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23 min read

Rocket Your Dollar Ep.13: Venture Capital and Crowdfunding

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Take a deep dive into what it's like to work in the Venture Capital industry and invest in crowdfunding using a Self-Directed account. Brooke Borden, CFO at Rocket Dollar, with 20+ years of experience in banking and finance shares his Self-Directed investing journey.

 

 

 

 

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Thomas Young: Today, I'm happy to have Brooke Borden from the Rocket Dollar team here with us. Brooke joined our team in November of 2018 and is currently our VP of finance. The reason I wanted to have Brooke on the show today is that not only has Brooke had a fascinating career in the private equity world, having sat on both sides of the table in negotiations not only in the US but all over the world, but he's also a pretty active self-directed investor. Having first gotten in our circle because he was a customer and now obviously is on our team. So, thanks for being here, Brooke.

Brooke Borden: You're welcome. Happy to be here.

Thomas Young: Brooke, let's go to the very beginning of your career and talk about how your career in finance begins. And I want to talk about some of the things that you've seen and done because they're pretty fascinating and I've gotten some cool stories from you in the months that we've worked together. How did your career in finance begin?

Brooke Borden: Actually by accident. It was very fortuitous, I was in one of my classes at university, and one day after class, my professor came up to me and said, "Oh, by the way, I'm not a full-time faculty member here. I do this part-time. Let me tell you about my day job. And we're looking for interns." So, that's how I ended up working in private equity because his day job was the director of mergers and acquisitions for a newly formed corporate venture fund or private equity fund that was sponsored by the local utility in San Diego, San Diego Gas & Electric.

We had at the time, this was in the late '80s, a $60 million fund with the mandate to go buy things that would make sense for an electric and gas public utility to own. And back in the 1980s, $60 million fund was actually quite large. And so we looked at a lot of very interesting opportunities. I was also lucky because my boss, not only was he a great guy, but he was also, how should I say it? Lazy. So, I got to do a lot of his work. And so I learned quite a bit because I was given a lot of free reign and able to do some things that someone at an intern level would never have been able to do, like phone someone up at KKR in New York and have a chat with them. At the time, KKR was the largest private equity company in the world and we were not much smaller than them.

That's how I got started. I did that for the whole time I was in graduate school, paying my way through an MBA. And then after I graduated, my boss there had decided to strike out on his own to do an M&A shop in Southern California and so he had asked me to come work for him again. Again, I had a lot of free reign, a lot of rope to learn how to do M&A. We had some very interesting clients at the time. We weren't all that successful, but we had a lot of fun and I learned a tremendous amount at a very early age.

Thomas Young: And this was all in your twenties in Southern California?

Brooke Borden: Yes, yes, yes.

Thomas Young: That's awesome. Yeah, it's crazy how sometimes you just stumble into a world that you never expected to be a part of. For example, that was me with the self-directed space right out of college. And it was, I needed a job and a job offer came up and I had known nothing about solo 401(k)s or self-directed IRAs or any interest in retirement. And once I got into the world and started learning about it and started realizing the power of self-directed accounts and retirement, just in general how important it is, I drank the Kool-Aid and it's become a big part of my life at this point, obviously with Rocket Dollar. Sometimes, it's, you just got to take the opportunities as they pop up.

Brooke Borden: Yes. And then shortly after that, after working about five years in Southern California, after I graduated, I was pretty much flying back and forth between LA and New York quite a bit, almost every week because most of our clients were in New York. And I remember going home and telling my wife at the time, I'm like, "Look, I'm really tired of spending all this time on airplanes. Why don't we just move to New York?" And she said, surprisingly, "Yeah, that's a great idea." So, I started looking for a job in New York. And in a short time, I found myself working on Wall Street. It seems to be a recurring theme in my career, I also had a very lazy boss there and he had hired me to create a mergers and acquisitions department. But we never ended up hiring the next person after me, which was supposed to be the head of corporate finance, which in Wall Street investment banking is the guy that goes out and finds IPOs and does the underwritings of IPOs.

Because we never got around to hiring that person, the job fell to me. Again, I found myself at a very young age doing something I had no idea I would ever be doing, which was underwriting firms on the NASDAQ. It was a very good learning opportunity. I learned a lot about how the IPO process works, setting up the documents from the underwriter's side, doing the book-running part of it, filling up the syndicate. So, it was all a very good experience.

Thomas Young: Yeah. And how old were you when you moved to New York?

