What is an Angel Investor

The purpose of an angel investor is to provide initial funding for a business. The angel investor is looking for opportunities to invest in a young company that can deliver adequate returns to the future.

An Angel investor is a person who is financially wealthy that provides capital to a startup. A person is considered to be an angel investor if they meet the guidelines of the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) definition of an accredited investor. The rules specified by the SEC is that a person must have one million dollars as their net worth. The person must also make a minimum of two hundred thousand dollars per year to be a qualified as an accredited investor.

Angel Investor

Where in the world did the term Angel Investor originate

In the world of Broadway theater, producing a play does not come cheap. There are a lot of components that need to be put together to have a successful production. You need to have a fantastic script, actors, director, venue, costumes, and most important is money. You need to have money to get everything started. The term angel investor originated from Broadway. These are wealthy people who provided funding to get the theater production off the ground and going.

What role does an angel investor play in a startup

The purpose of an angel investor is to provide initial funding for a business. The angel investor is looking for opportunities to invest in a young company that can deliver adequate returns to the future. The angel investor helps infuse capital into the company to provide growth. The angel investor offers better terms than getting a small business loan. The angel investor will take a percentage of your company based on the investment amount and valuation of the company. The angel investor has strict requirements that a startup must meet for them to invest. The angel investor is using their own money to buy a stake in a startup.

The angel investor plays an integral part in the ecosystem of funding for a startup. These are the first people that startups seek to help them fund their salaries, development, marketing, and business goals. The angel investor can be very hands-on in how their money is being spent, or they can be very silent. The relationship between an angel investor and the founding team of a startup must align adequately to make sure that business goals can be obtained with little distraction.

The Art of Startup Fundraising: Pitching Investors, Negotiating the Deal, and Everything Else Entrepreneurs 

The Richest Man in Babylon

In the book, they discuss experiences such as the concept of saving to become financially secure by keeping a part of your earnings. The lesson of saving money is nothing new, but the way they explain how to save your money through storytelling will help the lesson stick.

You would think that managing finances would be more straightforward today with all of the innovations in the financial industry — the use of technology, artificial intelligence, and more information on the web to better educate consumers. I believe that the opposite is true. We are more confused about how to manage our financial portfolios by having too much information at our fingertips. We are overloaded with information and uncertain on which source to trust. This reason is why we need to build a knowledge base on the fundamentals of financial literacy.

We are too busy looking at the next big thing. We want to make money fast without putting in the hard work. The concept of getting rich schemes is all make-believe. If it sounds too good to be true, then the chances are that this may not be worth your time. A good example is Bitcoin. A lot of people jumped on the bandwagon in investing in Bitcoin. The value of Bitcoin was driven up by hype. Eventually, people lost a lot of money in their investment. This example of Bitcoin is a good reason why we need to understand the basics of finances.

The Richest Man in Babylon is a book written in 1926 by George S. Clason. This book is considered to be one of the cornerstones by the business community in teaching people the basics of managing finances through parables. What is interesting is that initially, the parables were separate stories given to customers as pamphlets at banks. The settings of each of the leaflets took place in Babylon. Each booklet discussed an essential financial lesson to consumers. Eventually, the brochures were assembled together to be published a book in 1926.

The Richest Man in Babylon

In the book, they discuss experiences such as the concept of saving to become financially secure by keeping a part of your earnings. The lesson of saving money is nothing new, but the way they explain how to save your money through storytelling will help the lesson stick. Sometimes, taking lessons from a book published in 1926 can provide the clarity that is needed for today. Check out the book on Amazon and learn the fundamentals of managing your finances.

The Richest Man in Babylon: Original 1926 Edition

Pop Quiz, Monday with Clint Haynes

Well, since I’m a solopreneur, it all comes down to self-motivation for me. I’m probably independent to a fault but, for the most part, I’m self-motivated enough to get things done in a timely and efficient manner.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Clint Haynes

Clint Haynes

What is your job role?
I am a Certified Financial PlannerⓇ and founder of NextGen Wealth. From day to day operations to helping design financial plans for clients, that all falls under my job role.

