The following is an excerpt of ValueWalk’s interview with Chad Parks, CEO and Founder at Ubiquity Retirement and Savings. In this part, Chad discusses the issues with America’s retirement savings system. Check out the full interview on ValueWalk Premium.
Yeah, talking about being an entrepreneur and having that in your DNA. You know, there has to be a certain level of, I don’t wanna say insanity, to be a certain level of willingness to take risks, and jump into the unknown, without necessarily knowing whether or not something’s going to be there to catch you. And I and I think the other thing I think, for your listeners is important is that you know, the younger you are, in general, the less you have to lose, right? So you can try something and as long as you didn’t overextend yourself, or you know, take too much risk or financial risk, if it doesn’t work out, you can adjust and you can maybe try something else or you can, you know, just go back and get a job, so to speak.
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The Issues With The Retirement Savings System
Now, you got to remember, this was 2000. In San Francisco, okay. It was calm. 1.0. So, I had heard of these things, but I’ve never seen them firsthand. And sure enough, people walked up, they asked questions, they would take out their business card, they’d write a number on the back of the business card, and 25,000, 50,000 like, I am in, I think it sounds good. It sounds like it’s a good idea. And I was just flabbergasted. You know, we walked out of there with $300,000 of capital and I was like, this does not happen. So in many other companies were successful too. I mean, they had many, many companies presented.
So then that has enabled us to stop the true bootstrapping, move out of my apartment, take a small office space. And for the first time we began paying ourselves and that was June of 2000. Then, if you fast forward nine months, you might remember the market burst in March in 2001. And then the summer was a little shaky, and then September 11, of 2001. You know, it was just one of these things we just kept getting, you know, headwind after headwind after headwind.
Lack of savings
But we believed in ourselves enough, we were again young and didn’t have so much to lose. And, you know, we bootstrapped, we cut our pay, we did whatever it took, we changed offices, you know, to keep it going because we knew that we had something that ultimately everybody needs and the statistics and I’ll share for your listeners here, in case you’re not aware, the retirement savings system in America is really, it has a big problem.
Over half of the working population, that’s almost 40-50 million people don’t have the ability to save from their paycheck at work into a tax preferred retirement plan, 401k, IRAs, 402 B’s, whatever you want to call it, they don’t have the ability. And that’s just a systemic problem the way we designed a retirement savings system in America. And because these large financial institutions don’t want to work in the small end of the market, because they have an asset model, small business means small dollars.