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Financial Advice for Millennial Entrepreneurs

Financial Advice for Millennial Entrepreneurs

In the last two decades, many Millennials have bypassed the corporate ladder and achieved success through entrepreneurship.

Millennial entrepreneurs include the founders  of Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest, Mashable, Quora, Asana and more. Even famous YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok personalities have emerged as entrepreneurs by developing their personal brands and becoming influencers, making millions, if not billions, in their 20s.   

While countless financial articles offer personal finance advice, few are tailored towards Millennial entrepreneurs who are making or have accumulated significant wealth at an earlier stage of life, and who may be retiring years before normal retirement age with a need to protect and grow their wealth. This article fills that gap and offers up-to-date financial advice for Millennial entrepreneurs.

Personal Finance and Business Finance

First and foremost, as an entrepreneur, it is crucial to protect yourself and separate your personal and business finances. If you have not done so already, by incorporating and maintaining a corporate structure for your business, you can protect personal assets from business debts, losses, and lawsuits. Additionally, keeping your personal and business finances separate saves time and money when it comes to filing taxes and claiming tax deductions and benefits.

Information on incorporating your business in Canada federally can be found through the Government of Canada website. While it is possible to complete this process yourself with a careful review of government forms and a clear understanding of the right structure for your business, most people who have never incorporated a business achieve peace of mind by hiring a lawyer. A lawyer will  do the necessary paper work to ensure your corporation is properly formed and your liability is limited, but will also provide legal advice and answer any questions that you may have. Typically, lawyers charge a flat fee + HST and disbursements (expenses that they incur on your behalf).  

Develop Annual Business Budgets and Create an Emergency Fund

When you are running a business, it is easy to get consumed in the day-to-day operations and forget the bigger picture. Developing an annual budget is the most effective way to keep track of the health of your business. An annual budget is a useful tool that will enable you to make larger business decisions when they arise, such as understanding whether you have enough cash to implement strategic changes to your business in reaction to changes in the marketplace, customer preferences, and competition.

Most businesses fail due to cash-flow issues, and storing away cash for a rainy day in an emergency fund is always a safe course of action.

Exit Strategy

For many entrepreneurs, one of the primary motivations is the payoff received when they sell their business. An exit strategy is a plan to liquidate an investment in a business, either because a business venture has met its profit objective, to enable retirement or new endeavors, or to limit losses.

In the case of liquidating your stake in your business to make a substantial profit, common exit strategies include passing your business to a successor, transferring ownership through management buyouts, and selling the business to a third party through initial public offerings (IPOs), private equity, or sale to another business.  For larger enterprises Investment Bankers can help you examine your business financials to determine the fair value of your business. For smaller businesses professional business brokers can similarly assist.

Managing Your Wealth After Selling Your Business

After selling your business, you may receive a lump sum in cash, and you will need to manage these proceeds. As a business owner, growth may have been your top priority and your net worth is mainly concentrated in your business. After selling your business, the priority becomes protecting your wealth with the potential for it to grow and fund your future goals and ambitions.

Times have changed and there is a wealth of personal investing tools available in mobile app stores. In your search for an investment manager to help you manage your wealth, you may have come across the term “robo-advisor”—a type of investment management tool that creates investment portfolios based on algorithms and basic information you provide.

While robo-advisors may seem like a convenient first-choice, there are two important benefits of traditional investment managers to keep in mind:

  1. Traditional Investment Managers Are Able to Provide Bespoke Investment Solutions Based on More Information: While robo-advisers are useful in providing general financial advice, current technology is unable to offer sophisticated advice based on individual financial situations, as well as additional, non-financial information.
  2. Financial Markets are Driven by Human Decisions: Keep in mind that markets are ultimately human driven, and that emotional decisions that move the market are currently largely unquantifiable by robo-advisors.

The bottom-line is that while it may seem convenient using an app or other technology to manage a basic financial portfolio, traditional investment managers are more able to customize suitable portfolios for high-net-worth investors of any age.

This content is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice nor does it constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities referred to. Individual circumstances and current events are critical to sound investment planning; anyone wishing to act on this content should consult with his or her financial partner or advisor.

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