Category Archives: Personal Finance

Feature 2021

39. What Happens To Your Equity When Your Company Goes Private



Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now you have certainly heard about Elon Musk’s plans to buy Twitter and take it from a public company to a private one.  Oftentimes, there are many things that will change when a company goes private. And that is especially true with it comes to existing shareholders.

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge uses Twitter as a case study to talk about what happens to you as both an employee and an investor when the company you have an interest in suddenly goes private. Malcolm also shares his advice on what employees of publicly traded companies should consider as soon as their company announces plans to go private.

Malcolm discusses: 

  • The process of taking a public company private and what makes Elon’s Twitter takeover unique
  • The differences between public and privately owned companies
  • What happens to existing shareholders when the company goes private
  • The tax impact to shareholders when a company goes private
  • And more

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:


Feature 2021

38. Developing Passive Investment Income as a Tech Professional with Christopher Nelson



Tech professionals are some of the best paid and most in-demand workers around the globe. And in exchange for that great pay and other incentives, it is not uncommon to log back-to-back (to back to back to back) 50, 60, or even 75-hour work weeks; ultimately leading to a burnout. One of the ways to stave off that burnout is to ensure that you have a secondary source of income to rely on if and when you feel the need to walk away for a while. 

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge is joined by Christopher Nelson, Principal and Co-founder of Wealthward, as they discuss the importance of developing secondary sources of income. Malcolm and Christopher share some of their own recommendations for how tech professionals can be intentional about their career choices, as well as the appeal of real estate as a means to generate passive income.

Christopher discusses: 

  • The ways in which having a secondary source of income can give you options as a tech professional
  • Being intentional about your career decisions 
  • The difference between thinking like an investor and thinking like a spectator
  • Understanding the true value of the equity you receive as compensation
  • And more

Resources:

Connect With Christopher Nelson:

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About Our Guest:

Christopher Nelson is the Co-Founder and Principal of Wealthward Capital, a private equity investment firm. Wealthward Capital invests in cash flowing and institutional grade assets. His focus is meeting with operators and finding the next investment. When not out looking for opportunities, Christopher is spending time with investors educating them on building thriving passive income portfolios.

Christopher is a twenty plus year technology executive (2 x IPOs), real estate investor, educator, and author. He has built professional services practices, run small businesses and helped take Splunk (SPLK) through an IPO and grow to a billion-dollar company. Christopher has a proven track record of building strong partnerships, win-win negotiations and finding great opportunities where others are not looking.

 


Feature 2021

37. Finding Liquidity for Your Illiquid Shares with Vieje Piauwasdy



If you’ve ever worked for a startup, then you know it can feel a bit like watching paint dry, waiting for the company to reach its light at the end of the tunnel, going public, and allowing you to finally cash in on all of your hard work and contribution. In many cases, it can take more than 10 years. And since the average tour of duty for a mid-level software engineer at a tech startup is just north of two years, it is fair to say not many are sticking around long enough to see the paint finish drying.

But what of their stock options? One of the main drivers of tech workers deciding to go work for untested and unproven startups rather than one of the more established incumbents with all of their fringe benefits, is for the potential financial rewards of getting in early and helping to build something from the ground up. 

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge is joined by Vieje Piauwasdy, Senior Director of Equity Strategy at Secfi to discuss the various solutions out there to provide employees of private companies with the liquidity they need to exercise and take ownership of their shares before an IPO. Malcolm and Vieje share their own experiences counseling startup employees with illiquid shares, as the importance of developing a plan for what to do with those shares long before the company IPOs.

Vieje Piauwasdy discusses: 

  • Creating a plan to manage your cash flow in the years leading up to an IPO
  • The difference between recourse and non-recourse loans 
  • The value of exercising your stock options early
  • The importance of diversification when managing your stock options
  • And more

Connect With Vieje Piauwasdy:

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:

About Our Guest:

Vieje Piauwasdy is the Senior Director of Equity Strategy at Secfi. As an equity compensation and taxation expert, he guides startup employees through the complexities of private company equity to ensure that no money is left on the table. Prior to joining Secfi, Vieje spent years at PwC, where he specialized in tax reporting and strategy for hedge funds, private equity funds, and asset managers.

