People in tech work hard. For many, there isn’t a lot of time available for non-work interests, and finding downtime to recharge and be with family and friends can be a struggle. With long hours at the office, life outside of work may be compressed into just a few small chunks per week. As a consequence, paying attention to personal finances on a regular basis may not be at the top of the priority list.
Many people hope their finances will just work out when they come out the other side of the tech crucible. And that may happen. But while tech industries provide an opportunity to build wealth through high incomes, liquidity events, and rising stock prices, opportunity is not certainty. A fair amount of luck is involved in becoming successful financially.
Rather than relying on good fortune to secure your financial future, I suggest following a plan. There are best practices for dealing with the unique financial challenges and opportunities people working in tech industries face—and that’s exactly what I detail in my new book, Personal Finance for Tech Professionals in Silicon Valley and Beyond.
This book took me more than a year and a half of researching and writing, not to mention the decade and a half I spent in the financial industry. I’m thrilled to finally get to share it—and help people in tech build their wealth and achieve their goals.
In the book, I’ve pulled together financial information for tech professionals in a way that, to the best of my knowledge, has never been done before. Along with specific, detailed information throughout, I’ve included a bulleted list of key recommendations at the end of each chapter for quick reference.
If you have an urgent issue you need guidance on right now, you can use the book as a quick reference. If you don’t have an urgent issue but want to get a quick start on improving your financial situation, you can use the chapter checklists, which are also summarized in an appendix. If you want to grow your financial literacy and develop a foundational understanding of financial planning, you can read the book from start to finish.
I wrote the book I wish I’d had while working in tech, full of information I now want to share with my colleagues and friends in tech—a guide to get them started toward a healthy financial future. With a financial advisory practice located in Silicon Valley, I primarily work with clients in the technology, biotechnology, and biomedical industries. As a former tech professional myself, I understand the issues people in the tech industry face. And now, as a wealth manager, I’ve made it my mission to help people make the most of their opportunities.
I’ve been lucky enough to do this every single day for the last 15 years. Seeing the direct impact of working one-on-one with clients, I wanted to share this information to help an even wider audience.
Personal Finance for Tech Professionals can help you recognize issues in your finances that you may not be aware of, or better appreciate the complexities of issues you know only a little about. After all, it’s hard to know what you don’t know, and maybe especially in this area.
While the jargon in personal finance is confusing enough, tech personal finance adds its own language and acronyms from non-qualified stock options, restricted stock, and grants, to earn-outs, hold-backs, lock-ups, trading windows, black-out periods, and a long list of character strings like RSU, ISO, IPO, ESPP, and 10b5-1. For definitions of key words, concepts, and acronyms, the book’s glossary alone can help you begin getting a handle on your situation.
These are just a few of the subjects covered in the book. Other topics include dealing with the high cost of housing in many tech cities, taking care of yourself while dealing with overwork and stress (protect the money-earning asset—you!), and practical considerations after an acquisition or IPO.
Also, with so many tech professionals aiming toward, or living in, early retirement, I’ve included recommendations for considering where you will live and what you will do, sustainable withdrawal rates from your investments, and the order of withdrawal from your accounts. Finally, the book considers your legacy and charitable giving plans, which can allow you to make an impact in your community or around the world.
As famous inventor and cofounder of the world’s most successful startup (the United States) Benjamin Franklin said over 200 years ago: “Industry, perseverance, and frugality make fortune yield.” In other words: Work hard, keep at it, spend carefully, and invest wisely. That’s the outline for financial success—and the details for tech professionals are now available in this one-of-a-kind resource.