My Side of the Desk

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Will Durant, the great 20th Century American philosopher and historian wrote in the Preface of his Story of Civilization: The Age of Napoleon:

“By the middle of the twentieth century,” says the Encyclopaedia Britannica (XVI, 10a), “the literature on Napoleon already numbered more than 100,000 volumes.” Why add to the heap? We offer no better reason than to say the Reaper repeatedly overlooked us, and left us to passive living and passive reading…

And so it is with your favorite accountant. According to a “personal finance blog” Google search there are around 96,100,000 results. Surely a few of the entries are not personal finance blogs, but many are. So why add to the heap? Will Durant was 90 years old when he wrote those words; I am 51 as I contemplate them.

Like Durant, I also have an unusual amount of time to engage in “passive living and passive reading”. Unlike Durant, I am still young and full of pent up energy to expend. I also think I have something of value to add.

Thirty plus years in the accounting industry can either lead to a dull man or a very wise one. As an optimist, I think I learned a few things over the years. I know of no other personal finance blog that is from the perspective I intend to use. (But I must admit I did not review all 96,100,000 blogs Google lists.) My vision is to provide a fun and entertaining blog in the personal finance genre without undue focus on taxes. Taxes will play a significant role, but only as it applies to living life right, or lifestyle.

This blog will focus on “living right”. Over the years I have seen things few people can imagine. So, this blog is about the worldview from my side of the desk, your accountant’s desk. People tell their doctor, attorney and accountant things they tell no one else, including their spouse. Since most people see their accountant more than any other professional, accountants hear more really good stories. Some are funny, some even make you cry.

It has bothered me for over 30 years when I know a client is getting divorced before they do. When a client has a gambling or drinking problem I frequently know it before the spouse does. I have professionals making a half million or more a year and are broke. How do they do that? I have clients earning under $25,000 per year and maxing out their IRA or taking the maximum 401(k) deduction. How do THEY do it! I know what works. I’ve seen it all (or at least one big, fat juicy part of it).

Over the next weeks, months and years I hope to expose why so many accountants (with their inside knowledge) are often broke. Business owners will want to pay special attention as I review how to start, grow and maintain a business that is the right size for you. What I share here will be new to most people, even financial professionals. I cross industry fields and commingle each discipline to gain the greatest benefit. Some things I plan to share in the near future are: getting paid to travel; double or triple your business in a short period of time; live comfortably working 10-15 hours a week; retire super early (like by the time you are 30 or 7-10 years from now even if you have a zero net worth); how many people can pay no income tax legally (jail is not a retirement option I recommend); acquire $10,000 or more annually tax free; how to stop letting things bother you so you can achieve your dreams; and more.

Have I whetted your appetite? I hope so. It is time for us to go on a journey together. At some point you will want to break away and fly on your own. Yes that is a tear at the corner of my eye; I grow attached to the people I share my life with. No matter where you go I will be thinking of you.

Some of what I share might be considered useless by many. The stuff alluded to above is what many people focus on; it draws them to blogs like this. But other information is sobering. For example, I am always humbled when I see the number of young people dying every year. Recently a business owner (owner of six gas stations) died in his sleep one night of a heart attack. He was 51; I am 51; it does not seem so old to me. When a client comes in and tells me of a family member under 30 years of age dying or killed I am at a loss for words. I could go on. Rather, I want to expose the point. We are all lucky, every one of us, are fantastically lucky because we are alive. Once we realize how lucky we are we can make each day we have count.

Let’s not focus on the negative. We must enjoy every moment of life and smile. There are so many wonderful things in life to experience and enjoy. Let me be your guide.

To my clients: You will find things here you never heard me say before. Understand, it is humanly impossible to say everything I know to each person I meet. (It would also be annoying if I did.) My goal is to make your life better, too. Yes, I prepare your taxes and handle your bookkeeping, payroll, and audits, plus help you grow your businesses, but there is so much more. My goal is to help you gain all you are searching for. Let me be that guide.

What qualifies me to teach this information? There are a lot of accountants and accounting firms in the world. What makes me so special? I am a wealthy accountant, most are not. Over the years I have helped a lot of people. My office has law firms as clients. We also serve other accounting firms as clients. This blows the mind when you think of it. When accounting firms get in trouble they come to me. I am good at what I do. When a local Sheriff’s Department got entangled in a Ponzi scheme I was called in to clean it up. I take the cases no one else wants. This does not make me better, but it does give me unique experiences.

Please join me as we embark on this journey. The worldview from my side of the desk is enlightening. What I see and learn from my position in life is powerful information anyone can use to improve their life. Let’s make it fun, too.



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Keith Schroeder

7 Comments

  1. Garrett on February 11, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Consider my appetite whetted! Looking forward to more great posts.

  2. Frank E. Ray on February 11, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I plan on visiting the site at every update! Its been added to my favorites tab!

  3. Sak on February 11, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    As an accountant I am continually baffled at how bad so many accountants I know are at personal finance.

  4. Anders on February 12, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    OK Keith. I got the seatbelt on and I’m ready for the ride! Let’s go….

  5. Nancy on February 16, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I just added your website to the few that I read weekly/monthly.

  6. Joan on February 21, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I found your web site referenced on the MMM blog and will be reading with great interest. I am an Accounting student and so many points in the MMM post reminded me of my Tax II class that it was almost like a review. As a nontraditional student, I also find it interesting and admirable about how you built up your “right-sized” tax practice to fit your life goals.

  7. […] connection is hard to see. When I started this blog I wanted to show the world what it is like from my side of the desk. It’s the first post of this blog. I was still searching for the voice I wanted to use for this […]

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