Author:Rondon, Melissa

After financial instability rocked his family in his youth, Tony Lopez devoted his career to helping other Latino business owners avoid the same hardships he and his family faced. He talks business, family, and building a future.

Tony Lopez, a financial planner with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) knows what it takes to build and sustain a small business, and he's helped thousands of families achieve their financial goals. Latinos are a major driving force of the U.S. economy, operating businesses at twice the rate of the general population. According to a recent study of Latino business owners by MassMutual, Latino-run businesses now number at over 4.4 million nationwide.

Tony was born to immigrant parents from Mexico. When his father suffered a massive stroke while he was a teenager, his mother worked two jobs to support the family while he swept floors and bussed tables to pay his way through school. He joined the financial services industry right out of college and worked his way up to sales manager. From there, he moved to Silicon Valley, where he has expanded his success working with small business owners to protect families from the hardship he experienced growing up.

According to Lopez, the 2018 MassMutual Small Business Owner Perspective Study is directed at Latino small business owners to provide strategies to maintain employee loyalty, assess the worth of their business, and alleviate the impact of illness or injury on the business. The study is also meant to help business owners put in place a plan for who will take over their businesses when they retire or pass away.

"By reading this study, they'll find out that they're not alone," says Lopez. "The majority of their concerns are what's top of mind to all business owners." Lopez hopes to educate, organize, and prepare business owners to achieve their goals both through the study and through fostering financial planning relationships with MassMutual.

Lopez says that there are two main ways that working with a company like MassMutual can help business owners. "We can support two areas: wealth accumulation and wealth protection," he says. These strategies include things like retirement plans and executive bonuses for key employees on the wealth accumulation side and income continuation in the event of illness or injury on the wealth protection side.

Support from a financial planner also means ensuring that businesses are financially organized and properly...

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