Brooke Borden: I believe I was about 27 or 28 doing IPOs on Wall Street.

Thomas Young: You were just a year older than I am right around the same time. That's awesome. And not only did it take you to New York, but you've lived all over the world. Tell us when your world-traveling started, and I mean you've lived in some pretty cool places.
Brooke Borden: Yeah, so I lived in New York in Manhattan for seven years. During that time, I worked on Wall Street as I had said, the first job that landed me there. I ran the national M&A and corporate finance practice for BDO Seidman out of New York for three years. And then I actually had my startup for a while. It was one of those things where it was a great idea and really bad timing. We launched the company at the end of 1998. And we're up and running and ready to launch, and all of our software worked and the whole website, and got our broker-dealer license in March of 2009, which of course was when the NASDAQ-

Thomas Young: 1999.

Brooke Borden: ... 1999, yeah. March 8th, 1999 when the Nasdaq crashed the end of the internet 1.0. So, we pulled the plug on that startup.

Thomas Young: Did that startup raise money?

Brooke Borden: Yes, we did. And actually, for a lot of my angel investors, it was their best internet deal because they got 82 cents of the dollar back when we shuttered the company because we didn't spend very much of their money.

Thomas Young: Yeah. Just a little aside on startups, how did you decide to pull the plug with that much money still in the bank? I mean, what caused it and how did you know that it was a good idea instead of weathering on the way so many startups seem to?

Brooke Borden: Well, the business model was pretty much doing accredited only investor matchmaking for angels and startups. Now, you have a lot of people in the market doing that. Here we are, what, 28 years later, it's become a more established model. But back then, the SEC was still very strict around these must be accredited investors. Everything must be done through a broker-dealer. There weren't any of these unlicensed platforms out there.

It just became very apparent to us that the exits to those deals were gone. People couldn't see that if they invested in a deal that A, they would get the next round of financing. And then even if that company was wildly successful, there was no longer an IPO exit available for them. Because I don't know if any of y'all remember, but the severity of that stock market crash was very severe. I mean it was Chicken Little in The Sky is Falling.

Thomas Young: Yeah, I don't remember it. I was 10. But no, that's cool. You had your startup experience, and then what did you do after the startup?

Brooke Borden: Shortly after the startup, two partners, friends of mine in New York, we went around and we figured, "Hey, the valuations are down, multiples are down, let's go see if we can buy a company, a regular operating company." We had put offers on three or four different companies and for one reason or another, the financing would fall through. And we finally just gave up on that after about a year and a half. I think we had, yeah, I think we had four different companies under a letter of intent, but we just couldn't, for whatever reason, we would get 90% of the money raised or 80% of the money raised. We just couldn't ever get over that last threshold to get the entire deal done.

During that time, I had received an offer from an accounting firm in the Midwest who also had a broker dealer and an M&A practice. And they had seen what I had done at BDO Seidman and they reached out to me. And yeah, it was a good time to leave New York for us. We had been there seven years. We were getting kind of tired of living in Manhattan. Manhattan is the kind of place you either love it or leave it. And after seven years, the love was, it was extreme like. It wasn't love. So, it was a good time to leave New York.

Went to the Midwest, spent five years there doing M&A, mostly representing sellers of privately held companies. And like I said, that company also had a broker dealer. So, we did a lot of syndicated capital raises. We raised almost a billion dollars for hospitality and real estate projects in the Midwest through that entity. And most of those investors were clients of the accounting firm that we were catering to as well as building an independent broker dealer distribution network.

I did that for five years. And then it's kind of interesting. I got an unsolicited phone call one day from a recruiter asking me if I'd be interested in a very high level and a high profile position in of all places, Saudi Arabia. I thought it was a joke. I didn't really take it very seriously, but the recruiter finally convinced me that it was for real and put me in touch with the vice chairman of the bank there in Saudi Arabia. One thing led to another. And after a series of negotiations, I found myself in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Thomas Young: It seems like the theme in your career has been opportunities and just being flexible and being open and then just deciding what the best path for you is and then going from there.

Brooke Borden: Well, I've not really done it in a conscious way, but I've developed a set of generic skills that each on their own, it's not really impressive. But when you look at it and say, "Oh, well, this guy can do this thing, this thing, this thing, and this thing," pretty soon you're like, "Wow, that guy can do a lot of different things." So, it's really one of these, jack-of-all-trades things that I've found people have been interested in.

