Not sure who said this but it applies very well across the globe today. “Leadership involves remembering past mistakes, an analysis of today’s achievements, and a well-grounded imagination in visualizing the problems of the future.”
Whether divisiveness in Europe, the Middle East or here at home what is needed is leadership. We seem to be very good at recalling the mistakes and trying to place blame. But our current world leaders have no skill in analysis of today nor any imagination for a better future.
You know where else we lack leadership in this world? People’s money and savings. Whether it is a poorly constructed 401(k) at work or Wall Street’s continual refusal to do what is right by the American public due to their out-sized need for egregious profits, the industry of financial advice lacks solid leadership.
The quasi-regulators at the SEC and FINRA would rather focus on making sure this blog is written in an ‘approved’ manner than catch crooks like Clay Stephens or Bernie Madoff before they destroy the finances of so many. Why are they focused on the wrong places, time and again?
Advisers in Sonoma County and all over the country continue to legally sell awful equity indexed annuities, garbage private or ‘alternative’ investments, stuff people into insurance policies they don’t need and worse. All because the regulators in power refuse to stiffen their backs to heavy industry lobbying.
Individuals far and wide continue to bank at major Wall Street corporations, continue to invest on the advice of major Wall Street corporations and continue to get fleeced by both. Why? Why do folks do things against their self-interest?
Out here, in our humble Santa Rosa outpost, we keep swinging at the windmills. We keep urging people to take responsibility with their money. To find a financial adviser who is independent of Wall Street, someone they can trust will put the client’s interests before the advisor’s.
So, I commend you reading this. Many of you are our clients. You’ve placed your trust in a firm that respects and appreciates you rather than sees you as an easy mark, a dollar sign, a chump. You are ‘shopping locally’ when you engage our firm. You are telling Wall Street you’ve had enough. You are telling your government there is a better way to regulate the securities world. Thank you!
Share this with your friends. See if they are fed up with the misdirection, the half-truths, and the obvious skullduggery of the big guys on Wall Street. Let’s go have coffee with someone you know who might be tired of all this. Let’s keep swinging at windmills and see how many we can take down!
Sometime or another, someone shared with me the reason why the pace of the days, weeks, months and years feel as if they are continually accelerating. It was something like this –
When you are 5 years old, a year is 20% of your life. When you’re 100, it is 1% of your life. It gave new meaning to the impression that every year, your time gets shorter. On the contrary, is this why we can’t remember as well as we age?
At 5 years of age, there is still so much to learn. At 85, we’ve learned so much, we have so much accrued knowledge, it becomes more and more difficult to recall a singular fact. Like the name of the Cubs third basemen in 1984 or where I put my key. I never found my damn lost key in 2014.
Despite losing my car key at minigolf, this has been a wonderfully blessed year for us. Sarah and I both stayed healthy, my back has finally healed, our children are healthy and loved. Our family shared some very special moments together. I was also lucky enough to see Brazil play, in Brazil during this summer’s World Cup…in Brazil! Not to mention a few fun Giants games.
The company also had a wonderful year. We want to thank you all for that. For your kindness, your trust, your introducing us to your families. Our business incorporated this year and Sarah became the boss. I just listen to her now. Seriously, it was another step toward making our company most efficient. We have a great team between us and Commonwealth and we look forward to serving you in 2015.
Not everything was peaches and cream. We took a few lumps. But we learned from those hiccups and received some wonderful generosity from one fellow in particular. He wouldn’t want his name here but his help won’t soon be forgotten.
I suspect 2015 will go be even more quickly. So, before this post gets too long, here are some of our resolutions for the new year.
We are cancelling our cable (mind if I stop by your place to watch a Giants game?) and plan to read much more.
Radically changing our health insurance, we can no longer support our current health insurance company who can so efficiently collect our premiums yet so chaotically refuse to pay for our medical care.
We also want to attempt to cut our cell phone bill in half! We’re worried about coverage but are looking into alternatives from the Verizon/AT&T oligopoly.
We are each going to save $1 per week, then $2, then $3 and so on, for 52 weeks. We want to take the savings from that idea ($2600) and the savings from health insurance, cable TV and phone, ($2600!) and go to Washington D.C.- show our kids (and us!) a little about the history of our great country.
We’re seeking new charities to serve. Both Sarah and I are looking to give more time to our community in new ways. After 12 years with Rotary, I’m looking for a different way to serve Santa Rosa this year. We’d love your ideas.
Lose 15 pounds. That’s just me. But we’re all committed to eating well and exercise. We’re lucky we live in an area with so much fresh and local food. My family is also lucky Sarah is such a tremendous gardener and cook!