Tell us about your company?
I started NextGen Wealth about four years ago. I created it because I wanted to work with Gen X clients with the sole focus of not just managing investments, but accurate, comprehensive financial planning. Let’s face it; investment management has become quite commoditized over the years. With that being the case, I wanted to help people in every aspect of their financial life, not just their investments. I help clients with cash flow management, insurance management, and recommendations, retirement planning, estate planning, college savings and much more. If I’m able to add value in every aspect of their financial life, then I know they’re getting what they’re paying for and, most importantly, so do they.

What do you love most about your job?
By far it’s working with clients. Being able to show them that there are ways to save money in certain areas of their financial life or earn more in others is so rewarding. Knowing they have a plan in place and someone to help them and hold them accountable truly is a burden off their shoulders.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
My calendar. I know it sounds weird, but my calendar is my to-do list. I love getting up in the morning and jumping right into what’s next. I’m one of those people that love checking things off the list.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Well, since I’m a solopreneur, it all comes down to self-motivation for me. I’m probably independent to a fault but, for the most part, I’m self-motivated enough to get things done in a timely and efficient manner.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
I do work in a co-working space, so we have all kinds of fun here. From potlucks to happy hours to practical jokes, we always have something going on.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
It’s probably no different than any other entrepreneur; time. You have so many things to juggle and do, but you only have so much time. Having my calendar run my life makes things much better, but there are indeed times when things can get overwhelming. I’ll eventually hire others to take things off my plate, but at this point, lack of time is my biggest challenge.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Take your time and don’t rush it. I feel like we’re always locked into these self-enforced time constraints that cause us to push things out ASAP. Take your time and make sure it’s done right the first time to avoid catastrophe on the back end. I’m slowly getting better at this, but I still find myself rushing to get a project done because of things starting to pile up. Take your time and make sure it’s right the first time. Nobody but yourself will know it took an extra day to get the project done right.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Get an apprenticeship working for another firm first. Don’t try to start on your own immediately. Get some proper training and then if you still want to venture out on your you can do so at that point. Being a financial planner is hard enough, but save yourself some pain by working with an established firm first so you can learn from others who have been in the industry.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.nextgen-wealth.com
https://www.facebook.com/NextGenWealth
https://www.linkedin.com/company/nextgen-wealth
https://twitter.com/Clint_NextGen

Pop Quiz, Monday with Felicity Cooper

Doing things better than everyone else. I have an altruistic vision of what financial planning is meant to look like, and so I wake up every day questioning how we can do it better, cheaper, faster and simpler.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Felicity Cooper

Felicity Cooper
Photo credit: Felicity Cooper

What is your job role?
Expert financial planner and wealth creator

Tell us about your company?
Cooper Wealth Management is determined to help clients create the wealth they need for the lifestyle they want. The practice provides expert advice on stockbroking, aged care planning, wealth management, derivatives advice, and corporate superannuation. Felicity Cooper founded Cooper Wealth Management in 2015, who also operates The Financial Woman and was named Financial Planner of the Year in the 2018 Women in Financial Services Awards. Learn more about Cooper Wealth Management at https://www.cooperwealthmanagement.com.au

What do you love most about your job?
I love helping people live richly. It does not matter who dies with the most at the end of the day. I believe money gives you choices in life.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Doing things better than everyone else. I have an altruistic vision of what financial planning is meant to look like, and so I wake up every day questioning how we can do it better, cheaper, faster and simpler.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
We feed off each other and question ‘why’ every day. Our team has robust discussions about how we achieve the best outcomes from clients and also about how to best manage ourselves and our commitment to each other.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We go out to lunch and have Friday drinks. One of our favourite activities as a team is having family days at Sirromet Winery’s Day on the Green, listening to great music and having a glass of wine.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
What isn’t a challenge? Juggling client expectations, market movements, family commitments. All that said, however, the outcomes are worth it because I come back every day and do it again….and our clients love us!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
That progress isn’t a straight line. Things don’t always happen the way you plan them too, but if you keep ticking off the list every day, you get a bit closer. I like going to bed knowing I’ve done a little bit more to move forward.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Study and work for the right people. My biggest advice – monitor moral and ethical compass. If you go and work for the wrong firm, you will struggle to re-home yourself. In our industry, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in ethically.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:
https://www.cooperwealthmanagement.com.au

Which Financial Indicators Must Entrepreneurs Monitor?

