Not too long ago, my friend Scott Sommerkorn came to me after graduating from the University of Utah. He is a financial planner on Salt Lake City’s “Wall Street.” It became apparent in the first month at work that basically “Wall Street” was a bunch of 30- to 40-year-old white dudes in suits financially planning for 30- to 40-year-old white dudes in suits. Scott told me they’re missing a huge market of people: Anyone not a white dude. So Scott, who is much more comfortable bellying up to the bar at Junior’s tavern wearing a suit and tie, basically set up a challenge for me to find another demographic of people to plan their financial futures. I found him two.
I hooked Scott up with my hairdresser, Matt Peters, a tattoo artist and bartender Mandrew Florin. I figured that these three professions were as alternative as you can get and they’re all big moneymakers with people who really only think about the future in 24-hour increments. When you have these creative jobs it’s easy to get caught up in thinking of it as free money and it goes out as fast as it comes in.
This didn’t really come as s challenge for Scott. When it comes to planning a future it always boils down to a few basic things for most: travel, owning property and retirement.
Let’s begin with Matt. Just before his sit down with Scott he found out he was going to be a father and his financial future became quite clear. The first thing that Scott did was set up a life insurance policy because at the end of the day if you have others that rely on you, you need to make sure they are monetarily set after your departure. Eric had Matt think about with a family on the way he would not only need to consider a basic plan of wanting a house or other necessities but also farther into the future, like college tuition for his kid and everything else that scares the shit out of us when we are faced with having to grow up.
“What I like the most” says Matt, “is that he got my mind thinking of the direction I need to go in” and somehow Scott’s ease and demeanor helped in the whole process to get Matt set up with investing that will work with his plans.
Mandrew had a very different experience. Still in his 20’s, thinking about his future was hard because he’s still trying to find his present. In their meeting, which was more like a casual conversation, Scott was able to determine that how he could help Mandrew was to get him on a path of branding his art and making it a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Also with bartending, or similar jobs that work in all cash, Scott pointed out the reality of honestly claiming what you make on your tax returns because this is something that comes back to haunt you, and by having the LLC, you learn the fine tuned dance of write-offs, how to go about it sadly and legally and actually start making the government work for you, in a way.
I posed a greater challenge for Scott. I almost refuse to think in terms of a “10-year plan” so I had Scott help me with one of the most basic of tasks that seems to completely escape me. Budgeting. Ugh, that hideous word is the adult version of being grounded!
I am going to Mexico for a cosmetic procedure, one that in the States is about triple what I’ll pay south of the border. It’s still thousands of dollars (like 20) and I need to tighten my very loose purse strings and save a crazy amount of money over the next six months in order to do it. I honestly had no idea how much I made until I sat down with Scott and found that after I saved that amount I still had plenty enough to live on. I am now working with Scott to understand the beauty of short-term investments to help me get to that goal of 20 grand and I have to say it’s been a lot less scary than I initially thought.
I know your dying to know what I’m having done but you’ll have to stay tuned next spring to find out.
We all came to the conclusion that we are way better off from sitting down with Scott and forced to look into that scary crystal ball of life. Let’s face it, you can’t just do nothing and the sooner you address it the sooner you don’t have to think about it.
Would you like to start planning your financial future? Well guess what, Scott will be at the Utah Pride Center once a month as a free service to answer your questions and help you on your path to financial security, whatever that may be. You can email him at [email protected] for more information.