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1. Perseverance Helped Make Aretha Franklin 'The Queen Of Soul'Сб., 18 авг.[−]

Aretha Franklin had been recording albums for more than a decade when she sat down at the piano in a Muscle Shoals recording studio in Alabama on Jan. 27, 1967.

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She'd had some hits and been recognized as a powerful singer, yet she'd never really found her niche. Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler had an idea: Rather than try to shoehorn her into a particular format, why not just let Aretha be Aretha?

Franklin agreed. She stepped into the recording booth, took in a breath, paused and let loose from the very bottom of her soul.

After all those lost, frustrating years recording pop and jazz, it was like a dam had burst. Two hours into her first Atlantic session, Franklin had recorded the soul masterpiece, "I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)."


REMEMBERING ARETHA FRANKLIN: IBD is honoring the memory of the legendary singer who died this week at age 76 by posting this article that originally published in the Oct. 17, 2006, print edition.


Wexler was stunned when he heard the recording. "I couldn't believe it was that good. I said, 'That's my first record with her, and it can't be this good,' " he commented, according to Mark Bego's "Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul."

But it was — and it was no fluke. In the following years, Franklin dominated the music world like few women before or since, racking up one classic hit after another and earning the title "The Queen of Soul." Regarded as one of the top vocalists ever, she's had 17 top 10 pop hits, 12 gold records and five multiplatinum records. She's also won 18 Grammy Awards, more than any other female artist.

Franklin realized she'd struggled to make her mark because others were calling the shots. Only after she decided to follow her instincts did she come into her own.

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After "I Never Loved a Man," she remained the central orchestrator of her own sound, the essential contributor and final arbiter of what fit or did not fit her musical persona," Wexler said in his memoir, "Rhythm and the Blues."

Aretha Franklin Biography: Family Background

Music came naturally to Franklin. She had a magnificent voice, and she grew up in a world saturated with the best of gospel and soul music.

Her excellence came from her ability to absorb the best of what she saw and heard. Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tenn. Her family moved shortly after that to Detroit. Her father, C.L. Franklin, a Baptist minister, took over a congregation in a hard-hit urban area. The church soon rocked to the sounds of heavenly testifying.

Franklin listened to her father and memorized the cadences and rhythms he used when he preached and sang. She applied them when she sang.

"Most of what I learned vocally came from him. He gave me a sense of timing in music," Franklin said of her father, according to Phil Garland's "The Sound of Soul." "Timing is important in everything."

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His wasn't the only influence. The Franklin household could count as family friends a who's who of musical greats. Gospel legends James Cleveland and Mahalia Jackson, jazz master Art Tatum, soul legend Sam Cooke and numerous Motown stars-to-be such as Smokey Robinson, Otis Williams of the Temptations, and Diana Ross and Mary Wilson of the Supremes regularly dropped by. Franklin made a careful study of all of them.

Franklin's sisters were talented musicians in their own right. Erma Franklin recorded the original version of the soul classic, "Piece of My Heart," later a hit for Janis Joplin. Carolyn Franklin wrote several of Aretha's songs. Both sang backup on several of Aretha's classic recordings.

Aretha Franklin: Early Recordings

Studying wasn't enough, however; Franklin had to practice what she heard. She taught herself the piano at age 10 so she could imitate the notes more accurately. She learned tunes by copying the musical houseguests and adding her own flourishes.

Her father tried to get Franklin to take piano and voice lessons, but she was intimidated. She hid whenever the teacher came by, preferring to learn instinctively.

"We'd poke our heads into the music room and (be) amazed," recalled Smokey Robinson in his memoir, "Smokey: Inside My Life." "Seated behind the baby grand was a baby herself, singing like an angel."

Franklin learned about live performance firsthand. She began spending her summer vacations traveling with her father's gospel choir. On the road, Franklin watched the older singers and mimicked their movements. If a move felt unnatural to her, she dropped it.

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In 1956, at the age of 13, she recorded her first album of gospel music, "Songs of Faith," for Chicago's Chess Records. A few years later the prodigy was signed to Columbia Records by legendary talent scout John Hammond, whose other discoveries included Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

But Columbia didn't know what to do with Franklin. Natural talent, musical chops and good influences meant little when she wasn't using them effectively.

"I was being classified as a jazz singer, and I never, ever felt I was a jazz singer," Franklin was quoted as saying in Bego's book.

Still, she tried to fit the mold. She sang every way she was instructed, but the sound was never quite right. After seven frustrating years in which she recorded jazz, pop, show tunes and blues, Columbia let her contract lapse. Atlantic Records then picked her up.

By then, the 25-year-old diva was considered almost a washout.

Perseverance And Success

Franklin vowed to prove everyone wrong. She carefully chose songs that suited her voice. When she couldn't find them, she wrote them herself.

In every song, Franklin searched for an emotional connection with the lyrics. If she understood the emotion expressed, she could infuse the sound with the feeling and translate it to listeners.

"I sing to the realist, people who accept it like it is," Franklin said in Craig Werner's history of soul music, "Higher Ground." "I express problems. There are tears when it's sad and smiles when it's happy. It seems simple to me, but for some people I guess feeling takes courage."

Knowing preparation would make her recording sessions smoother, Franklin worked out all the arrangements for her songs herself before she entered the studio. She made sure she knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it.

Once Franklin walked into the studio, she explained to each musician exactly how his or her part should sound. She did the same with the backing vocalists. To ensure they all understood, she sang their parts for them in the run-throughs.

Recognizing that music often narrates people's lives, Franklin chose her lyrics carefully. Many of her songs carry an uplifting message.

Aretha Franklin Bio: Musical Influence

"Those records were so damn good because she took care of business at home," Wexler said in his memoir.

She kept her success in perspective and was careful never to move too far away from the sources of her inspiration. At the height of her early fame in 1972 she recorded "Amazing Grace," a live album of gospel music that's widely regarded by critics and fans as one of her finest efforts.

Her influence has radiated to every form of music. It even touched the political sphere. Much of her gutsy, determined music served as a soundtrack for the civil rights era. As Werner noted:

"Aretha's voice illuminated the gospel vision that sustained the foot soldiers of the movement, the ordinary people whose tears, sweat and — far too often — blood changed America in ways that seemed impossible ... a generation before."

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2. When Asked For Free Advice, Smart Planners Opt To Build RapportПт., 17 авг.[−]

Like doctors, advisors often get asked for free advice. Respond the right way and you can woo a new client.

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When you run into friends and acquaintances, they may pepper you with questions about their 401(k) or hot stocks. They perceive you as an expert and fish for information on the fly.

Giving a friendly, knowledgeable answer increases the odds that they'll decide to retain your services. But if you're curt — or unwilling to engage in any way — you can miss a chance to turn a casual conversation into a prospecting opportunity.

Experienced advisors capitalize on these encounters by highlighting a few salient points. They may introduce some helpful ideas or make a practical suggestion and then encourage a follow-up meeting.

"In times of market volatility, we can be the center of attention at a party," said Tom Sedoric, an advisor in Portsmouth, N.H. "I may mention a few themes like tax efficiency and living in a global economy. But because we're planners first and investments complement the planning process, we can't extract as much from them in a social setting."

Nevertheless, Sedoric welcomes these inquiries and seeks to provide general guidance. After 34 years in the business, he knows not to dig for details and get too specific.

Identify A Need

When you encounter people in public who want to pick your brain or get advice, it helps to uncover their underlying need. Some investors simply want reassurance that their current strategy meets your approval. Others may be grappling with an unresolved financial issue that's nagging at them.

Sedoric says that some people "want us to hold their hand," while others may face "a trigger event" that prompts their question. Identifying the circumstances surrounding their situation — from a recent inheritance to a pending business or real estate sale — can lay the groundwork for a more productive discussion at a later date.

For those hunting for investment ideas, many advisors prefer to redirect the chat and establish rapport. For example, they may ask about the individual's dealings with other advisors or their track record as stock pickers.

"I try to put the question back on them and find out their goals," said Ed Iannaccone, a certified financial planner in Paramus, N.J. If they open up, he might suggest they schedule a brief phone call so that he can learn more.