 


Feature 2021

36. Taking the Emotion Out of Investing with Daniel Crosby



The underlying theme of the stock market and the way it functions is that we are all rational actors in a rational world, acting on the very same publicly available information at the very same time. But the reality is that we are all irrational beings, living in an irrational world. We frequently do things that are against our best interests, such as selling off stocks during market crashes or worrying about cutting our spending only when we have plenty of money.

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge is joined by Daniel Crosby, Chief Behavioral Officer at Orion Advisor Solutions, to discuss the ways our emotions often hurt us when it comes to managing our personal finances. Daniel and Malcolm discuss various techniques to protect yourself from acting on your impulses in times of financial stress, as well as their take on the true value financial advisors offer their clients in helping them to generate long term wealth.

Daniel Crosby discusses: 

  • Recency bias and how it can affect our decision making as investors
  • Financial life hacks designed to help you avoid your emotional impulses
  • The role that extreme loneliness plays in our decision making process
  • The importance of financial advisors and their value to clients beyond investment management
  • And more

Resources: 

Connect With Daniel Crosby:

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About Our Guest:

Educated at Brigham Young and Emory Universities, Dr. Daniel Crosby is a psychologist and behavioral finance expert who helps organizations understand the intersection of mind and markets. Dr. Crosby recently co-authored a New York Times Best-Selling book titled, Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management.

He also constructed the “Irrationality Index,” a sentiment measure that gauges greed and fear in the marketplace from month to month. His ideas have appeared in the Huffington Post and Risk Management Magazine, as well as his monthly columns for WealthManagement.com and Investment News. Daniel was named one of the “12 Thinkers to Watch” by Monster.com and a “Financial Blogger You Should Be Reading” by AARP. When he is not consulting around market psychology, Daniel enjoys independent films, fanatically following St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and spending time with his wife and two children.


Feature 2021

35. Common Tax Pitfalls to Avoid When Managing Your Equity with Daniel Hodgin



When it comes to your equity, every decision, whether it’s to do something with your shares, or to do nothing at all, comes with a tax consequence. But sometimes, the consequences of that action or inaction, are less obvious, until it’s a year later, the tax bill is due, and you have no idea how you ended up in this mess.

And while paying more taxes is simply a function of making more money, there is obviously something to be said for being proactive and doing your best to mitigate that tax bill, no matter how inevitable it may seem.   

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge is joined by Daniel Hodgin, founder and CEO at Silicon Valley Tax Group, to discuss common tax traps and pitfalls to avoid when managing your equity compensation. Together, Malcolm and Dan break down the nuances of RSUs, ESPPs, and ISOs, and share some of their own rules of thumb for anyone who receives equity as a part of their total compensation each year. 

Dan Hodgin discusses: 

  • Keeping track of your cost basis to avoid reporting mistakes 
  • The importance of keeping ESPP shares with your company’s broker
  • Critical factors to consider when acting on your stock options
  • How to navigate exercising your ISOs without exceeding the AMT crossover point
  • And more

Connect With Daniel Hodgin:

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:

About Our Guest:

Dan started his career in the field of taxation at Mohler, Nixon, & Williams, LLC. There, under the tutelage of some of the most respected tax specialists in the Bay Area, he worked on thousands of tax returns for a variety of client types. As his career progressed, Dan became a specialist in the area of high-net worth individuals and his clients included some of the world’s wealthiest people. It was working with those clients that gave Dan the exposure to some of the most complicated tax situations and allowed him to become the tax expert that he is today.


Feature 2021

34. The Importance of Negotiating Your Equity with Brooke Harley



Unsure whether and how to ask for more equity when negotiating your new compensation package? The 30 minutes you spend negotiating your new employment agreement could change the course of your entire future, and negotiating for more equity can be the driving force for that change.

