Business Transitions
and Personal Wealth

Fortress Asset Management | Salt Lake City, Utah
In 2013, Barclay’s capital, a UK Bank, surveyed 2,000 people from 17 different countries whose net worth exceeded $1.5 million. This survey revealed that over 40% of those interviewed listed entrepreneurship as a major source of their own personal wealth creation. The survey also stated that in 2012 alone, 28% of those surveyed received money through selling a business. Further, more people in the survey received money from selling a business than from receiving an inheritance!

At Fortress Asset Management we recognize the importance of assist-ing entrepreneurs with the management of their wealth, much of which is held in the businesses they own. We know that there are many important decisions entrepreneurs make relating to their business that will have major ramifications on their future and the future of their family and loved ones. One of the key decisions entrepreneurs face is the “if” and “when” they should sell their business. It is our experience that this decision is motivated by some of the factors listed below:
1. Too much of total wealth is concentrated in a business
2. High stress due to operating the business
3. Lack of freedom due to responsibilities within the business
4. Desire to have more time to pursue other interests
5. Lost interest and want to do some new type of entrepreneurial venture
6. Money offered for the business is too good to pass up
The decision to sell a business should not be taken lightly. Similar to thinking about inheritances, it takes considerable forethought and preparation to make sure that the decision to sell is the right one. We believe that one of the important aspects of this decision is understanding what life will look like for the entrepreneur following the sale. Specifically, we recommend focusing on three aspects.

Asset

It is important to think of your business as an asset, just like you would if you owned real estate, stock, a bond, a painting, cash, etc. Your business is something you own that creates income for you and can potentially grow or sink in value. If your business is an asset, selling the business is equivalent to turning your business into another asset, cash. You normally wouldn’t keep the money in cash, because that asset won’t be making you additional income.

You would work with your advisor to invest in another asset such as stocks or bonds. So the sale of your business is really just a transfer from one asset to another. While there are many facets to selling a business, we strongly encourage you to talk with your advisor long before you sell your business so you can understand if the new asset (your investment portfolio) will perform better or worse than your current asset (your business).

Income

We’ve found that far too often entrepreneurs who sell their business are surprised at the impact the sale has on their income. They may underestimate how many services they get from the business like having a company car or being able to expense business meals. Additionally, they may not have fully thought through the tax impacts relating to income before and after the sale. When we work with entrepreneurs before the sale we go through a detailed analysis of the income and a conversion estimate for your needs going forward following the sale.

Time

It sounds obvious that the entrepreneur will have more time following the sale of the business. This is often true, but the transition may involve an even greater time commitment from the owner during the lead up and immediately following the sale. What will this mean for your time? What projects will you be involved with next and what is your time worth to you after the sale? Frequently we have found that entrepreneurs fantasize about having free time only to find they have no idea what to do with it.

Ultimately, the decision to sell your business may be one of the most important ones you make as it relates to your own personal net worth. It is important to fully evaluate that decision and go through the exercise with your advisor to understand what your portfolio will look like and what your life will look like following the sale. This will help you further understand the appropriateness of making the sale.
Disclosure:

Brock Bowden is an Investment Advisor Representative of Dynamic Wealth Advisors. All investment advisory services are offered through Dynamic Wealth Advisors.
Brock Bowden - Fortress Asset Management
Brock Bowden
Wealth Advisor / Principle