LET’S GET UP TO BUSINESS

Aaron Paul of HPL Wealth Management

Aaron Paul is one of the founding partners of HPL Wealth Management. He and his team help individuals and business owners in Central Florida on managing their company’s financials and ensuring they are on track for retirement.

Whether you want to quit working at 18 or 80, managing your financial life is the way to do it. Having a roadmap for your future and knowing where you’re going is required. Building that roadmap with a fiduciary who has your best interests in mind is the best way to ensure you’re set up for when your done working.

Aaron and Jordan sat down to discuss the work that Aaron does for others, and what you might want to consider when you’re thinking about where you want your life to go. Their talk will help you understand the difference between a financial advisor and a fiduciary and why you should choose the latter.

Best Business Podcast Episode 3

Episode 3: Aaron Paul of HPL Wealth Management – Full Transcript

Aaron Paul
I can’t believe that these firms aren’t fiduciaries. Why would they not be?

Narrator
Picture a world where costs are down, profits are up, and customers are clamoring at your door. You’re listening to, “Let’s Get Up To Business” from Jordan Law. Our interviews with business owners, service providers, and area experts can teach you how to create a world of success and profitability. If you’re looking for an attorney to assist in your business formation, employment agreements, or other legal business needs, contact Jordan law at 407-906-5529. You can also reach us on the web at jordanlawfl.com. Jordan Law we protect you and your business.

Jordan Ostroff
Hello, my name is Jordan Ostroff. And this is the Jordan law. Let’s get up to business podcast. Joining me today is Aaron. Paul. Aaron, can you please introduce yourself?

Aaron Paul
How you doing guys? My name is Aaron Paul, owner of HBO wealth management and long word and blend.

Jordan Ostroff
So if any of our listeners want to contact you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Aaron Paul
My preferred method of contact is actually phone. I know nowadays that’s prehistoric. But my personal cell phone number is the one that I answered the best. So I’d be willing to give that out that would be 386-490-6929. And my email address is [email protected].

Jordan Ostroff
And I know one of the things that I always struggle with. Because whenever I get a recommendation, I always Google somebody. But I know obviously as a financial advisor, you cannot have any Google reviews online.

Aaron Paul
Right? It’s considered a recommendation. And by our governing laws were not allowed to have people persuaded one way or another and their financial decision based off of other people’s reviews. So we’re not allowed to carry Google reviews or anything like that.

Jordan Ostroff
If somebody wants to check you out there do or what what’s the website address?

Aaron Paul
So be www.hplwealth.com?

Jordan Ostroff
hplwealth.com?

Aaron Paul
Yes.

Jordan Ostroff
Alright, so let’s get started with you know that that about to be business owner who hasn’t yet started their business? what role can a financial advisor play in helping them in that stage.

Aaron Paul
So the initial steps of getting a business rolling can be extremely difficult. One of the main things that we do to help folks in those early steps in those early stages, is really get an idea of what they’re doing this for and help them keep it trim and slim. And to the point throughout their planning. That can see minute, but it’s overwhelming. And anybody who’s ever done this even second and third businesses for folks can still be overwhelming, because there’s so many moving parts. So we really help more in a consultation role right in the beginning, to really learn about the person and what they’re trying to do, why they think what they’re trying to do will work, and then working with them to see how much money they have to spend on this. Is it enough, you know, at least to get the ball rolling into do what they want to do. And then the follow up steps are really to try to plan the next year or two, what it’s going to look like and then what those assets and what that person needs to be focused on in order to tackle the things to make that business successful in the short term.

Jordan Ostroff
So obviously, if somebody is an already existing client, it makes your job a little bit easier kind of knowing what finances they already have.

Aaron Paul
Yes, yes. And most people don’t just jump into a business, there’s normally some preface to it with they’ll start saying things like, Hey, we’re, you know, we’re looking to do something different, or we’re looking to branch out on our own, or we’re going to be retiring. And I don’t want to just sit around. So I’d like to open up something. So it’s sometimes it comes from the form of a desire of just doing something in business. And then other times people will come to you and say, I work at an HVAC company, I’m tired of doing it this way, the owners missing the boat for these five reasons I want to go out and create my own. And then that’s where we’ll step in, and really listen mostly, and then lend our experience to help get them to the next step of business decision, which is, “is this still a good decision?”

Jordan Ostroff
And unless of course, they’re like me, and they’re an idiot state attorney who wants to try and see what it’s like on the other side and just opens up a business and figures that out after that.

Aaron Paul
That’s done quite a bit, too.

