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 […]
November 18, 2021

Value

As we entered the restaurant, morning sun streaming through the windows, and were led to our table, we chatted. Sam and I talked about our families, his life, and his recent retirement after 27 years of building his company to the powerhouse it now was. We sat, opened our menus, and chatted about what his plans were for the next stage of his life. As we took sips of our coffee, we talked about the Dodgers, contemplating if they’d be able to win another World Series with the roster as presently constructed. (We’re not optimistic!) Soon, with breakfasts ordered and […]
November 11, 2021

In Bora Bora, the air temp and water temp are the same…

Have you ever been to Bora Bora? In that French Polynesian island nestled in the South Pacific, on most days the temperature of the water and the air temperature are the same.  Whether you walk from the beach into the translucent aquamarine waters or from the waves onto land again, it feels the same, with no discernable change at all. Imagine that – going through life with conditions so comfortable and predictable, we experience and seek as little change as possible? This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with my study group, a collection of successful and dynamic […]
November 3, 2021

October economic & market recap.

                  October economic & market recap: Wall Street booms, inflation bites, and the Fed to start their taper. A Banner Month for Wall Street In October, Wall Street had its best month of the year, with the S&P 500 gaining 6.9% from October 1st to 31st. That’s the S&P’s highest monthly gain since November 2020, when the stock market responded to a new president and optimistic news about possible coronavirus vaccines. The Nasdaq (+7.2%) and Dow Jones (+5.8%) posted similar gains. Wall Street’s S& P 6.9% gain last month was a welcome […]
October 27, 2021

Black velvet behind the diamond.

This week, I had a long conversation with a dear friend of mine.   We’ve been trying to catch up for quite some time but kept missing one another.   He’s in a similar business, and we have both been at “it” for the same number of years. Both of us have enjoyed a modicum of success along the way.  During our conversation, while hearing about some of the things he was doing and experiencing, I must admit to feeling a little bit of “FOMO” – fear of missing out. Did I do everything the right way? Was I missing out on […]
October 22, 2021

Action, Reaction. Outcome.

Action.  Reaction. Every action incites a reaction. That’s true whether in life, in business, striving for a certain level of fitness or other goals, or anything else in life. The concept of action/reaction probably goes all the way back to high school physics classes for most of us, although the phenomenon was intrinsic long before that. In fact, it was Sir Isaac Newtown who famously said, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” This week, that fundamental truth of the universe was tested for me. In a not-altogether pleasant exchange, my actions lead to a vehement reaction from my […]
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