One of the key reasons for failure of new business is that the entrepreneurs simply run out of the cash before they reach their break-even scale.

The entrepreneurs’ mind and energy are focused on building a business. It could mean creating a product, service or a model that serves the target customers. Most entrepreneurs are not trained to be financial experts, though they have high expertise in their own area.

The stories of the initial days of struggle of an entrepreneur are not uncommon. They face an uncertain future, changing market conditions, technology change, rising costs and competition from new sources.The failure rate of new ventures is substantially high. Various studies put the failure rate of new businesses between 30% to 70% over first three years.  

One of the key reasons for failure of new business is that the entrepreneurs simply run out of the cash before they reach their break-even scale. You can’t avoid this unless you can find partners with deep pockets,like the one’s that today’s tech start-ups seek to find. If you have those funding partners lined up, you can afford to burn the cash for years; however not all businesses model themselves to appeal to the investors with deep pockets and high appetite for risk.

In the absence of access to huge cash and to financial experts, which are the key performance indicators that the entrepreneurs must track, to ensure that they survive long-enough to break-even and make it big?Here are a few which I recommend based on my experience.

  1. Cash flows: It is said that, “sales is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is reality”. A new business will likely invest in creating capacity and hence will have net cash outflow on account of investing activities, e.g., acquiring machinery, equipment, rights to intellectual property etc. However, every entrepreneur must focus on generating positive operating cash inflows. A cash flow statement should be drawn up preferably every month, or at the least,every quarter. The cash flows should be compared to the previous months/quarters to see how the business is moving. Any sign of deterioration should be carefully examined and acted upon.
  • Product/service price: As an entrepreneur, one frequently encounters situation where the customer demands lower price. These requests are made with a promise to restore the price to the “usual price” if the product or service is found to be of acceptable quality. A higher volume of purchase is promised if the price is lowered. Lower price offered by a competitor is often quoted as a reason for inability to procure from you. As a newcomer struggling to prove your product or service, the temptation to reduce the price and clinch the deal is very high. One can’t and need not say no to every such request; if there is good enough reason, the price may have to be lowered. However, there must be a rigorous monitoring to see that the lowered price is indeed giving the result desired. Tracking the product price and profitability is therefore key. A new business can’t afford the luxury of low price that an established player with deep pockets can.
  • Fixed costs: Higher “committed” or “fixed” costs of business is found to be a key reason for many new businesses bleeding cash in their operations. These typically include lease rentals, salaries, finance costs, and payments to outsourced services providers that are not linked to volume of procurement. The ratio of fixed costs vs variable costs should be regularly monitored. As many costs should be moved to variable costs as possible. Outsource your finance and accounting to avoid having an accountant on payroll. Hire a venue for your programs on hourly or daily basis instead of leasing it for long-term. Engage free-lancers for your work; they offer higher expertise and you pay only when you have work to give. Link as much of your costs to your revenues as possible.This will help reduce the costs when the sales orders are not coming through.
  • Receivables:Extending credit is a standard business practice in many industries when the dealings are between two businesses (B2B markets). The entrepreneurs have no option to follow the industry practice. It is a must, however, that the receivables are rigorously followed up for recovery. The ageing of the recoveries should be monitored to check whether any discounts should be offered to get cash quickly and avoid potential bad debts. Money stuck with customers may lead to severe cash crunch through the profitability and sales look good on paper.

As an entrepreneur, setting KPIs to measure these four variables and track them over time will ensure that the business doesn’t run out of cash without early warning signals.

Interview with Marty Bicknell, Founder, CEO & President of Mariner Wealth Advisors

 

The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.

Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur. We know that being an entrepreneur is not all glory and fame, but there are hard times too. We believe that others who are interested in being a business owner can gain insight from other business founders like yourself. Again, we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview started!

Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.

Can you tell everyone your name, please?

Marty Bicknell

Where did you go to school?

I grew up in Pittsburg, Kansas, and graduated college from Pittsburg State University

Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?