Jordan Ostroff
So what are some of the common mistakes that you see business or potential business owners making at that early stage,

Aaron Paul
I see them focused on what they want, and what they think versus cash flow. So, I’m trying to keep this concise, because there are a lot of things. But one of the biggest issues I see is that lack of understanding of what cash flow is for a business, what it does for the business and how fast it can sink a business. It obviously depends on the type. If you’re in a service industry, that’s, you know, pretty different than you selling product. Or if you get paid in arrears for a job that you have to complete first, that obviously requires you to carry a much higher level of capital than a company that doesn’t require you to do that. But understanding your costs, expenses, and where that money is going and coming from should be, always needs to be done. Because businesses, it’s an event, it’s an emotional embark that this person’s about to take. And the finances often can be overrun by the emotion of Oh, we’ll figure it out later. Or this isn’t as important as this, when in reality is paramount to get your numbers down on paper and make sure that it’s feasible from that standpoint, before anything else is discussed.

Jordan Ostroff
So in a position like that, I guess you’re able to kind of help ground them into reality?

Aaron Paul
Yes, I am. Yes, that is an extremely good way of putting it a lot of experience to help give examples. And that’s where our experience allows us to be able to communicate with business owners effectively, because we can put in the terms they understand. But we will basically be your consultant will wear that hat first. And then really the advisory side of things kind of happen happens subsequently to that once we identify that that person has realistic expectations and their numbers work, then we start moving into a little bit more emotional side of things.

Jordan Ostroff
So I’m assuming there are a number of times in which you’re in essence at least trying to talk somebody out of doing this.

Aaron Paul
I would say that’s extremely fair.

Jordan Ostroff
What do you know about what the percentage would be?

Aaron Paul
That’s a fair question, let me think I would say, probably 30% of the time, I’m walking into a meeting. And by the time we’re out of that meeting, I’m saying to myself, this person completely understands what they’re getting themselves into. And they actually have a widget or an idea that will work. The other 70% of the time, it’s either an idea that will work, but the individual is not prepared for what they’re about to embark on. Either emotionally, intelligence wise, or monetarily, any one of those three can very easily sink a ship, or the person is successful or is already good at business, but they’re talking about doing something that is all emotion, and doesn’t make financial sense. So on both sides, I can see it blowing. That’s why this recipe has to be perfect, really, for this all to work out.

Jordan Ostroff
So of that about, I guess 70% that have some sort of issue, what percentage of those are, I guess, fixable, changeable problems that can be overcome? And what percentage of those are just, you know, let’s, let’s end this and try something, something else?

Aaron Paul
To be honest with you, I would say… 75% of those are fixable. Okay, because money doesn’t fit my amazing things. If it’s, if it’s an issue with the individual where they’re just not educated in business, they just don’t have a business sense. Or they don’t understand how big marketing plays into things. You can hire someone to do that. Or if it’s where they’re just too old to be able to keep up with that industry. And there, you can hire someone to do that. But there’s other things you just you just can’t throw money and it won’t, you know, won’t fix it.

Jordan Ostroff
And how frequently are you? Let’s say you got somebody who’s got the cash, but not the know how, and some people don’t know how but on the cash, do you ever kind of facilitate those two people meeting to try and make one cohesive ideal out of the two different options,

Aaron Paul
It’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s putting people together like that, mainly as an introduction, I normally I can say I don’t ever have skin in the game. In that case, I just, I’m a connector. So a lot of people fit in my head, even if I haven’t talked in a while it’s been years. So if I see an opportunity, or someone wants to open a daycare, or a car wash, and three years ago, I’ve had a guy that wanted to do that had the capital but had no time. And now I have a guy sitting in front of me or gal that absolutely gets it and can do it knows what you need to do but have no money. I mean, when that light bulb goes off in your head, you get chills was like Oh man, this, this is meant to be.

Jordan Ostroff
So it sounds like I mean, most of the problems are going to be either not fully fleshed out idea or not enough capital to do it. Are there any other common mistakes that you’re seeing that I’m not thinking of?

Aaron Paul
Yes, emotional decisions based off of human nature. So when it comes to investments, believe it or not, it is human nature, to buy high and sell low, which is the exact opposite of how you make money, but it is human nature, when you hear if I gave everybody you’re listening to this podcast, a million dollars, and I said you need to go invest this would you probably be shocked at how many people are going to name Apple, Amazon, all these companies that are at the top of where they are, well, the chances of those are going to stay where they’re at is very good. But during the short term, it’s very likely they’re going to fluctuate. So most people when everyone’s talking about it, will want to go and buy that. And then when no one’s talking about it, they get scared and they want to sell it. Well that’s the way that this correlates to businesses all have folks that will say, Hey, you know, I see a lot of advancement in this industry, it’s really been taking off for the last 10 years, I want to take part in that what they’re not realizing is, is that there’s been a 10 year build up of that industry, it may not be as robust as you think it will be, or it could be heavily over-saturated. In that area where you’re going on emotion, you’re seeing the things you want to see. But you don’t properly know how to vet an industry. So you’re walking blind into a lion’s den, where you can’t compete. And if you wanted to compete, you would have to have a large amount of assets to do so. And the folks don’t realize it they go out into just get eaten alive.

