Business Tech

Helping Clients Become Entrepreneurs in Retirement

He calls himself the “serial entrepreneur.” And he says that his experience starting and exiting several different businesses fuels his current passion: helping retirees and those nearing retirement create a full-time business or side gig that provides economic security and professional fulfillment.

Mike Harris, owner of the Smart Money Network based in Prattville, Alabama, is one among a growing number of financial services professionals who aren’t just managing money and rebalancing portfolios. They are helping their clients create income streams and to establish new business ventures.

The notion of a financial advisor doubling as a career counselor has emerged as a differentiator among financial professionals. In fact, it was just a couple of years ago that “Investor’s Business Daily” and “Forbes” magazines reported on the new trend as way for advisors to diversify and make their services more relevant to clients.

Harris agrees.

MikeCup“I think advisors have to get away from portfolio management as the primary value they add for clients because the reality is that computers can manage a portfolio and select the best investment strategies much better than a human can,” he said. “Computers are not subject to the emotional side of trading as humans are.”

While adding divorce management is becoming a popular option for financial advisors, Harris selected entrepreneurial development to be his “value add” for the financial services clients of his other firm – River Wealth Management.

Today’s retirement isn’t the same as what Grandpa experienced. For more and more Americans, those retirement years are marked with a significant need to still earn income.

As Harris points out, the reality is that half of today’s baby boomer generation who are from ten to 15 years away from traditional retirement ages simply are not financially prepared to retire.

“At least half of them have only $100,000 or less saved,” he said. “That just isn’t enough.”

To navigate the complexities of the financial services world, Harris believes that educating his clients on financial topics is a critical component to help them become a successful entrepreneur, and also to help them save successfully to fund their hopes and dreams.

“People are afraid of the things that they don’t understand. It is why people postpone planning for retirement,” Harris said. “Unfortunately, people do not understand many of the basic concepts of the financial services industry.”

That is where Harris, who couples business experience with his understanding of financial services, helps folks heading into retirement – without a large savings account – to discover and claim a way to still enjoy their golden years.

“The reality is that so many Americans are going to be forced to work for a good part of their life,” Harris said. “My mission is to help them find a way to live in dignity during what would be their retirement time.”

For more information on Mike Harris visit: and

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