Thomas Young: Yeah, I think that's a similar theme in my career in that, we talk about the 10,000 hour rule and being deep specialists, but it seems like being a competent generalist opens up a lot of doors for you because then you don't get pigeonholed in any one thing. At least for me it's worked out nicely, and I think for you as well.
Brooke Borden: No, it certainly has. The most interesting thing about my foray into the Middle East was not only being exposed to a very interesting culture and meeting some really wonderful people, but my second stop in the Middle East was with a large financial institution in Bahrain. Banks in the Middle East have a different view of private equity.

Brooke Borden: They don't have the same capital rules locally that we have here in the US. So, a lot of them actively participate in their private equity deals that they promote. When I landed at Shamil Bank in Bahrain, a good one third of that bank's balance sheet was tied up in private equity assets that they had invested in themselves.

Thomas Young: Wow.

Brooke Borden: Which was fine because it was 2006, 2007 when they had made all these investments. However, my timing seems to always be really good because my first day of work was August 8th, 2008 which was the day that Lehman Brothers blew up.

Suddenly we went from having a mindset that we're going to go out and continue to do these great innovative and fun deals to now we have to defend the bank's balance sheet against our auditors and write downs because our capital ratios aren't looking so good if you start looking at the true value of some of the assets that they had.
Thomas Young: Wow, that's interesting. And so what brought you back to the US from the Middle East? I know there was a stop in Switzerland.

Brooke Borden: Stop in Switzerland. Yeah. The bank in Bahrain had a subsidiary, a small private bank in Geneva that had equal problems that were deemed to be more severe to the bank's balance sheet than the mothership bank in Bahrain. So, I got dispatched to Geneva, which is not a bad upgrade from Bahrain. The weather's a lot better in Geneva. Yeah, I spent five years in Switzerland, again, mostly defending the bank's balance sheet, working things out. I learned a lot about banks tolerances for defaults, A, they don't like it. And they also didn't really, European banks didn't really care for the American approach to a threatened foreclosure.

Because what I found is that when European bankers send you a message or a letter or a certified letter that says, "We noticed you're behind on your payments, please rectify this," they're actually really bluffing. And we would call them on their bluff. We would go to their office and say, "I just noticed that I'm managing this asset for you. Would you like me to continue to manage this asset for you until the price turns around, or do you want to manage it yourself?" And I'm telling you, 99 times out of 100, the bank does not want to take that asset back. So, we ended up throwing the keys at a lot of bankers and they threw them right back to us.

Thomas Young: Yeah. Interesting. That's crazy. I mean, some of the experiences that you talk about are pretty fascinating. Let's go, before we kind of move on to your personal investing and your personal investment philosophy and self-directed, I want you to tell us about the most interesting deal you've ever seen or the most inspiring deal when you were on the sell-side that you've seen just in your, having touched so many companies.

Brooke Borden: Well, one of the ones that I'm actually most proud of is I had a client in New York when I was working for BDO. It's an interesting side thing, and I don't want to bore all the listeners, but the way BDO was structured at the time, my job in corporate finance, I actually reported to the fellow who was in charge of what they called specialized services, which is everything other than audit and tax. So, this fellow was in charge of specialized services and his main practice happened to be the bankruptcy practice. And so he called me one day. He's like, "Hey, Brooke, I've got this client. He's [inaudible 00:14:27] his hands. He's just come from a meeting from his banker. The bankers are telling him his company's worthless and they're not going to extend him any more credit. And he's afraid the bank, the company's going to go under because he needs working capital."

So, I said, "Okay, Jack, let's go meet him." We went and sat down. And after about an hour of spending time with this company, I quickly realized that the bankers just didn't understand their business. I don't know if it was just a mismatch between the personality or that particular bank itself, but they just didn't understand that all this guy really needed was working capital. He was an early importer of goods from China, so the bank wasn't really familiar with the lead times and the working capital involved with those kinds of lead times and delivery dates.

I turned to the client and I looked at him and I said, "Hey, Jack, your company is worth $100 million. We just need to take it public." Because he had earnings, he had cashflow, he had EBITDA. He just had negative working capital. And literally this poor fellow, he had gone from thinking in the morning he was going to lose his business and lose his livelihood and his family's livelihood because all his kids worked for the business to here, this guy walks in and sits down and says, "Hey, I think we can take you public and raise you a bunch of money." And over the next four months, that's exactly what we did. We took him public, we raised about $25 million, and it was a very successful transaction.

