The Success Sabotage Game

Having just about put a wrap on a very good book this weekend in the personal development genre, I reflect on experiences and relationships all while laying down a new guitar riff. I have things in the office to do on this beautiful summer weekend but the philosopher in me has taken over.

I took up Dean Graziosi on his offer to attend a free seminar and get a meal and book on him. I enjoy seminars as a way of gauging my mindset in the context of others who have achieved successes and wish to share while prepared for “the catch”. Typically, presenters deliver on their word as has Dean.

I’ve yet to gain a full understanding of the man’s history but I certainly do appreciate his sincerity in his book, “Millionaire Success Habits”. What I do know is that he put real estate to work and applied Tony Robbins’ principles in acquiring results. While others were challenged by the no doc mortgage debacle and economic pessimism in 2009, Dean apparently snapped up properties.

My message today surrounds the power of the pragmatic mind developed through failure and the social acclimatization toward risk avoidance. Frankly, the attendance of a seminar pertaining to wealth related concepts in Canadian society is mostly viewed as gullible or naive as opposed to entrepreneurially provocative. The propensity to defer to a messenger’s motive syncs with the suspicion entrenched within a society’s affinity toward liberalism. 

You know that folks seek solace in the shortcomings of others.  You hear it at work and you see it in headlines littered through websites encouraging your clicks. Marketers even target your need to be soothed.  There is a cultural aberration at play which must be called out and identified in your mind in order for the full force of your individualism to be actualized. I’m talking about the influence of this phenomenon in your mind as young as preschool. Negativity abounds and you are better equipped to handle it when you become attuned to its source.

Oh ya…the book, “Millionaire Success Habits” by Dean Graaziosi.              

What Is A Hedge?

A hedge is a position taken in the financial markets for the purpose of protecting against an unfavorable move against ones’ portfolio. The term “hedge” can be used in other contexts but I bring this financial usage to your attention because of the unfortunate absence of its deployment generally speaking by individual investors.

When the typical Canadian makes his/ her annual trip to the bank for transferring funds into the RRSP fund, the banker who really doesn’t know much about investing simply cycles the money into mutual funds. There’s no reason for the banker to do any differently because typically the portfolio holder knows no different either. Banks are in the business of not losing you money because they wish to retain your business. Mutual funds are convenient for them because they can rely on diversification through a professional fund manager. The trouble one encounters is back end fees, mangagement fees and “over-diversification”. Yes, being over-diversified has the effect of dumming down returns.

In my accounting practice, I frequently remind my clients to spend a couple of hours per week delving into financial education while learning about stock market investment opportunities. I believe that nobody is more concerned about your net worth and your retirement than you. Hence; you need to be in charge and fully accountable to your own financial growth.

Now back to hedging. You may have heard the terms “inherent risk”, “systemic risk”, and “geopolitical risk”. They are all fancy terms akin to abstract art and I’m certainly not going to spend time expounding upon the ultimate essence of their meaning. However; I am going to refer to the ever present matter of monetary stability and its lack thereof as a good reason in itself to be “hedged.”

First world countries have become more and more indebted. You thought the U.S. was bad. Well, in the U.K. every man, woman, and child owes some other country $127,000 USD. It kind of puts all the fuss around Princess Kate in perspective.  While the English pander to the residents of Buckingham Palace and obsess over pregnancy rumours, each and every Englishman, Scot, Welshman, and Irishman wake up to a future of financial bondage.  Per capital, the U.S. is at a mere $58,200 per citizen.

Here’s what’s weird….there’s really no record of reconciliation of these debt obligations with creditors available in the public doman. You see….governments issue debt instruments like bonds and treasury notes in the context of their borrowings so one would expect to see these all accounted for by a reporting body such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Hence; the settlement of such instruments and the creation of new ones could be viewed with transparency.

What about gold? Does gold still play a role in the creation of debt instruments? Well, no. However; countries around the world still view gold as a financial instrument. It used to be the case in the U.S that the production of a dollar bill could only be undertaken by assigning a gold unit concurrently. This is no longer the case since the Nixon administration. Fractional reserve banking today does not utilize gold as a variable in the production of new money.

What has been the reaction by the IMF in a culture of debt proliferation? Well, they created their own monetary unit called the “SDR” (Special Depository Right). It’s reasonable to derive that the unit was created in the context of currency mismatches, unreconciled debtor/ creditor accounts, and imbalances in sovereign gold reserves. Could the SDR become a material talking point in place of rumours around Kate’s next “baby bump”? I’m not certain that that populous has the appetite for reality TV to go along with milk and morning corn flakes.