Jordan Ostroff
That’s a good point. Because I know with us, you know, the intersection of criminal law and business law, we have a lot of people that come to us with, you know, wanting to start a legalized marijuana business or something along those lines, not realizing that you’ve got all these other companies that are importing from Colorado, having had a successful model or have been, you know, getting the land to try and grow here for years before I got through.

Aaron Paul
Exactly. It’s a great example.

Jordan Ostroff
So what um, I guess it’s going to depend on every circumstance, I’m sure but how, how can you help somebody kind of vet that industry.

Aaron Paul
So I don’t claim to know everything I know enough to know who to put in place to make good decisions. So of course, like I said, when you start working with the client, figuring out exactly what they’re trying to do, that entire discovery meeting is a lot about what we’ve discussed, which is making sure that we’re realistic with them or showing them the things they need to be paying attention to, and then giving them an honest temperature on how good of an idea is and how likely it will be that it will succeed. But in addition to that, it really, it really comes down to the relationship side of things. So when we’re, what was your question? Sorry. So the question, yeah,

Jordan Ostroff
the question was, what are some of the things that you do to help people vet that industry better to know that this is not just an emotional decision,

Aaron Paul
Right, so that comes down to us putting in place, our referral partners or our relationship partners. So that’s where I was going with the relationship side of that knowing the client definitely helps. But every client comes in with a different need. Us knowing our resources side of things is where the lon… working with a business with longevity really helps, because our resources can come in and try to help in ways we can’t. So for example, if you are a doctor, you’re a chiropractor, and you wanted to get into that field, I truly don’t know enough about that field to tell you whether it’s over-saturated or just saturated, or if it’s being underserved. But you can bet we no two or three people that do and that connection to that person would be as simple as introducing the client to that professional, whether it be in a setting in our office where they feel more comfortable, or just simply handing them a card and saying, Hey, this is what this guy does. I would like you to speak to him. See if you are still comfortable with the industry and what you’re trying to do here after you speak to him. If so, then I will consult with him and then move forward with you.

Jordan Ostroff
Alright, so then, I guess let’s wrap up this part and move on to the already existing business. So if I’m a, you know, normal person, which I’m not, but if I’m a normal person sitting out there trying to start a business, what’s that one piece of advice that you wish everybody at that stage knew,

Aaron Paul
I would have to say that.

Momentum is probably the largest bringer of good things you can have in business. I don’t, I don’t know if this is the best piece of advice. And I’m sure I’m going to listen to this podcast later and kick myself for the five other things I should have said, but I really from my heart have to say that I’ve seen a lot of businesses pull back and relax when they’ve hit success. And that’s probably the biggest killer of growth that I’ve ever seen. I mean, most of the wealth that most of the wealth is accumulated in our country, if you plan on really making a leap to a different bracket. It happens when there’s a recession, or it happens when there’s a pullback because you have the assets. So then go in and take advantage of that. That in itself in business correlates because it it works itself out that if you start working for two years, and you build your business and finally starts rolling, a lot of folks are going to say, well, vacation time, because I’ve been working for two years, it’s time for me to rest on my laurels a bit when in reality, that’s when you need to push harder than you’ve ever pushed in your life. And if you can do that, that’s where some the greatest advancements in business I’ve ever seen are on the days where they don’t want to be working or the weeks where they want to be on vacation to the times where they think they should make more money, or they should have more time off. It’s it’s a long, grueling process that normally works a lot of the time where you have to do a bunch of things that you may not want to do. And that’s where the greatest advancements are made. So when you think you need to let off, when you think you’ve done enough for you’ve been killing it, that’s the time you need to double down and push for another three months. And then when things get slow, maybe take a break.

Jordan Ostroff
Alright, so now let’s transition to that already existing business owner. Maybe it’s somebody going from being an entrepreneur to hiring their first couple employees, maybe it’s somebody you know, with five to 10 employees or even up to 50? What role or what help, can you or another financial advisor provide to people in those spots?

Aaron Paul
Okay, that would be multi, multi-angled approach. So I like to do I’m assuming that this person I’d never met before I haven’t grown with this business on I like that approach. So they were referred to me as a business that’s been established, I just haven’t done that.

Jordan Ostroff
Right. So this is somebody coming to you, you know, they get a referral, they need to go talk to you.