Thomas Young: That's awesome. It's interesting to hear those stories. I like the one you told me about the two partners that started a construction company or something like that. And they were 60/40 because one had, what, 600 bucks in his pocket and the other one had 400 bucks in their pocket. And how much did you sell that one for?

Brooke Borden: That was about a hundred million dollar company. Yeah, as I had told you, Thomas, in getting to know those guys, I had always just wondered, but I never asked why it was 60/40 and not 50/50 because they seem to do everything 50/50. Their families were close, their wives were best friends also, their kids all worked in the business and got along. But it was always 60/40 and I just wondered why. And yeah, when I finally asked him, I said, "Why is this?" And they said, "Well, yeah. The first day we started the company, I had $400 and he had $600 and that's the way it's always been." And there was no acrimony about it. There was no bitching and moaning. That's the way things were.

Thomas Young: Yeah. That's awesome. I love that story. Let's transition from your career and your professional life to your personal investing and some of the investments that you've made that you found interesting, and then also some of the, your initial foray into the self-directed world. So, what do you look for? I mean, you're an investor in Rocket Dollar, you've made some tech investments, you've made some non-tech investments and you ... What do you look for when you identify a potential investment? What are you looking for?

Brooke Borden: Well, it may sound cliche and a lot of people in the venture community, I now think this way. Just to take a step back too, I also have experience in the venture capital world when the bank in Bahrain that I worked for, we were the 20% flagship limited partner in a venture fund that was based out of Singapore. So, we had put in $20 million of a little over a hundred million dollar venture fund in Singapore. That's fund had a mandate to invest in a venture way throughout Asia and specifically in China. I served on their investment committee. I became very close friends with the general partners of that firm. And so I became very involved in their selection process and how we looked at companies that we decided to invest in.'

It really is a cliche in the venture world. You can either invest in the horse or you can invest in the jockey. I think most smart people invest in the jockey. They say, "Look, if this company gets into trouble or if they get into a market that they're just banging their head on the wall, these guys will be smart enough to pivot and find something that's profitable." So, it's not so much what the company does or what they do or what their market is. It's really about the team. Do you get the sense that this is a team that can think on their feet?

Also, again, it goes to the core of what a lot of venture investors look for is, does the person really have business acumen? Because there's a lot of founders out there that are running around with great looking business plans, but they have maybe an overly technical background or they're not really good in a social environment or you just don't get the feeling that they would be a good boss to work for.

Yeah, they might be able to attract talent at first, but those people are going to bleed away over time because they just don't like working for that person. I tend to look at all those kinds of things. It's more of a holistic approach. Someone could have the best business plan in the world, but if they don't have those key items, they're just never going to be successful unless it's completely by accident. And investing by accident is not really a very good strategy.

But that being said, the other things still need to be there. The company does have to have a sufficiently large addressable market. It has to have some sort of defendable barriers to entry where if they do get in and get a toehold, it's not going to be the kind of market where everyone else is going to jump in and just get rid of their advantage. It doesn't necessarily have to be a first mover. There's a lot of instances that you can point where the first mover basically didn't make it, but they spent a lot of money educating a market, and then the second and third people came in and took advantage of that.

So, they don't necessarily need to be the first mover, but you need to look at it. It's almost like a, it's not a tick the box exercise where you have this whole checklist. A lot of it is a gut feeling. A lot of it is judging personalities. And a lot of it's maybe you've seen it before. I mean, there was a time when I was in New York and people would come pitching us deals and you would see the same deal eight different times. But maybe that eighth time, there was just something about the team that was different or something about the pitch that was different. Then you said, "Oh, okay. It's not an original idea, but maybe these guys can execute it better than anyone else we met."

And then there's also the thing you want to look for is being too far ahead of the curve. A lot of companies, they can do something just because they can do it. It's a solution in search of a problem. We've all seen that. It may be the greatest whizzbang technology, but there's really no practical application that someone would actually pay for.

Thomas Young: Yeah. Yeah. I think that a lot of times, founders, especially in tech, we get so, we fall in love with something that we think is really cool or that really solves our personal very specific problem, but that doesn't mean that it's transferable to a market or it might be a super niche product that's never going to get above a certain amount of revenue or something like that. It's hard to know which is which because it is exciting and it is easy to get caught up in it. And we live in Austin, so we see things that to us are like, that is our thing, but it might not translate anywhere else.