Hence; you might learn more about hedging and what it can do to protect your portfolio.

Twenty-Five Per Cent of Canadians Say They Face Economic Hardship

This is what an Angus Reid poll has concluded from a sampling of 2,542 Canadian adults. I’m not surprised and below I make some attributions for the troubling statistic:

1.       Trade school not seriously introduced to 16 and 17 year olds in our           system of education

2.       Liberal culture unsupportive of propelling the individual toward                 entrepreneurship

3.       Propensity to defer responsibility

4.       Proliferation of employment agencies and head hunters buffering             effect of take home pay

5.       Opportunity cost associated with young adults pampered at home             by their parents

6.       Inconvenient and costly legal system incapable of expeditiously                 handling contract disputes

7.       Poor partnering of industry and education system

8.       Absent household budgeting / undisciplined allocation of after tax             dollars

9.       Psychological compulsion to showcase lifestyle undeserving of                   income

10.   Employer payroll costs effect on tempering wages

Second Half 2018

Here you are. It’s summer and you think you owe yourself more idle time because the young ones are out of school. Wrong. It’s actually time to roll up your sleeves and show them what work is all about. There are those outstanding odd jobs around the house and the pet projects deserving of attention as well as the pursuit of continuous learning. Learning is growing and we should be doing some of it every day in order to keep the creative and inspirational juices flowing. We are inundated with stories of troubled minds through the media and at every turn there are references to chemical imbalances or hereditary predispositions when perhaps the biggest contributor to mental aberration is idleness.

The summer of 2018 will depart us and when you look back, let it be a time of productivity as well as play. Throw yourself into something worthwhile which will bring you pride. Capture memories of family adventure while incorporating engaging activities. Stimulate yourself intellectually because as the old adage goes, “leaders are readers”.

Additionally, I encourage you to reflect on your place within the economic system in the context of who you know you to be.  Nobody really knows you better than you. We fool ourselves into thinking that constructive feedback from those close to us should form a larger barometer of our being but this strategy is really rationalization for delay when in actuality the fear of execution persists.

If you are serious about taking a hard look at yourself and your current participation within the economic system, you may pick up a copy of my ebook, “Your Business Mind”.  

  

 

Signs of Erosion In Civic Health

 

1.       Fraud and corruption

2.       Dishonored contracts

3.       Property rights disrespected

4.       Rural crime frustrates farmers

5.       Civil suits backlog court houses to the benefit of lawyers receipts

6.       Littering and indifference to the infraction

7.       Brashness and deceit in politics as winning formula

8.       Inattentiveness to the elderly

9.       Pronounced tail gaiting at the speed limit

10.   Proliferation of public debt accompanied by perpetual deficits

11.   Rising pedestrian deaths

12.   Propensity to relax rules and regulations

13.   Quickness and inclination to judge others

14.   Isolation of children

2.      Police detachment with better things to do than respond to                        trespassers and bike thieves

16.   Closure of arts / music venues

17.   Graffiti

18.   Loitering and the ambivalence toward it

19.   Decline in volunteerism

20.   Usury and government’s perception and reaction to it

Out of the Valley – Book Review

Are you intrigued by the psychodynamics of dating? Have you ever wondered if that man or woman of yesteryear could have been the one? Have you suspected that that articulate attractive and poised person of interest may just have a chink in the armour? Then, Out of the Valley is for you. Cam Clark’s well constructed characters of Scott and Candice will have you reaching for this paper back at every idle moment. Although cast in darkness, it’s unwound through evolution and discovery. You’re there at their dinner table. You are transfixed by what will come of the text messages.

Cam juxtaposes between thoughts and words helping you with the disconnect. It’s the most appealing portrayal of human nature’s propensity for reservation in the face of fear. There is adversity and its confrontation. There is modesty in Scott’s manner. There is revelation in undiscovered strength and there is plot which hosts this pair. 

Have you ever found yourself in the valley? Perhaps, you’re there right now grasping for a foot hold up the escarpment in need of some edification. Cam describes the view from the valley with eloquence and meanders through the depths with gracefulness not representative of the state but typical of his writing style. 

Available on Amazon.

