The Silver Tsunami; Not So Rich, Not So Famous, It’s the Transition, not the Task; Econ Recon

“A lot of times we change; not when we see the light, but when we feel the heat.”

Rick Warren
Pastor, Saddleback Church

The Silver Tsunami

Peter Drucker once remarked that “Demographics is the history that has already happened.” This is obviously true for society at large, but there are particular implications for the aging Baby Boomers who own businesses and are starting to look for the exits. Factor in a smaller cohort of Millennials coming into  the acquisition window with sufficient wealth, and the result may be a shortage of buyers willing to pay a good price for the Boomers’ businesses, especially the smaller ones.

A new bill sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand attempts to address this issue by making it possible to use a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan to finance all or part of an ESOP  (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). This article from the Washington Post provides some insights regarding this proposal and offers new options for the ‘silver tsunami’ of retiring Baby Boomer business owners.

Not So Rich, Not So Famous

Gold Rushes occur throughout history. In 1849 thousands made a made dash to California when gold was found at Sutter’s Mill. Most returned home even poorer than they arrived. In the mid-1800’s, the railroad boom made a few rich but  destroyed many more. Remember the late 1990’s and the Internet bubble? Today, the bubble seems to be just plan “entrepreneurship.” The dream for many just starting out is start a company (technology focused or otherwise), get rich, retire young.

One observer has termed this “entrepreneur porn” and in a recent interview from Wharton explores the risks that new entrepreneurs, even out of the best business schools, either ignore or are simply oblivious to. Entrepreneurship has created enormous wealth, but only for a few relative to the number making the attempt. The lessons of the successes are easy to spot; those from the start ups that are dead and buried often are not. Before you or someone you care about takes the plunge on a new venture, take a moment to learn about these Entrepreneur Myths and why most who go that route likely won’t be rich and famous.

It’s the Transition, not the Task

The most successful in our midst seem to be universally good at managing themselves. Perhaps the thing they do the best is managing their relationship with their actions; especially starting and staying the course. This short HBR posting suggests that our greatest struggle “isn’t actually doing the thing, it’s getting started on doing the thing.” In short, it’s the transition to the task, not the task itself that can be the hard part for many of us. Does this describe you?

Econ Recon

Four T’s: Dr. Brian Wesbury has some thought items in the news that may have you concerned: Turkey, Tariffs, Taxes and Trump. Find out what he thinks about the impact of  the “four T’s” in his latest Wesbury 101 video.

Yet Another Bubble: Last week an article about the dangers of  the burgeoning state and local pension and health benefits was shared in this space. If you’d like something else to worry about, some bond market watchers think that a corporate debt bubble is growing as well which, coupled with the age of this expansion, has market watchers nervous. This is a key economic indicator. Just “how dangerous is the corporate debt bubble?”



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