5 Critical Money Lessons for Tech Employees

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Financial Independence, Financial Planning, Tech Industry

5 Critical Money Lessons for Tech Employees

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Financial Independence, Financial Planning, Tech Industry

Critical Money Lessons for Tech Employees

Navigating the financial landscape as a tech employee, particularly when dealing with stock options and IPOs, can be daunting. Understanding and strategically managing these assets can significantly impact your financial well-being. Here are five essential money lessons I got to share in this conversation with Christopher Nelson on Tech Equity and Money Talk that can help tech employees make informed financial decisions.

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:​​

  • How to start shifting focus from paycheck to overall financial balance sheet
  • Why you should be treating your career like an NFL contract
  • The value of financial planning and team building for tech professionals
  • Why you need to focus on asset development and market value

5 Critical Money Lessons for Tech Employees

  1. Stop Thinking About Your Financial Life as Limited to a Direct Deposit

Many tech employees make the mistake of viewing their financial life solely through the lens of their regular paycheck. However, your compensation often extends far beyond your base salary. Stock options, bonuses, and other incentives play a crucial role in your overall financial picture. 

It’s important to see the bigger picture and pay attention to how stock performance and other benefits contribute to your financial health. Understanding and leveraging these additional components can significantly enhance your wealth-building efforts.

  1. Treat Your Career Like an NFL Contract

Just as NFL players strategize for the long-term value of their contracts, tech employees should think strategically about their careers and compensation packages. This means negotiating not just for a higher salary, but for stock options, bonuses, and other benefits that can provide substantial future value. 

Viewing your career this way enables you to make decisions that enhance your financial security and growth over the long haul. A strategic approach to career planning can significantly impact your overall financial success.

  1. Stop DIYing Your Portfolio Strategy

While it might be tempting to manage your investments on your own, expert guidance can make a significant difference. Many intelligent people believe their best thinking got them here, but managing substantial wealth often requires expertise beyond your own. 

Engaging with financial advisors can help you create a diversified, well-managed portfolio that aligns with your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance. This professional input can be crucial in navigating complex financial decisions and market fluctuations, ensuring your investments are optimized for growth and stability.

  1. Prioritize Stock Performance Over Taxes

While it’s natural to want to minimize tax liabilities, focusing solely on taxes can lead to missed opportunities. The stock market can quickly change your tax concerns. This means that while avoiding taxes is important, the primary focus should be on the stock price and performance. A sudden market downturn can significantly reduce your tax concerns, but it will also reduce your wealth. 

Therefore, prioritize understanding your stock’s potential and set performance goals accordingly. Balancing tax planning with strategic investment decisions ensures you maximize your financial outcomes.

  1. Avoid Catastrophic Loss

Setting a clear target price for selling your shares is crucial. Many employees miss their chance to sell at optimal prices because they hope for further increases. Having a target price—that price at which knowing what you know now, if you get this price in the future, that’s the price at which you’re happy to start selling—is essential. Establish a realistic target price based on your financial goals and market conditions. This strategy ensures you can capitalize on favorable stock prices and avoid the regret of missed opportunities. A clear, predefined target price helps you make informed, timely decisions about your stock options.

By setting clear financial goals and understanding the broader picture, you can navigate the complexities of tech stock options and secure your financial future. Stay informed, plan ahead, and make decisions based on a comprehensive understanding rather than short-term gains or tax avoidance.

We understand that building a career is demanding and makes time incredibly precious. Educating yourself on how to grow your wealth strategically might feel like an overwhelming task. If you’re ready to partner with a team that offers tailored support and advice to meet your needs and goals, we are here to help.

Discover how KB Financial Advisors can support your financial journey today by scheduling a call today! 




Landon Loveall  0:00  

I tell them, look the things that you used to do in terms of managing your expenses, maxing out your 401 K, that stuff doesn’t stop being important. It’s just you need to realize that the solutions to the challenges you face the problems you need to be solving for, they’re not going to be solved by just doing more of what you’ve done in the past or trying harder around things like managing expenses or trying to get your life to work, you know the way that it used to before you had money.


Christopher Nelson  0:29  

Welcome to the podcast for financially focused technology employees. Are you working for equity? Do you have questions on how your career and money work together in welcome? Every week we discuss strategies and tactics for how to grow your career, build wealth, and reach your financial and lifestyle goals. Hello, my name is Christopher Nelson. Welcome to tech careers in money talk. I am your host, I’m excited to be with you here today. And for technology employees. Managing equity compensation can be incredibly difficult. I know the learning curve for myself was rather steep. And it’s the same for everybody. 


