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!
Today is Veterans Day. We set aside November 11 to honor anyone who has served in the U.S Armed Forces.
Having never served myself, I’m often unsure the proper way to honor those who have. What I’ve done over the years is call those I know who have served and thank them personally for their service.
In October 1995, I visited Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. It was a life changing experience. A lot of the soldiers buried there were kids. From 16 to 20 years old, most of the tombstones listed birthdays that meant the men and women buried there were the same age I was at the time of that visit.
Here I was, rolling around Europe leisurely. There they were fighting for that freedom I so sadly took for granted at that time.
The moment brought to light an idea that I had been given some very tremendous gifts and opportunities in the lottery of being born in America. The sight of the seemingly endless tombstones snapped me into a reality that I was perhaps being ungrateful for those gifts and needed to do a better job maximizing those opportunities and honoring the sacrifices of these soldiers.
Since that visit, I’ve read history on these soldiers. It has truly fascinated me how many of them died and that they seemed to do so for mainly better reasons than any war before or since. Time and again you read how these men knew what they were doing. Believed in their fight. They believed they were fighting against the Germans and the Axis in order to preserve our free way of life. There is so much honor in that. These men didn’t think of fancy cars and big homes. They valued their freedom and were willing to sacrifice their own lives to preserve that freedom for others.
Take a moment today and think about those among us who have served. To thank them and their families for that service.
Maybe you have a moment today to reach out to a member or veteran of our armed forces. Thank them. Buy them lunch. Visit with them. It doesn’t go far enough in thanking them, but I suppose it is better than no notice at all. Here are a few more ways to reach out and show your thanks today.
This study is absolutely insane. This is a freight train with no brakes that is running out of tracks. One in four Americans have NO SAVINGS for retirement!
Don’t think this is an issue you have to worry about because you’re a good saver? Think again! The obvious mindset of most Americans is that magic is in their future. Harry Potter will waive a wand and poof, they can retire.
Well, sorry to burst your dreams of Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Castle, but there is no magic in saving. Only discipline and delayed gratification. Things many Americans are woefully short on these days.
Who will these folks turn to when they can no longer work but are still alive? Hopefully they will storm castle walls of hedge fund managers. But we know that won’t happen. So? Who will support these grasshoppers?
The grasshoppers are hoping you Ants will bail them out of their lazy and ‘need it now, need it today’ ways. Should be quite interesting.
If you or a spouse owns a small business in Santa Rosa or Sonoma County or if you work for one with a 401(k) plan, we might be able to help you encourage your workers to save. We can easily show you how to find savings in your budgets. And we have no shortage of charts, white papers and such to prove to you that saving nothing results in having nothing in savings. But you knew that, right?
Monday, we learned about the sudden death of a long-time client. Vicki was only 55. She was healthy. She didn’t have cancer. She just died.
It was my first call Monday morning. It jolted me more than any cup of coffee. It shocked me. I’ve been dealing with a lot of death of late. My Dad last fall, good clients and friends this year. It isn’t ever easy. But all of these people were older and had been sick and we had, I suppose, mentally prepared a bit for the news of their deaths.
But not Vicki. Her husband if one of my review calls I often dread, to be honest. He can be quite a stickler with me on returns, fees and generally speaking, has seemed to enjoy keeping me on my toes over the years. So, when I called, I had already steeled myself for his tough questions.
But when he picked up, his tenor was different. Did he have a cold? His voice was not all together present. He sounded sick or something. “Vicki died last Thursday, Matt. I needed to let you know but I just couldn’t talk last week.”
Some time has passed since Monday morning. But the shock has barely worn off for me. 55! Not sick. She just didn’t wake up that Friday. My God, what would I do if that were Sarah? How would I cope? How could life ever return to normal?
That what is so inspirational about this man, Dan. He is touching and helping people who are sick. Who might not expect to live. This is amazingly heartfelt and real. Sure, Starbucks is a big old evil corporation. But Dan is an angel. Keep it up, Dan. You’ve made me wonder how I can do the same.
Enjoy your weekend folks. I’m happy you will have one to enjoy and I’m grateful I will too!
That is a catchy headline, isn’t it? I thought so too, which is why I clicked on this article from Forbes.
I find it interesting how much misinformation and mythology exists on drug use. Whether it is performance enhancing drugs or athletes or marijuana for stoners, true scientific data is sparse. Which means bogus stories can grow to become legitimate.
It is pretty clear that marijuana and PEDs and the overuse of anything, even water apparently, can have adverse effects on people. What isn’t as clear is if any of the PEDs or if pot can be used safely.
Even if not safe, are there moderate levels that the user can know about? We know that smoking and drinking alcohol are inherently bad in large doses. But we Americans allow these products sold by and large. But if a multi-million dollar ballplayer wants to heal more quickly from injury, he is banned from such an idea.
We know that our system of weapon regulations is flawed. Yet a elder who just wants to keep a meal down after a recent chemotherapy session is still forced to buy marijuana in a somewhat clandestine manner.
Isn’t all that a bit hypocritical?
This article speaks to a point I’ve been struggling with for sometime- “When will computers automate me out of a job?”
I’m convinced that one day, this profession of mine where we help folks in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County with their financial planning and 401(k) plan issues will be replaced by software for the most part. Not tomorrow. But not that far out, either.
Bill gates seems to agree. He’s quoted here by the “Business Insider” and his thoughts are interesting. Have a child or grandchild going into college in the near future? They better have at least some knowledge of software and programming or their work options in the future may be scarce.
Do you love to read? Who doesn’t, right? Well, head on over to the Santa Rosa Vet’s Building today or this weekend for the “Spring Book Faire” and support the Friends of Santa Rosa Library!
This according to Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman born in 1898. That is not one of my many typos. She is 116 years old!
How impressive and inspiring! Check out her great story here!
Do you LOVE all the mail you get each day? Me neither. Remember when you used to actually anticipate the mail delivery? Now, the opposite is true. Between junk mail, bills, statements and such, the mail is a drag! Unless you got a card from me 😉
But not only that, all that paper means dead trees! Even if you recycle all your paper waste, it really only saves 20% at best of that paper material. The rest is land fill bound…
So, what can you do to help cut down on paper waste you ask?
Well, for one, if you’re one of our clients, you can opt to go paperless with your account statements. Why? Because not only would it save trees, eliminate ink and shipping waste, it would also be more secure. Yes, more secure. With identity theft at all time highs, do you really want your important and sensitive information sitting in your mail box? For more info on going paperless, contact Sarah. She’d be happy to help.
If you live in Sonoma County, you can sign up to get your Sample Ballot for the June 3, 2014 Primary Election online. Go to http://www.vote-sonoma-county.org and you’ll find out how you can save lots of paper waste and taxpayer dollars, too.
Have a great weekend!