Aaron Paul
Yep. So I would do an audit of everything that they have going immediately. It would be, it would, you wouldn’t expect the doctor to talk about treatment with you until he gave you the gamut of tests, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that. He just looked at what No, you know what you look like an Advil guy, or you look like you might have this. So I always come in whether it’s needed or not, and do an audit. So I have my own view of what I’m having dictated to me, I can actually look for myself, in addition to that, it gives me an intimacy with the company that really can’t be mimicked. And that intimacy can often bring out qualities and issues that are not disclosed otherwise, in addition to that a lot of my value in the beginning is trying to see where the owners are good. And maybe where they’re not so good. I don’t always bring that up immediately and tell them for their not good. But it helps show me where a lot of times problems that seem to be at the surface are actually rooted in something much different on a different aspect of their business. So I can tell you personnel is an enormous one. most business owners, and I’m going to say myself included, have to learn how to work with personnel, it’s we’re very, very good at what we do. But it’s the acquisition management and maintaining of a company’s personnel that really helps it flourish. Because without people we can’t grow.

Jordan Ostroff
Well, I always tell people that it’s always tough to walk that fine line, because a lot of a lot of what drives success is that attention to detail on the little extra. And then when you demand that in somebody else, that’s where you get an easy, the easiest opportunity to cause some sort of strife,

Aaron Paul
right. And to be honest, the one of the largest issues in business is when you go to find someone, you want to try to find the very best person to fill a position. But the catch 22 really is if you truly do find a person that’s that good. They’re going to be that good in life and probably entrepreneurial, which will then breed a person to come in learn your ways, and then go out and do it on their own. Which then creates turnover, which can be a large issue or can be a huge burden for a new company or any company having to retrain and refined. So then it becomes a matter of are do I dumb down who I’m trying to hire so that they aren’t entrepreneurial enough to leave. In that case, then you’re accepting somebody who’s subpar. This is where the insanity of a business owner comes in. This is why business owners walking around smiling are not happy, they’re nuts. They’re insane. They’ve lost their mind. Because things like this keep you up at night. And then do I end the most of the time, if you’re going to hire that Rockstar employee, if you don’t want them to leave, you’re going to have to compensate them so highly to do so that sometimes it becomes stressful because business doesn’t always work on our linearly. So you may have months where they’re being paid for more work than they’re doing. This is one small sliver of what it’s like to own a business. So to answer your question personnel and managing, maintaining and keeping personnel can be some of the hardest, most time consuming, draining things you can do as a business owner.

Jordan Ostroff
See, it’s interesting, you talk about that, because I always I always kind of joke with people about that from the lawyer side is that most lawyers want to be lawyers, they don’t want to be business owners. So it’s not as much it’s not as much of a, I guess, problem for us. Because a lot of times we’re targeting people that are great lawyers that don’t want to worry about all the stuff with the business. Whereas I guess, with you would be a little bit different because those people are a lot more ingrained in the finances and whatnot of each individual organization. Yes. So I guess I’m basically you’re telling me that you kind of do an outside SWOT analysis, you know, the strengths, the weaknesses, opportunities and threats?

Aaron Paul
Absolutely. And then I try to put into terms how finances, I never got to tie that back together. So I don’t wear a business consultant hat directly. So this doesn’t end there normally, that I have findings that I will bring to them and say, here’s some places that I see as weakness, what are we doing to fill those and there’s always money? Are you throwing events? What are the return on those? Are you doing pens and hats and stickers and glasses? Wonderful? Do you have the infrastructure to have folks out there handing them out? What that’s where really digging into the nitty gritty can uncover some things, where, for example, the things I just said, if they’re in boxes in your closet, no one’s giving them out, either paid hire someone to get those out to let them do their job of being your little marketing tools, or stop doing them. But you’d be surprised how many folks miss these tiny little things like Oh, that makes so much sense. But they’re so busy doing their business, they don’t stop to revisit it. So tying that back to finance, again, would be financial planning for the individual. So the business feeds the individual, most individuals start a business so that eventually it will feed them and continue to grow. So they get to eat better and better. Now, some folks build it to sell some folks build it to transition a succession plan for their family. either direction, you have to making sure that your personal finances are in line, and perfect. Because at the end of the day, you are this business. And we don’t want anybody to over leverage or over expose themselves where they’re putting too much back into the business. Because businesses can have rough times and you have to make sure that you’re personally stable. In addition, a lot of business owners own more than one business. So it’s not just one business. Now we have to figure which one should be getting more of your assets, which one shouldn’t? And then what do we do with the money? We’re not reinvesting into that business? How are we reinvesting it into, you know, Jordan, or into me or into whatever the individual is? What is the whole picture looking like? That’s really where our value comes in. Because most business owners know about just enough to get themselves by in business, they’re not able to step back and look at the forest. They’re looking at a couple trees, our job is to help them look at the forest.