However, there is a way that we can learn faster, and that is talking to people that have experience in managing equity compensation. Today we’re going to talk with Landon Lovell. He has been a Certified Financial Planner helping technology employees specifically for the last 12 years with a company called kBw financial advisors based out of San Francisco, the hardest Silicon Valley. So Landon today is going to give us five critical money lessons that he has learned in helping hundreds of technology employees manage equity compensation in mindset, as they’re making some of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. 


Let’s go talk to Landon right now. All right, we are back here with tech careers and money talk. We’re here with Landon love all. And Landon has been a financial planner for how many years now? So


Landon Loveall  2:06  

going back to 2010, I think is what I’ll call the official start. So 14 years and working with tech employees. You know, initially when I started out working with tech employees, my clients were pretty much the same ages, as I was, and I’ve got long term clients that are, you know, still my age, but I keep kind of moving in one direction. And those tech employees I’m working with, they all stay right. They’re kind of in their mid 30s.


Christopher Nelson  2:38  

Right. And so from working with tech employees through the years, seeing a lot of changes with equity cop watching a lot of the behavior, you’ve come up with five critical lessons that you want to share today with people. Let’s start with you know, what are what’s number one?


Landon Loveall  2:57  

Yeah, so number one, and it’s, it’s something that I really see clients struggle with. And it’s so kind of rewarding when you see someone go from the way they used to think about money to, to getting through this. And that’s stop thinking about your your paycheck. So stop thinking about your financial life as only revolving around that direct deposit that’s coming to you every two weeks. And start thinking about your financial life in terms of your balance sheet.


Christopher Nelson  3:39  

That is a huge shift for people. And it’s one that you know, as technology employees like we were never taught, right it is, as equity compensation has taken off and more people are trading for equity, versus buying it or building it. We do need to understand that we are part owners in these companies we’re getting, we are building out our balance sheet through ownership very quickly. 


And the more we can change that perception of it’s not about the paycheck, but it is about this balance sheet and how do we nurture? How do we manage and grow it? That is an inflection point, I’d say in our financial maturity. And so when what are some of the things that you you know, that you see, when people when the light bulbs go off? What’s some of the inflection points for people? Yeah,


Landon Loveall  4:36  

so, you know, and it’s more than just money. It’s kind of the way your life works. And then it’s, you know, going from a time when you had no money to now a point in life where you do have money and kind of realizing, you know that nothing really changed but everything’s changed. And so when I see that light bulb go off You know, I had one client tell me, you know, we used to, we used to really budget and watch our expenses. And now you know, the house, the kids were just so busy. 


And I got to think and you know, man, we spend a lot of money on on takeout. And so he said, I looked at it, I think, if we really worked hard, you know, we could cut $250 a month on takeout. But then I looked at my portfolio. And, you know, a good day in the market is now worth 10s of 1000s of dollars for a sudden, like, am I going to worry about $250 a month on takeout? Or am I going to focus on, you know, my portfolio, and I was like, exactly, that’s, you know, what we’re talking about is, I tell them, 


Look, the things that you used to do in terms of managing your expenses, maxing out your 401 K, that stuff doesn’t stop being important, it’s just, you need to realize that the solutions to the challenges you face, the problems you need to be solving for, they’re not going to be solved by just doing more of what you’ve done in the past, or trying harder around things like managing expenses, or trying to get your life to work, you know, the way that it used to, before you had money.


Christopher Nelson  6:24  

100% in the sense that, you know, now, now you’ve you’ve gone beyond just working for income, you have these these assets, this very full balance sheet, and managing that. Can now it can now be something more and again, this is something that it’s so important that we have conversations we, you know, seek advice, we we get into communities where where people are having these conversations, because this is something that’s not taught in school. Yeah,


Landon Loveall  6:56  

absolutely. And, you know, one of the first kind of practical ways that I’ll help clients make this transition, is when we talk about, you know, if they’re at a public, you know, tech company, and they’ve got kind of that really great benefits package that you can get, you know, we’ll oftentimes front load and try to max out that 401k, both pre tax and after tax as quickly as we can, as early in the year as possible. 


