A Former 30 Year Owner/Operator Builds Financial Wealth with a Driver’s Perspective
As a former Owner/Operator with 3 decades of experience I have learned a few things – some, okay maybe most, the hard way. Early in 1988 I decided to take the leap and buy a truck. I was 21, full of energy, and eager to get out in the world and explore. I was going to stake my claim and make the big money. I had saved up $20,000 for a down payment on a brand-new truck. Nothing but the best, I went 1st class all the way. After hours of tough negotiations, I wrestled the dealer’s finance team down to a 13.5% interest rate on a $80,000 loan. Did I ever show them, or so I thought then.
With my brand-new truck I signed a contract with a large carrier – my career was sprung. I asked the hiring manager: “Can I take some time to read the contract?” “Trust me” He smiled.
He seemed like the kind of guy you could trust (that is another story) but I wanted into trucking desperately and I barged ahead. I threw my duffle bag in the cab, pinned up to a loaded trailer of brake lines and took off for Virginia. I did not know it then, but we all know they always give the gravy loads to the new guys until, of course, there is another new guy.
Over the next several months I hustled and developed a reputation as the guy that would haul anything, anywhere and at any time. The money was rolling in, thousands of dollars per week. I thought I was rich, I was going to own the place in a few short years and be retired by 30. Then, I got a hard dose of reality. Year end arrived and I sat down with my bookkeeper / accountant. Okay, full disclosure, it was my mother. Regardless, I had to settle up and give the government it’s cut and pay my taxes. Like a bucket of ice water reality landed on my red-hot plans of being a trucking tycoon. Out of $120,000 in gross income I managed to earn about $10,000 for myself. I did even make back enough for the down payment on the truck. I was furious and more than a little dejected.
Honestly, our compliance department won’t let me use the kind of language I would like to use to describe how I really felt. How could this have happened to me? I was confused. Where did I go wrong?
My pride wasn’t quite broken. With more determination than ever I jumped back into the truck and off I went again. I told myself “This time things would be different!” They weren’t – it was the same story and outcome as the year before.
Where did the money go?
One day I was loading a coil at central shipping to go to a town in a part of a state that I was unfamiliar with, and no idea where I was going. I pulled out my handy Rand McNally map book and started to plan my route. Bingo!! That is when it hit me like a ton out bricks. I wasn’t retaining the money I was earning because I had no plan. If you are trying to get to a destination in the most efficient way, you need plan your route. Same as everything else in life; if you don’t have it planned out, you will never get to where you want to be.
I realized I needed a plan for my business and personal finances. What made this tricky is I didn’t know who, or where to go. I was also starved for time. I was on the road 6 days a week sometimes. I am out for a couple of weeks at a time – miles away. Most people outside of the trucking industry don’t understand that.
I needed, help and advice. I also wanted someone who understood the business I was in and what I needed. I never really found it. That is why I made a career change a few years back and became a Financial Advisor. Now I help people like me and you.
Ask yourself, what is the best investment approach for me. RRSP or a TFSA or not? What types of insurance should I have? What happens if I get sick or injured? When can I retire and how much will I need? What is a Capital Dividend Account and is it important? How can I pay less Taxes?
At the end of the day, you work pretty darn hard (thank you compliance department.) and you deserve to keep a little more of what you make. If you would like some advice please give me a call, or send me an email. Heck, if you are passing by on the 401, in the Milton Ontario area give me a call and we can meet up for a coffee.
Wishing you great success
Jim Patterson, Financial Advisor
Patterson Financial/Worldsource Financial Management Inc.
289 441 3946
Mutual Funds and Segregated Funds provided by the Fund Companies are offered through Worldsource Financial Management Inc., sponsoring mutual fund dealer. Other Products and Services are offered through Self Employed dba James Patterson.
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