Archives For Politics

Happy Advicegiving

November 22, 2017 — 2 Comments

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are, by far, my favorite time of the year. There is cheer in the air and an overall feeling of generosity. Being in the financial field for the past 20 years I have also learned that this is the time of the year when advice is handed out most freely.

So take this as a word of caution for this “Advicegiving Season.”

Most of this advice is well intentioned however often unsolicited. It typically happens when the large meal of the day is finished, politics has been exhausted and the football games are winding down. Now enter the “rich uncle”, you know the one, everybody has one. (And they aren’t always rich) I can say everybody has one regardless of your economic situation or even knowing you. The rich uncle or relative is the guy that likes to tell you all of his huge successes throughout the year, whether they are real or not.

It almost always starts with a philanthropic tone of, “you should get into _________.” It starts this way so that everyone in the room feels like, wow! He is looking out for me or I am getting an inside tip. Then this person drones on and on about how well it has done. If it were to stop there I probably wouldn’t be even mentioning this non-event. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always stop there.

As I mentioned being in the financial field; Now I get to hear about all of these huge successes in the weeks following each of the holidays. It has happened repeatedly for the past 20 years. Which is both great and unfortunate?

It’s great to hear about these ideas/investments because I love to hear new ideas. Great because there are things out there that genuinely successful people do that I want to know about and be involved. Trust me, I certainly don’t claim to know it all and I also spend a great deal of time each year researching and learning anyways.

The unfortunate part is when it derails a financial plan that was totally on the right track. Unfortunately many of these proclaimed investment ideas aren’t always entirely true or even understood. Never does the afore mentioned rich uncle take the time to understand if his idea, be it good or bad, is appropriate for the season of life of the recipient or fits in to their overall goals.

So this holiday season take the advice and be gracious. However, I would caution you to think through who is giving the advice. Have they been successful? Are they in a different phase of life than you? Are their values in line with yours? Most importantly make sure that you overlay this advice with your well-coordinated plan to ensure that it fits into your families’ hopes and dreams.

Best of luck this Advicegiving season! I would encourage you to stick with throwing the football with the kids after lunch.

 

Do you have that Uncle? Let us know, maybe it would be even be fun to tag them on twitter or facebook as you respond:) 

 

Happy Holidays!

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The Origin of Labor Day

September 1, 2016 — 1 Comment

 

We live in the greatest country ever… Fact! As much as we hear political rhetoric and fighting amongst ourselves, fact remains that we are the greatest country ever. Our country was founded on the idea of self-reliance and individuals that work. They work to create for themselves, their families, community and country. So did you know that the day that we 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 this 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. We celebrate the ingenuity, diligence and the hard work that continues to make our country the best in the world.

So, how will you celebrate Labor Day and why…..? Share with me on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn

                                                             

Read more detail regarding Labor Day and its history

Labor Day 2016 is on September 5, 2016

America: Day One

February 10, 2016 — 4 Comments

When you grow up in an environment the sights and sounds become second nature to you. Unfortunately, the wonders that surround you also become second nature. I am fortunate to have recently had an experience that allowed me to see the wonder, blessings and opportunities that exist all around us in an entirely new way. I was able to see America though the eyes of a first time visitor to our great country. The encounter was truly profound; allow me to explain.

 

Returning from a quick turnaround Atlanta to Phoenix business trip, my red eye flight lands in Atlanta at 6:05am. While on my way to baggage claim I spot a fellow traveler searching for guidance and directions into Atlanta. Being a native Atlantan I offer assistance. My fellow traveler explains to me that he is a fisherman from a small town outside of Bordeaux, France and this is his first time in America. Manu, short for Manuel, explained that this was only a 10 hour layover in the states on his way to fish in Colombia, South America. He was wanting to see the city and also find some fishing supplies. Directing him to Marta, Atlanta’s light rail public transportation system, then onto cab’s and buses etc. It all seemed so cumbersome and inhospitable for me to just send him on his way leaving him to figure out our systems, directions and even a language barrier. So, I offered to take him myself and I’m glad that I did!

 

As we walked to my car Manu asked a significant question…. Is it common for American people to go out of their way or to be so kind as to help a stranger? Hmmmmm… Think on that for a minute! I will tell you my response in a moment.

 

Since Manu was looking for fishing supplies I told him that I would take him to Bass Pro Shops, he was ecstatic since he had only heard of this place on-line. As we traveled through Atlanta he was amazed at the the newness of our automobiles, the 16 lanes that make up our downtown connector, the amount of tall buildings and on and on. His eyes were wide open, expressing even a childlike wonder, but not because he hasn’t experienced the world. Manu shared with me the numerous countries that he had visited around the world, but in his words, “none of the places that I have visited have the sites that I am seeing”.

 

Manu continued to express gratitude for the ride, but also for the extra details in explaining some of the history of the United States and Atlanta. I was happy to serve him, however I believe that I was the one who gained the most from the brief time that we spent together. It was a treat for me to share my city and country with someone for the first time. When I was able to step aside from the places and things that had become common to me and see it through Manu’s eyes I realized what a gift it is to be born into America.

 

The best I can tell is that Bordeaux, France or anywhere else that Manu had traveled did not have fishing supply stores that encompassed over 150,000 sq. ft. of retail space. He went nuts when we turned into the Bass Pro Shops parking lot. When it really comes down to it we should all go a little nuts when we see things that are amazingly nice, large or convenient that we now dismiss as common place. One comment that he shared was that this seemed like the land of opportunity. He was surprised to learn that some people couldn’t find a job here.

 

In closing, I need to revisit the question that Manu asked me; we all should continually revisit this question. “Is it common for American people to go out of their way or to be so kind as to help a stranger?” I answered, Unfortunately it isn’t that common. Most people are busy and don’t take the time to notice. This isn’t an opportunity to pat myself on the back either because there are many times that I am too busy and don’t notice those who are in need around me. However, I am glad that I noticed this time. I am grateful that I was able to help Manu see a piece of America for the first time. However, it was he that helped me the most by allowing me to see the wonder and opportunity that surrounds me each day through his eyes.

 

P.S. As he exited my car he turned around and yelled to me; If he ever sees an American lost in France he will be there to help!