Iannaccone distinguishes between those who genuinely want help navigating their financial situation — and who honestly share their hopes and concerns — from seekers of stock tips who lack any interest in furthering the relationship.

"There are two categories," he said. "They really want help or they just want to extract free information. If they have a pressing concern or an event that's imminent in their life like they're retiring in six months, that tends to lead to an appointment."

Propose Next Steps

For some advisors, the real value of these chance encounters is turning them into prospecting opportunities. By probing and dangling a few enticing bits of information, advisors can parlay quick conversations into lasting client relationships.

Matt Oechsli, an author and speaker who helps advisors refine their marketing strategy, suggests redirecting an individual's casual inquiry so that you gain more insight. If you're asked about retirement savings, for example, respond with a genial question of your own such as, "Has your advisor reviewed your financial plan recently?"

"You're potentially creating dissatisfaction," said Oechsli, founder and chief executive of the Oechsli Institute in Greensboro, N.C. "By planting a seed of dissatisfaction and getting them talking, you can get to what we call a mini-close" by proposing an upcoming meeting.

Rather than give out your business card and invite the person to call your office for an appointment, Oechsli recommends that you schedule it right there. Say, "Let's grab a cup of coffee" and firm up the day and time of the meeting before you part.

"That's better than hoping they'll follow up," he said. "Follow-up is sometimes shaky."

Avoid Arguments

Prospecting gets easier when you can succinctly describe your approach, philosophy or advisory process. Providing a clear overview of what you do, how you do it and why it matters can set expectations and persuade others to advance to the next step.

Above all, avoid debating investment tactics or criticizing other advisors. Getting into arguments rarely results in a fruitful new client relationship.

Look for an opening to say, "I think I can help you," Iannaccone says. That sets the stage for further discussion, and it works better than lecturing others on what they don't understand or mistakes they've made.

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3. Advertising Guru Gay Gaddis Channels Her Inner Cowgirl To Get Her Point AcrossПт., 17 авг.[−]

Shortly after she started T3 (The Think Tank), an Austin, Texas-based advertising agency, Gay Gaddis was asked to do pro bono work for the local Salvation Army. It was the early '90s. There'd been a downturn in the Texas economy, and many donors were not able to fulfill pledges made in better times. The organization was in dire straits.

She came up with a great idea: a simple, all-type ad that said:

"To you it's a newspaper. To the homeless it's a blanket."

But to make it work required a center spread in the local newspaper, the American-Statesman. So Gaddis met with the editor who loved the concept, but claimed that he couldn't donate the centerfold she requested. He offered two tabloid-size pages, but they were obviously too small, the size of rags, not blankets. She told him: "I need the centerfold of the main section."

And then she sat there, said nothing, and waited. And waited. Finally he relented, proving one of Gaddis' basic rules of negotiating: He who speaks first loses.

It's one of several helpful pieces of down-home advice in her book " Cowgirl Power: How to Kick Ass in Business and in Life," a "Lean-In" for country girls (and guys). It's filled with the rules she followed as she built one of the largest female-owned advertising agencies in the country, with annual revenue of $38 million.

Gaddis grew up in modest circumstances in the small town of Liberty, Texas, where she began riding horses and herding cattle when she was just 6 years old. But she also demonstrated creative skills early on and eventually won an art scholarship to the University of Texas.

After graduation she held a series of jobs in advertising and public relations, some better than others. In her first, she found herself in "Mad Men" territory — ignored, given menial jobs and the recipient of blatant sexist comments.

In another she found herself writing copy for a product called Buck Magnet, which she discovered was simply doe urine. But she approached that assignment with the same vigor she gave to larger, more mainstream clients.

And in each job, she learned a little more about both the creative and financial ends of the business. And she gained confidence. In 1989, disappointed in the direction the agency was taking, she proffered her boss a new business plan.

"I thought I was going to reinvent the agency business," she said in a telephone interview with IBD. The boss disagreed and turned down her proposal. Humiliated and angry, she quit.

Striking Out On Her Own

Once she decided to leave, opening her own shop was an easy choice. "The economy was so bad, I probably couldn't have gotten another job anyway," she said. Fortunately, she had worked out an agreement with her employer that, in exchange for a percentage of earnings for a few years, she could take a passel of clients with her.

The process actually illustrates two of Gaddis' mantras.

The first was to develop an area of expertise. Hers was marketing hospitals. By 1989, she was probably the most knowledgeable person in the state in this area and had loyal clients in many major Texas markets.

The second mantra: Negotiate from a position of strength. She knew — and her boss knew — that if she left, her hospital clients would leave with her.

At the urging of her husband, Lee, Gaddis came up with a simple, if slightly PG-rated business plan as she created her own agency: "I want to do kick-ass work for clients who want to kick ass."

To accomplish that goal, she decided to take a holistic approach to the agency business. She did not want to do just advertising, but the entire marketing area, whatever worked best for the client. So she made nontraditional — especially for the time — hires: architects, psychologists, presentation experts and, generally, people who could think on their feet.

Gaddis recalls when the first big potential client came in to interview the agency, the phones outside her office were ringing off the hook. After the meeting concluded, Gaddis asked her assistant who called. No one, she said. She just kept calling herself to make the office seem busy.

Not surprisingly, T3 soon built a reputation for not allowing budget constraints to stand in the way of outstanding creative ideas. Consider the work the agency did for a company called US Brick.

"A brick is a brick to most people," Gaddis said. "The competition was using (then-Dallas Cowboys quarterback) Troy Aikman and they had more money for bigger television spots. It was daunting to compete."

T3 took a two-tier approach. First they created a 15-second commercial using stock footage of a building imploding and added a tag line: "Looks Like They Should Have Used US Brick."

T3 also hired a local mural artist to paint the company's vans to look like bricks, even mixing sand in with the paint to give the vans a brick-like texture. The vans were now moving billboards and won the agency a national advertising award.

Taking It To The Next Level

Quality work soon attracted larger clients. In 1993, the agency was asked to take on a small project for Dell. The company was having difficulty managing its direct-mail database and was looking for help. Gaddis' company came up with suggestions for technical improvements — but didn't stop there. Unbidden, they offered creative ideas, and Dell gave them a shot. The campaign worked, and T3 started picking up additional Dell assignments.

Not surprisingly, Gaddis offers a cowgirl explanation of why she provided Dell with more than the company asked for:

"We over-deliver for big new accounts to get them in. We're like coyotes. They start eating the underbelly first and [then eat] the rest of the kill from within. Once you are in, you really have the opportunity to stand out and be really creative."

In 1996, Dell decided to start selling its computers online. Although that seems so obvious now, people at the time — both clients and staff — thought Gaddis was nuts when she decided to buy into the concept. In the same way she developed expertise in marketing hospitals a decade earlier, she committed to the internet.

"We found people who were fascinated by the internet, a few geeks," Gaddis said. "We got help from people from Dell. We would trade people back and forth. Their analytics guy worked in our office for a while.

"It was amazing the way we jumped into the internet."

Today, digital marketing campaigns for Fortune 200 companies ranging from Pizza Hut to Home Depot are at the center of T3's business.

Providing A Progressive Workplace

One of the areas that Gaddis feels has fueled her growth is that she has created a happy work environment. For example, early in her agency's life, four of its 24 employees got pregnant within four weeks of each other. "It must have been an ice storm," Gaddis suggested.

She didn't want to lose them for the duration of a maternity leave or — potentially worse — forever if they decided not to come back to work. So, thinking outside the box, she allowed new parents — men and women — to bring their children to work. "It's not licensed day care," Gaddis said. Parents were responsible for their children, and "over the last 27 years over 100 employees have taken advantage of the program," called T3 & Under.

It's made all the difference in the world for Kelsi Brown who works in the company's human resources department. "It was a lifesaver," she told IBD.

"It was a great thing from the perspective of a new mother to have that option. We always prep managers that the parents/employees are not necessarily going to be operating at full speed. In my situation, it was a lot of communicating about my daughter's nap and feeding schedule.

"Without this program, I don't know what I would have done. But this certainly made me more comfortable."

The program has had a positive impact in a number of ways. For one thing, there has been a substantial amount of positive publicity about it, including several appearances on national TV. And clients noticed. But, most important, the infants were not disruptive. On the contrary, they seemed to help bond everyone.

