June 2, 2023

What we can learn from Nike’s guiding principles

I want to share something with you, Nike’s guiding principles: Our business is change. We’re on offense.  All the time. Perfect results count—not a perfect process.  Break the rules: fight the law. This is as much about battle as about business. Assume nothing.  Make sure people keep their promises.  Push yourselves push others.  Stretch the possible. Live off the land. Your job isn’t done until the job is done. Dangers: Bureaucracy Personal ambition Energy takers vs. energy givers Knowing your weaknesses Don’t get too many things on the platter It won’t be pretty. If we do the right things, we’ll make money […]
June 1, 2023

May 2023 Market & Economic Recap

Stock Market In May, stocks ended mixed as the Nasdaq was sparked by AI stocks, debt ceiling worries wiped out earlier S&P gains, and the Dow dropped thanks to double-digit losses by Nike, Disney, Walgreens, Chevron, and more. For the month of May, the three major stock indices ended as follows: Nasdaq Composite +5.8% S&P 500 +0.3% The Dow -3.5%   Debt Ceiling Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden struck an agreement in principle to suspend the nation’s borrowing limit over Memorial Day Weekend. The controversial debt ceiling bill then passed the House on May 31st and now must pass the Senate […]
May 26, 2023

10 Years ago, Scott fired me.

Ten years ago, Scott fired me. At the time, he wanted to handle his own investments. He thought that he could do it himself and didn’t want to spend the money on an advisor. It stung at the time, like it always does. But I understood his thinking and wished him well. Last year, I was able to reconnect with Scott. I’d just relocated to Arizona with my family. Coincidentally, so had he. He had a new position as the CFO of a company in Phoenix and was doing great. Scott and I met for a drink to catch up. […]
May 19, 2023

The Dangers of Narrative.

On Wednesday, one headline reads, “…shares sink following weak revenue forecasts due to….” On Thursday, the same news source writes about the same company, saying, “…company shares jump 8% on report of company X collaborating...” The same news source. The same week. A discussion about the same company. But two totally different messages. Narrative. Most people take in their information with layers of interpretation. You can make numbers say just about anything you want, and the markets and our news cycle move so fast, 24 hours with little respite. According to most headlines, we’re either in a new gold rush […]
May 12, 2023

Nurture vs. Nature.

I never spent a lot of time with my father. He wasn’t around – or particularly interested. When he was nearby, he often closed himself off. Headphones on, he listened to music instead of acknowledging my sister and me. So, with my kids, I try to be there for them. I try my best to be at all of their games and performances. I tour schools with my wife. To be honest with you, it’s not my favorite thing in the world (to put it lightly), but we want to make sure they’re going to the best schools and have the […]
May 5, 2023

The phone never rings this late.

The phone never rings this late. It can’t be good. “Hello?” the father answers. A familiar voice on the other end of the phone: the mom of one of their son’s friends. “There has been an accident,” she says, trying to collect her breath. “Your son was in it. You need to come right away.” Upon hearing the news, the mother screams. They quickly dress and rush downstairs and into the car. Every possible outcome races through their minds. They try to remain positive, but time stands still. Once at the scene, Mom and Dad see their son being attended to by […]
May 1, 2023

April 2023 Market & Economic Recap

Stock Market For the month of April, the stock market’s three major indices performed as follows: Dow Jones Industrial Average 2.48% S&P 500 1.46% Nasdaq Composite 0.1% For the month, the Dow saw its largest monthly gain since January, while the S&P logged its second positive month in a row. Friday, the last trading day of the month, saw solid gains thanks to a series of strong earnings reports, with the Dow rising 0.8%, the S&P the same, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumping 0.7%. To date, just over 53% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Of those, 79% […]
April 28, 2023

Burn the leads.

Extreme results. Extreme desire. Extreme decisions. The year is 1999. My Managing Partner (GA) at the time, Bob. Walks into the office one morning and smells smoke. There’s a fire in the office, he thinks. Bob rushes in, past the rows of cubicles on the second floor of our office in downtown LA, tracking the smell – and now, a whisp of smoke in the air. It leads him to my cubicle, where he stops abruptly with a quizzical look. Sitting calmly at my desk, I’ve removed the plastic bag from the inside of my trash can. I’d then taken […]
April 21, 2023

Integrity

An advisor I know was recently brought into a situation that I’ve never had any real experience with. Within a family of clients, the daughter, now in her 60’s, is a schoolteacher. She makes about $60k per year. She’s also the sole trustee and beneficiary of a billion-dollar trust that she doesn’t want anything to do with. Her mother passed away recently, leaving this trust and all of its proceeds to her. To make things even more challenging, the daughter’s husband is terminally ill with cancer – so they definitely need the resources. In fact, the entire family has used the […]
April 14, 2023

It’s been too long.

“I’m not so sure about this market,” Tom said. “What do you think? And how should I be feeling?” “The market is the market,” I replied. “My crystal ball broke yesterday!” My longtime client, sitting across from me, laughed. “That being said, things will continue as they are,” I went on. “Rest assured that we are here with you and doing everything possible to make sure you are protected.” He nodded, visibly relieved. “But what you have to ask yourself is when do you need this money?” I continued. “No one likes seeing losses or a decline in portfolio value. But, then again, […]
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