My first job was mowing and weed eating at a country club. All my friends were working in the pro shop or at their dads’ offices, but my dad thought having a job sweating and seeing snakes on a daily basis would build character. It definitely helped build my character, but beyond that, it taught me that hard work pays off. I also experienced a sense of accomplishment in seeing my hard work turn into something tangible.

We all have entrepreneurs whom we look up to in our industry. These business leaders help influence, shape, and drive our ambition to succeed. These entrepreneurs could be someone that we have worked with on a project or could be someone that we look up too from a distance. For example, Bill Gates is a big inspiration to me not only because of his work in Microsoft but his outstanding contributions to society.

Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?

Ben Edwards. When I began my career at A.G. Edwards, Ben was the CEO. He ran the company with a never-faulting “Client First” attitude that transcended throughout the entire company. When he was replaced, the company I loved quickly changed into a culture I no longer recognized. I soon left A.G. Edwards with one goal — to create a firm I could be proud of again. Shortly after, I started Mariner Wealth Advisors.

Thank you for providing background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons. Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.

What is the name of your company?

Mariner Wealth Advisors

Where is your company located?

Overland Park, Kansas

What services or products does your organization provide?

The services we provide at Mariner Wealth Advisors include wealth advice, estate planning, and trust services, specialized business services, risk management, and investment management.

What problem is your business trying to solve?

While many people realize the importance of developing a wealth plan, they often lack the tools to do so. We help by stepping back and looking at their entire financial life. We are their advocate. We want to be the client’s first call, whether for financial or non-financial reasons.

How is your business unique against your competitors?

We are unique in our business model because our advisors’ only responsibility is taking care of their clients. We are unique in our resources because we provide a wide range of financial services, including those noted above, under one roof. We draw upon professionals from across the firm to create specialized advisory teams for each client, based on his or her needs. I also believe we’re unique because we focus on wealth advice regarding our clients’ goals and how we can help them achieve those goals. Our view incorporates much more than just investment returns.

How did the idea for your business come to fruition?

It was inspired by my mentor, Ben Edwards, and supported by a group of seven who bought into my vision and joined me in founding the firm.

Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?

www.marinerwealthadvisors.com

Final question. We want to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.

What three tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?

I actually have five tips I give to entrepreneurs who are considering starting their own business. It would be hard for me to narrow it down to three, so I’ll provide all five.

  1. Define your culture: Once you’ve defined the culture you want in your organization, you must live it and breathe it. Let it guide how you organize your company, the people you hire and the types of products or services you provide.
  2. Focus on your unique ability and provide others the freedom to do the same: A unique ability is a thing that drives you, that makes you excited to head into the office each morning. The difference between being excellent at a job and having a unique ability for it is having a passion for what you do. If you think about embracing and fostering your associates’ unique abilities, as well as your own, then achieving the improbable no longer seems improbable.
  3. Define what’s important and what you should measure: It’s important to remember…what gets measured, gets done. However, make sure you measure what truly matters.
  4. Never stop communicating: I believe innovation comes from communicating. Listen to those around you, as their insights may be the future of your business. Also, share your vision with others to help ensure you’re all working toward a common goal.
  5. Don’t be afraid to innovate: If culture is created from the top down, then I firmly believe innovation is generated from the bottom up. Hire great people and give them room to innovate.

Interview with Genti Cici, Founder of StandUP Advisors

 

The founder series explores the minds of business owners and their journey to make a difference in their industry. We interview these business founders to understand the life lessons that mold them into who they are today. We also learn more about their company, their products or services, how they are different from their competitors, and the problems that they are trying to solve for their customers. The information that these business owners provide to us helps inform other entrepreneurs who are looking to make an impact in the business world. We all can take these lessons and apply them to our entrepreneurial journey. We want to thank every business owner who volunteered their time to participate in these interviews and share their knowledge with the community.

Great to meet you. Thank you for doing the interview. We want to know more about your journey, early struggles, success, and some wisdom that we can pass on to others who are interested in walking your footsteps toward becoming an entrepreneur. We know that being an entrepreneur is not all glory and fame, but there are hard times too. We believe that others who are interested in being a business owner can gain insight from other business founders like yourself. Again, we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get this interview started!

Let us start off with some basic questions to learn more about who you are as a person.

Can you tell everyone your name, please?