Positive attitude is something she encourages. She refuses to tolerate people who behave badly: They are dismissed as soon as they show their true colors. To avoid hiring mistakes, prospective employees go through an interesting vetting process. They meet with representatives of human resources but also with members of the team they'll be working with if hired.

"We want to know if a person is going to fit in," Gaddis said. "They'll take them to lunch, and no matter what skills they have we won't hire them unless other people say we want this person on our team. Because then they are a stakeholder in his or her future.

"We don't want to have to (fire the wrong hire). That's the last thing you want to do. You want to get the right person to begin with."

Gaddis' Keys

Overcame: Industry bias against women to build a holistic approach to advertising.

Lesson: Develop an expertise and believe in yourself.

"I found that an agency that works on just one piece of business can't attract the best people. We'd become a one-trick pony and that would kill us."

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4. When Weighing Important Decisions, Steer Clear Of Cognitive TrapsСр., 15 авг.[−]

When facing a tough decision, you want to clear your head, assess all relevant facts and arrive at a sound conclusion. But you can still make costly mistakes along the way.

Top leaders fight off cognitive traps that can result in faulty decisions. They guard against biases and maintain a keen awareness of how they think and process information.

When grappling with a high-stakes decision, adopt a learning mindset. Extract lessons from the outcome — positive or negative — so that you approach the next decision with more confidence and knowledge. Watch for these potential pitfalls:

Blinded by rightness. It's great to exude can-do optimism and self-assuredness. But if you render every big decision with the certainty that you're right, you're setting yourself up for a fall.

"The worst habit is making up your mind before you have all the facts," said Tom Redman, founder of Data Quality Solutions, a consulting firm in Rumson, N.J. "That happens to people who think they already know everything."

The more experience you have, the more likely you may be wedded to your rightness. That's why Redman might challenge those who proclaim, "I've been doing this for 30 years, and I've seen everything that can happen."

Limited by groupthink. Decisions are easy if everyone around you nods and agrees. But surrounding yourself with like-minded minions constrains your ability to hear all sides of a case.

"Bad decision-makers only seek advice from people who think exactly the way they do," Redman said. "Rather than test your thinking, you'll just reinforce it."

Stymied by data. Rarely do leaders make decisions with every conceivable piece of information at their fingertips. More often, they must make do with some but not all of the data they'd ideally like to see.

"You can reduce uncertainty by getting more data," Redman said. "But that can lead to analysis paralysis where you delay, delay, delay for fear of being wrong."

Overwhelmed by too many decisions. At some point, effective leaders learn to delegate. They assign lower-level tasks to underlings so that they can concentrate on what matters most.

Some poor decision-makers, by contrast, insert themselves into even the least significant issues. Unable to prioritize, they insist on making every decision.

"My job is to focus on six important decisions a year and let others deal with the rest," a senior executive told Redman. As a result, the executive maximized his productivity while boosting morale among his subordinates who thrived on their own.

Biased by beliefs. Long-held, deeply rooted opinions can exert more influence than you realize. They may serve as a lens through which you see and interpret the world — and lead you to make misguided decisions through what's known as confirmation bias.

"It's when you seek information, data and anecdotes that support what you already believe and what you already want to do," said Rich Horwath, founder and chief executive of the Strategic Thinking Institute, a Chicago-based leadership development firm. "And you discount any information, data and anecdotes that's not what you believe and not what you want to do."

Wise leaders welcome differing perspectives and consider them with an open mind. They seek out diverse views and "treat others as teachers," Horwath adds.

Ensnared in the status quo. Botched decisions can flow from the sunk-cost effect, when you're unwilling to pull the plug after months of committing to the wrong course of action.

"It's continuing to invest in it only because you've invested in the past," Horwath said. "If you stop, you acknowledge you've made a (mistake)," and that can prove too painful to bear.

The post When Weighing Important Decisions, Steer Clear Of Cognitive Traps appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


5. Quotes Of The Week: Torii Hunter, John Holt And OthersСр., 15 авг.[−]

Hunter On Wisdom
Wisdom is healed pain. You don't get wisdom because you just have it. You have to heal from some pain.
Torii Hunter, retired baseball player

Holt On Character
The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.
John Holt, educator

Kesey On Leadership
You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case.
Ken Kesey, novelist

Eisenhower On Leadership
You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that's assault, not leadership.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. president

Glasgow On Leadership
A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.
Arnold H. Glasgow, humorist

The post Quotes Of The Week: Torii Hunter, John Holt And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


6. Show Tenacity And Persevere To Help Your Team Overcome AdversityПн., 13 авг.[−]

Cal Turner Jr. figures that Dollar General ( DG) probably wouldn't exist today if not for the doggedness of his grandfather, who launched the family's first retail business, and his father, who founded what became Dollar General.

"My grandfather and father were two of the most persistent people," Turner, author of "My Father's Business" and retired CEO of Dollar General, told IBD.

Here's how to get people on your team to keep grinding and battle back from adversity.

Always fight. Turner's grandfather, Luther Turner, opened a single store in the 1920s in Scottsville, Ky., where Cal Turner Jr. grew up. He led it through the Great Depression before his son, Cal Turner Sr., opened a wholesale business with his father in 1939 that later became Dollar General. They faced plenty of obstacles getting the business off the ground during World War II and later, including facing a Teamsters strike.

"Their mission was survival," Turner Jr. said. "They always seemed to feel just a step ahead of going under. There was an intensity of work, where they felt they had to do it well and do it right. The company would not exist without the initial tenacity of Luther and Cal."

Show the way. Set the example for your people by refusing to give in when challenges arise and things go awry.

"Make sure as leaders you'll persevere no matter what the challenges are," said Pete Luongo, the Dayton, Ohio-based retired CEO of the Berry Co., a Yellow Pages ad agency. "You can't lead where you're not willing to go."

Build a bond. Give people a reason to care about the company, or the notion of persevering through tough times won't spread through the organization.

"One thing common to all generations is people want to be part of something bigger than themselves," Luongo said.

Take responsibility. Don't point fingers when trouble arises. Instead, view the challenge as a way to learn how to do something better next time.

"When something goes wrong, we're not going to look for someone to blame," Turner said of his philosophy. "We're going to look at it as a learning and development opportunity. If you don't have that in your organization, your obituary is close to being written."

Choose wisely. Hire people who will persevere through tough times. After BellSouth acquired Berry in 1986, the firm lost several accounts, Luongo says.

"We said to our people, 'If we don't turn this around, we're going to be out of business,' " Luongo said. "Every day was halftime, down 13-6."

The employees fought to overcome the setbacks and rallied the company.

Stay steady. Don't change your demeanor when problems arise. People tend to put on the pressure amid adversity. But Luongo says if you do that, your people will realize you're acting differently and that you lack a process to manage through trouble.

"If the leader panics, they panic and lose trust," Luongo said.

Deal with problems head-on. Turner faced what he calls "the toughest decision of my life" in the late 1980s. His brother, Steve, was COO. Turner felt his brother wasn't taking control of the company's merchandising and operations as he should have. And they had frequent personality clashes. Steve wouldn't resign. The company was on the brink of bankruptcy. Turner had to fire his brother even though it would hurt him and the family.

"When I understood what had to be done, I developed the spine to get it done," Turner said.

Get help. Turner faced adversity when he took over as CEO. He felt as if he remained in his father's shadow.

"I wanted to be my own man," he said. "I handled it by saying, 'I got this job because I'm the boss' son. I consider myself unqualified, and I need your help.'"

He sought input from his people, who were inspired to pitch in.

The post Show Tenacity And Persevere To Help Your Team Overcome Adversity appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


7. Quotes Of The Week: Gertrude Stein, Winston Churchill And OthersПн., 13 авг.[−]

Stein On Conviction
Let me listen to myself and not to them.
Gertrude Stein, author

Churchill On Persistence
Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston Churchill, British prime minister

Jobs On Achievement
Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder

Knight On Practice
The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare.
Bobby Knight, basketball coach

Socrates On Character
The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.
Socrates, philosopher

The post Quotes Of The Week: Gertrude Stein, Winston Churchill And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


8. Health Care Planning: A New Frontier For Advisors Eager To Add ValueПт., 10 авг.[−]

Many advisors provide retirement planning, tax planning and estate planning. As clients live longer and incur more medical bills, health care planning plays an equally important role.

