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Mini-cast 250: Peter Newman's EO A-ha Moment

The EsOp Mini-cast: Pater Newman's EO A-ha Moment

Over the next three weeks, Bret Keisling is bringing you episodes featuring Peter Newman, founder of Peak Wealth Planning, a boutique financial advisory firm specializing in high net-worth individuals with an emphasis on employee ownership.


Part one with Peter Newman is a general look at issues people in their forties and fifties should be considering as they approach retirement age. The second episode is the deepest dive we've ever had on The EsOp Podcast about the nuts and bolts of diversification and distributions. In the third episode, Peter talks about the importance of companies providing financial wellbeing information and even classes to their employees about personal finances. 


To introduce Peter Newman to our listeners, we're sharing his EO A-ha Moment, excerpted from the third episode of our upcoming series.

... or watch the video below.


About Peter Newman

Peter Newman founded Peak Wealth Planning in 2014 to provide financial planning and investment management for individuals who built their wealth through ESOP participation, business ownership, or real estate investing. He helps families diversify their concentrated stock, reduce estate taxes, preserve wealth, and generate stable retirement income. 


Peter holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, considered by many to be the gold standard for investment management. Prior to founding Peak Wealth, Peter spent two decades in Treasury Operations at the University of Illinois System where he managed capital financing, insurance programs, banking, agricultural properties, and $3 billion of combined operating and endowment investments. 


In his free time, Peter enjoys vegetable gardening, biking, skiing, and home remodeling.


Learn more about Peter here and learn more about working with Peak Wealth Planning here.

You can easily request The Employee Owner's Guide to Diversification and Retirement Planning from Peak Wealth Planning here.


Mini-cast 250 Transcript

[00:00:00] Intro music.

[00:00:08] Bret Keisling: Welcome to the EsOp Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling, and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership.

[00:00:18] Beginning Tuesday, January 9th, 2024, we're going to release three consecutive weekly episodes featuring Peter Newman of Peak Wealth Planning, which is a boutique financial advisory firm specializing in high net-worth individuals with a particular emphasis on employee owners.

[00:00:36] Part one with Peter Newman is a general look at issues people in their forties and fifties should be considering as they approach retirement age. The second episode is the deepest dive we've ever had on The EsOp Podcast about the nuts and bolts of diversification and distributions. In the third episode, Peter talks about the importance of companies providing financial wellbeing information, and perhaps even classes, to their employees about personal finances.

[00:01:04] As regular listeners know, we focus on the podcast not just on what people do, but the motivation that drives them. Oftentimes that motivation is best illustrated by what we call the "EO A-ha Moment." It's not when they first heard about employee ownership, but rather when they realized that employee ownership could be transformative, both for themselves and the people they serve.

[00:01:26] As we prepare to bring you three great episodes with Peter Newman. I thought I'd introduce him to our listeners by sharing his EO A-ha moment.


[00:01:37] Bret Keisling: Do you have an A-ha Moment you'd like to share?

[00:01:39] Peter Newman: I absolutely do, Bret. You know, before I learned about the employee ownership world, I worked in higher ed treasury, and I had been a real estate entrepreneur investor on my own, so the ways of planning for individual wealth for me, from my personal family background, were either you buy duplexes and you remodel them on the weekend, or you have friends who own apartment buildings, or you work with other professionals at a university or a company, and you put as much money away as you can in your 401k.

[00:02:08] I had the very fortunate opportunity in late 2013, through my accountant, to meet a gentleman who had worked at an employee-owned company for his entire career. And my accountant friend said, "Hey Peter, you need to meet this person. He's thinking about retiring in a few years and he really needs help." So, I went and met with this family in Chicago, and I learned that this gentleman was a tax director for Amsted Industries, making a six figure salary and started having a dialogue with him and learned that he had saved a modest sum in his 401k, less than $500,000, but that he had this company stock where he had balances of around $6 million, and previously he had taken a million out for just over a million out and put it in his IRA.

[00:02:59] So, he had a seven, seven and a half, million dollar net worth. And the majority of that, the bulk of that was from working at a single company for the entire career. And then as I asked a few more questions, I was flabbergasted to learn that that stock was granted to him as part of his compensation and that was quite a nest egg he could plan for and then later spend in retirement.

[00:03:23] So, I actually had the very fortunate position to start Peak Wealth Planning with that gentleman who had worked at Amsted at his entire career. And my second client was someone I went to college with that was an attorney that needed some financial planning.

[00:03:40] So, that's how Peak Wealth Planning got launched. And so, employee ownership really launched Peak Wealth Planning. The sort of follow on to that, you know, having an entrepreneurial mindset, the next year, and I started in January 2014, we started the firm. And I thought, well, gee, I should learn more about this world of employee ownership. And I believe it was 2015 in the spring, I attended my first National Center for Employee Ownership Conference. I think it was in Atlanta.

[00:04:07] And I was just stunned how much energy and investment employee owner companies put into good culture, camaraderie, as well as in many cases, not all, but in many cases, these companies practice some form of open book management. Meaning they educate their employees about how their actions, whether you're a shipping clerk, you're a project manager, you are a frontline salesperson, on how your actions translate into the company doing well, and then try to link the company doing well to your ESOP account value and how that can be life changing, just like it was for my first client.

[00:04:52] So, I have found being, going to conferences now since 2015 for the last eight years, whether it's the ESOP Association or the NCEO, the powerful, powerful stories of folks, whether they're a payroll clerk to the, you know, director or the VP of sales, all along the chain of everyone at every level in these companies, the really well run ESOPs in good industries are a very attractive wealth building and potential source of significant steady retirement income.

[00:05:24] So, for me, it's just been a delight to work in this area and I've met so many wonderful professionals and Employee Owners, too.


[00:05:31] Bret Keisling: With that we'll wrap up this episode of the Mini-cast. I hope you'll join us for all three episodes featuring Peter Newman. I learned a lot and I'm sure you will too. Thank you so much for listening.

[00:05:42] This is Bret Keisling. Be well.

[00:05:44] Bitsy McCann:  We'd love to hear from you! You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter [X] @EsOpPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network. Original music composed by Max Keisling. Branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design. And I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The EsOp Podcast, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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