Brooke Borden: Or it maybe it's a real success five years from now, but someone's going to spend five years worth of money trying to find that out.

Thomas Young: Yeah. And you're going to be locked up forever if you ever even get out. Now, going over a little bit to how you got into the self-directed world, how did you come across the self-directed IRA, if you will? And then from there, we'll go into Rocket Dollar and what you do with us?

Brooke Borden: Right. I found myself, after this decades-long experience in the Middle East in Europe, I found myself back in Austin. I had taken a job with a more corporate type mergers and acquisitions advisory company and they were creating an Austin outpost. So, there really wasn't a lot of market traction. There were a lot of reasons. It just didn't work out. They weren't happy. I wasn't happy. So, I just decided, okay, it's time to move on. I want to do something else. And what I decided to do, knowing that Austin is a great hotbed for startups and having met a few and having gotten connected into some of the angel networks, I decided I was going to just be an angel investor. That was going to be my job.

I was going to find eight to 10 investment opportunities that I liked, put some money in each of them. If one or two or three of those needed me as a more active advisor or a board member, that was going to be my job. And so I started thinking, "Well, how's the best way to go about this?" And I had done some research and I came across this idea of funding your startups with a self-directed IRA. And so I decided, "Okay, well, I need a self-directed IRA because I've got some IRA money. I'll do some of my angel investments through that." And that's how I ended up finding Rocket Dollar as a provider of that.

At about the same time, I realized it was located here in Austin. And I just sent an email to the CEO, Henry, and said, "Hey, I think I'd like to meet you and find out what you guys are doing." Because I realized that it looked like the company was also in startup mode. I think there, at that time, there had been a press release about the first convertible notes had been raised. So, I figured, okay, these guys are probably going to be raising money soon.

Yeah, I met Henry a couple of times. He talked me into opening an account. There was not an active round going on at the time, but he said, "Hey, I know one of my investors has a liquidity event coming up. They'd like to sell their notes." I ended up trading into the convertible notes from that investor through my newly minted Rocket Dollar account. And then shortly thereafter, it just became apparent. I kept meeting with Henry and we kept talking about strategy and how to do things. And he just finally one day said, "I think you should just come work for us," at a vastly reduced salary.

Thomas Young: Well, of course.

Brooke Borden: But welcome to the startup world.

Thomas Young: Yeah, yeah.

Brooke Borden: But that's fine. Yeah, so we ended up putting something together that ended up making sense for everyone. And we created a position that I still to this day don't know exactly what the responsibilities are, but it seems to get things done.

Thomas Young: The way I see it is it's very, very important and necessary in very short spurts. But if it weren't for those, if it weren't for you being there for those little moments, it would be havoc sometimes, so.

Brooke Borden: Yeah. It is, it's interesting. It's like a full-time position with part-time input.

Thomas Young: I don't know if I like how that sounds.

Brooke Borden: It's hard to define, but it works.

Thomas Young: Well, no. And then as Rocket Dollar thinks about its own ambitions and what we want to do and raising money or-

Brooke Borden: In my Rocket Dollar IRA, since that is back to the core of what we really want to cover here I think, is I do have my private notes that I invested from that other third-party in Rocket Dollar that have since converted to the C series. And if those, we get to a nice liquidation event somewhere down the road, those will be entirely tax sheltered. So, I'm pretty excited about that, which is kind of nice. I made a separate direct investment to Rocket Dollar earlier this year. And again, that was done directly through my self-directed IRA. Again, if there's a liquidity event in the future, that'll be nice to not have to pay capital gains on that.

As you know, we've been spending some time to create a corporate partnership with Republic, one of the crowdfunding platforms. And as part of getting to know them, I signed up as a user, saw a couple of interesting small deals on their platform and invested in those. And even though they were ... It was partly due diligence just to understand how their process works from a user point of view. But the deals, obviously they have some really interesting companies on there.

The only thing I would caution someone, full disclosure here is if you do go to a crowdfunding website and you're looking at something that you think is interesting, make sure you read the schedule seed and make sure that that company is a C corp and not an LLC because you could cause some UBIT issues within your IRA if you invest in an LLC that then pays a dividend or has a liquidity event.