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Helping clients anticipate and address health care issues requires a different set of skills for advisors. The landscape is constantly changing, from insurance reforms to home care options to new medical tests and treatments, posing an ongoing challenge to planners who want to stay a step ahead of the latest developments.

Out-of-pocket costs are tough to predict, especially for clients under age 65 who do not qualify for Medicare. And broaching sensitive health topics with anxious clients can test an advisor's ability to communicate with empathy and tact.

Nevertheless, advisors who offer health care-related services seek to deepen their impact and deliver much-needed support. Budgeting for such care — now and in the future — is increasingly viewed as a critical part of comprehensive financial planning.

"As a fiduciary, I recognized that health care can be a major expense," said Jim Shagawat, a certified financial planner in Paramus, N.J. "I figured that here's a way I can make a difference for 20, 30 or 40 years of my clients' lives."

Like many advisors, Shagawat seeks to demystify health savings accounts for clients while helping them navigate the complexities of the health insurance marketplace. But he knows his limits.

"There's no way I could keep up on everything going on with health care without a consultant," Shagawat said. So in early 2018, he contracted with an outside firm to provide his clients with more advanced and customized health planning expertise.

Fix Billing Errors

For Shagawat, offering his clients free access to what he calls a "health care advisor" rounds out his array of services. He encourages them to meet with the consultant to manage their medical expenses and devise a strategy to address concerns ranging from assisting their special-needs children to affording expensive prescription drugs.

He pays a retainer to the consulting firm based on the number of clients who use the service. Neither he nor the consultant sells insurance.

"That way, our advice is objective," he said. "And our clients save time, money and get peace of mind knowing that they've implemented the right health care strategies."

The consultant works with Shagawat's clients to find an appropriate health insurance plan, qualified medical providers and discounted prescription drugs. In some cases, the consultant even reviews their medical bills.

"A lot of people get medical bills and pay them without checking for errors," Shagawat said. "Yet some hospital bills charge for extra days or extra tests that a doctor orders and then a nurse cancels," and the consultant flags such inaccuracies.

Shagawat finds that some clients pondering early retirement in their late 50s and early 60s worry about managing health care costs and obtaining insurance before they can enroll in Medicare. Once they sign up, they may struggle to select the best Medicare supplement insurance plan. Matching them with the consultant gives them the tools to make smart moves.

Shock Waves

Advisors who do not enlist a consultant to help clients with health care planning still need to tackle difficult conversations about medical matters. Individuals facing a grim diagnosis may experience a flurry of emotions.

Ideally, advisors anticipate such adverse situations and discuss them when clients are healthy. Running through a series of worst-case scenarios — and assuring clients that there's a plan in place for even the most serious calamity — can contain the fallout if it occurs.

"It's the psychological part, not just the medical part," Shagawat said. He adds that beyond the shock many people undergo when learning of their grave condition, cripplingly high health care costs are a primary cause of personal bankruptcy.

Paul Sarama, an advisor with Steward Partners Global Advisory, treats health care costs as a key factor in planning a client's financial future. He wants to minimize the likelihood that clients will recoil if they face an unexpected health crisis later in life.

"Because health care is such a big expense, we include it as a line item in a client review," he said. Over a 20-year period, he may calculate an annual increase in health care costs that ranges between 5% and 5.9%.

"We'll add these assumptions into our retirement spending projections," he said. "It adds clarity to the future, and while clients are slightly shocked at the costs over time, they appreciate" knowing they can withstand a medical blow without derailing their overall financial plan.

Estimating potential health care costs is fraught with uncertainties. Expenses not covered by Medicare, such as hearing aids and most eyeglasses, can add up. And for the roughly half of seniors who need long-term care, the price tag for paid assistance can add tens of thousands of dollars.

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The post Health Care Planning: A New Frontier For Advisors Eager To Add Value appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


9. Dr. Helen Taussig Beat The Odds To Become A Giant In Pediatric CardiologyПт., 10 авг.[−]

Johns Hopkins cardiologist Dr. Helen Brooke Taussig broke barriers and defied conventional wisdom to pursue her goal of helping patients who lacked medical treatment options.

A pioneer and innovator, Taussig (1898-1986) founded the field of pediatric cardiology. She tread on new territory to devise breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating children with congenital heart disease. Among her many achievements, Taussig helped develop the groundbreaking surgical procedure known as the "blue baby" operation.

Taussig was determined to challenge the status quo. She overcame personal and professional obstacles, including an initial rejection to medical school due to gender discrimination and hearing loss. And she drew strength from her struggle.

Passion also motivated Taussig. She was in constant pursuit to fill the void of what was missing in pediatric care.

"To be a leader, you have to recognize where the gaps are," Dr. Anne Murphy, pediatric cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, told IBD. "She recognized there was a gap in caring for these patients with heart defects that caused them to be blue due to low oxygen in the arteries. And she made the effort to work with others to make a difference. She inspired the people she trained to do the same and make a difference."

In so doing, Taussig left an indelible mark on the field of medicine.

"Her fundamental concepts have made possible the modern surgery of the heart which enables countless children to lead productive lives," reads the inscription on the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, presented to Taussig in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Followed Her Passion

Taussig never relented in her quest to find solutions.

"She was passionate about her patients," Murphy said. "To be able to look your patient in the eye and say, 'A few years ago, we didn't have anything we could do for you, but now we're looking toward a different future,' is what I think motivated her, from everything I heard from people who worked with her directly. That's what drove her."

Taussig studied afflictions that had no medical remedies. This focus led to breakthroughs. Taussig co-developed the blue baby operation performed in 1944 with Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock and his surgical technician, Vivien Thomas.

"It is very much believed she was a wonderful, gentle person," said Murphy, who worked with many of Taussig's colleagues in the 1950s. "But to survive in the academic environment in those days and to get things to move forward, she had to be tough, in my opinion. She really believed she had to offer help to blue babies, who had no other options. She really wanted to be able to offer some hope and to move the field forward."

Taussig received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1927. The journey that led to her concept for the blue baby operation started in 1930. That's when Taussig accepted an offer by Johns Hopkins Chief of Pediatrics Dr. Edwards Park to head Hopkins' new pediatric cardiology heart clinic.

Dr. Park, who was an academic mentor for Taussig, urged her to use the clinic's radiographic equipment to study congenital heart disease, wrote Murphy in a paper she co-authored with pediatric cardiologist Dr. Kathryn Neubauer entitled "Helen Brooke Taussig: Pediatric Cardiology Leader and Innovator."

Taussig soon developed an interest in congenital heart disease and the "blue babies" seen at the clinic. She became unstoppable in pursuing a course that transformed the care of children with congenital heart disease. Taussig laid the foundation for today's heart surgery.

Pioneered New Approaches

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, there was no way to treat congenital heart disease. There were no surgeries, and the diagnostic tools were minimal.

But Taussig challenged proven science and experimented in unknown territory. Taussig's study of afflictions that had no medical remedies led to breakthroughs.

"Part of (Taussig's) work was to try to characterize how children with heart defects presented themselves through clinical manifestations," Murphy said. "The way it's been described to me talking to her colleagues is she recognized that blue babies had heart defects in which there was decreased blood flow to the lungs. She reasoned that if there was a way to produce more blood flow to the lungs, this would help these children who were blue."

Then Taussig worked on a way to produce more blood flow to the lungs of these children.

Murphy says Dr. Robert Gross was the first to do a surgery where there was an artery that remained open after birth and caused babies to breathe more quickly and not grow as well.

"He figured out you could ligate (close off) this artery," Murphy said.

After learning of Dr. Gross' surgery, Taussig thought that "diverting an artery to supply more blood to the lungs might help her patients who were cyanotic because of reduced lung blood flow," according to Murphy.

"Taussig proposed her idea to Dr. Gross, who said he was not interested in her idea," according to Murphy's co-authored paper.

