January 15, 2022

What’s the meaning of life? That’s an easy one.

What’s the meaning of life? That’s the question that’s echoed through the ages, stumping the greatest philosophers, scholars, and holy men alike through the millennia. But, to me, the answer is easy. The meaning of life is to find your gift. That’s it. Since we crossed that off the list of eternally unanswerable questions, let’ keep going. When it comes to your life’s work, your task is to develop that gift. And the purpose of life? That’s to share your gift. Meaning, purpose, and life’s work, all relating to your gifts. Now, the hard part: how can we achieve those […]
January 7, 2022

The game is mostly mental.

He must be cheating. No one can ride Peloton with that resistance for that long. That output cannot be right! While he pedaled smoothly, controlled his breathing like a well-oiled machine, I couldn’t even move the pedals at that rate. Sure, he was a collegiate athlete and runner, but that shouldn’t matter much now, right? No, there’s no way that can be right. There’s no way! But the fact remained: He is in better shape than me, the output was right, and he wasn’t cheating, of course. So, I asked my good buddy, who was barely breaking a sweat as […]
January 7, 2022

Your December 2021 Market & Economic Recap

  Jobs and Unemployment December’s job report was a pleasant surprise when just released a few days ago, far surpassing expectations and estimates. According to private payroll firm ADP, employers added 807,000 jobs in December 2021, an exceedingly strong finish to 2021. Previous estimates anticipated only 360,000 jobs to be added in December, less than half of the actual true number of hiring. December’s 807,000 new hires also blew past November’s strong 534,000 additions. The biggest job gains were seen by the service sector (+669,000 jobs) and among larger firms (+389,000). At the time of this writing, the Labor Department […]
December 30, 2021

Always look forward, never back.

Reflection is so important in life. If nothing else, the ceremonial renewing of our resolutions at the end of every year serves that invaluable purpose. Reflection also allows us to collect the lessons we’ve learned throughout the year and vow never to forget them. And while new year’s resolutions are often discarded all-too-soon, one way we can internalize the quest to improve our lives is to focus on continuous improvement. So, this year, I’m dedicated to the mantra of RELENTLESS FORWARD MOMENTUM. What does that mean? I endeavor to become the best version of me. I honor to be resilient […]
December 21, 2021

How do you know if you’re being the best version of yourself?

How do you know if you’re being the best version of yourself? How can you possibly assess if you’re maximizing your potential? What things do you look for? What are the signs? At the end of every year, I write both a personal and a professional business plan. In these documents, I put pen to paper to reflect on the things that worked during the year as well as the things that I need to improve upon. This year, like every year, I just sat down to review my goals. However, this year, unlike most, I circled back to the […]
December 21, 2021

What else should we be doing?

Brandon and I had just finished a nice lunch and were walking out of the restaurant. “What else should we be doing?” he asked. “It’s…I mean with my sister.” It gave me pause since he’d never confided in me about his sister before, who had special needs Brandon and I had worked together for 15 years. I saw him get started in finance, grow as an advisor and a person, and meet the girl of his dreams. He even had the engagement ring delivered to the office. “Hey, Dicker – check this out!” he yelled over with a big smile. […]
December 12, 2021

That doesn’t change who I am. (I’m here to help.)

That doesn’t change who I am. (I’m here to help.) 2010 Jonathan and I first sat down when he was referred to me for insurance and investments. He didn’t want to discuss anything other the purchasing term life insurance. Guarded at first, he eventually realized that I was not just a typical salesman. Jonathan purchased the insurance, becoming a client.   2012 Jonathan and I got together, at which point I suggested he move his investments over to me as well as purchase supplemental disability insurance. He moved his investments, but we wrestled over the disability insurance and the amount. Finally, he agreed to buy […]
December 3, 2021

November 2021 economic & market recap.

Wall Street and the stock market Coming off their best month of the year, the stock market saw significant negative movement at the tail end of November. For the month:   The NASDAQ gained 0.3% in November and is up 21.3% YTD. The S&P 500 lost -0.7% in November and is up 23.2% YTD. The DOW lost -3.5% in November and is up 14.7% YTD.   Of course, the big trigger for a market swoon was news of the Omicron variant and subsequent anxiety, with the S&P 500 dropping 2.3% on November 24th alone, its biggest one-day drop since February. […]
December 3, 2021

Thankful for all we’ve learned.

My grandfather Joe never really liked me. I won’t go into the thorny details of our relationship, but the simple truth remains. Without question, my grandfather Joe was very hard on me. And he most certainly never understood me or made any effort to thaw our relationship. And yet that relationship, like so many, I remain thankful for. Why? Because I learned so much from my grandfather – even if they were painful life lessons. Granted, he had no intention of bestowing these lessons upon me (or any other charitable act pointed in my general direction). Still, it’s due to […]
November 25, 2021

What makes a great business?

Friday Thoughts: What makes a great business? In the early 2000s, Blockbuster was on top of the world, with more than 9,000 stores across the U.S. and a video tape in nearly every home’s VHS or BETA player (remember those?!). A new, obscure startup called “Netflix” even approached Blockbuster in 2000, asking if the video store king would like to buy them out for a mere $50 million. But Blockbuster’s CEO declined, calling Netflix “a very small fringe business.” The rest is history, with Blockbuster filing bankruptcy by 2010 and Netflix going on to have 213 million subscribers worldwide this […]
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