Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.
OPTIMISM: Ben Franklin and the 200-Year EndowmentsPosted on September 30, 2012 by Eddie ThompsonFranklin’s optimism was so irrepressible that he left 200-year endowments to Boston and Philadelphia.In 1785 a French mathematician named Charles Joseph Mathon de la Cour wrote a parody of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac in which he mocked the unbearable spirit of American optimism represented by Franklin. The Frenchman fictionalized about “Fortunate Richard” leaving a small sum of money in his will to be used only after it had collected interest for 500 years.Franklin, who was seventy-nine years old at the time, wrote back to de la Cour, thanking him for the great idea and telling him that he had decided to leave a bequest to his native Boston and his adopted Philadelphia of 1,000 pounds to each, on the condition that it be placed in a fund that would gather interest and support the public good for the succeeding 200 years.
Everybody Dies. It’s Time To Have The Talk
June 28, 2016 Bloomberg News
As an e-vite it’s a guaranteed loser: It’s summer! Come talk about the financial and long-term caregiving needs and eventual death of your parents! Doing that, though, could make later life a lot smoother for both parents and kids. An improved economy may be having something of a perverse effect here: The prospect of the parents’ comfortable retirement—parents had to have investable assets of at least $100,000 to qualify for the survey—appears to have people pushing off these uncomfortable discussions, according to Fidelity Investments’ third annual Family & Finance study. The study surveyed more than 1,200 parents aged 55 and older, along with one of their adult children at least 25 years old, on topics that range from elder care, estate planning, and the ability to cover living expenses in retirement, to see if parents and kids were in agreement. This year, the survey included new questions about the role children play as parents get older, which revealed that four in 10 families “disagree on the role their child will play as parents age.”
In 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture that made the world stop and pay attention. This moving talk will teach you how to really achieve your childhood dreams. Unmissable.
What if a young Donald Trump had invested his money in the simplest of index funds instead?
By Kent Thune, InvestorPlace Sep 14, 2015
Like many curious onlookers of his political campaign for U.S. president, you may wonder exactly how Donald Trump became a billionaire.
But you likely won’t find people wondering how Trump’s net worth would have grown if he simply parked his money in a passively managed index fund like Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX).
If you asked Trump how he amassed his billions, he’d likely say he did it with bold real estate development deals and smart business management. The Donald may also throw in a few lines about how he graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Steve Martin on June 24, 2016
Yesterday’s vote by the British electorate to end its 43-year membership in the European Union seems to have taken just about everybody by surprise, but the aftermath could not have been more predictable. The uncertainty of how, exactly, Europe and Britain will manage a complex divorce over the coming decade sent global markets reeling. London’s blue chip index, the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100, lost 4.4% of its value in one day, while Germany’s DAX market lost more than 7%. The British pound sterling is getting crushed (down 14% against the yen, 10% against the dollar).
Compared to the global markets, the reaction among traders on U.S. exchanges seems muted; down roughly 3% as you read this, though nobody knows if that’s the extent of the fall or just the beginning.
The important thing to understand is that the current market disruptions represent an emotional roller coaster, an immediate panic reaction to what is likely to be a very long-term, drawn out, ultimately graceful accommodation between the UK and Europe. German companies are certainly not 7% less valuable today than they were before the vote, and the pound sterling is certainly not suddenly a second-rate currency. When the dust settles, people will see that this panicky Brexit aftermath was a buying opportunity, rather than a time to sell. People who sell will realize they were suckered once again by panic masquerading as an assessment of real damage to the companies they’ve invested in.
What happens next for Britain and its former partners on the continent? Let’s start with what will NOT happen. Unlike other European nations, Britain will not have to start printing a new currency. When the UK entered the EU, it chose to retain the British pound—that that, of course, will continue. Stores and businesses will continue accepting euros.
On the trade and regulatory side, the actual split is still years away. One of the things you might not be hearing in the breathless coverage in the press is that the British electorate’s vote is actually not legally binding. It will not be until and unless the British government formally notifies the European Union of its intention to leave under Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon—known as the “exit clause.” If that happens, Article 50 sets forth a two-year period of negotiations between the exiting country and the remaining union. Since British Prime Minister David Cameron has officially resigned his post and called for a new election, that clock probably won’t start ticking until the British people decide on their next leader. For the foreseeable future, despite what you read, the UK is still part of the Eurozone.
After notification, attorneys in Whitehall and Brussels would begin negotiating, piece by piece, a new trade relationship, including tariffs, how open the UK borders will be for travel, and a variety of hot button immigration issues. Estimates vary, but nobody seems to think the process will take less than five years to complete, and current arrangements will stay in place until new ones are agreed upon.
An alternative that is being widely discussed is a temporary acceptance of an established model—similar to Norway’s. Norway is not an EU member, but it pays EU dues, and has full access to the single market as if it was a member. However, that would require the British to continue paying EU budget dues and accept free movement of workers—which were exactly the provisions that voters rejected in the referendum.
Meanwhile, since the Brexit vote is not legally binding, it’s possible that the new government might decide to delay invoking Article 50. Or Parliament could instruct the prime minister not to invoke Article 50 until the government has had a chance to study further the implications. There could even be a second referendum to undo the first.
The important thing for everybody to remember is that the quick-twitch traders and speculators on Wall Street are chasing sentiment, not underlying value, and the markets right now are being driven by emotion to what is perceived as an event, but is really a long process that will be managed by reasonable people who aren’t interested in damaging their nation’s economic fortunes. Nobody knows exactly how the long-term prospects of Britain, the EU or American companies doing business across the Atlantic will be impacted by Brexit, but it would be unwise to assume the worst so quickly after the vote.
But you can bet that, long-term, everybody will find a way to move past this interesting, unexpected event without suffering—or imposing—too much damage. Meanwhile, hang on, because the market roller coaster seems to have entered one of those wild rides that we all experience periodically.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Source: Purposeful Financial Planning