She Persisted

Taussig wouldn't accept defeat. She pushed forward. She took her idea to Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock, who was receptive to the idea.

"There was a very nice collaboration between Dr. Blalock and Vivien Thomas, who was known as a brilliant technician, to develop this procedure before the approach was used to treat a child," Murphy said.

The historic surgery was performed on an infant on Nov. 29, 1944.

"The infant survived to go home from the hospital, but died at a second surgery a few months later," according to Murphy's co-authored paper.

After two more successful surgeries were performed, Taussig and Blalock published their work, "The Surgical Treatment of Malformations of the Heart" in May 1945.

Dr. James Moller, pediatric cardiologist at University of Minnesota Medical Center, describes the procedure this way: "They took a major blood vessel that went to the arm and divided it and turned it down and hooked it into the blood vessel going into the lungs," he told IBD. "And children flocked to Hopkins to get this done."

Added Murphy: "The success of this technique came from moving forward with it in patients, which was an incredible feat. Any surgery performed on a child in the 1940s was a drastic procedure. The surgery involved a large incision in the chest of these very little babies, who were extremely ill."

Taussig founded the field of pediatric cardiology by challenging the status quo.

"Taussig is recognized as the founder of pediatric cardiology because of her ability to characterize and understand the heart defects in patients, who were living, while in the past they had been described using an autopsy," Murphy said. "She began to understand it in terms of patients she was caring for in her clinic. That was her legacy."

Another reason Taussig is considered the founder of pediatric cardiology: "She was the first person in the world to have a precise interest in children with heart disease," said Moller. "She was dedicated to studying congenital heart disease in children."

Paved A Way

Taussig developed a teaching regime at Johns Hopkins and drew people from all over the world to train, Murphy says.

"She really trained the first generation of pediatric cardiologists," she said.

Taussig also published in 1947 the first textbook exclusively on congenital heart defects: "Congenital Malformations of the Heart."

This textbook continued to be the bible of pediatric cardiology for decades, according to Murphy's co-authored paper.

Taussig was born in Cambridge, Mass. Her father was a well-known professor at Harvard. Her mother studied biology at Radcliffe College. She died when Taussig was only 11.

Success did not come easy for Taussig, starting with an early childhood handicap of dyslexia, causing her "difficulty with reading comprehension throughout school," according to Murphy's co-authored paper.

Her father helped her with her reading and homework, the paper says.

Taussig started at Radcliffe College and then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, where she received her A.B. degree in 1921. Then she started to think about a medical career. She met with the dean of the Harvard School of Public Health to discuss her career only to learn Harvard would allow women to attend medical classes, but would not admit women as degree candidates at the time.

As Taussig became more interested in pursuing a career as a doctor, she realized Harvard wasn't the place for her. She decided to go to Boston University, where women were welcome to take pre-med courses and earn credit for them, the paper says.

Paid It Forward

After completing her pre-med requirements at Boston University, she went to medical school at Johns Hopkins University, which has had a policy to admit women and men equally since its founding.

"She clearly did what the founders wanted, which is to move forward not just in patient care and academics, but in moving medicine toward the future," Murphy said.

For Taussig that meant "moving toward the future of heart surgery in general and for children with birth defects in particular," Murphy said.

But Taussig faced many other obstacles along the way. She also had to overcome hearing loss, which she developed early on as director of the pediatric cardiology clinic. This caused problems using the stethoscope. She tried hearing aids and other methods to overcome the problem.

"None if these worked as well as when she learned to 'listen' with her hands, a talent she perfected over the years by laying her hands extremely gently over a child's chest, feeling murmurs other physicians could not hear with a stethoscope," according to Murphy's co-authored paper.

Legacy

While Taussig is best known for co-developing the blue baby operation, she made many contributions to general pediatrics, pediatric cardiology and medical education.

In 1962 she traveled to Germany to investigate claims that Thalidomide was causing birth defects. The drug had been prescribed as a sleeping aid. The drug was taken off the market in Europe.

Taussig's reports to the medical profession in the U.S. and her testimony before Congress were key in blocking FDA approval for Thalidomide's use in the U.S.

Taussig's career in medicine spanned a lifetime. She remained the head of the Harriet Lane Cardiac Clinic until 1963. She also served on the faculty of the school of medicine from 1930 until 1963, when she became professor emeritus.

Taussig was killed in an automobile accident at age 87.

Taussig's Keys

Co-developed the groundbreaking surgical procedure known as the "blue baby operation" and founded the field of pediatric cardiology.

Overcame: Obstacles including dyslexia, hearing loss and an initial rejection to medical school due to gender discrimination.

Lesson: Following your passion leads to success.

The post Dr. Helen Taussig Beat The Odds To Become A Giant In Pediatric Cardiology appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


10. Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler's String Of Successes Includes Private Jets And Coconut WaterПт., 03 авг.[−]

Jesse Itzler seemed perplexed by the question.

"No," he said in a phone interview with IBD, "I don't think calling me kind of crazy is accurate."

The issue was raised because of Itzler's idiosyncratic life. For example, over the last 25 years he's run more than 36,000 miles (including 50-plus marathons), participated in marathonlike bike races, and paddled 30 miles around Manhattan in a stand-up paddleboard competition.

He hired a retired Navy SEAL to live with him for a month of intensive no-nonsense training. That became the basis of his best-selling book, "Living With a Seal: 31 Days Training With the Toughest Man on the Planet."

More recently, perhaps just to relax (though he denies it), he spent a month in a monastery, the subject of his just-published "Living With the Monks: What Turning Off My Phone Taught Me About Happiness, Gratitude and Focus."

"I'm not crazy in my head," he insisted. "Maybe in everybody else's."

As proof, Itzler points to his many business accomplishments. He co-founded Marquis Jets, a private aircraft leasing company he subsequently sold to NetJets. There was Zico Coconut Water that he helped take national and subsequently sold to Coca-Cola. And there is his newest venture, 29029 Everest.

For that, he rents a mountain resort for a long weekend and runs a music festival type event. There's music, of course. There's food, of course. But there's also climbing. Participants walk, run, crawl up a peak, take the gondola down, and repeat until they've climbed 29029 feet, the height of Mt. Everest.

Thinking about that venture he reconsiders. "I guess you could say I'm a little crazy," he admitted.

But crazy or not, it's hard to deny his serial successes, built in large measure on a willingness to go with his gut. "For me, it's a passion for doing what I enjoy and asking how do you do it differently. Where's the white space?"

From Jingles To Jets

Itzler, 49, grew up on Long Island, N.Y., in the 1970s, "in the middle of the evolution of a whole new [hip-hop] culture and rap music," he said. "It was very easy to get caught up in that. I took a liking to it and gravitated toward it."

Shortly after graduating college (American University, B.A., '90), Itzler landed a contract with a record label. In 1992 he released his first album, which contained a song he wrote — wait for it — "Shake It Like a White Girl" that would prove his one and only rap hit. But it provided him with a vision for a different kind of musical success.

A New York Knicks fan, he was sure the team could use a theme song. "To convince them [in 1993] I made a demo on my own nickel," he said. "I wanted to go into them with something solid, not just a PowerPoint demonstration. I took the risk of writing the song and playing it for them."

The Knicks bought it and the song, "Go, New York, Go," has been its anthem ever since. After expenses, he barely broke-even, but that was OK. "I didn't do it for the money. That one decision was pivotal." It provided entry into an entirely new industry, the white space he spoke about earlier.

The Knicks song's success "put me in the media spotlight. It taught me a lot about how to market and negotiate; I cut a bad deal for myself, but it showed me I was in the right lane," Itzler said. "It gave me confidence in my ability and showed me I could take a project and get it sold. And I learned all these lessons when I was 21 years old and then it became supersuccessful."

The following year he wrote, produced and sang a similarly themed jingle for the NBA, "I Love This Game," which won him an Emmy Award.

Not only had he found the right lane, but he was all by himself on a straightaway driving a Maserati. So, in 1995, he co-founded Alphabet City Sports Records. The company ultimately wrote theme songs for 50 sports franchises (as well as private companies such as Foot Locker ( FL) and Coca-Cola ( KO)) that combined music and usually archival footage of great plays members of that team made.