Yeah. And so, you know, the result of doing that is, there may be a few months where, you know, you’re not getting that direct deposit, and you’re using, you know, the cash that you have available to you to cover your living expenses. And for those clients, that can be the first time that they’ve ever really experienced that. And, you know, and kind of realize, hey, I’m doing this, because long term, this is the best decision for me to make. And I don’t need that paycheck, that direct deposit hitting my bank account every two weeks, for, you know, my financial life to keep running the way it should.


Christopher Nelson  8:06  

Yeah, that is a big switch, when you realize, oh, I actually have enough over here to manage through some periods of time. Now I can go and build up those assets, I’m actually making a shift and focusing on my asset development versus being obsessed with that income. That is a huge, that’s a huge mindset shift. And that is the first, I think, real shift when you start realizing I can actually start building assets that can one day be managed as a business. Yep. So number two, treat your career like an NFL contract, know the value of your career. I love this. Tell me more about that. So,


Landon Loveall  8:51  

you know, every, every spring, oftentimes, a lot of our clients, they get their their comp letter, which shows, here’s your salary, here’s your bonus target, here’s the new RSU grant that you’re getting. And for a lot of them, that’s kind of the limit of how they think about the value of there. And, and so we have started, you know, showing clients just your salary, if you work to that standard retirement age of 65, just your salary, here’s how much value remains in your career, to start to realize like and view your career as an asset, you know, that you have to be managed, and not just thinking about, you know, that paycheck and that’s my career, you know, 


I have a job I get paid and that’s kind of the limits of how I think about things. And then NFL is a really good example because you know, Major League Baseball and the NBA they have a lot more protections around that money in those contracts being Guaranteed EQ and in the NFL, you know, you’re always at risk of, you know, being released, being laid off and having to move on to the next opportunity, but still need to recognize that there’s a tremendous amount of dollars that are gonna come your way over the course of your career.


Christopher Nelson  10:21  

It is in understanding when in what level, you’re going to max those out. I mean, just in my trip back talking with some peers at the level that you know, I exited in 2022. I played at a senior director VP level in it, and I know people right now who are getting, you know, million dollar a year packages with salary, and then also with equity comp, you know, some pre IPO summit post IPO, but it’s there with let’s say, 20 degree variance. 


That is, then, you know, you can then go sign a four year contract for $4 million a year and you’re at this level, do you want to go up? Do you want to navigate? How do you stay relevant, you know, also keeping an eye on on the, you know, how, you know how well your team is performing? Right? Same thing like an NFL team? Is your team, you know, winning? Are they moving forward? Or as you’re, you know, are you on the special teams, and the special teams is getting hammered, and they may release the coach and everybody on that. So I love this analogy. And it is important, because when you are there as a team, you want to be Ollie and you want to be wearing the jersey, you you are an owner in that company, you’re getting some shares, but also understanding that you can be cut at any time. 


But knowing and understanding your free market value, that’s one of the things I like to talk to people about is you’re a free agent in this market, and you have to be clear on the value that you can deliver because the trade for equity, because that’s what it is, right? I’m trading my time and my talent, for equity. That’s the negotiation. And if I’m clear on what I’m bringing to the table, and the value of that in the marketplace, I know what other free agents are out there. I know how I can compete against them, that’s going to allow you to stay relevant that’s going to allow you to negotiate and stay in the game. 


Yeah, absolutely. So I think the third one should should number one is, you know, we’re transitioning from the income to the balance sheet, treat your career like an NFL contract. And I’m going to add on and yourself like a free agent, right, you’re at you’re there. Grow your approach to money, go beyond the DIY.


Landon Loveall  12:36  

Yeah, you know, this one. So regardless, you know, whether we’re talking about the skill set that you need to be successful in your career, or we’re talking about that at small business owner, you know, early on in our 20s, and our 30s, we really are on our own, and you’ve got to kind of figure things out for yourself and kind of navigate things individually. But it’s usually in your 30s, when we talk about money, to where you get really busy in your career, and you may start to get really busy in your life. 


And time becomes limited and extremely valuable. And then the amount of money that you start dealing with. So time is kind of the first thing money is the second the amount of money that you start dealing with, you reach a point where if I tried to do this on my own, and I mess it up, there’s a real cost mistakes for me. And so, you know, go beyond just trying to do it yourself. And this is where a lot of the financial press is really doing, you know, tech employees a disservice. Because a lot of what’s written out there, you know, has been written about, you know, fees, and I’m all about, you know, making sure that you’re getting good value for the fees that you pay. 


