Chad Parks didn't know he would become a retirement guru. But when he chose to focus on personal, as opposed to corporate, finance during his Master's education at Golden Gate University, the "seed was planted." He got licensed in financial planning during his tenure as a retail stockbroker and began working with small-business owners in his investment advisory practice. That's when the light bulb went off - he was always recommending that each small business get a retirement plan in place to coincide with their employee benefits. He didn't see any products that met his clients' needs, and he says, "One thing led to another, and I started The Online 401(k)."
So, at the age of 28, Parks was an entrepreneur and chief executive officer in the 1999 tech startup boom. He hasn't looked back since. His goal: to provide the approximately 40 million people who work at small businesses with an opportunity at a retirement savings account through their employer. He says the 2010 U.S. Census showed that 92% of businesses between two and 20 employees (with 4 million businesses this size, that's where the 40 million people estimation comes from) don't have 401(k)s in place for employees. His passion for teaching employers and employees about retirement has only grown over the years. And that's why he set out last summer, along with fellow The Online 401(k) employee Andrew Meadows and a group of filmmakers, to hear about the retirement crisis in America and document it first hand. The final documentary, called "Broken Eggs," is set for release soon.
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