Dave Kerpen is a serial entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and global keynote speaker. Dave is the co-founder and co-CEO of Apprentice, a platform that connects entrepreneurs with the brightest college students, as well as the co-founder and CEO of Remembering Live, a virtual memorial service company. Dave is also the founder and Chairman of Likeable Local, a social media software company serving thousands of small businesses, and the co-founder and Chairman of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and content marketing agency for big brands. Dave’s newest book is “The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want.”
“The greater the risk, the greater the reward.”
Dave was a young entrepreneur when he got caught up in an opportunity to invest with a venture capital firm. He was drawn in by the allure of feeling like a venture capitalist, and it seemed exciting to be investing in fantastic deals and alongside terrific people.
This excitement blinded Dave from vetting the opportunity nor understanding it first before putting $30,000 into it. This was quite a substantial amount for him at the time.
What took Dave aback concerning this investment was a real communication gap between the folks running the firm and their investors. The investors never received any communication regarding their investment or how the company was performing.
Dave felt uncomfortable about the poor communication after a while. He even reached out to one of the other investors, who confirmed that he was also going through the same lack of communication experience.
The lack of communication continued, and the fund was eventually shut down. Dave never saw a dime, but worse, he never got to know what happened to his money, which, sadly, he lost.
Do not get caught up in the glitz and glamour of investing. Instead, do your homework to understand what you are getting yourself into. Do thorough research until you feel more comfortable about the investment.
Before you invest in anything, make sure you understand what the risk is compared to the reward. To protect yourself from risk, invest different amounts of money based on your ability to stomach the loss. Do not invest everything you have into one speculative investment venture. Instead, diversify your investments.
Know what your communication needs are. Go in knowing if these needs are going to be met or not. First, you should have access to the publicly available data regarding any investment you are interested in. You should also be able to get regular communication regarding the performance of your investment.
There are plenty of scams that come across as extremely legitimate. In fact, that’s what they are good at, looking real. So be very careful about the people you invest with.
Some investment options have more liquidity than others. If you put your money into a listed company in the stock market and things do not go well, you have the option of exiting and getting money invested. But when you go into private equity or venture capital, it is much harder to exist and make money out of it.
If you do not size your position, you run the risk of being wiped out. So if you find an opportunity that you are excited about, put a small amount of money in it instead of all your money, then watch how it performs and increase it over time. Invest the rest of your money into other different positions.
Do thorough research. This will save you from losing money.
Dave’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to focus on his health by getting fit, eating well, exercising, and getting a little bit more sleep.