Paying It Forward: A Business Owner Helps Employees Save for Retirement | Capital Group

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Paying It Forward: A Business Owner Helps Employees Save for Retirement

Dave Swartz started investing very young and worked hard to pursue his dream of owning his own business. Now he works with his financial advisor to help ensure his employees are saving for the future as well.



Dave Swartz



Dave Swartz: It’s always been my dream to be a business owner. And because I started investing at such a young age, I had almost 20 years of saving and investing. That was the only reason that I was able to take advantage of that opportunity to fulfill my dream and buy the business, and it’s just been an absolute blessing like I never would have imagined. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity at all if it wasn’t for starting investing at a young, young age — as soon as I could, really.

Our company’s been around for 70 years, so when I bought the place I just didn’t want to mess it up, I wanted to stay out of the way, really. The company is made up of around 50 employees in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. When I was trying to put together the deal to purchase the business from the original owner, I sat down with my advisor Chris and he was just amazing. He really presented all the options, he really took care of me. I felt like he was giving me advice as if it was his own company or a family member.

But also, we started a 401(k) program and it was largely American Funds based, and it’s been a great program for the employees. I love the fact that I feel comfortable with my advisor. I feel very comfortable with American Funds and how they’re taking care of our money, and not have to worry about what’s happening with my financial future because it’s in good hands.

We just celebrated our fifth anniversary, so we’re very excited. We’ve owned the place for five years, my father-in-law and I, and we’ve started a company match, which we’re very excited about — a way to give back to the employees. It surprised me the younger employees really took to it. They don’t have as much responsibility as employees with kids and dependents. So the younger kids started contributing at a high rate and they just have seen amazing growth in their funds and they’re thrilled about it.

I’m not a huge self-motivator. I need something to kind of kick me into gear. So that was just signing up for a race. There’s a triathlon that runs literally right by my house. It was just what I needed to start training seriously: running, swimming, biking. I did the first triathlon in 2012. The best part of accomplishing that goal of doing the triathlon is my kids saw me working out and they want to work out with me. My daughter has done two triathlons now. She’s only seven. My son just did his first one this year — he’s five. They’re out there swimming and biking and running, and they love it.

I just think peace of mind is really important with your financial future. I want to spend time with the important stuff. When I was a kid, I thought money was important, and climbing the social ladder and bigger house and expensive cars and all that. But as I get older, that’s not it at all. It’s more about what you can do to help people, what you can do to be generous in your community, be active in your church. The peace of mind of having someone who’s a professional look after our finances is really important to me.

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