He learned something from his Knicks and NBA experiences. Now not only was he paid to write and produce, but he also kept back-end royalties, a portion of the CD and DVD sales purchased by fans.

Just three years later, he and his partner sold the company to SFX Entertainment for, he says, $4 million in stock and cash up front, plus a percentage of future earnings.

It was around this time that Itzler and his Alphabet City partner (and childhood friend) Kenny Dichter took their first flight on a private jet. At the time there were only a couple of ways (other than an invitation to someone else's jet) that people could share in the experience. The first, of course, was to be superwealthy and purchase your own plane. You could charter your own plane, though that, he says, was always hit and miss, "a process that has a lot of moving parts or inconsistencies."

Or you could sign up with a company like NetJets, but that required a five-year commitment. If only there were something easier, he thought, sensing white space. What if, instead of a five-year commitment, you only needed to buy 25 hours in advance, like a Starbucks card, he wrote, only for planes. But how to do that.

Relationships And Experiences

The biggest player in the field was NetJets, and here karma played a role. Some years earlier, while still in the music business, a friend asked if he could get tickets for a Christina Aguilera concert for the daughter of someone Itzler did not know.

Not only did Itzler get tickets for the man and his daughter, but he also arranged for the young girl to be on stage as a backup singer (with her mic turned off). The next day, that man called to thank Itzler, telling him "If there's anything I can ever do ..."

That man was Jim Jacobs, now president of NetJets, proving what goes around comes around. He called Jacobs, reminded him of their connection and arranged an appointment with Jacobs and NetJet CEO Richard Santulli. Itzler didn't know much about the private jet business, but his philosophy was get your foot in the door and figure out the rest later. Another Itzler maxim: Nothing happens unless you ask for it.

The meeting did not go entirely as planned. Santulli said he'd never let two 29-year-olds use any of his 500-plane fleet. But Jacobs saw merit in their proposal. He told the pair to tweak their ideas and he'd try to get them another appointment.

A week later they were back at NetJets headquarters, with a living presentation. Instead of presenting dry statistics, they brought along contacts they'd made at Alphabet City: a New York Giant football player, members of a rap group, a well-known NBA agent and a successful Wall Street guy. They all said while they never would purchase a NetJets fraction, they'd likely buy a 25-hour or so jet card every year.

It took additional meetings, but eventually the NetJets brass bought into the concept, which, given the company's excess capacity, proved a win-win for all. Itzler's company, Marquis Jets, sold time on NetJets aircraft in 25-hour increments. After a 10-year-run, the pair sold the business to NetJets (a Berkshire Hathaway company) for an undisclosed amount. "I'll put it this way," Itzler said. "We were extremely profitable. We did cumulatively $5 billion over the 10 years."

His next endeavor was to form The 100 Mile Group, an incubator in search of more white space. Again, he found it in his private life.

"I ran a 100-mile marathon, and I was powered by coconut water. I'd done a lot of research on hydration and what to drink when you are this exhausted. After completing this race I was inspired by my success drinking pure coconut water."

His first plan was to start a company importing coconut water, but that proved unfeasible. Instead, he partnered with Zico, a small brand.

Marc Adelman, COO of 100 Mile Group recalls, in 2009 "we created a partnership. What we added was marketing, various forms of influence marketing. We brought in a lot of celebrity endorsers Jesse knows and we did some guerrilla marketing."

Itzler was also "instrumental in helping Coke come in because we were talking with Coke about another deal."

In 2012, Coke bought out the partners for what Itzler described only as a "sizable amount."

Adelman, a childhood friend, says the Zico deal is typical of Itzler's successes: "I think it's his relationships and how he connects with people. If you meet him in person you can feel his energy. He's a very dynamic person who lights up a room. He's very determined and creative and combine that with his dynamic energy. It's hard to describe, but that's why he's successful."

Itzler's Keys

Used his life experiences to discover areas where his entrepreneurial skills could disrupt the marketplace.
Overcame: Skepticism from many who doubt new ideas.
Lesson: Keep trying.
Quote: "I love diving into the unknown. That's been my M.O. ever since I was a kid. It's just the stage has gotten bigger. That's all. The theme has been there since I was 8 years old."

The post Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler's String Of Successes Includes Private Jets And Coconut Water appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


11. Advisors Create Continuity At Their Firm By Hiring ParaplannersПт., 03 авг.[−]

To manage a growing firm, senior advisors typically hire junior associates and groom them. But another option has caught on.

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In recent years, the emergence of virtual paraplanners has created a new pathway for young go-getters to gain exposure to the advisory business. Rather than take a full-time job at a firm, paraplanners provide administrative support to advisors on an hourly or per-project basis.

They may bill themselves as "virtual assistants" who handle a range of functions such as taking notes in client meetings and entering data into financial planning software. While the arrangements vary widely, many paraplanners work between five to 30 hours a week at a firm.

For experienced advisors, outsourcing back-office functions can lead to staffing flexibility and cost savings. It's also a recruiting tool, as some paraplanners want to advance their career and transition into full-time advisors.

For new entrants into the field, paraplanning gives them a chance to gain valuable experience and learn the business from the ground up. Because they often work from home, paraplanners can also pursue educational or professional development opportunities while expanding their network of advisors around the country.

"For a lot of veteran planners, hiring a junior planner is a big leap," said Matt Fizell, a virtual paraplanner in Madison, Wis. Outsourcing administrative tasks to a paraplanner is less of a commitment.

Because some paraplanners are adept at technology, they can double as consultants and teach older advisors how to maximize the latest tools. If they help with onboarding new clients, for example, they may make better use of customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

Blaze A Career Path

Once you hire a full-time junior planner, retention can pose a challenge. Newcomers can parlay the experience and training they receive from you and hop to a different firm.

"A lot of advisors lack clear processes and a clear path forward when hiring new planners into their firm," Fizell said. "You want to have a clear vision of what you want the new planner to do and a clear understanding and timeline of when the new planner will be client-facing, as opposed to just bringing in someone because you're too busy."

If you're unable to provide that clarity, paraplanners might make sense. They can usually dive right in and provide instant support.

Jennifer Pritchard, a Houston-based certified financial planner, graduated from Texas Tech University's financial planning program in 2014. From there, she spent a year as a virtual paraplanner, dividing her time among three different advisory firms.

"All three firms needed someone for one-third time," she said. "My duties included data gathering, data input and helping with account opening, maintenance and coordinating with the custodian. It was a positive experience and I learned a lot, especially from sitting in on client meetings and creating a financial plan."

Today, Pritchard is a full-time financial planning associate at a Texas advisory firm. Separately, she's helping grow Simply Paraplanner, an online job board to help firms hire virtual paraplanners.

Fresh Ideas

For paraplanners, starting out in the trenches gives them a close-up view of what it takes to build a successful practice. They gain a better understanding of how to enhance client service, facilitate regulatory compliance and improve internal efficiency.

Better yet, they see how communication affects the advisor-client relationship. Firms that retain well over 90% of their clients tend to maintain close touch with them through a range of channels on an ongoing basis.

"My best learning experience is how we communicate with clients," said Yesenia Ramirez, 26, a junior associate advisor at a 10-person firm in Plantation, Fla. "It's a business of soft skills."

Ramirez, who recently passed her certified financial planner exam, adds that paraplanners and other newcomers who spend at least some time interacting with clients can develop vital communication skills that they'll need to advance in the profession.

"It's hard to learn how to empathize and build that rapport with people when you're spending all your time in the back office," she said. "And when you're in client meetings, it's better to be able to ask questions and follow up with the client. If you're just there as a fly on the wall, you're not gaining as much confidence."

For senior advisors, paraplanners can provide a fresh perspective and propose ideas to harness technology more effectively or improve workflow processes. Even if younger aides lack decades of experience mastering technical skills, they may have a firm grasp of how millennials think and feel about money.

Paraplanners or junior associates might ask a managing partner, "Why do we do it this way?" Responding with openness to their ideas and opinions can pay dividends, Fizell says.