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge sits down with Brooke Harley, Founder and CEO of Class Rebel, to shed light on compensation negotiations and explain ways to ask for more equity. Brooke discusses Class Rebel’s role in preparing their students and arming them with the foundational key terms and concepts that make up an equity agreement.

Brooke discusses: 

  • The potential long term impact of equity negotiations
  • The importance of understanding the basics of stock option plans and how they work
  • The value of seeking out a competing offer
  • Understanding what’s negotiable in an equity offer and what’s not
  • And more

Resources:

Connect With Brooke Harley:

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:

About Our Guest:

Brooke Harley is the founder and CEO of Class Rebel, an online class e-learning company that offers classes focused on wealth, building angel investing, and the basics of managing equity.

She also has an MBA in finance and earned a JD from York University before founding Class Rebel. Brooke has worked as a corporate attorney as well as a venture investor and startup board member.


Feature 2021

33. LatinX Representation in Tech and Venture Capital with Cheryl Campos



Less than 1% of all professionals working in venture capital today identify as LatinX, and only 1.2% of LatinX founders had access to or received VC funding in the last year. However, there are several leaders in the finance and tech communities actively working to change that.

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge sits down with Cheryl Campos, Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic and co-founder of VCFamilia, to discuss how her organizations and ones like them are working to level the playing field in tech and increase the levels of LatinX representation in venture capital.

Cheryl Campos discusses: 

  • Why opening up venture capital to other communities will not only diversify the startup funding landscape, but also lead to more diverse products being launched and brought to market
  • How Republic has supported over 600 underestimated founders by helping them find access to funding
  • The work that her organization, VC Familia is doing to create a community and a sense of belonging for Latinx professionals in venture capital
  • How other venture capital firms can get involved to help make sure that more diverse professionals are finding career opportunities in technology and finance 
  • And more

Resources: 

Connect With Cheryl Campos:

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:

About Our Guest:

Cheryl is passionate about the intersection of finance, technology, and social impact. She is the Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic, a one-stop-shop for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. She is focused on introducing underrepresented founders to both traditional and alternative funding sources in order to help their startups thrive. In other direct investing roles, she is a scout for Lightspeed and an investment partner at The Community Fund. Cheryl is also one of the founders of VCFamilia, a community of Latinx VCs supporting current & emerging investors through collaboration.

Previously she worked as an analyst in a Connecticut-based private debt & equity firm with an emphasis on minority and women entrepreneurs. She started her career in Investment Banking at Barclays, working in the Financial Institutions Group and Structured Finance. She holds a BA in Economics with honors from Harvard University.


Feature 2021

32. Talking to Your Family About Money with Amy Castoro



We’ve all heard the statistics and read the articles about the pro athlete or entertainer who lived a life of luxury for years, spent money freely, gave it away, didn’t respect it, and then one day, they were no longer at the height of their fame and success, the dollars stopped coming in, and they were flat broke. However, what doesn’t get reported on nearly as much is the phenomenon of wealthy families who lose their fortune across just one or two generations.

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge sits down with Amy Castoro, president and CEO of The Williams Group, as they discuss the process and preparation for a smooth transfer of wealth among multiple generations. Amy illustrates the critical need for open communication about more than just money in order to maintain healthy family dynamics during and after a wealth transfer..

Amy discusses:

  • Maintaining healthy family dynamics during the transfer of wealth between generations
  • What to consider as you begin to think about the role you want your wealth to play in the lives of the people you care about
  • Communication strategies to help families build trust when talking about money
  • How much financial support is too much support to offer your adult children
  • And more

Resources: 

Connect With Amy A. Castoro:

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:

About Our Guest:

Amy Castoro is the president and Chief Executive Officer of The Williams Group, which prepares families for the smooth transfer of wealth among generations.

