Call me corny, but Jack Johnson's “Better Together” always has a knack for getting stuck in my head whenever I catch even just a line or two of the hook. Recently I've found the song stuck in my head a little bit more often for a number of reasons. For one, I've been thinking about how many people in the social sector band together to make life easier for everyone. I've noticed a real sense of community between nonprofits and the people they serve. The same goes for many small colleges I've worked with for the past few years. Once you step on campus, you're instantly part of this awesome family of people all heading in the same direction.
You can get a lot of different perspectives on the “right” way to invest, depending on who you talk to. Some people seem to think making daily trades and speculating on where the market might go is the best way to make your millions overnight. Others would have you believe their flavor-of-the-month fund is a lock to beat the market over the next year. I've heard some interesting stories about car mechanics with great stock tips or dentists who had the financial world completely figured out. Some people even claim that blindfolded monkeys throwing darts at the stock pages could outperform the market (and some monkeys did!)
We’ve known for a while that trust is valuable in any business. After all, we founded Two West on the idea that people with a shared goal can accomplish a lot more than those going in different directions. However, trust can sometimes be difficult to come by in financial services; to be honest, I can understand why. After the meltdown in 2008 and stories about the questionable ethical practices of some of the people working in this field, it can be hard to see those in financial services working for anyone but themselves. On top of that, the field is filled with plenty of buzzwords, confusing acronyms and concepts that have been made much more complex than they need to be. In other words, trust is hard to come by because transparency is rare.
I’m a big believer in the law of three—that both good and bad things always come in threes. I’m also a big believer in Murphy’s Law: When something can go wrong, it will. The other week I got to experience both of these laws in full force.
It all began when we piled in my car to go to church and my stepson coerced me into some fancy driving tricks.
You know, I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I would have lost a lot of money over the years betting on the underdog.
I can't help it; I always like watching a plucky, young upstart hand it to the bigger, more experienced giant. Whether it's sports, reality TV or even the Bible (David versus Goliath is one of my favorite stories), you gotta love it when the small guy triumphs over adversity in the end.
As much as I hate to admit it, I probably spend a lot of my time thinking about myself. Did I remember to brush my teeth this morning? What am I going to have for lunch? Do I have to remember to bring anything home from the grocery store? I’ve also noticed technological advances have made it pretty easy to prioritize ourselves above others. The fact that our phones and tablets are called ‘iPhones’ and ‘iPads’ doesn’t do much to lessen our technological narcissism.
Where's home for you?
I know for a lot of people, home means many different things. For you, home might be the place you come back to each day where your family waits with open arms (and perhaps a nice glass of wine). Maybe for you, home isn't a place, but a person: your husband or your wife with whom you've spent years cultivating a wonderful and loving relationship. If you're like me, though, home will always mean the place where you grew up.
Close your eyes.
Wait, no, open them. Otherwise you won't be able to read the rest of this awesome article.
Okay, pretend to close your eyes and think of the word social. What's the first thing that comes to your mind?
I’m a child of the 70s, so for me the Christmas Season was always kicked off by the annual viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. I never got tired of Charlie Brown’s quest for finding meaning in this season. His pathetic little unwanted tree that becomes a beacon of beauty and hope gets me every time I watch it. There is a reason for the season!