Mike Swigunski

April 8, 2019

There’s more than one way to build wealth, as professional wealth manager Ian Bond can attest. Over the course of his career, he’s built multiple wealth management platforms on four different continents. As one of the top performers in his field, he has made a career out of identifying and leveraging emerging asset classes.

Ian survived the global financial crisis of 2008, but it changed the way he looked at financial security and retirement planning. It doesn’t take a financial expert to realize that there’s a risk in stocks, bonds, real estate, and every other investment vehicle that relies on market conditions for its valuation.

 

 

He began looking for other financial instruments that could secure a future for him and his family. It didn’t take long for him to stumble upon the idea of becoming an internet entrepreneur. “If you look at the macro trends, everything is going online,” he says.

Ian also realized that time wasn’t exactly on his side. Launching a site from scratch and making it profitable can take years, and some websites never cross into the black. It made more sense for him to invest in something that already existed rather than building something from the ground up. “Being in my mid-fifties, I realized that I wasn’t going to be a builder of websites; I was going to be a buyer of websites.”

As a savvy investor, Ian took other factors into consideration, citing the following statistic about startups: “90% of all startup businesses fail, and 75% of all funded venture capital deals fail, so finding a profitable website that had a history that could be analyzed was right up my alley.”

Another reason this investment vehicle made a lot of sense for Ian is that it allowed him to build wealth while working full-time at his corporate gig. Thankfully, he has some help managing the business of his new online empire.

His wife is his partner in the business, and she manages the day-to-day operations of the websites they own on a full-time basis. “I work on the strategy and the positioning, and my wife handles operations. She manages our customer service team and our developers,” Ian says.

Though it takes compromise, communication, and unwavering respect for your partner, Ian loves having his life partner as his business partner. “The wonderful thing is the ability to do something together.”

Together, Ian Bond and his wife run multiple websites, and they have the freedom and flexibility to work remotely. They’ve relocated overseas, and they have a globally distributed team. Two of their three children are still at home, and Ian loves that his wife has time to take them to school in the morning and attend all of their afternoon activities, including rugby and ice skating.

Being able to manage their online properties remotely has given them the flexibility to travel while having a steady stream of income, even when they’re not at their desks. As Ian approaches retirement age, this income source has been instrumental in helping him plan for retirement outside the structure of a nine-to-five job.

“We want to live internationally. We want to be able to travel. We want the freedom to be untethered. The online world offers that,” he says.

The appeal of a flexible lifestyle isn’t the only reason that Ian chose to become a website investor. He’s quick to point out that this avenue makes financial sense for just about anyone, particularly if you choose the sites you buy wisely. “We’re involved in physical goods e-commerce. Right now, that world is exploding, and the numbers going forward are relentlessly positive.”

Ian continues, “The one thing I learned in over 3 dozen years of investing is if you position yourself in front of a big trend and you get it almost half right, you can do incredibly well. Now, if you get it really right, you can hit the ball out of the park.”

A couple of websites have changed the Bond family’s entire financial outlook, and Ian is grateful for the support he’s received on this journey, as he’s had to learn an entirely new business model and navigate around obstacles. He’s gotten incredible value out of attending our retreats and networking with other like-minded individuals. “Now I’m part of a community of people where we can share mistakes, struggles, and I can support other people.”

Admittedly, Ian has had to adjust to the solitary life of working on an online venture. He noted that it was incredibly lonely when he first began, but he’s come across a global community that’s been there to cheer him on along the way. In turn, he’s become a valuable resource to newcomers to the industry, and he feels tremendously rewarded when he’s able to help or encourage someone.

Ian also points out that there’s a learning curve in the website buying process. For him, the biggest obstacle was overcoming his fear of technology, learning the lingo, and understanding all the moving parts that go into running a website. As a relative beginner and newcomer to the internet field, Ian also wanted to make sure that he was smart about managing risk, and he evaluated several websites before making his first purchase.

The first site he bought had been operating for several years, so he viewed the acquisition as being fairly low risk but also limited in its reward potential. He says, “The website had been operating for 7 or 8 years, so it wasn’t going to go away, and it was not going to blow up and be ridiculously scalable. On the other hand, it allowed us to learn all the idiosyncrasies and some of the moving parts.”

Ian has also benefited from our hands-on support and advice along the way, and we’ve been able to provide him with recommendations of sites to buy while steering him away from sites that aren’t the best fit for his goals and skill set. Our five-star service hasn’t gone unnoticed, as Ian says, “They’ve invested in me as much as I’ve invested in them. I think that goes a long way to talk about the culture of Empire Flippers and the ethos from the top down.”

Are you ready to start building your online empire? Set up a time to chat today.


Author

Mike joined the Empire Flippers team in April 2016 as the Marketing and Sales Coordinator. He’s originally from St. Louis, Missouri but has spent the last seven years living, working, and traveling abroad. He is a recent MBA graduate and has a passion for business, marketing, and travel! In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, traveling and is a not-too-shabby photographer.

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