For ten years, Amy has specialized in preparing high-net-worth families to successfully transition their wealth while keeping their families united and in control of their assets. She is an accomplished author, keynote speaker, and senior family coach. Amy leads family members; high-net-worth advisors; business leaders; executive managers; and teams from Fortune 500 companies, startups, and nonprofits to innovate, lead, and work better together. Amy’s experience with The Walt Disney Company, Adecco Corporation, and Grant Thornton Management Consulting provide her with a strong foundation of leadership in organizations.

Amy is the author of Bridging Generations—Transitioning Family Wealth and Value for a Sustainable Legacy. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in organizational psychology from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, and is a Master in Somatic Coaching through the Strozzi Institute. Also, Amy completed a three-year business course with Hecht and Associates that emphasized the design of new offers and optimizing threats and opportunities in business.


Feature 2021

31. Are NFTs a Fad or the Future? with Jesse Krieger



Not that long ago, we were all trying to wrap our collective heads around this thing called Bitcoin and how it was promising to revolutionize the way we all pay for goods and services. And now, before we’ve really even come to a consensus on whether cryptocurrencies are a digital currency, a store of value, an investment asset class, or something else entirely, the conversation has shifted to a different form of digital gold called an NFT.

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge is joined by Jesse Krieger, Chief Content Officer at PowerFan.io, an NFT minting platform for authors and other content creators, allowing them to create and sell exclusive works directly to their audience. Jesse discusses the ways in which cryptocurrency and NFTs differ, how NFTs are changing the narrative of the creative marketplace, and the potential impact NFTs have on ownership and artist royalties.

Jesse Krieger discusses:

  • The key differences between many of the more popular blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and their individual purposes in the marketplace
  • The higher income potential for artists and creators that distribute their content direct to consumers via NFTs
  • PowerFan’s ability to help create and distribute content as an NFT and their accessibility to credit cardholders
  • The multiple use cases for NFTs and the ways in which the space might evolve
  • And more

Resources:

Connect With Jesse Krieger:

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:

About Our Guest:

Jesse is the co-founder and Chief Content Officer of PowerFan.io where he helps authors, artists & creators leverage NFTs and blockchain asset strategies. Jesse is also the Founder and Publisher of Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press, a publishing company that has helped over 500 authors through the entire author journey, from writing and creating a great book, to providing expert publishing support with editing, design, layout and marketing strategy. He has authored and published two best-selling books on two different continents and been featured on over 100 media outlets for his bestselling book Lifestyle Entrepreneur and entrepreneurial endeavors. Jesse also holds degrees from University of California, Berkeley, as well as National Taiwan University and Beijing Normal University.


Feature 2021

29. Cultivating the Next Generation of Black Tech Leaders With Clinton Browning



Traditionally, companies source their executive teams and boards of directors solely through their existing networks of employees, investors, friends or family. This tends to lead to companies being led by groups who are not very reflective of their workforce or customer base.

In this episode, Malcolm Ethridge sits down with Clinton Browning, partner and Head of Dreamscape at Daversa, an executive search firm for tech professionals. Clinton discusses the importance that hiring a diverse board and executive team has on the success of Tech companies and how starting from the top will change the hiring ecosystem in the future.

Clinton discusses: 

  • The importance of being inclusive and intentional when building your company’s board and executive team
  • How George Floyd’s death led Daversa to create Dreamscape
  • How Dreamscape is helping companies in the Tech space put into practice their goals to diversify executive roles
  • How his team has built an impressive network of 3000 black executives
  • What younger tech professionals can do to make themselves more attractive to executive search firms   
  • And more

Connect With Clinton Browning:

Connect With Malcolm Ethridge:

About Our Guest:

Clinton is responsible for leading Davera’s Business unit, Dreamscape, which is dedicated to ensuring there is Black representation on the boards and executive teams of the most important companies and investing firms in technology. He has an over 25+ year career, starting at Korn Ferry where he helped develop and scale Diversity practice on a global scale. Clint is an alumni of The University of California, Berkeley, an entrepreneur, a builder, an advocate, and a true family man. He credits his success to his family foundation.