed a few horrors through friends or family who have divorced; that doesn’t mean you need to have the same experience.