For most of these startups that are still LLCs on these sites, they will ultimately convert to a C corp when they get a formal round of funding because the venture's capitalist have the same issue. They don't want the UBIT. They want capital gains and dividends. So, if the company's successful, that problem will take care of itself. The issue gets to be if the company becomes a lifestyle company. It's semi-successful, successful enough to throw off some income, then you're going to have some tax issues within your IRA.

Thomas Young: Yeah, yeah. As a rule of thumb, I think a lot of us just default to C corps and just keep it simple.

Brooke Borden: Yeah, so anything that's a C corp or even on some of the crowdfunding sites, they will also have some of these companies that do revenue sharing type agreements. As long as that revenue share's paying on on a 1099 basis and not on the basis of some LLC waterfall, the 1099 income is fine for your IRA as well.
Thomas Young: [crosstalk 00:27:16]. Yeah. I did a deal through a local Austin company called MicroVentures into a brewery and restaurant that that was one of the things I had to look for was whether the revenue share was 1099 like you said, or through an LLC distribution. Interesting. But yeah, definitely something to keep in mind. Brooke, anything else that we need to know, that we need to talk about before we wrap up and go about our day?

Brooke Borden: Well, the only thing I would encourage, I know with a lot of people that maybe are interested in tech companies or they may see or hear the Rocket Dollar name and they're kind of interested about that, I do know that the price that we pay, that what we charge our customers may seem like it's a big chunk for a lot of people that may have a relatively small IRA or 401(k) balance. But I would just encourage people to look at that in the long run and say, "Well, look, the amount of money I could save by deferring taxes, far and away is going to give me that benefit over what I pay to set up this account going in." And so I look at it, it's almost an investment that you make to save tax dollars down the road.

Thomas Young: That makes perfect sense. And yeah, it's a dollars and cents things. I mean, for example your investment into Rocket Dollar, let's say for example, obviously you pay our fee, $15 a month. It's not terrible. But should Rocket Dollar or any one of these deals that you've done through Republic have a liquidity event, especially with the amounts that you've invested, I mean, that fee will be such a small part of it compared to the thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars you'll have to pay in taxes. So, it really just comes down to making that comparison. I mean, if you hold rental real estate in an IRA and you pay $15 a month to shelter all that rental income from taxes, I mean, it's a negligible amount.

Brooke Borden: Right. And obviously if throughout the course of your life, you get to a point where when you get to be eligible to take that money out, you do get to choose the time, when you take that money out, you pretty much get to choose your tax rate during the year that you want to take that money out. And if you don't need it, if you find yourself having a successful business career or maybe some of your taxable investments have done well as well, you don't ever need to take that money out. It's a wonderful vehicle to pass down to your kids, to your grandkids.

Thomas Young: Sure, sure. And one of the things I love is that Roth distributions can start, you inherit it and you can start taking distributions even if you're not retirement age. So, it is a powerful vehicle in order to pass on wealth in a tax sheltered way. I think if anybody wants to learn more about that or anything else that Brooke has mentioned, call us. Our phone number's on our website, info@rocketdollar.com. You can always reach us and we'd love to have a conversation with you. It's something that we personally like to talk about a lot just among our team and within our organization. So, we'd be happy to answer questions.

Brooke Borden: I do think that is one thing that does separate us a little bit from other startups in the fact that almost everyone on our team is a customer. We sell a product that almost anyone can buy and use and find useful. So, almost all of our employees are customers. A lot of our management team are investors in the company at a much higher rate than you would see in most startups. So, I think that does differentiate us a little bit from your normal. We're not selling something that's so esoteric that the average person can't buy it or we're not selling a product that is only applicable to a large corporate customer. It's something that everyone understands and I think that makes our company a bit different.

Thomas Young: Yeah, yeah, for sure. We are our own customers and we love talking about it and it's definitely something that I am very proud of us and our team is that we drink our own Kool-Aid obviously. And-

Brooke Borden: And we have some pretty nerdy talks around the water cooler about Mega Roth conversions and this kind of strategy and that kind of strategy. But we're always thinking about it.

Thomas Young: Our whiteboards are pretty fun to look at after one of these discussions, especially when we bring in Chris and Rick and Henry and Dan, and we're just nerding out on how to save money on taxes.

Brooke Borden: But in a real sense, I mean, we're no different than a lot of our customers. A lot of our management team, we're the same demographic as our customers. We have a lot of the same personal finance issues as a lot of our customers. So, when we're having those informal brainstorming sessions about solving Chris' tax problem, we're solving a problem for a large percentage of our customer base as well.

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