Jordan Ostroff
Yeah, we always talk to people about the difference between working on your business and working in your business. And it seems like that’s the biggest issue that you see with people as they continue to grow.

Aaron Paul
Right? And they don’t know where to reallocate funds. So they’ll say, hey, how much how much should I be looking to hire an employee for how many, like I can do this without them, but they don’t understand freeing their time up actually allows them to go out and make more money. And unless someone teaches you that, when you’re young, or you read a lot of books, you’re never going to know that that’s a mistake until it’s either too late or until you’re so far down the road in your business. There’s an opportunity cost to that decision. And a lot of people miss that.

Jordan Ostroff
So I want to get into that last thing you talked about that reallocation of funds and a little bit more detail. But before we jump on that, are there any, I guess, are there any other common mistakes that you see from business owners when you’re doing that sort of, you know, external SWOT analysis of their business,

Aaron Paul
I see businesses trying to grow to grow too quickly, to either look more successful than they are, or the business owner will try to start taking money out of the business too quickly. So nowadays, I can’t say nowadays as opposed to be 30 years ago, but because I wasn’t around 30 years ago in business, but I feel like Nowadays, people are a lot more worried about their persona and what people see in them. So they’ll go out and buy that Range Rover maybe a few years earlier than they should, or they’ll go and buy a brick and mortar with a beautiful sign right on, you know, somewhere in Orlando or somewhere in like Mary or wherever prominent, it’s being driven by their desire to have other see them in a certain light versus what’s best for the business. And I realized that vein is something that humans have dealt with, probably since the cavemen but it has to be mitigated in business. And that’s something that can be difficult for folks to do. So another major issue I see is that folks will start to draw from the business way too soon. That doesn’t mean don’t take a salary. But you know, you can’t, you can’t expect to drain the business and have it grow at the same time. The other side of the coin is that they try to do too much too quickly. Whether it be because they’re too anxious, or because they’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, or they’re trying to pull up a new Mercedes or they’re trying to have another office, whatever it may be, those decisions should not be made by your emotion. And they should definitely not be made by the way you want folks to see you. It should be we need to grow because we’re busting at the seams. And then we need to buy an office that sensible, that will allow us to continue to flourish, but not break the back.

Jordan Ostroff
Well, it’s always interesting to way the two way the image that you want to portray personally in the image you want to portray as a business, you know, for us, we always look at trying to be the best value for our clients. And so I think as part of that, we’re looking to present ourselves in a, you know, in the best value as opposed to you know, I always talk to people like it’s crazy to go to some business, that’s going to be you know, 50% more expensive than everybody else and have the person roll up in a Toyota Corolla. Yeah, you know, it just doesn’t have the right image. But as a new business, you know, I, I guess the business has to be priority one.

Aaron Paul
Well, that’s a good point, actually, as well, because for business owners out there that are listening to this, there’s multiple ways you can go into a business. So for example, you can go out and be the lowest cost option and have a volume business. So if you want to open up a value plumbing shop, and you know everybody else charges sorry for any plumbers listening, I’m ignorant to plumbing. But you know, if you have to put a pee trap under a sink or something, everybody else is 150 bucks, and you want to come in and slam $90 Well, you’re gonna have to understand the repercussions of that choice is going to be a much different business model than, you know, concierge plumbing, that’s going to charge 300. But you’re never going to see a mark you’re never going to see the folks. So it’s a different class of people. And that’s another thing, business owners often don’t understand why they’re choosing their direction, whether they go low cost or highest value and where the middle they should fall, to hit the clientele that they want. Any other common mistakes that you see from those, you know, already existing business owners as they continue to run their business and grow. The last one is a biggie and I’m glad I thought of it. It would be where the information that they’re using, the voice that they’re listening to in their head, where that voice got its information from. And I know I might sound like a nut for a second here, but everybody has an internal voice. If you’re an entrepreneur, you pretty much have to have one. It can do a lot of things for you. But to stay on track. I find a lot of people are making decisions based off of information they’ve gotten and they don’t ever revisit where. So what I mean by that is a lot of information that I’ve gotten from my folks and my parents is amazing information. I mean, it got me where I am today, absolutely no question about it. But there are a few things that have changed. And that’s no one’s fault. So for my father when he if he wanted to go out and be an entrepreneur, the second question, I’m sure that came up was what building because that’s the only way you could really be an entrepreneur or you had a cart or a food truck, there was no online, there was no drop shipping, there was no Etsy there was none of that if you want to open a business, you had to find a brick mortar location to hang your shingle, which automatically created so much overhead at not tons of people out of even being entrepreneurs. Nowadays, you don’t need that. So that’s a positive. But if you’re using today’s opportunities, with 1970s ideas of selling, it’s not going to be the optimum version of you. So re educating yourself is extremely important. But to dig in a little bit deeper, be specific, I’m talking about our fathers and grandparents and parents that people we were raised with, have given us ideas of what worked and what didn’t work, and you can watch and see back then, you know, as a kid, I’d watch my dad, you know, doing calls one way or taking calls another way or answering the phone on a Saturday and always wonder if that’s good or bad. But if you’re not constantly revisiting where you’ve built your 10 poles or your foundation of business, and how you plan to do it, you could be doing yourself a disservice. Because a lot of that information could be either flat wrong, it could be outdated, or it could have changed. And a lot of business owners I find get into a business. And the answers to their questions are why are you doing it this way? Well, it’s the way we’ve always done it. Or that’s the way my dad did it. That’s the way I was taught when I was a kid, you probably should revisit some of those because the morality side is the same. But the practice of doing it couldn’t be more different nowadays.