Hello, my name is Genti Cici.

Where did you go to school?

I went to the University of Baltimore in Baltimore, MD, for both my undergrad as well as my MBA.

Can you give an example of an early lesson in life that helped shaped who you are today?

I was born in Eastern Europe, Albania, under one of the harshest communist regimes of the eastern bloc, as it was known. When I was 11 or 12 years old, I was at a bread line (not uncommon during those times of scarce resources being distributed by the government) where after reaching the counter and purchased the bread, I was stuck and couldn’t get out, due to layers and layers of people pushing behind me, pressing hard in my stomach towards the counter and not being able to breathe correctly. I thought for a minute and then instinct kicked in, and I pushed up and climbed atop the counter. The person behind the counter yelled at me, but I pointed to the crowd with a look that it’s now too late and I had no other choice.

That moment taught me that rules are in place for a reason and mainly to ‘maintain order,’ but you have to think ‘on top of the counter’ (outside-the-box is so overused now) if you want to innovate or survive. You have to keep an open mind and react quickly, and in entrepreneurship, it’s even more relevant. If you have to solve a problem, either current or old one, you have to come up from a different angle, different approach and sometimes people may think you’re crazy. It taught me that if you don’t challenge the current solutions, current set-ups, etc., you won’t get far from the saying ‘that’s the way it’s always done’ and in that manner you can’t compete with huge established businesses who will eat your lunch if you’re just ‘slightly different’. You have to be ‘totally different,’ or you won’t survive. You can tone it down as the business grows and matures.

We all have entrepreneurs who we look up to in our industry. These business leaders help influence, shape, and drive our ambition to succeed. These entrepreneurs could be someone that we have worked with on a project or could be someone that we look up too from a distance. For example, Bill Gates is a big inspiration to me not only because of his work in Microsoft but his outstanding contributions to society.

Who would you consider to be a significant influence on you professionally and can you explain why?

For me, it is Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, for his creative and outside-the-box thinking, adventure-seeking spirit while also solving big & real societal problems. His unique approach to business while also giving back to the community, doing humanitarian work, promoting beneficial change and sharing his wealth and knowledge with all, is also a significant influence and motivator for me.

Thank you for providing background on who you are as a person. I always find it fascinating to learn who a person is and their early life lessons. Let us move forward with the interview and discuss what you are doing now and how you are making a difference in your industry.

What is the name of your company?

StandUP Advisors

Where is your company located?

Our company is in Maryland, but we provide services that are not constrained by geographical limits. We can and do advise clients from all over the country using the conveniences of the Internet such as Skype, email, text, etc., but we also meet with clients in-person, if local to Maryland.

What services or products does your organization provide?

Financial Planning and Fiduciary investment advice for all, not just the top 1% who currently get real advice, the rest of people get sold financial products and their interests are secondary to the financial company that sells them. Our company provides fiduciary advice at an affordable price, always puts clients’ interest first and we sell no products nor accept any third party commissions to affect our judgment.

What problem is your business trying to solve?

Financial preparedness of US is one of the worst of developed nations, we rank 14th in the world in financial literacy, while simultaneously have some of the most diverse and advanced financial markets and products. People make financial decisions all the time without the slightest of education or real knowledge. I see it as the equivalent of driving without a driving license, expertise or any testing of such skill. Would you be on the road if you knew people were driving without a license nor being tested for their abilities?

Well, that’s what happens in the financial lives of most people, they operate financial products without any real knowledge, side effects or how the product/service works or costs in the first place. No wonder many have tons of debt, save almost nothing, are unprepared for retirement and have financial stress. Sure, many can say that they don’t have much to save or invest after all their lifestyle expenses are taken out, and we agree with that in some cases, but I typically find that for most individuals and families a sound financial plan gives them a path to reduce unnecessary expenses, manage and reduce their debts while allowing them to invest slowly and periodically taking advantage of compounding effects of time.

In the end, we’re trying to reduce overall financial stress, which is so predominant in our society, by providing a plan for their future and professional feedback and discipline, but that can only happen when the client is ready for it. We live in a consumer-based culture, and many people are not prepared for it, choosing to spend today vs. saving for tomorrow, but things are changing, and many are seeing the point, especially after noticing more and sadder stories of the financial unpreparedness of the baby boomer generation that will have a hard time retiring properly.