But a lot of what’s written is about avoiding fees at all costs, which is usually going to end up with you trying to do this yourself for free. And I’ve just seen so many examples on the tax side, you know, aches that 10s of 1000s of dollars. And then on the investment side, you know, that’s where we can get into that million dollar mistake, where, you know, any good advisor could see this coming and could have warned you about it and recommended a different course of action. 


And then it’s only kind of after that experiences become real to you and you’ve gone through the pain of that loss, that you start to recognize how much it hurts and how costly those experiences can be. So just avoid it you know, recognize set point at which I’m limiting myself by trying to do this on my own, I don’t have to do this anymore. And I’m going to experience better results by, you know, hiring someone else to help me with this. So that I can focus on the things that only I can do, you know, that no one else can do for me, and a lot of times that’s going to be related to your career.


Christopher Nelson  15:25  

I 100% think that you are correct, right, that when you get to the point where you’re ultimately managing millions of dollars, and all of the different specialties that come with that, whether that’s asset protection, risk management is insurance, Wealth Management, where do you invest your money tax? Exposure? 100%. Now, the lens, and I mean, I think the conversation is so important for us to have is, how do we build trust? 


Or how do we do this in a way where people feel comfortable because one to your point land, and there are vicious color what it is, there are definitely people out there in the financial services industry that, you know, like any other business, right? You have great practitioners, you have poor practitioners, and I think some of the poor ones give it a bad name. And so that’s why I think it is important for technology employees to know a few things as they’re walking down the street. 


And I think that you’re going to agree with me, I’m pretty sure. Number one is you can go to fi only financial advisors, and you can go get advice that has nothing to do with wealth management, but they can walk you through a financial plan, and explain things to you. For a flat fee. That’s what we did after our first IPO is we sat down, we’ve been very much di wires, when it came to the financial planning side, we said let’s go start talking to people. And that was a great way to build trust. 


The other thing is, you can go and engage a very experienced tax professional that will make sure that you limit all those mistakes directly as well. But to your point, when and you will not be able to experience the growth as an individual, you’re not going to start breaking past the 10 million and beyond really growing barrier until you assemble a team until you start managing it as a business, you will become that limiting factor.


Landon Loveall  17:36  

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, one of the great things about the change from when I started in this industry to now is it’s a lot easier to find, you know, those good providers who are out there. And there’s also a lot more people to choose from. And so when we talk about fee only financial advice, you’ve got a range of people, you know, from people who will, you know, meet with you hourly, or in a limited engagement, people who will provide advice only, but in more of a ongoing relationship to, you know, kind of that for wealth management. 


So there’s a lot more consumer choice that’s out there, right. And then on the tax side, you know, one of the things about how we have developed our service is, you know, we used to, we used to hear a lot from tech employees who would say, you know, I go to a financial advisor, and I go, okay, you know, what should I do? And no, kind of tell me what they think I should do? And I’ll go well, what about taxes? 


Well, we don’t do taxes. And then then I go to a tax professional. And I say, hey, you know, what should I do? And they say, Well, you tell me what you want to do, and I’ll tell you what the taxes are. And so there was really this frustration that was there. And that’s one of the things we’ve tried to solve for by combining financial planning, investments and tax as one whole instead of three different pieces where there’s not communication going on between the three, and where you’re having to spend more of your time trying to manage those different providers, instead of having, you know, a team of professionals who are working on the whole.


Christopher Nelson  19:39  

And that’s, that’s really important. And I think, to your point, you know, there’s a lot more choices today. And I think that people have the opportunity to go out and select and you know, my you know, what I always try to let people know is take your time, talk to a few People understand where your fit is, philosophically, you want to be able to feel comfortable. And at the end of the day, it goes back to when when you’re not the DIY. You are the CEO of your business. And sometimes you will need to let people go. 


Yep. Right, you need to be able to say this isn’t working out. Yes, it will be painful. But I have to let you go. We have a story where we had an amazing woman who helped us with our taxes for many, many years. And the reality is, as she was getting close to retirement age, she wasn’t taking on clients. And we saw where we were in our growth path. And we realized that her business was sort of on the on the back end side, and she was happy to continue serving us. But we realized, let’s make the transition now. 


