Happy Friday, it’s almost five o’clock. Hang in there. This week we have a lot to talk about, but first, I have to say time flies. With my daughter in college and a son almost there, I feel a little older. A client friend told me about a conversation he had on a milestone birthday.
“Dad, I can’t believe I’m 65,” he said.
“How do you think I feel?” His dad responded, “I have a son on social security.”
Aren’t we always in our mid-thirties mentally? Time flies. (If you want it to slow down, try not drinking for a month, go on a diet, or go jogging.)
When I was fresh out of Babson College, I worked at Fidelity Investments at the World Trade Center in Boston. Actually, right after graduation, I backpacked through Europe and spent a winter as a ski instructor. (Probably not the best time to ask my parents if college was worth it.)
When I joined the family business, I was Fidelity employee number twenty-something-thousand. I helped customers/participants of Fortune 500 companies manage their money in this fairly new savings vehicle known by its IRS code: 401(k). It turned out to be a thing. I’ll always remember how CEO Ned Johnson III ran the firm like the family business that it was.
In memos to employees, Mr. Johnson wrote to you as if you were seated around him at the dinner table. Business first, then, after some red wine and dessert (and maybe a piece of dark chocolate for digestion; because he was into taking care of one’s health) he’d leave you with something to think about—like his favored Japanese philosophy Kaizen, meaning constant improvement. Reading his memo in my little cubicle, not at his dinner table, I truly believed that through small steps—like compound interest—I could become the best version of myself. Then it was back to stuffing checks into envelopes.
We need to be reminded of this in times like these. Because when a video game company you typically see at the Mall can stop the market in its tracks, you need to figure out if you’re doing everything you can to protect your money. Are you with an investment company that treats you like a family member? Take a look at the brokerage firms selling their clients (I hope not yours)trading patterns to their other customers’—these are household names that may (or may not) surprise you. Pay attention.
Action Line: Get your money with a firm that treats you like family. Too many investment firms are profiting from you, for example, with your information without you even knowing it. And don’t get me started on how they use your cash to lend out to others and pocket the profit.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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