Values

September 11, 2017 — Leave a comment

9-11 and Irma

 

What do you value today? Chances are this special day in America makes you reflect on all that is important to you. What is it about this date, 9-11?

Today in the Southeast many of us brace for the impact of Hurricane Irma. Most of us have remained glued to the weather updates and forecasts. Due to the wrath of this storm many are coming to terms with potentially losing their valuable possessions [or having lost items].

Thousands of families who have been forced to evacuate their homes were faced with the decision of what to take and what to leave behind. The thought of leaving some items behind meant that it could be gone forever. So, it forced the question of what do you value?

Some of our dear friends were faced with this issue of packing some items and trying to secure important items as they left their home on the beach last week. Their attitude about their “stuff” has been quite impressive to me. As Hurricane Irma changed paths putting their home squarely in the impact zone; the realization of a total loss has become substantially greater. Throughout this time of uncertainty they have remained resolute in that their family is safe and that most all “things” could be replaced. Clearly their values are placed in people and not things.

September 11, 2001 and the days following the terror of 911 also made people take pause and reflect on their own values. In the wake of 9-11 I have friends who changed jobs to move closer to family. Many people reached out to loved ones with calls or letters to mend broken relationships. Realizing the fragile nature of life either changed or reminded us about our values.

9-11-01 and 9-11-17 will likely be remembered for various and different reasons. This date of 9-11 has become even more important as a date of reflection to question our values. Hopefully, these dates may be remembered by you as a date when you realized that stuff is just stuff. Place value in your relationships and care for them more than you care for your physical possessions.

I’ll close with one of my new favorite quotes. It is from Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, together they are The Minimalists.

 

“Use things and love people, the reverse never works.”

 

 

Image Credit to Reuters/Lucas Jackson and Drive Media

Labor Day, Eh

September 4, 2017 — Leave a comment

Everyone enjoys Labor Day but how did it get started and why? We probably should take a few minutes out of our picnic today and thank our Canadian friends.

 

Happy Labor Day eh?

 

Although political rhetoric and in-fighting is at an all time high; the fact remains that The United States of America is the greatest country in the history of the world. Our country was founded on the idea of self-reliance and the ingenuity of individuals who work. They work in order to add value for themselves, their families, community and country. However, like many things we, Americans, sometimes borrow ideas from other countries and before long they’re believed to be our own creations or an inherent American idea.

So, did you know that this day which is set aside to recognize the economic and social impact of those who work in our country was originally a Canadian idea?

Many argue that Labor Day was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May of 1882, after witnessing the annual Labor Festival in Toronto, Canada.  In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed into law this day as a National Holiday. Since that date we have set aside the 1st Monday in September to recognize the economic and social contributions of workers in our country.

As we celebrate the day with picnics, barbecues, and parades with friends and neighbors; let us not forget the reason that we celebrate. Today we celebrate the ingenuity, diligence and the hard work of those who get up each day to add value to society. So, regardless of whether Labor Day was our original idea or not; thanks eh, to all of you who work each day.

So, how are you celebrating Labor Day? Share with me on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn

                                                              

Read more detail regarding Labor Day and its history

Labor Day 2017 is on September 4, 2017

Labor Day 2018 will be observed on Monday, September 3, 2018

 

Vision vs Trust

August 13, 2017 — Leave a comment

Something is holding you back from achieving at a greater level! Its possible that it is either vision or trust. Vision and Trust aren’t mutually exclusive entities. However, it is helpful to have at least one of them present at all times.

 

vision vs trust 1

Images Credit: Accenture Images / Drive Media

 

Lacking vision or the ability to look beyond current reality can lead to missed opportunities. A great example comes from a story my father often tells about himself….. Now, somewhat laughingly.

Years ago, I believe I was about 4 at the time, my dad was wanting to invest into Real Estate. He mentioned to a poker buddy that he was looking at land and had his eye on a neighborhood lot in Conyers, GA; $16,000. The Poker Buddy, a much older man and very successful, said that he had a lot for sale on Lake Lanier and that he’d sell it to my Dad for a better than normal deal; $9,000.

So, Dad being excited about the opportunity went to take a look at the Lake Lanier lot. As he approached the lot there was an unsightly old bus, rusted out, over grown with weeds located right in the middle of the property. His excitement for the investment quickly waned. All he could see was that bus! All he could think was that he was going to have to do something with that bus! He also laughs about the thought of telling my Mom that he had spent their savings and they now had this bus to deal with. Their future dream spot, next to the bus:)

He ended up choosing the more pristine, more expensive neighborhood lot in Conyers. For those of you not from Atlanta; Conyers is a fine community but has never materialized into its full potential. Some of my childhood memories are of us as a family reluctantly driving down to see our lot and just look at it, in Conyers….. in the middle of this Ranch style community. Dad ultimately sold it for a modest profit.

And now the rest of the story……

There is a good chance that you may have visited that same Lake Lanier Lot. Quite a bit later it sold for several million dollars. It is now the location of the entrance to Lake Lanier Islands. A large lake resort with hotels, conference center, restaurants, marinas and golf course.

A lesson that our family repeats often, Sometimes you have to look past the bus.

 

Vision Seeing Beyond The Bus

Image Credit Drive Media – (Not actual Photo from lot in story)

 

No disrespect to my Dad because he has been successful over the years but not in this particular instance. He didn’t have the vision to see the possibilities. His entire focus was on the bus not the opportunity. In my profession its a common condition that I see often; focusing on the worst case scenario more than the best case scenario.

Trust

It is important to have a team of people around you who are successful. Tony Robbins says that you are the sum of your 5 closest friends. Having a relationship with them as friends or advisors provides you with resources and experience in areas where you may be lacking. Having resources and trusting in them will allow you to have success when there are times of uncertainty. Trust in the wisdom of someone who has gone before you.

Practical Application

Most Americans have a majority of their Net Worth tied up in a retirement account or their home. Most do not have huge investment accounts yet. Either way, they have never seen, first hand, the massive impact that taxes have on an investment. Their IRA/401(k) investments are still being deferred; therefore, the tax problem which exists has yet to be realized.

Over my 20+ years in business I have always stressed to our members the importance of investing into Tax Free Opportunities.
Yet, in the early stages of life it is common for investors to lack the vision of a time when they will have massive accounts. Later in life when accounts are huge; the tax ramifications can also be huge. However, most ignore the Tax Free message since they do not have the experience of it being a major problem (and neither do their friends).

To reference our earlier example the bus in this case represents today’s problems or desires which may be avoiding the tax today on small investments. Thus also lacking the trust and vision to avoid the tax on the massive amounts down the road.

The Intersection of Vision and Trust

A lack of vision and trust is a recipe for never reaching your full potential.

The Encouragement

As you invest have the vision to “look past the bus” towards a time when you could reap millions from your investments.

Trust in your diligent investing and in the knowledge of those ahead of you. Have faith that you will win longterm.

Plan accordingly.