So that we can move forward. Now we have more private equity holding and real estate holding, let’s try and find somebody who’s not just tech stock oriented, but who can do a more full service for our family. And was it painful? Of course, at the same time, are we in a much better position? We believe so? Yeah,


Landon Loveall  21:13  

absolutely. And, you know, and if you’re working with a really good professional, you know, someone who is operating for you as a fiduciary, then, you know, they have a role to play in that to, to be willing to say to you, like, I would love continuing to work with you, but for the specific reasons, you know, we’re starting to push the boundaries of what I’m really good at, and love, you want to keep working together.


 But I think we need to have a conversation about whether or not you know, it’s time for you to either add someone else for a specific piece, or, you know, if another firm and another provider can better serve you. And holding on to loan has a cost. And so a client, you know, when we talk about taxes, hired us said, Hey, I’ve got a tax preparer that I really like to relationship have had for a while I want to keep working with them. And I said, Fine, that works for me, you know, I’ll give them whatever they need. 


And then, you know, can take a look at the return. And that worked for a couple years until after the IPO, where you had all these different pieces of equity going on. And that tax preparer did not know how to match that w two to that 1099. B, and was telling the client, you know, $600,000 of income that’s on both the W two and the 1099 B. And it’s taxable in both places, and was telling my client, you know, you should pay $200,000 in tax, if you don’t, actually Oh, I had to navigate that. And I’ve seen a lot of other examples like that. So there’s definitely a point at which relationships that you’ve had, your situation has changed, and those relationships need to change. It does. Because


Christopher Nelson  23:07  

the responsibility as, as the CEO of this business, that is your portfolio, as I like to call it is, is to grow and mature, right? You think about like Bezos and Zuckerberg and all these guys that went from in their basements to now running these multibillion dollar companies. They had to constantly evolve how they thought about money, I’m sure that the same guy that did Jeff Bezos taxes, then it’s not same guy now, he’s probably gone through a few of them. Right? And so we have to understand that we have to evolve and change and be constantly and that’s our job is to understand what’s in the marketplace, how can I best be served? And what is my business growing into, and having that vision?


Landon Loveall  23:50  

Yeah, and the CEO example is perfect. And the clients that I work with, who are sales professionals, a lot of times, they seem to have a really natural understanding of kind of this concept, because when I talk to them, you know about the sales role that they’re currently in, they will all express to me, you know, that I’m able to do what I’m doing in terms of the sales that I’m making. Because I’ve got people within the company that helped me get deals done, that give me what I need. I know how to navigate internally, to make this stuff happen. If I leave and go to another company, I’m not sure that that’s going to be the case there. And so they kind of transition from that in their sales role to that in their personal lives and going, I want to keep selling. This is what I’m focused on. 


I need kind of that support staff in the other areas of my life and as CEO you know, Hmm, if a CEO of a publicly traded company, if something’s going on at the company, and they show up at a press conference and say, I didn’t know what was going on, I’m sorry, that doesn’t work, that doesn’t apply. Now, you are expanding your capabilities, but you still need to be involved in the process and need to understand what you know, your service professionals are doing for you. 


And, and so and that’s something that we really work hard on is, you know, answering questions building that foundation of knowledge to where, you know, okay, all the things that you can think about in your financial life, what’s really important right now, what do you need to focus on? And then here’s what we’re doing for you, here’s how it works. Here’s, you know, the answers to any question that you have.


Christopher Nelson  25:56  

So that was number three, we got, we still got a couple more to go here. So that the one I think this is is, is really important is number four of these critical lessons, five critical lessons for technology employees is don’t put taxes on a pedestal.


Landon Loveall  26:11  

Yep. So especially when we talk about incentive stock options, or we talk about an IPO. No one likes paying taxes, you mentioned the the frustration, the pain of writing, that check when you don’t have the cash in your account. And, and so given that, and given that there are rules around taxes and clients, you’re like, hey, I can I can understand this. 


They’ll want to optimize for taxes, and though ignore the share price and the stock performance. And you know, and I sometimes tell them, hey, if you’re really worried about this big tax bill that’s coming, you know, the stock market can fix that for you in a in a single day, you know, sir, not wanting to sail, because you don’t want to pay the taxes, the stock market, it’ll take it one day to take care of that concern for you, you’ll just have a much bigger concern once that tax problem is gone. It’s


Christopher Nelson  27:22  

true, it’s true. And this is where I really liked the way that you think about, you know, the order of operations of stock price, number of shares, and then taxes, I think, you know, because the stock price going both directions, right, it can solve the problem like it can shoot up, you would have a much larger tax bill, but there’s more upside in it. 


