What is Valuable?

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 “When your Values are Clear to You, Making Decisions Becomes Easier”
– Roy Disney

Roy Disney was the co-founder of The Walt Disney Company along with his younger brother Walt, and is largely known as the force behind the company’s success.  While Walt was the creative genius, Roy was just as much a business genius, who made sure the company was financially successful.

His quote above is one of my very favorites, and serves as a constant reminder about the incredible power of personal values.  In my experience, personal values have tremendous power over human behavior, and I have observed that most people have an extremely strong ambition to enable their personal values in their lives.  Our values are like an invisible force which influence every action we take, goal we achieve, and decision we make.   When we have clarity about what is most important to us, the decisions and actions which influence our life’s trajectory become second nature, because they are guided by the compass of our personal values.

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Should you Hire a Financial Advisor? Depends on your Mindset.

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“As a society, we don’t understand relationship skills. Yet everything is at stake in people’s relationships. Mindset adds another dimension. It can help us understand even more about why some people are able to build lasting and satisfying relationships.”

– Carol Dweck, from the book “Mindset”

Carol Dweck is a researcher, educator and author of a marvelous book called Mindset, in which she discusses the importance of how we look at the world when it comes to success and achievement. In particular, the book discusses the important role mindset plays in the success or failure of relationships. Dweck makes the point that the very best, happiest and most productive relationships are based on the foundation of a similar mindset, in which two or more people have the same way of looking at the world, and what is most important.
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Great Investors Are Humble

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“Never make predictions, especially about the future”
– Casey Stengel

In last month’s article, we focused on “chasing performance” as one of the biggest mistakes to avoid for anyone who wants to become a great investor. This month we focus on a similar, but slightly different quality…Great Investors Are Humble

To become a great investor, one must have a healthy acceptance of the fact that investing is essentially an exercise in managing uncertainty about the future, and is an “inexact” science at best. Great investors understand that there is a limit to the effectiveness of analyzing current information about the world, as a means to make future judgements about asset prices. Although hard work and research are critical parts of the investment decision-making process, they do not guarantee a favorable outcome. More importantly, great investors recognize the limitations of their own intelligence, insight and skill as reliable tools in making effective decisions. There is no “black box”, and even the smartest and most skillful investors will struggle with predicting an uncertain future.

No matter how smart, or skilled the investor, it is wise to never overestimate your ability to be “right” every time, and the wise investor makes healthy allowance for the possibility of being wrong.
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Walking the Talk: Rules for a Knight

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“Never announce that you are a knight, simply behave as one”

– Ethan Hawke, from his book Rules for a Knight

A Super Performer

On February 1st, 2015, the New England Patriots played the Seattle Seahawks in one of the most entertaining, and closely contested Super Bowl games in recent history.  Late in the 4th quarter of that game, with only 6:52 left on the clock, the Patriots took possession of the ball deep in their own territory, losing 24-21.  This was crunch time for the Pats – if they were able to mount a long scoring drive, the odds were good they would win the championship.  If they came up empty and turned the ball back over to Seattle, it was likely the Seahawks would run out the clock and take the victory.

New England’s Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady stepped into the huddle to start the drive, and except for the players on the field that night, nobody really knows exactly what he said to his players when they took the field.  However, there is one thing I can guarantee he did not say.  More →

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Universal Truths: You want the Truth? You can’t handle the Truth!

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“The Truth! You can’t handle the Truth!”

– Colonel Nathan R. Jessep from A Few Good Men

When Jack Nicholson spoke these famous words in the movie “A Few Good Men”, the line became an instant classic, permanently etched in American pop culture.  There is great wisdom in this short quote, as it expresses an important reality: most people actually really can’t “handle the truth” about many things, and that many of our problems in life spring from our insistence upon avoidance or denial of the more difficult realities of life.

I recently read a great article by author and success coach Bill Bachrach, in which he wrote the following:
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A Simple Habit for a Happier Life

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“The most surprising development about the expanding world of abundance in the 21st century is that it most richly rewards those individuals who are increasingly grateful for every aspect of the extraordinary world that is being created around them. To the degree that you are grateful for what you have, you will get more of what you want.”

– Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach®

Mind the Gap!

If you have ever been to London, this phrase is probably familiar to you.  Riders on London’s underground subway system called the “Tube” are constantly reminded by a recorded voice to “Mind the Gap”.  The recording is intended to warn riders of the physical dangers they face if they misstep into the gap between the train and the platform.  However, there is also a dangerous mental and emotional “Gap” which is important to avoid if we hope to live a happy life. Dan Sullivan, author and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program, describes a dangerous mental trap he calls “The Gap™”, which is a metaphor for a negative zone of emotion and thinking that can be very hazardous to your mental health and happiness.

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Wall Street Journal profiles Gerald Strid: Why One Wall Street Broker Declared His Independence

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Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Norb Vonnegut profiles Gerald “Zeke” Strid, co-founder and patriarch of Concentus Wealth Advisors.

Why One Wall Street Broker Declared His Independence

The promise of control & flexibility lured wirehouse veteran Gerald Strid to launch his own shop in 2014

In 2014, Gerald Strid co-founded Concentus Wealth Advisors with his sons and, like so many others, became a breakaway.

Yet unlike so many others, Mr. Strid made the move at the age of 70. He is now in his 48th year as a wealth manager, and his King of Prussia, Pa., firm manages $420 million in assets.

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What is Your 100 Year Plan?

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Futurists say the first person to reach 150 years of age has already been born, and some project that people alive today will live 300 years or even longer.
– Ric Edelman

Gordon Moore was the co-founder of Intel, who famously observed in 1965 that the number of components per integrated circuit would double each year for at least a decade. Thus was born “Moore’s Law”, which essentially has become known to mean that the computing power of semiconductors will double about every 18 months. That day in 1965 was the moment the world irrevocably changed forever in a very fundamental way. It was at that moment that human innovation and technological progress changed from a steady linear rate of growth, to one that is exponential in nature.

To grasp the difference between linear growth and exponential growth, consider the following choice:
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