Archive: Risk Posts

Dallas to Flagstaff

 “What’s that noise?”   “Not sure, heard it over Dallas but then it went silent again.” Taylor and co-pilot Billy Short where headed to Flagstaff Arizona, 257 passengers on board and a plane full of fuel.  An inconvenient noise became an in-flight emergency.  “(Master Warning Chime) We have an in-flight emergency – need clearance to land

The Certainty of Uncertainty

In response to PepsiCo announcing they will cut 8,700 jobs in 2012, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said the following, “When the only certainty is uncertainty the whole guidance thing becomes a challenge.” Nooyi continued, “This will be a transitional year…anything you do in short-term just to meet short-term guidance would be detrimental to the company

Learning from Failure

Mike Kryzewski or Coach K is the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, a graduate of West Point and arguably one of the smartest people in sports. Why was he so successful? He believes in failure. His philosophy was forged at West Point where you go to learn to fail in the classroom so you

Finding the Perfect Picture

My good friend Dewitt Jones, who was instrumental in helping me set the course for the book, just recently spoke at an event in Chicago. If you have not seen Dewitt speak, it is something I highly recommend. Dewitt was a photographer for National Geographic for over 30 years. In the hundreds of events he

Know Your Finish Line

Once you’re wealthy, is there ever a reason to become unwealthy again? According to Datamonitor, millionaires in the U.S. lost $1.2 trillion in portfolio value of assets between 2007 and 2009. The U.S. lost over 4.5 million of affluent individuals. In other words, 4.5 million people who were considered affluent in 2007, were no longer

“I Enjoyed Being Shot”

On the outskirts of Bogota, Columbia stands a company whose mission is to keep you alive. They sell golf shirts, handmade suits, bedspreads and even Bibles, seems pretty unremarkable, but what makes this company unique is all these items are “bullet-proof.” Owner, Miguel Caballero, has more than two hundred employees, and all of them have

The Piano and the Presidency

Legend has it that after a late night concert at New York’s famed Blue Note Club, the great jazz musician Duke Ellington was approached by a much younger aspiring pianist. The pianist asked, “How do you master everything you play, Mr. Ellington?” to which he replied, “Actually son, I only play what I’ve mastered.” When

Playing Soccer on a Live Minefield

The chase for yield is dangerous.  Many people who didn’t plan properly are hurting because low interest rates were the one thing that breaks every financial plan. Low interest rates and deflation are practically impossible to protect against unless you’re fortunate to have a pension or payments not based on interest rates.  Few are that

When the Right One Comes Along

Regret is a stern taskmaster.  It won’t let you rest. Thinking about what “coulda, woulda, shoulda” is like having a nagging pebble in your shoe.  Better to make decisions based on the best information you have at the time, leaving the door open to make greater decisions when greater information arrives. But sometimes our “old

The Deferred Happiness Model

You can’t escape them.  The “experts” are everywhere, on TV and radio – gurus like Clark Howard, Suze Orman, and Dave Ramsey distribute financial advice to the aspirational.  In almost every single case the financial advice given tells you that if you don’t save today, you will be broke tomorrow.   Really? I just sat with