And it’s important for people to understand focus on that stock price first, opposite direction, sure, you get a much lower tax bill, but then you also have, you know, less to take home to stock price definitely outweighs number of shares, you know, I think of the employees that went out and snowflake didn’t have a ton of shares. But all of a sudden, it, you know, went to such a high price, all of a sudden, it changed a lot of things for them. And then you think about it, and I like to think about it that way, too, is I want to try and understand what’s the maximum share price that I’m going to be able to get, you know, especially as I’m doing some long term strategies and harvesting the number of shares, how am I managing to my number of shares? How can I get more shares when I’m getting refreshes? And then you manage to the taxes and then saying, Okay, with that combination, how do I optimize for taxes on the back end? And then I think that’s a good order of operation. Yep. And then it’s funny, I think the last one that you put is the pain of catastrophic loss. Yeah.


Landon Loveall  28:49  

So catastrophic loss defined is, you know, any time the value of your company’s stock falls by 75% or more, but regardless of the exact percentage of the drop, it’s, it’s not fun. And so, you know, I had a client who was on a flight that had to make an emergency landing where they everyone on that flight was legitimately scared for their life. And you’ve got people screaming, people crying, people praying out loud. 


And when I’m worked with clients, you know, coming out of 2021 going into 2022 Are those stock prices were falling by more than 75% That’s what I see them going through and how I imagined that they that they feel, and you know, they’ll express things to me like, you know, I had it and I let it go and what they mean is, the stock price had reached a point where they could have sold and been financially independent. But there’s always that thought in the back of your mind, what if it goes higher? 


What if it goes higher. And so stock price is so important and having that target price that price at which knowing what I know now, if I get this price in the future, that’s the price at which I’m happy to start selling. And it doesn’t mean we’re going to sell everything. It just means now we have a clear signal to know when to start selling. And when you get there, we talk about what to sell and how much and then we reevaluate what that target price should be moving forward.


Christopher Nelson  30:40  

I think that having a clear plan that’s crafted out, you know, because I think for ourselves, we always had goals, you know, our goals was we have these harvest goals we still do is we’re still harvesting from my last IPO, we have a harvest goals and the harvest goals are what we want to take home, when it hits the price. It’s it’s already baked into the plan. 


And it’s so important for people to understand that what we’re up against what you’re up against what the conversations that I have, as well too is these very intelligent people that believe that their best thinking got them here to be this large of an ownership and accompany this company that’s doing this well. Sometimes they don’t know any different, they haven’t experienced the drops, or they think that they’re going to be able to work their way out of it. 


That’s hard. What I always share with people is there’s investing. When you you look at the history, or if you’ve been in it long enough, you understand there are some truths. One of the truths is that wealth is built through concentration. But it’s actually, you know, you actually keep it in you grow it through diversification. Yep. And if you’re in an over concentrated position, and I know after our first IPO, I was in a six month lockout 90% of our wealth, you know, and it’s like, don’t look at it, I’m gonna look at it, don’t look at it, I’m gonna look at it, like it was horrible. Until we got to the point where the where we could start, you know, harvesting some of it off. And I think people need to just, I mean, this is why I think conversations like this are so important, it’s so important to share what we have learned to try and help people because even if one person is able to listen to this, have a clear plan, and hit those prices and harvest when they need to will will save one person that that plane, you know, emergency landing experience.


Landon Loveall  32:41  

Yeah, absolutely. And one of the best experiences I had around this was in 2020, with Zoom. And early, you know, fairly early in that year, possibly, at the end of 2019 started working with a client there. And we had this conversation about target price about price being more important than taxes. 


And when you know, COVID hit and zoom just went crazy. You know, they called me and they said, what if we did a disqualifying disposition with our incentive stock options, because, you know, we’re well beyond our target price, we really feel like this may be our our best opportunity to sell and the values are so much higher than anything we ever expected. You know, would we be crazy to do that? And I said, No, you’re not crazy to do that. Because, you know, the price is the most important thing. 


And so they, you know, did a lot of disqualifying dispositions, from a tax perspective, you know, is kind of different, you know, not the natural thing to do. Right. They recognize that, you know, because of the craziness in the world at that time, that they had a really unique opportunity to sell at a price that they never even imagined, prior to the IPO. That’s


Christopher Nelson  33:59  

amazing. I love I love stories like that when people you know, take the take the advice, they’re listening, they’re paying attention. And, you know, I’m sure that that turned out incredibly well for that family.