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The post Advisors Create Continuity At Their Firm By Hiring Paraplanners appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


12. Quotes Of The Week: George Orwell, St. Jerome And OthersВт., 31 июля[−]
Orwell On Partisanship
Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.
George Orwell, author
St. Jerome On Learning
The scars of others should teach us caution.
St. Jerome, theologian
King On Believing
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader
Rice On Impact
Power is nothing unless you can turn it into influence.
Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State
Lee On Taking Action
Knowing is not enough. We must apply.
Bruce Lee, martial artist

The post Quotes Of The Week: George Orwell, St. Jerome And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


13. Ask Questions, Reflect To Broaden UnderstandingВт., 31 июля[−]

Lifelong learning not only assures that you stay relevant, it also provides fuel to excel.

Follow these tips to become a dynamic learner:

Learn from mistakes. It's easy to look at someone else's failures and say: OK, I won't do that, and I'll do this instead. But it's hard for many to admit their own shortcomings. Reverse that instinct to learn from mistakes more completely, says author Bradley Staats, who wrote " Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive."

"It's a huge challenge," Staats told IBD. Business leaders must normalize failure to encourage others to learn from mistakes, he says. "Leaders have a responsibility to share when something goes wrong."

That's not to say that immoral or illegal acts can be simply chalked up to mistakes that can be repeated over and over.

"I don't mean to say you can do whatever you want," Staats said. "But you have to acknowledge that when you're doing complex, novel things, they are not going to go well all the time. When we admit that to ourselves, we are open to trying new things and learning."

At Pixar, Staats wrote, co-founder Ed Catmull used to say: "Mistakes aren't a necessary evil. They aren't evil at all. ... Failure is painful, and our feelings about the pain tend to screw up our understanding of its worth."

Instead ask why you might be responsible for the error. Even if you just ask yourself and not out loud.

"Commit beforehand by writing down what you think is going to happen," Staats said. "Afterward go back and look at it. This holds you accountable."

Ask questions. Don't rush to get answers. You risk missing a larger or more important point.

"Someone throws something out there, and we need to immediately know the answer," Staats said. "Some organizations judge you by the speed with which you reply to emails. But when you're doing something new, you need to dig in, look for what don't we know. (This process) fills in the blanks in knowledge and uncovers voids we didn't see before."

Asking questions also makes it easier for others to help you. Staats lists many examples of amazing innovations that resulted from a simple question. Among them: Edwin Land's daughter asked him why she couldn't see a vacation picture right away. So he invented instant photography at his company, Polaroid.

The key as a leader is to ask questions and listen. "In too many organizations when we get an answer, especially from senior management, we leap to execution," Staats said. "As the saying goes: When a leader says I think, the thinking stops."

Recharge and reflect. In many industries, the work is never-ending. And Americans are notorious for taking very few vacation days. But many studies show that taking time to recharge frees up the brain to see new perspectives.

"Whether it's mediation, mindful exercises or sitting with a journal, it's such a small action that has such a big effect," Staats said. "When we move and when we stop and think, we activate different parts of the brain. Both are important."

Some top CEOs make it a priority to take time off. Virgin Group's Richard Branson recently told CNBC that vacations are not just about resting. Taking a break from the work routine and meeting new people can inspire you in unexpected ways, he said. Branson said he leaves his smartphone at home or in the hotel room as much as he can. By eliminating the daily stress of work life, he said he's more likely to get new insights into old problems and flashes of inspiration.

Taking time to reflect rather than charging ahead with action is also crucial to learning the entire scope of what you're doing. Reflection often leads to better decisions.

Reflective leaders include Abraham Lincoln, who once said: Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax. And Warren Buffett has admitted he isn't as busy as some other legendary workaholic CEOs who work 80-hour weeks. He has stated that he's spent 80% of his career reading and thinking.

Specialize and generalize. Be the expert at something. But understand that no one person has all the answers. As you work across an industry, you hone your skills and acquire new ones. You also get to know other specialists. Understanding the various components of expertise helps you make the necessary connections to thrive.

"Innovation is not all brand-new ideas; it's existing ideas combined in different ways," Staats said.

You are more likely to reassemble things in innovative ways if you are both a specialist in one area and a generalist in others.

"The generalist alone doesn't bring enough detailed knowledge to the table. And the specialist brings little skill to bring ideas together," Staats aid.

The post Ask Questions, Reflect To Broaden Understanding appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


14. Keith Krach Inspires Diverse Teams So Projects Can ThriveПт., 27 июля[−]

Keith Krach made his mark with new technologies but built his foundation on old-fashioned values.

And he was willing to risk his future to stay true to them.

Krach, 61, was one of the co-founders of Ariba in 1996. The company is the world's first and today largest e-commerce network. Krach served as its chairman and CEO from 1996-2003. Ariba, which at one time under Krach achieved a $40 billion market cap, was sold in 2012 for $4.3 billion to SAP SE ( SAP). Ariba's software revolutionized business-to-business e-commerce. Currently some $1 trillion of it goes through the Ariba network annually.

Among his numerous honors, Ernst & Young named Krach the National Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and 2015.

Before all of that, Krach was General Motors' ( GM) youngest-ever vice president at 26, but "I wanted to leave the nest to build something of my own," Krach told IBD. "Silicon Valley was becoming a mecca for innovation, and I just knew I had to see what I could accomplish there."

So he left General Motors in his rearview mirror. "When I let folks at GM know my plans, they all thought I was crazy," Krach said. He took a job with a small Silicon Valley software company in 1987 as their No. 2 executive. Not a week into his new gig, he came face to face with a crisis.

That's when the CEO gave Krach a directive of what to specifically say at a board meeting. "And I said 'I will not!' " Krach recalled. " 'That would be lying!' "

Krach felt he'd made the biggest mistake of his life, joining a company "where my values were not the same as the CEO's," he said. "I knew if I stayed there I wasn't living my values." His nine months there before leaving "was the worst period of my life," he said.

Integrity Always

"Growing up in a small town in Ohio, going to Purdue, working at good old General Motors, the values were just always there," Krach said. "I just couldn't even imagine someone not having them. I missed it. That was a huge defining moment in my life. It taught me to never take values for granted. I'd never start a company without defining values clearly."

After leaving the computer company, Krach became one of the founders of Rasna Corp. in 1988. Rasna put mainframe computer power on a workstation. It was sold to Parametric Technology (now PTC ( PTC)) in 1995 for $500 million.

After Ariba, Krach became the chairman of DocuSign ( DOCU) in 2009, a position he will be leaving Jan. 1, 2019. The company provides secure electronic signature technology to facilitate contracts and other documents. From 2011-17 Krach served as DocuSign's CEO. In 2016 DocuSign was No. 3 on Forbes' list of the World's Best 100 Cloud Companies and earned a Best Places to Work Award from Glassdoor.

From 2011-14 Krach served as board chairman of Angie's List ( ANGI), and it was under his leadership that the company went public.

He says what's built Silicon Valley is "companies taking advantage of a paradigm shift" in technology. "Most important is to invest in technologies, and commit to policies that drive innovation and productivity. This is what digital transformation is all about. And speed is the ultimate currency," he said.

Taking a global view, he said: "It's absolutely essential that we pick up the pace of innovation. We can't be shy about digital transformation. We've got to embrace it."

The playbook that he's used for leading four companies and serving on the boards of several others is to build a high-performance team.

"There are three ingredients," he said. "One, is hire the best people. Companies with the best teams win. Two, is get them to work as a team, get them to focus on a mission that is a noble cause. And the third one is to set a crystal-clear direction.

"I also believe in setting big ambitious goals, because small goals don't stir the heart of women and men."

"Keith can make a team feel like they can do anything," said Edward Kinsey, Ariba's former CFO. "He knows how to make people stretch. He's evaluated them, he knows what makes them tick, he looks at them based on what he believes they can do, and then he drives them to that performance."

Krach has learned "when you delegate responsibility you've got to delegate the authority that goes with it. And the key thing is people help support what they help create."

Marc Carlson, who has worked with Krach at seven companies including General Motors, Ariba and DocuSign, says three attributes stand out about Krach. "Character, as in, do the right thing; global vision; and then the third thing is joy. Keith is just a joyful, happy person who truly enjoys what he's doing and helping others. It's so authentic it's contagious."

"What matters most in life is what you do when nobody is looking," Krach said.

