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What are you waiting for? Invest in your retirement now

March 26, 2022
Small business owners spend so much time and energy thinking about the success of their business, they often avoid personal financial planning. Steven Ghim, DMD, shares why that's a mistake.

As a small business owner, you pay close attention to your practice’s finances and how to sustain growth. But are you overlooking your financial future? Investing in your retirement should be at the forefront of your mind, right there with the other financial data you consider. If you haven’t started planning for your retirement, here are some things to consider.

The investment landscape

Traditional options for retirement investing, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, are still around and can make sense for your portfolio. However, there’s no profit until you sell, and you’ll usually pay a capital gains tax. It’s all paper gains until you sell.

With that reality in mind, the investment landscape looks different today than in the past. Many of the top companies people invest in are part of the constantly fluctuating technology industry.

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Even though you can invest in blue-chip companies, it’s wise to consider the alternatives. You can ease into a higher risk level as you go. You’ll end up with a portfolio that’s more stable with higher growth potential because the investments are more diverse.

Dividends as supplemental income

One option you shouldn’t ignore is dividends, which are available from many companies. If you had enough shares of a stock that paid these at a fair level, then you wouldn’t have to worry about selling the stock. You could collect your dividend checks monthly or each year and add to your social security, cash savings, real estate income, etc. Simply keep reinvesting your dividends until you need the extra support.

Digital money

Cryptocurrencies include choices such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. They are finding more favor because they are decentralized and secured with cryptography. Most are built on blockchain. That means they are harder to counterfeit or make accounting blunders with, and it’s effortless to transfer funds securely. So, more and more organizations are accepting them. Amazon, for instance, is developing a cryptocurrency and blockchain strategy that could let people use digital money on the platform.1 Banks are embracing cryptocurrency, too.2

The big concern with cryptocurrency, though, is its volatility. In May 2021, for instance, Bitcoin tanked by roughly 30%.3 Lots of different elements can make the value move, such as major industry players saying they’re not going to be involved anymore or people still not understanding the future of cryptocurrency.4

In general, a good rule of thumb is that no more than 5% of your portfolio should be cryptocurrency. You can go through brokerages and get cryptocurrency as part of mutual funds. Then, hold those funds for the long term to reduce risk.

Additional options to fit every personality and risk level

If dividends or cryptocurrencies don’t appeal to you, there are other less-traveled investment options. These include collectibles, fine art, self-storage units, wine, peer-to-peer lending, rental properties and other real estate, and equity crowdfunding.5 Some of these options, like buying a vacation home to rent out, require a pretty hefty amount of initial cash. But others, like crowdfunding, let people get in the door with just a few bucks and don’t require pulling in a professional.

Whatever the investment, set up your accounts now

Investing in your retirement isn’t something you should wait to do, and as a small business owner with many unknowns on your plate, setting up some options can bring you peace of mind. Pick the investment paths that interest you now to ensure your financial future is on stable ground.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here. 


  1. Cag D. Amazon to build blockchain and digital currency roadmap. FinTech. November 1, 2021. https://fintechmagazine.com/financial-services-finserv/amazon-build-blockchain-and-digital-currency-roadmap
  2. Flitter E. Banks tried to kill crypto and failed. Now they’re embracing it (slowly). The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/01/business/banks-crypto-bitcoin.html
  3. Browne R, Kharpal A. Bitcoin plunges 30% to $30,000 at one point in wild session, recovers somewhat to $38,000. CNBC. May 18, 2021. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/19/bitcoin-btc-price-plunges-but-bottom-could-be-near-.html
  4. Reiff N. Why is Bitcoin volatile? Investopedia. Updated January 4, 2022. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/052014/why-bitcoins-value-so-volatile.asp
  5. Frankel L. 16 strange things you probably didn’t know you could invest in [2022]. Finance Buzz. Updated August 31, 2021. https://financebuzz.com/strange-things-to-invest-in 

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