August 4, 2023

Tough Conversations

“Thank you,” Andre said. “For what?”  I said. “For calling me out and holding me accountable,” he replied, putting his hand on my shoulder and looking at me with a knowing smile. “You are a true friend.” My client and dear friend, Andre, is a chef. He’s one of the best, thriving professionally with endless accolades. But he was struggling personally, his weight ballooning. He was out of control. One night, while at a charity event, I saw him eating and drinking with abandon. Now, to keep it in perspective, he had quit smoking a year earlier. Andre blamed his weight gain […]
August 1, 2023

July 2023 Market & Economic Recap

Stock Market In July, stocks continued their favorable run, turning bear to bull in 2023. For the month, the market’s three major indices performed as follows: S&P 500 3.1% The Dow 3.4% Nasdaq Composite 4.1% For the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite, July marked the fifth-straight month of gains, the longest green streak in approximately two years. Year-to-date (through July 31st), the market’s major indices have performed as follows: The Dow 7.3% S&P 500 19.5% Nasdaq 37.1% Through the first seven months of 2023, the S&P 500 registered its best start of any year since 1997, while the Nasdaq saw its highest-gaining […]
July 28, 2023

DOING the right thing.

Always try to put yourself and those around you in a position to win. Recently, one of my wife’s friends asked me while the kids were swimming in her pool, “Now what is it that you do again?” “I work with a small select group of individuals and business owners with regard to their financial affairs,” I replied. The conversation continued and I explained who we were and our methodology.. This particular family was with UBS and not happy with their service. So, with no “sales” material or “selling,” this family asked me if I could work with them. “Why […]
July 21, 2023

I am simply amazed.

I am simply amazed by what we can learn from our kids. As a father, I am VERY protective of my kids. I know you may be, too. But when it comes to my son, I have been even more protective, especially with the move and a lot of what he has been dealing with. We had some friends over the other day. One of their boys, Tim, used to be a close friend of my sons until an incident occurred a couple of years ago. I then “banished” that boy from his friendship circle and wouldn’t allow my son to […]
July 14, 2023

My first job.

The year was 1990. I had my first job when I was only 13, working at a Baskin Robbins in Los Angeles. The ice cream shop was close to my house so I would ride my single-speed black Schwinn bicycle to work every day. I loved it; the feeling of independence, the feeling of making my own money, being my own man. There is just no other feeling like that. Maybe you can relate? One evening, my boss decided to let me close the shop. I remember it like yesterday; the privilege of being able to be the last person there, counting […]
July 7, 2023

Never do anything for anyone…

Never do anything for anyone… expecting that they will do something for you in return. Never give… While keeping in the back of your mind that you may receive. Don’t do for others… with the hope that they will do for you.  Instead, do things for others because you want to, because you feel it, and it brings you joy. Stop thinking of relationships… as transactional.  Look, you shouldn’t allow people to take advantage of you. Only surround yourself with people that have your back, and you have theirs. And it’s perfectly alright to remind those around you that relationships […]
June 30, 2023

Lessons on change from Cuba.

Prior to 1959 and prior to Fidel Castro taking power in Cuba, the country was not the impoverished pariah state that we now know it as. In fact, Cuba’s capital, Havana, was a dazzling and dynamic city. Casinos, lounges, and luxury hotels lined the coastlines, with celebrities like Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, and Ernest Hemingway regular visitors. Havana was such a hot spot for international jet setters and vacationers that for just $50 (a couple of hundred dollars today), you could buy a roundtrip ticket from Miami to Havana, including hotel, food, and a few shows. Consider that, pre-Castro, Cuba […]
June 23, 2023

Find a way to lead.

“I think I need to remove one of my girls from our estate plan,” she said. “She is out of control and has now revoked all of our access to her therapist,” my client continued, trying not to cry. “She is 18 now and has that right, but we have been trying to get her the help she needs.” “I don’t know what happened. She was always such a happy kid.” I simply listened. Then, when she was ready, I went over what could be done and her options. And I was there for her as she wept, describing what was […]
June 16, 2023

Lightning & mountain tops

I heard a quote once that stuck with me. “Once you get to the top of the mountain, all you have left is lighting. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you.” Although I can’t properly attribute it, those words hold weight with me. At this point, I fully understand that with success comes responsibility. Sometimes, that responsibility feels daunting or can even be frightening – the lightning is crashing all around you, and you’re alone, at the top, without shelter. Almost always, that responsibility is inconvenient and uncomfortable. But how you stand up in the face of those hazards […]
June 9, 2023

A woman was crying at the airport.

Last Friday, while walking through the Denver airport to head back home, I noticed a young woman crying. I was walking through the airport with Chuck, my longtime friend and coach, who was on the phone completing a call. As we waited to enter TSA, I noticed a young lady in tears, getting more and more upset while she spoke on her cell phone. We ended up being sent in one direction and her in another at the airport while trying to get to the security line. Finally, we entered an elevator to get to our gate. Just as the […]
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