 

 

  

Good Samaritan Alert

After a strenuous bike ride today, I disembarked at the Marlborough station and started walking the bike down the off ramp. Upon hearing a bang, I looked into the parking lot below and a man had just turned a sharp looking white car into a large lamp post with a cement base. It was either an absent minded moment or he was distracted by his phone. He was alone in the car.

After one circle around the off ramp, I turned again to see how we was handling the assessment of the dent on the passenger door panel. By this time, a middle aged woman had arrived on the scene having exited her teal Mitsubishi Mirage and I’m intrigued. She must have seen what I heard. I make my way down and I just have to check this out. As it turns out, this woman had seen a young Jamaican man in emotional distress by the circumstance and felt compelled to console. It was that simple. She had also perceived that the young man may have been new to Canada and that he may need help in navigating the insurance system and claims process.  I complimented her sense of exemplary civics and rode home refreshed from the fatigue of a long bike ride.    

What Is Facebook Anyway?

Is it a platform which began as a place to share but has become more of a sponsored ad bulletin board? Is it a place for the voiceless to espouse political doctrine? Is it a place to promote unabashedly? Is it a place to put publicity into ones otherwise closeted past time? Is it a place to “troll” other’s opinions and activities for discovery in place of a phone call and meaningful relationship?

Although the platform continues to appeal to my curiosity and sincere interest in other’s lives as well as a place to share my blog and thoughts, I do marvel at its plasticity. I’m amused at how polite people can be in public but obnoxious and rude when on line. I’m perplexed by the degree of engagement by some in the context of actually making a living. I’m grateful for its convenience in connecting to relatives at physical distance. I’m exasperated by the vanity expressed by some.

There’s no question in my mind that “social media” has had negative consequences for the sociability of mankind. Net negative? Hmm. Reminds me of a story to share.

This past Wednesday, I headed down to McHugh House to take in some live music and witness first hand roots of the local music scene. To my disappointment, the band played excessively loud for the small venue and if one wasn’t equipped with ear filters (I was prepared), the discomfort would be intolerable. The most intriguing aspect of the performance was how transfixed these young people were to embracing the act instead of embracing each other. This was not an auditorium environment. It was actually a restored heritage home. As expected, on arrival prior to the opening number, folks stood silent with heads bowed over their phones.  I made it through one set and recall one relatively decent tune by this band called “Heavydive”.

Respectfulchild Plays Studio Bell

Harmonics, loops, original licks all layered in front of your eyes by this native Canadian lass demonstrating solo mastery over her violin. She’s taken pedals typical of the electrical guitar and applied them to this exquisite instrument.  She starts quietly by laying down a beat and then amplifies. The groove takes hold and she moves into a bass line all the while calculating the best portrayal of her unique style with the pentatonic follow on.  The mood is thick with anticipation. The venue is fitting for the swings in sonic amplitude. You’re with her as she carries you. I’m somewhere else ‘cause I saw her last year and I have her CD.  Friday night at the Performance Hall.   

Jermaine Gresham and American Airlines

In spite of the gesture being relatively small in the big scheme of things, there is a succinct take away. A young lady was going to miss her flight for $50 over the cost of a new American Airlines policy of charging for carry-on luggage. Her credit cards weren’t working because of an international restriction and American Airlines wouldn’t take cash!

This behemoth of a corporation was about to deny a woman her flight because they wouldn’t take a perfectly legal form of payment in lieu of a new charge policy.  This good Samaritan football player, Jermaine Gresham, not only saw through the ridiculousness of the situation but stepped forward in generosity.

There is way too much of this idiocy happening at all levels of human interaction.  Workers want to feel empowered but when they’re put into a position to showcase the corporate image of customer service and goodwill, they inevitably fail for reasons of misplaced ego, stubbornness, closed mindedness, or unfortunately the ugliest of reasons –  rigid staunch policy dictated from aloof management teams. 

These large corporations patronize from their oligopoly and expect you to forget instances of brain cramp. On the one hand, these corporations want to empower their people but when the unique situation arises to display sensitivity at just the right time, companies and employees fail.  On the one hand it’s amusing to witness the faltering as an expected response to a digital faceless world but on the other hand, it’s disappointing to see the so called professionals lack professionalism at every turn.

Should a corporation be required by law to accept cash as a means of payment when cash is the purest form of money? Oh, it’s not the purest form you say? Hmmm…..a topic for another day.