Landon Loveall  34:10  



Christopher Nelson  34:12  

Well, I could keep talking to you, but at some point, we got to bring this thing home, let’s, let’s go through our fire round. And then then we’ll put a bow on this thing. What is the worst investing advice you’ve ever received?


Landon Loveall  34:25  

So almost any advice that you get from your family? So, you know, the, and then as a financial adviser, sometimes, you know, people treat you like the, you know, the person in New York on the street selling watches out of their trench coat, you know, they prey this side and they say, Hey, you know, if you ever come across anything, let me know. And, and so, you know, be really careful about advice that you get from your family and friends because when we’re in social settings, we only talk about our financial Hands, nobody talks about the things that they did, that was a really bad idea where they lost a lot of money. We all kind of present that filtered financial version of ourself like Instagram worthy, where it’s, it’s nothing but the highlights and, and none of the struggles.


Christopher Nelson  35:18  

Yeah, that’s great. How do you keep learning?


Landon Loveall  35:22  

So my clients, you know, are my best source of, of learning. And, you know, it’ll be something that they say, that kind of opens my eyes to something new or to seen something that I felt like I knew, but seeing it in a, in a novel way. And, and so we’re just very fortunate to get to work with this group, and to learn from their collective experience and to think about, you know, their common problems and how to go about solving them in new ways.


Christopher Nelson  35:58  

That’s great. What do you do to recharge free days?


Landon Loveall  36:03  

So 24 hours, no work, no email, no slack, and doing something some outdoor physical activity that’s completely different from, you know, sitting in a chair standing at a desk, staring at a screen?


Christopher Nelson  36:19  

Oh, it’s so important for everybody in tech. What is the advice that you would give your younger self when it comes to investing?


Landon Loveall  36:28  

So start sooner? You know, one question potential clients often ask is, okay, like, I’m thinking about an IPO. That’s the reason I reached out, but I’m not sure if like, I should do this now. Or I should wait till later. And, you know, I have complete confidence in the value that we provide. So it for me, it’s always well, we should have had this conversation yesterday, like, we need to get started right now. So start sooner, and then know yourself. And this is true for clients too. Like, you know, what are you really good at? What are you not great at? And then what’s your kind of overall strategy for how you’re going to approach life and, and money?


Christopher Nelson  37:10  

So important? And what soft skill do you think has helped your career the most?


Landon Loveall  37:17  

So listening? You know, early on, in kind of my early train, as an advisor, the idea of that first meeting that you have with someone, you should only be talking, you know, 20% of the time. So that first conversation I have with a potential client, it’s always so, you know, tell me about what prompted you to reach out. And in a perfect scenario, they just go because a lot of times, there’s things that they’ve thought about that they really wanted to talk to somebody about, and they’ve wanted to do this for a while, and you open the door, and you let them start talking. And that’s where though, you know, to share those things that really helped me develop new ideas that are going to impact the way that we go about solving their problems.


Christopher Nelson  38:10  

Oh, it’s so good. Well, I know that I’m going to make sure I’m putting the show notes, some of the links to some of the blogs that you have on RSUs that I think are so helpful. Also, someone RSU someone taxes, but where can people find out more about you? Yeah,


Landon Loveall  38:26  

so KB Financial advisors.com The blog is something we really enjoy kind of sharing our work with others. And so I tell people, you know, there’s there’s really no secrets, you read the blogs, you know, what you’re going to hear from us if we start working together and the way that we think about these topics


Christopher Nelson  38:46  

will land in I can’t thank you enough. I appreciate the time. And, you know, maybe we’ll do it again sometime.


Landon Loveall  38:53  

Yeah, absolutely. Would love to really enjoyed our conversation.


Christopher Nelson  38:57  

Thank you.

Since passing the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam in November 2009, Landon has dedicated himself to the needs of busy young professionals. Before joining KB Financial Advisors in 2012, Landon founded Cumberland Wealth Planners in 2010 to serve clients in Nashville, TN. Landon took over the On Your Way to Wealth program in 2014 to help KB Financial Advisors further expand their work with young tech professionals in San Francisco who have stock options.

When he’s not on a plane to San Francisco, Landon lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Melissa and their three children.


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