Jordan Ostroff
See, it’s interesting. You mentioned that because for me, I always look at, for me the mark of success is not necessarily financial, it’s it’s that transition point from you having to make the yourself fit into the business to being able to make the business fit into you exactly how you want it.

Aaron Paul
Yeah, exactly.

Jordan Ostroff
Yeah, I’d be interested to see, you know, you always have that that statistic. And I don’t know if this is true, speaking about where you get your info that you know, 80% of restaurants close within a year. And so when you talk about the, you know, food trucks and being able to cut down on the overhead, I wonder if that number has changed at all.

Aaron Paul
To be honest with you, I would say that it has in addition to the fact that there’s more wealthy millennials and young folks than ever, and we’re known for going out. So it’s everything is changing drastically. I mean by the year, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that number was down.

Jordan Ostroff
Alright, so let’s get to that reallocating funds because I really think that this is the most important part of this, okay, you know, our normal, somebody who runs a business with the ability to listen to a podcast, I’m sure it’s going to be more likely somebody that has a at least somewhat successful business. So kind of walk me through the process from that reallocation of funds, you know, you’ve got your business, the business is making an you know, enough money for you to be able to think about where it’s going, what sort of questions do you ask the business owner that they should ask themselves to figure out where that money should go?

Aaron Paul
Okay, so

I would I’ll tackle the question of what the business owner should be asking themselves.

This is going to be kind of a joke. To be honest, it’s more me being kind of find.

This is my salesy pitch, if you don’t have a finance degree, and you’re not an advisor, or at least have a background in that, and you’re not keeping up to date with the way the tax laws are changing, as well as the opportunities on the investment side, and how those work together, it’s going to be difficult for you to handle this level of financial planning yourself. Could it be done? Absolutely. But the analogy I use is you could have been a brain surgeon in the mid 90s, things have changed. So even though you can use a scalpel and get in there, and you know, all the details and everything, the procedures, the medicines and things are going to have changed along the way, you’re going to have to constantly keep re educating yourself to feel comfortable doing brain surgery. So in our situation, I always feel you need to consult an advisor, pretty much at any point that you’re going to be making decisions like this annually. And it does not have to be our firm. I mean, I would of course love anyone listening to this to talk to us, but speak to an advisor. And I would always recommend that being independent, because they very often our fiduciary and have the clients interest 100% in mind,

Jordan Ostroff
When you say independent, what do you mean by that?

Aaron Paul
So independent is meaning it’s not tied to a major corporation that’s giving the advisor instructions on what to do. So I’m not going to go in name, any names, but there’s a lot of big box firms out there that you can see on TV or have a name for themselves that are tied to a bank, sometimes those there’s nothing wrong with those firms. But the more affluent you become, and the more successful you become, the less cookie cutter you’re willing to accept. And an independent is basically, it’s like having a personal chef or is going to a restaurant is really what it is, if I’m your personal chef, I can make you just about anything you want. I started on your dietary restrictions, you walk into a restaurant, you’re picking off of a menu, no matter how fast and robust it is, it’s still a menu. So that would be the analogy independent would be the way to go if you want

Jordan Ostroff
really flexibility. And you also talked about a fiduciary? Yes. Can you tell our listeners a little bit more about that? Sure.

Aaron Paul
So a fiduciary is something that you guys are going to want to pay attention to if you’re out looking for an advisor or a financial planner. And that’s basically where the advisor has to put your needs before my own or my company’s own. And that’s something that we have to elect to do. And it’s something that you would be very surprised if you looked at I just talked about big box firms. I’ll leave it there. But if you look to see which one of those are fiduciaries, I think the conversation with yourself is going to go something like I can’t believe that these firms aren’t fiduciaries, why would they not be? And then you run with that on your own.

