45 min

#117 Don't Spend That Military Money. Invest - Sean Bonner, Guild Veteran Founder Podcast

    • Business

Navy Veteran Sean Bonner started his military career a little later than most. At 28 years of age, he was the “old man” as he began. Growing up in the Philadelphia area, he was an athlete through high school and college. He had a friend who had joined the Marines and Sean had an interest in the military, but it was the 90s, nothing much going on and he had an opportunity to join a stock exchange, so he went to work with them. With the financial markets taking off, Sean did well and started his own business in the financial markets in 1997. During those times, trading was done person to person and Sean saw the day coming when electronic trading would replace him. As with many of our military, 911 was a big turning point for Sean. When the planes hit, Sean was married, and their first child had been born. Wanting to serve and with a background in complex industries because of his financial experience, Sean found out that the Navy offered a commission path in the Intelligence Department. A program left over from World War II; the Navy was the only branch offering this opportunity. It was a very competitive program, tailor made for our competitive man. Sean was even turned down the first time, which made him even more determined to qualify, which he did on his second try. Commissioned in August of 2003, he was then sent to Direct Commissioning Officers School. Iraq had just been invaded by the US and instead of the more “country club” training, his group was thrown right into the OCS school along with the other candidates, so the D.I. hard core routine was the program of the day. After training, Sean went to a couple of other specialist intelligence schools. Although never placed in combat, Sean did experience operations in the Reserves and was part of the group always ready to be called up. Sean served 13 years in his Reserve status before leaving. A legacy neck injury had to be nursed along and in 2016 it was time for Sean to transition out. The entrepreneurial streak plus the financial experience made Sean look at the funds-to-broker-to-client relationship and he decided he could come up with a better model. Then, as with many entrepreneurs, it dawned on him he could help Veterans just getting out of their service to begin building their financial future right away by investing and not spending that money they had coming out of the military. The huge, unmet need for solid financial advice for these new private sector citizens made Sean realize there was a big business for doing good things for our Veterans. He founded Guild in 2018 to not only help individual Veterans but also to help find investment for Veteran-founded startups as well. Venture capital was a new area for Sean, and he interviewed many VCs who cautioned him that the consumer market was very expensive to crack, but Sean knew his market of Veterans was right in front of him and incredibly accessible because of his own service. Sean has found, to his surprise, how uneducated the young Veterans are as consumers. So, the basics of saving as well of investing are very important to Guild. Sean feels that the ease of moving money around and the method of digital management has diluted the appreciation of money to the younger generation and caused them to spend it unwisely. Therefore, besides allowing users to invest and bank on their platform, Guild also offers many videos that train their clients on handling their money responsibly.

Navy Veteran Sean Bonner started his military career a little later than most. At 28 years of age, he was the “old man” as he began. Growing up in the Philadelphia area, he was an athlete through high school and college. He had a friend who had joined the Marines and Sean had an interest in the military, but it was the 90s, nothing much going on and he had an opportunity to join a stock exchange, so he went to work with them. With the financial markets taking off, Sean did well and started his own business in the financial markets in 1997. During those times, trading was done person to person and Sean saw the day coming when electronic trading would replace him. As with many of our military, 911 was a big turning point for Sean. When the planes hit, Sean was married, and their first child had been born. Wanting to serve and with a background in complex industries because of his financial experience, Sean found out that the Navy offered a commission path in the Intelligence Department. A program left over from World War II; the Navy was the only branch offering this opportunity. It was a very competitive program, tailor made for our competitive man. Sean was even turned down the first time, which made him even more determined to qualify, which he did on his second try. Commissioned in August of 2003, he was then sent to Direct Commissioning Officers School. Iraq had just been invaded by the US and instead of the more “country club” training, his group was thrown right into the OCS school along with the other candidates, so the D.I. hard core routine was the program of the day. After training, Sean went to a couple of other specialist intelligence schools. Although never placed in combat, Sean did experience operations in the Reserves and was part of the group always ready to be called up. Sean served 13 years in his Reserve status before leaving. A legacy neck injury had to be nursed along and in 2016 it was time for Sean to transition out. The entrepreneurial streak plus the financial experience made Sean look at the funds-to-broker-to-client relationship and he decided he could come up with a better model. Then, as with many entrepreneurs, it dawned on him he could help Veterans just getting out of their service to begin building their financial future right away by investing and not spending that money they had coming out of the military. The huge, unmet need for solid financial advice for these new private sector citizens made Sean realize there was a big business for doing good things for our Veterans. He founded Guild in 2018 to not only help individual Veterans but also to help find investment for Veteran-founded startups as well. Venture capital was a new area for Sean, and he interviewed many VCs who cautioned him that the consumer market was very expensive to crack, but Sean knew his market of Veterans was right in front of him and incredibly accessible because of his own service. Sean has found, to his surprise, how uneducated the young Veterans are as consumers. So, the basics of saving as well of investing are very important to Guild. Sean feels that the ease of moving money around and the method of digital management has diluted the appreciation of money to the younger generation and caused them to spend it unwisely. Therefore, besides allowing users to invest and bank on their platform, Guild also offers many videos that train their clients on handling their money responsibly.

45 min