Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blooom Co-Founder Kevin Conard: One of the Good Guys

Being able to say of someone, "Oh, he's one of the good guys," nowadays, is nothing easy.  But this is how I feel about blooom Co-Founder, Kevin Conard.  I have made several offers of solidarity to companies and people alike, asking them to assist me in educating you (my loyal readers) about their investment products or services.  Kevin is the only one so far to take an interest.  He's a cool dude, replying to my emails with a friendly tone.  Despite his obviously busy schedule, he has found the time to write to all of you.  It is an honor to have him as a Guest Author on CCM blog.  I'm sure all of you would agree with me that he deserves a round of applause for being here.  Without further delay, Kevin Conard:

My name is Kevin Conard and I’m one of the co-founders of blooom. The idea of blooom started in 2013, but didn’t officially launch until September of 2014. Blooom was built to help people with their 401k accounts - not only giving advice, but also managing the account for them. Unlike other solutions out there, we can help virtually anyone with their 401k, regardless of where their 401k is held.

Before blooom, Chris and I created, built, and managed a $550 million dollar traditional brick and mortar investment firm. We met one-on-one with families to help them plan for retirement. We literally saw thousands of family dynamics, challenges, and developed a deep understanding of how to communicate complicated topics in a simplified manner.

Blooom was born out of need that we were seeing at our traditional investment firm. We’d often help clients with their 401k accounts and give them recommendations. When we’d first analyze their 401k, most of the time it was materially screwed up. Then we’d give them recommendations. Here was the ironic thing, the following year we’d meet again and many of them hadn’t implemented the changes. Why? They were intimidated and scared to make a mistake, so they did nothing! Or life got in the way and they never got around to it. So we set out to build blooom - a simple, easy to understand, do-it-for-you 401k solution.

The challenge in creating blooom was building something that universally appealed to everyone and yet was simple. Plus, with all the different 401k institutions out there, we had to make sure it would work for 95% of them. The challenges in building something like this are far and wide - as it is designed to help millions of people. Things at blooom are going great. We are doing some incredibly innovative things and are in some very high level talks with channel partners.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 20 years. The benefits are widely known by many, so I’ll spare your readers reciting the obvious. What I will touch on, and what I think is infinitely more important, are the downsides. It can be lonely; it is chucked full of emotional roller coasters, and there are no manuals to tell you what to do or when to pivot on your idea. AND most importantly, making business cards and websites are fun and sexy…but if you don’t have someone willing to buy your idea/product/service, then don’t even bother starting a business. You have to have a plan to attract clients.

One last thought, if you are considering starting a business - the more barriers to entry the better. The tougher it is to break into a business or create one, means that there is decreased competition. Those are where some of the greatest opportunities are found.  Thank-you!

Twitter: @BlooomInc

Kevin Conard, Co-Founder
Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Phone: 888-446-8416 x1002   

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