Jordan Ostroff
So what is what is the standard? I mean, fiduciary, you’re supposed to do what’s in my best interest, right? What is the standard that they’re working with?

Aaron Paul
I will leave that up to you. Okay, that means that they’re not going to put their neck out on the line and accept responsibility of saying their fiduciary because they don’t want it to come back and bite them later if the action doesn’t match what they’ve promised. And I imagine that a lot of the internal workings of how the company recommends products and how their employees or advisors recommend products can leave some chance that as individuals go, the company can’t monitor that closely. And they don’t want to put their name on something saying that every single person in their firm does something they can’t oversee that tightly.

Jordan Ostroff
Is there a specific lingo or turn of phrase, though, that our listeners should be looking for when they talk to those potential financial advisors, that’s not, if they’re not a fiduciary, they’re a

Aaron Paul
it’s either they are they are okay, to be honest, there is no alternative.

Jordan Ostroff
They’re not like, we try really hard to help you there’s no like lower belt, it’s it’s either you are you are not,

Aaron Paul
when you’re vetting an advisor, I can tell you the, the relationship is 100%. So I would start by working with someone that you’ve been referred to by someone you trust, it’s difficult to go online and just google because the way marketing is nowadays, if you throw enough money at it, you can look like the largest company on Earth, you can sell yourself as the best, it’s difficult to vet electronically. So this is unfortunately gonna have to be an old fashioned face to face type of thing, or at least phone call, but I would be fit, I would be looking to fit with an advisor that understands what you need, and is someone that you’d be willing to work with. That you feel it’s basically a partnership, I mean, it’s like a business partnership, you’re going to have to trust that person, that what they’re saying is true. You have to learn to delegate. So you’re going to have to go with what that person says, you know, for the most part, so the initial meeting, or the initial first few meetings, really needs to be if if you are late and fit with that person. And if you think that you have the same style, and the same, you know, demeanor, and you know, same attitude. And if that fits, as long as the person has a good track record, you’ll probably we get your greatest success out of that relationship far above and beyond picking the best advisor in Orlando, but you can’t relate to him, he’s dry, you’re animated, you’re 35, he’s 70. It’s just not a good working relationship, the chances of success are going to be good or is iffy.

Jordan Ostroff
Well, it’s funny, you know, we talked about the not necessarily spending money on a nice car. But when vetting an advisor, I always look at the cars that are out front to say, you know, you want somebody who’s successful enough to

Aaron Paul
you have to have the look, it’s it’s true. And if somebody was telling if somebody came to me and said they wanted to open up an advisory firm, that would be some of the things that I would give them advice on is that people do look for those things.

Jordan Ostroff
Alright, so we’ve got some of the questions for our business owners or listeners to go talk to a financial advisor about I want to go back to that, you know, the reallocating of funds. So, obviously, at the end of the day, I mean, all of us money is a finite resource. I mean, even if you’re Bill Gates, you do have a limited amount of money and maybe way more than you will ever need. But how how do you help the business owner decide, you’re going to get a better return putting this money back into the business by hiring, you’re going to get a better return putting this money into the market, you’re going to get a return buying a building for the business, you’re gonna get a better return. I mean, what are what are the steps that are taken to answer that?

Aaron Paul
Well, that’s really where the magic happens. The steps are taken to answer that would be a complete understanding of what the person is trying to do. After we get the audit of what they have. We then have a discussion of what they want to do with it, and where they plan on going. And then it comes down to the percentages of allocation that go to each bracket, and the overall monitoring of those brackets. I feel like I didn’t answer the question. So I’ll dig a little bit deeper. So we’re going to

Jordan Ostroff
I’m a lawyer, I’m used to not getting my question answered. It’s okay.

Aaron Paul
I hate I hate when people give me a long answer. Don’t answer my question. So I want to be specific to listeners. So if if you’re, if you’re looking, asked me the question different way, because I want I want to give you a good answer on this one. I feel like this is what the podcast is for. So

Jordan Ostroff
Just what obviously it’s going to be a case by case situation. But what what are some of the starter questions? What are some of the ideas that you should begin with to make that decision on? Am I putting this money back into the business by hiring? Am I putting it back into the business by buying a new building? Or am I putting this out of the business to diversify to make sure I’m you know, hedging my bets? What what’s the starting point to answer that question? Because obviously, again, it’s going to be case specific.

