Top 3 financial tips for entrepreneurs in 2019
Already struggling to keep your New Year’s resolutions? You’re not alone. By February, some 80% of us abandon our resolutions.
Unlike intentions to change your diet or stick to a regular exercise program, a resolution to get your financial life in shape can be a single point-in-time commitment that maintains its own momentum the rest of the year.
Here are my three top tips for entrepreneurs and businesses in the year ahead:1. Separate the business from the personal. Often called the “golden rule” of financial planning for business owners and entrepreneurs, it can be challenging if you’re time starved.
However, separating your business from your personal finance is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Think about it. When your personal and business finances are commingled, you’re opening yourself up to risk in both areas which can play into the overall integrity of your business—especially if you’re planning to transition out or sell any time soon.
Another key tenet—don’t forget to pay yourself. This goes beyond your salary and includes making your personal finances and retirement goals a priority. We often hear from our clients, “my business is my retirement plan,” but there are many pitfalls associated with this approach. Resolve to take stock of where you are, determine your long-term goals (both personal and professional) and commit to building your long-term financial and succession plans.2. Invest for the road ahead. As you save and invest for the future, be sure that you’re fully diversified (e.g., assets not tied up in any single investment, including your business) and prepared to ride out financial bumps in the road or weather challenging market conditions. With December’s attention-grabbing headlines on market volatility, investors have been at-risk of buying into short-term thinking. However, as our Global Investment Management team reminds us, context is everything. It’s important to remember that 2017 was an aberration of positive monthly performance with record-breaking low volatility.
For the 13 months ending January 2018, the Dow climbed steadily upward without experiencing the typical bumps and declines which are a natural occurrence historically. After a steadily positive market year like that, many investors found the more normal volatility of 2018 more than a little jarring. Though unpleasant, short-term volatility is a normal part of investing and can offer opportunities for additional investment and tax-loss harvesting. By taking a long-term view and strategy you can avoid making hype-based decisions– whether you’re a hands-on investor, collaborate with an advisor, or rely on professionals to manage your portfolio.3. Drive positive change. It’s a changing world and more investors are using their money to help create a positive future and still generate strong financial returns. In fact, investors who gravitated toward sustainable companies have beaten the broader market for the last three years, according to Barron’s. Are you ready to incorporate a sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) or what we call purpose investing approach into your portfolio?
You may also want to consider building your philanthropic goals into your overall financial plan this year. Working with a strategic advisor can be helpful in surfacing the areas where you most want to make a difference, as well as offer guidance on a programmatic approach whether you’re an individual, family offices, or private foundation. Taking advantage of tax-smart investment vehicles such as donor-advised funds are another critical component.
To get more financial tips or to learn more about how we can help you reach your financial aspirations, please contact us.
For direct access to investment insights, market updates, and perspectives on financial topics from Bank of the West and BNP Paribas leaders, download the Voice of Wealth app, available at the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.