Katie Hyde, Region Head of Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management in San Francisco, answers some common questions about building and managing wealth as your company grows.
When it comes to money management, what do ultra-high-net-worth clients do that people from all income levels should do?
The most important lesson is that your money can always be working for you. With our ultra-high-net-worth clients, no dollar sits idly. Anyone can benefit from this approach to managing money – whether you have multiple investment portfolios or are setting up an emergency fund. Even if you are just starting out and you have your money in a savings or checking account, you can make sure you are getting the best possible interest rate and be thinking about after-tax yield.
What is the most common problem entrepreneurs face and how do you help them problem-solve?
Entrepreneurs are busy, and they are generally passionately focused on building their businesses. Oftentimes, we see that they are so laser-focused on their company that they don’t always take the time to think about themselves and their personal finances. That type of focus is what enables their success, but it’s also important that they don’t let their personal priorities fall by the wayside while their business grows. We can help them make quick decisions and get their personal finances in order, so they can keep their focus on their company. We also ensure they don’t miss out on opportunities with their own money, whether that is for personal wealth growth or charitable giving.
How can emerging entrepreneurs set themselves on the right path to becoming ultra-high-net-worth?
The most important step an entrepreneur can take around their own wealth creation is getting the right team in place early on to help take things off of their plate. The right team can help them think through key decisions based on their objectives, avoid leaving money on the table and prioritize personal elements of wealth planning that may have been avoided due to a hyper-focus on the company they are building. You don’t want to wake up in a year and say, “I wish I had,” when there are things you can plan for.
How can entrepreneurs navigate the different stages of wealth throughout their careers?
How we advise clients evolves over time as their business grows and changes. When an entrepreneur is starting out, they may be more focused on their business’ finances than their own. Early discussions center on the more basic trust and estate components; however, as their situation progresses, there are additional complexities and needs that can’t go unanswered. If they reach the exciting point of an IPO, we work with them on new intricacies, such as compensation structure, maximizing tax efficiency, and looking at concentrated stock positions. It is also critical to align on long-term planning, like philanthropic goals. Other entrepreneurs are interested in learning about liquidity and whether a secondary sale makes more sense for them. No matter what stage an entrepreneur is at, we navigate these changes with them every step of the journey.
What’s the best piece of money advice you’ve ever received?
The most important piece of advice when you are an investor is to stay humble, stay curious and never assume you know everything about a topic. Beyond that, I believe that pretty much anything Warren Buffet ever said is worth its weight in gold.