Aaron Paul
So the starting point would be learned enough about how to vet an advisor that you go get an advisor. And I that is definitely an answer. So I’ll give you some specifics. But this is this is dabbling in a lot of different areas to answer that question. So for the individual listening for you to go and learn how to do all this would be very difficult and very time consuming. So your best bet would be to delegate this to someone that doesn’t daily. But the fine points of this would be how to figure out what slivers or what goals you have, and how they should be funded, in what order depending of importance. So after doing an audit and talking to the business owner, their next step should be preservation of their own lifestyle simultaneously to making sure that the business can maintain where it is. So I want to know what it’s costing for the person to live the way they live now and for the business to operate the way it operates. And then I’m going to look at their overall income and see what the surpluses, then it comes a little bit away from need, and it gets to one that’s like, okay, the business is doing good. Where do you want to grow? Do you want to grow in another market? Do you want to saturate this market? Do you want to start to acquire others in this area that will be able to start doing for you so you can work more on the business. And then it comes to experience of about what it’s going to take for that person to accomplish that. So it’s really identification of what the ones are giving our opinion on what we think the one should be. And if there’s any missing, and then putting them in a categorized order of importance, and then trying to meet those goals, with funds, and then any surplus from the business. It’s very specifically based but it’s what percentage goes back to the business and why what percentage would go to a reserve account for in case the business doesn’t do so well, for the next few months, what percentage of this needs to go to your personal account. So you can be financial planning for your vacations with your wife or your kids college or, you know, private school for your kids or even as far as retirement for you individually. So balancing the individual or individuals depending if it’s a partnership, and then seeing how those circles interact and are affected by the business. And then making sure that all of those have risk mitigated, have the goals identified and have a plan in place to make sure that every one of those moving parts is being handled appropriately. And then revisiting that at least quarterly, I’d say if not by annually to make sure that all the goals are realistic are being hit. And any place we’ve gone off track, we fix it and get back on track until we basically have a machine that’s perfect.

Jordan Ostroff
Alright, so all that question. Okay. All that being said, I’m going to try to give you a second chance and have to kick yourself later. Okay. So we asked about, you know, the biggest piece of advice for those about to business owners, you talked about momentum. So what about for those already existing business owners? We’ve talked about now? What’s that one piece of professional advice you’d like to give to all of them? And don’t worry, we can edit out the dead time later.

Aaron Paul
Okay, thank you does, I want to think on this for a second. Managing the act of delegating, and identifying when you should be taking risks and when you should be just socking away cash. And the advice side of that is, make sure that there’s a justifiable reason why you’re going to expand, if you’re going to hire someone, if you’re going to move into a new office, if you’re going to move into a bigger office, you’re going to have another location. There needs to be a specific on paper finite, laid out reason of exactly why it’s happening. Not just oh, well, you know, on my business card, I want there to be another office address, because I feel like that would make people you know, think that I’m better than I am or would add credibility to my company. Do you have any focus there? Do you have any clients? No, no, the answer’s no, all those Well, that’s not a good decision. But for a company that’s already existing, it can almost be more of a liability to make these decisions. Because in the beginning, you can kind of fix and go back. But once you start getting a footing in the industry, and people start noticing it’s hard to make the decisions and have it not be public. So I would say make sure that your overall image of your company is what you’re embodying on a day to day basis when you make decisions, especially as an existing business and make sure that you’re constantly revisiting who your go to core group of professionals is. Because I have professionals that are absolutely the best in their industry, but they’ve gotten so busy, they’re not as good as they used to be. And I you don’t go back and revisit that. you’re receiving subpar service. So circling the wagons is really probably the most important thing for an existing business owner and having a specific identified path of where your business is going and why. And I mean, in the next month, three months, nine months in a year, written down. And then if it doesn’t happen, you need to be revisiting why and doing that continuously to make sure that nothing falls off the wagon.

Jordan Ostroff
Alright, so now that we’re reaching the end, can we have your contact info one more time so people don’t have to search back for now that they’ve

Aaron Paul
Sure or? Sure. So my cell phone number is 386-490-6929. Feel free to reach out to me I love calls. Anytime no problem at all. leave me a voicemail. If I don’t answer. My email address, which definitely is easy as well to reach me would be [email protected]. And if you want to visit our website to have a look at my ugly mug on there and take a look at some of our advisors in our office locations. That would be www.hplwealth.com.

Jordan Ostroff
All right, thank you so much for joining us. Thanks for having me. And for my listeners. You know this is a relatively new podcast. So we’re hoping that you enjoy it and that whatever stitcher iTunes whatever you use, listen to this. If you please leave us an honest review. Hopefully it’s five stars. Thank you very much. We’ll see you at the next podcast. Thanks guys.

Narrator
You’ve been listening to let’s get up to business from Jordan. We hope you’ve enjoyed the process podcast and would consider sharing the show. We would also love an honest five-star review through iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever podcatcher you use. If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, please contact producer Mark through email at [email protected]. Use this subject line “podcast guest” in your email. Thank you. We look forward to speaking to you again soon.

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