FinTech, Growth, Tech Runs Boston

Financial Wisdom: Insights for Early Career to Startup Founders

After Tech Runs Boston: Let’s Dive Deeper

Jack and co-host Maya Hill at Tech Runs Boston
Jack and co-host Maya Hill at Tech Runs Boston

MTLC sat down with Jack Heintzelman CFP®, CPWA®, Financial Planner, Boston Wealth Strategies, after Tech Runs Boston to gain insights into common misconceptions about financial planning, & success stories. Jack shared advice on everything from early career budgeting and saving, to strategies for managing cash flow in startups, to tips for mitigating risk.

Whether you’re a young professional or a startup founder, read on for practical guidance on navigating financial complexities and making informed decisions for a secure financial future, as shared by Jack in his own words.

What are some common misconceptions about financial planning and how can early career professionals avoid them?

Jack: Start with the basics. The finance world makes things complex and complicated. Can you start with organizing your finances and seeing everything together? This will give you a step ahead from most on their financial journey. Then build a savings plan and AUTOMATE.

Can you share a success story where you helped a client improve their financial literacy and make informed decisions? What were the key takeaways?

Jack: I had a client that had lots of credit card debt, medical debt, and owed back taxes. They earned a good income but one thing after another happened, and they were left in a hole. We organized things first. We found out where everything was. Once we did that, we started prioritizing payments. Could we consolidate any of the debt to reduce the high interest costs? In the beginning, it was still scary and overwhelming. But over time, by focusing on the habits and automating these debts, they started to pay them down. Once they were paid down, this client now had an automated monthly payment that could shift right to their savings and build towards their goals.

In light of the current economic climate, what advice would you give early career professionals regarding budgeting, saving for short-term and long-term goals, and managing emergency funds, investments, and retirement planning?

Jack: Focus on your liquidity. How much do I have in my checking and savings? This will ensure you won’t have to take on debt if an emergency occurs.

Give yourself a break. Breathe. It’s a challenging environment right now. Focus on the habits vs. the outcomes. Things will work out over the longer term. If you can focus on the savings and automation, you’re doing everything you can. The goal may seem very far away but small steps in the right direction will get you there.

How can early career professionals enhance their financial literacy and make informed decisions, particularly with Employee Share purchase plans and RSUs in today’s complex financial landscape?

Jack: Your benefits portal should have good resources. Fidelity, eTrade, Morgan Stanley, Carta. Spend an hour going through the portal and getting used to it. Most people have never logged in and it’s foreign and complicated once they do. Start with the basics of understanding what you have and how you can access that information.


How can startup founders effectively balance the financial aspects of their personal lives with the demands of running a business?

Jack: Your business is your number one goal and priority. Your dollars are inherently going towards this goal. That’s OK. Just make sure you understand your timeline. How long can I last if things go poorly? If you have planned for the worst, then you don’t put your family or yourself in a dire financial situation if things don’t go as expected.

What are the key financial priorities founders should address in the early stages of a startup to ensure sustainability and growth?

Jack: Work with the right partners. You can’t be good at everything. How can you leverage your network to make sure the right people are in the right part of the business?

Don’t lose sight of your personal financial situation. These are all aligned. If you don’t feel good about your personal situation it will start to affect your business situation.

Given the unpredictable nature of startups, what strategies do you recommend for founders to manage cash flow effectively and plan for financial uncertainties?

Jack: Liquidity is most important. Make sure you have cash and you’re confident in the timeline for that cash. If you’re taking on debt, can you find a private loan from a family member, friend, or colleague that believes in your mission? This will avoid high interest debt that can snowball.

Equity, funding, and personal investments often play significant roles in startup finance. How can founders optimize their financial structure to align with their business goals and secure a stable financial future?

Jack: It’s your dream, so believe in it. Make sure there’s due diligence across various investors that approach you. It needs to be the right partner first. Do they fit in with your culture? Do they have a similar vision? Make sure there’s a balance between what’s good for the company and what’s good for your personal and family situation.

Jack Heintzelman, CFP®, CPWA®

Financial Planner, Boston Wealth Strategies

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/ SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services are separate from and not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network ®

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