How is your business unique against your competitors?

First, we’re opening it up and democratizing the world of money for all, not just the ones who have millions. We’re focused on financial planning for Gen X & Y, starting with budgeting as key to discussing where the money is going a month over month, and use technology to supplement our advice. While we’re not alone in this, several other similar financial planners operate in this manner.

We believe to be the first one that built from scratch a consumer-facing financial planning software, where you answer a few questions about your finances, and you get a financial plan in less than 1 minute. While it’s not a full-fledged plan, it’s a great start and gives lots of info that covers at least 80–90% of a family’s overall financial planning.

We’re currently on its second iteration, and for a limited time, we have it available for Free, for all. If all goes well, we may even put it for Free forever, maybe with a donation option, to open it up to everyone. That’s something unique to us, and we know to be the only company to offer such a comprehensive and customized online financial plan for everyone. Of course, we provide and recommend more comprehensive, in-person or virtual financial planning and fiduciary investment advice with $0 asset minimums, as mentioned earlier, for everyone.

And to keep things really different, we’re the only Financial Planning company (that I know of) that started ‘atop an RV’, with a 15-month-long journey across all of US doing Free Financial Literacy seminars in colleges and universities, raising awareness on the problem of lack of financial education in this country and providing financial education and advice to students getting ready for real life.

How did the idea for your business come to fruition?

I was frustrated that many young people weren’t doing much regarding their financial planning and proper investing early in their lives. Many young people are not taking advantage of the time they have (at least 30–40 years if they start early) to set up a sound financial plan and follow it through. From my extensive research and work with them, their main reasoning is that they don’t have enough money to invest and even if they do they don’t know where or how to do it. They also don’t trust Wall Street, so, many people are doing nothing for their financial future. Time passes and when they want to start saving, like in their late 30s or even after, too much valuable time has passed, and they have to do a lot more to catch up.

My idea was to raise awareness that while many think they can’t invest or that Wall Street practices and products are not healthy for most investors, the truth is that many people will find it very beneficial to have a financial plan, to look over their budgets, debts, and assets and make a plan to invest wisely, especially if they start early in their life. I wanted to make it easy and very affordable to start, have an idea of how it works and then get real, fiduciary help that aligns your interests with that of an advisor.

My business is also very much focused on Financial Literacy and knowledge sharing as that is the essential step to understand how all the planning works, and it’s great for my clients to have a basic financial understanding and still work with a fiduciary advisor that looks for their best interests. As such, I created the simplified online financial planning software that anyone can quickly get a financial plan and then go further and discuss with a fiduciary advisor to go more in-depth and put the plan into action.

Where can people go on the web to learn more about your business?

standupadvisors.com

Final question. We would like to thank you for the interview. We have one last question to ask you about imparting some wisdom to future entrepreneurs.

What three tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out on their journey?

1. As an entrepreneur, you typically start alone, just you and your idea. If you want to be heard, your thoughts have to be different, so come up with really unique creations, incremental change is not going to cut it and even if it does, someone with much more money, will copy it fast and make it their own.

2. Give, give, give. Help others with no other interest other than just helping. Connect people that may find each other helpful. Just do a lot for others, unconditionally and without any expectations, and stuff will come your way too. Find your ‘jump atop the counter’ moment.

3. StandUP for your beliefs and do something about it. My journey (literally) was an RV trip around the US to raise awareness about Financial Literacy. I was talking about financial knowledge being so weak in this country, but just talking doesn’t cut it. You have to follow through with actions as people will look for actions rather than just talk. So if you have strong beliefs about something, a new solution, a new way of doing things, just do something about it, be so different that they can’t ignore you, standup for what you believe as at the end nothing matters but how you feel about your place in the world and how you left this world after you.

Noone says at their deathbed, ‘I wish I made more money,’ but the #1 regret is not living a life true to yourself and not doing what you thought was right. Just do what’s right all the time, standup for your beliefs, keep great relationships with good friends and family, help others as much as you can, and don’t work so hard, enjoy life — and you’ll have no regrets at your deathbed.