Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 10th 2015 Contents MAY 10 • 2015 www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | SBG5
because I was learning and I was enjoying
it, but they kept pestering me and there
were educational opportunities," said Davis.
The client was a multinational and paid an
annual salary of $360,000 or three times
what he was working for at the agency.
The job at the multinational literally
expanded his world. It included stints in
London and Argentina, before he returned
He drew the notice of another multina-
tional that offered him a job managing their
regional communications at a yearly salary
The Sunday BG asked Davis how he was
able to have this level of occupational mobil-
ity throughout his career.
"I am told that I have a very strategic
mind. I could take what seems to be a com-
plex situation and drill it down to its core
essence and simplify it."
His communications background also
helped him, he said, as he was able to break-
down the messages to be communicated to
their lowest common denominator.
"I always try to speak to a bright 12-year-
old. It has to be simple, it has to make sense.
Twelve year olds get bored really easily. If
it is not interesting, then why are we saying
But his skills were not to serve him in
good stead at his new company.
In his first year, there was a major buyout,
with a management change. Davis said from
this point, his time at the organisation
became increasingly frustrating.
"The challenge was becoming more and
more frustrating. I found I was putting in
more and more effort to preserve value for
shareholders. One Saturday, I got up, I looked
at my wife and said I gone you know."
This was in 2010. Davis said, "I ceremo-
niously gave away all of my ties. I do not
own a single tie and I swore I would never
again wear a tie in my life. I had no idea
what I was going to do."
Finding a niche
At this point, Davis said he started looking
at the industry to find needs that were not
being filled. He noticed that firms often
hired talent to do magazines and video pro-
ductions because it kept costs low and there
were few places to outsource the work that
understood was required.
"I can actually derive value. I can be the
point of interface between the service
provider and the corporation. I would facil-
itate the production of all their material. I
would have a group of writers behind me.
I would have a production house. I would
have printers and so on. I said I could be
the go between. I understand how corpo-
rations think," said Davis.
When he left full-time employment, he
cashed out his company pension plan. This
was worth $360,000. He still holds some
stock in both multinationals.
He began talking to several firms within
the industry and found one that he par-
ticularly liked. He invested $100,000 into
it and is now part owner. He has been with
this company for about four years.
"If I had to describe what I do, I would
say that I go out and find business oppor-
tunities for our company. I develop ideas."
He admitted that his higher-than-average
salaries gave him an opportunity to quit
full-time work sooner than most. But there
were other factors.
"Before I went out on my own, I sought
to rid myself of all my debt."
He had $750,000 in debt, which he used
his savings to clear.
"I also don t have children," said Davis,
"That is one of the things that saddles peo-
ple. It wasn t a conscious thing on my part.
It just happened to be the right thing. So
those two things made it easier. The thing
about it is, you have to take the leap."
He also does not regret his decision to
leave corporate life.
"My life is far better now. I don t make
as much money as I did, at least not yet,
but I have time to enjoy the money I do
make. I am able to spend time with my
family. And the stress that I do have is self
Davis also has personal health insurance
and some savings which he said he absolute-
ly does not touch.
"I call it my heart attack money," he
However, there are still issues to be
resolved. Davis does not think he is where
he wants to be financially.
"Every businessman will tell you that
you will never reach there. But ideally, I
would like the business to be working for
me. Where we could set up processes and
systems. Have people in place who we direct
and then take shareholders dividends off
of that. Right now, the business is at the
place where we are working. So we are
directors and workers."
Commenting on Davis' case, one
of the retirement experts the
Sunday BG regularly consults
said:This question should be
premised upon a more
What does a person en-
visage by retirement at
age 45 years? Is it a life
of idle bliss thereafter, or is it opportunity to
exit structured employment and to engage
an activity or activities (hopefully income-
producing) that will give the person a sense
of greater purpose, power and pleasure.
One would have to be fairly clear on this
matter, as it might be that the period of re-
tirement may be relatively short.
A personal friend and respected medical
doctor once said, retirement is perhaps one
of the most unhealthy conditions that he
knows. One needs a sense of purpose and
usefulness in order to remain healthy.
I would hope that retirement means the
freedom to do something they really enjoy
that gives them pleasure, purpose and a
sense of power. We would also hope that
the activity will have an income-producing
component to it.
The greatest challenge to financing the
desired lifestyle in retirement are pre-re-
tirement and post retirement inflation. In
the absence of a significant inheritance,
one would have to amass within the first
20 years of one's working life sufficient
capital that produces passive income ade-
quate to support a desired lifestyle.
Financial accumulation would have to be
very aggressive and investment returns
growth would have to exceed perhaps eight
per cent per annum, given our inflationary
experience over the last 20 years.
Furthermore, if a person retired from
structured employment at age 45 years
and could live a desired lifestyle that re-
quired a monthly expenditure of $20,000,
what will he require to support that same
lifestyle 20 years later at age 65?
Assuming an inflation rate of six per cent,
he will need $64,142.00 per month.
Such a need would require inflation-
hedged income producing retirement capi-
tal that comprised significant real-estate
and equity investment, apart from any pen-
'Get rid of your debts'
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