Parents Know Best

Krach was born in Lakewood, Ohio. His first and most valuable mentors were his parents, Elda and John.

His positive-thinking mother gave him a foundational principle. "She says: 'People can deny your logic, but they cannot deny your enthusiasm or your passion,' " Krach said. "So I'm a very passionate person."

Krach's machine-shop-owner father mixed humility with a great sense of humor. He was beloved by his employees. He set an example that Krach adopted: "Ego is your enemy; humility is your friend." Krach says his father preached to always be yourself and never lose your integrity.

Krach earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from Purdue University in 1979 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1981.

Growth Formula

Assembling a team of different temperaments, talents and convictions is the secret sauce for building a high performance organization, Krach says. "Diversity of thought is the catalyst for genius."

When putting together teams, Krach feels that while IQ is important, AQ (a designation he's given for the adversity quotient) is even more so.

"When the going gets tough, that's when you see what you're made of," Krach said. "Can you handle stuff under pressure and stay cool?"

To determine AQ, Krach asks potential executive team members what's the toughest situation they've faced?

To help them open up about tough situations, Krach relates his own. "I'll tell them about times that I've really gotten smacked and really show my vulnerability."

He feels that perhaps the most important skill in business is building trusting relationships early on. "And I think that formula for vulnerability is a key one," he said.

Today And Tomorrow

Krach is passionate about mentoring. He's proud that Ariba spawned several CEOs of public companies.

"Keith uses a Biblical phrase that he lives every day," Kinsey said. " 'Just as steel sharpens steel, so does one man sharpen another.' He uses that when he's building leaders and when he needs help."

"You can always learn something from everyone," Krach said. "And I'm an extremely curious person. I think as much with my heart as with my head. That's kind of my leadership style."

Krach's upcoming project will be his nonprofit Virtual Mentor Network.

"My legacy is defined not by the companies that I've built," Krach said. "My legacy is defined by the leaders whom I've mentored."

Krach's Keys

Ariba co-founder, CEO; DocuSign chairman, CEO

Overcame: Leaving the security of General Motors after becoming its youngest VP ever to take his chances in the emerging Silicon Valley technology space.

Lesson: See and evaluate new opportunities with an eye on the future.

"You're not going to get anywhere in life without taking risks. When you're taking a big risk there's usually a big upside, but there also is a (possibility) of failure. But either way it's a win, because when you have a failure, it's when you learn the most."

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15. Advisors Harness Behavioral Finance To Calm Clients' Money WorriesПт., 27 июля[−]

For some clients, their advisor doubles as a therapist. They grapple with psychological issues about money while gaining financial planning and investment management expertise.

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In recent years, research in behavioral finance has given advisors a fresh set of tools to help clients wrap their minds around money. By applying the latest findings, advisors enable clients to rethink faulty assumptions, resolve family conflicts and make sound decisions tied to saving, spending and investing.

Some advisors dig into behavioral finance principles on their own. Others partner with outside experts who track the latest advances in the field.

Ian Weinberg, a certified financial planner in Woodbury, N.Y., enlists a consulting psychologist to help clients address challenges related to money and family dynamics. The planner has worked with the psychologist for about 18 years.

"He's helped our clients — many of whom are family stewards and business founders — gain a better understanding of how to break the ice in discussing family wealth and succession with their children," Weinberg said. "He's also helped us get a handle on how people digest financial news, especially in volatile periods."

When meeting new clients, Weinberg has incorporated the psychologist's input to refine his interview process. He likes to ask, "When you think about your wealth, what concerns, needs or feelings come to mind?"

"Sequencing is critical when asking questions," Weinberg said. "It's following up and asking 'Why is that so important?' and 'Is there anything even more important to you?' A lot of times, they don't reveal their embedded concerns until 30 minutes into the interview."

The 4 Rs

Behavioral finance explores the interplay of instinctive feelings and rational thought. Advisors learn how emotional and cognitive biases can affect our financial judgment and decision-making.

"We feel quickly, but it takes a while to think about what we're feeling," said Andi Kang, a certified financial planner in Costa Mesa, Calif. "Our first response is very emotional vs. the cognitive, logical response."

Armed with this knowledge, Kang understands when clients react emotionally to bad news such as a sudden market decline. She strives to prepare them for such jolting events and shift their focus to long-term results.

She also encourages clients to apply a four-step process to bypass their emotional impulses in favor of making prudent financial decisions: recognize, reflect, reframe and respond.

Recognizing your thoughts and emotions helps you gain situational awareness. Reflecting on your overriding values — the big picture that serves as your backdrop for interpreting a situation — provides perspective. Reframing allows you to view negative self-talk in a more positive yet still logical manner. Responding so that you're consistent with your values and long-term goals creates a better outcome.

"It's all part of understanding the behavioral triggers that can lead to an emotional response, like panic over a big, unexpected or alarming (financial loss)," Kang said. "We help clients prepare for and understand those risk triggers" and make smarter decisions as a result.

Pivotal Moments

Like therapists, advisors might dig into the past to unearth formative experiences that shape clients' actions and attitudes. Heightening clients' awareness of how they perceive money — and how a childhood memory leaves a searing impact — can lead to psychological breakthroughs.

Michelle Arpin Begina, a New York City-based certified financial planner, has a longtime interest in behavioral finance. She completed Kansas State University's financial therapy graduate certificate program in 2017.

"I explore the 'moneyhood' that clients grew up in," she said. "We're influenced by major turning points in our life, whether negative or positive. At these momentous occasions, we form beliefs" about money. Examples include children learning of the bankruptcy of the family business or observing how their parents negotiate the purchase or sale of their home.

Begina cites a client in her late 60s who recalls her father winning the lottery more than 50 years ago. At the time, her father assured her, "You'll never need to worry about money again." But the funds soon evaporated.

"In financial therapy, these moments are called 'flash points,' " Begina said. "They tend to leave a deep emotional impact on people."

Another element of behavioral finance involves increasing the odds that clients will follow through on sound advice. It's not enough that clients accept an advisor's recommendations; the real test is whether they remain on the right path years later.

"Adherence strategies train advisors to get clients not only to take our advice but how to make it stick," Begina said. "It's just as important to understand how we can help clients stay the course."

Begina accomplishes this by asking clients forward-looking questions such as, "Over the next 20 years, what can stand in the way and derail your retirement goals?" Once they answer, she'll ask, "If that happens, how can I support you?"

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16. Bring Order To Your Day With RoutinesСр., 25 июля[−]

A great many of the world's best and brightest don't leave their mornings to chance. And that isn't a coincidence.

That's from Benjamin Spall, who with Michael Xander wrote " My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired." They are the founders of Mymorningroutine.com, which provides ideas from successful people on managing the morning.

"When you start your morning with intention you can bring your morning wins with you into the rest of your day," Spall said.

Tips on creating and sticking to routines that become part of you:

Make it doable. Keep your morning routine short and easy to accomplish, especially in the beginning, Spall says.

This greatly increases the chances of you sticking to it. Make changes to your routine slowly, and give each change a fair shot.

"If you make too many changes to your morning routine at once you're likely to come up against a wall," Spall said. It's fine also to just introduce one new habit into your routine every two or three weeks.

Target biggest returns. Do your most important work first. "You've heard this one before, but it's something that has come up time and again when speaking with successful people about their morning routines," Spall said.

It's the low-hanging fruit, so grab it. Doing the highest-yield work first thing in the morning or shortly thereafter "dramatically increases the chances of you getting it done," he added.

Another nice benefit: It makes the rest of your day easier as you don't have your "unfinished most important thing hanging over you unfinished for the rest of the day," he said.

Stay the course. Morning calls, meetings and the unexpected means doing your most important work first isn't always possible, but it's the ideal you should strive for.

"If you aim to complete your most important work first thing in the morning every day this week, and you only do so three out of five days, I'd still call that a win," Spall said.

Schedule disconnections. Aaron Edelheit, author of "The Hard Break: The Case For The 24/6 Lifestyle," points to Brad Feld, a successful entrepreneur, author, blogger and venture capitalist running a half-billion-dollar investment company, who takes a digital sabbath. Feld is a co-founder of the Foundry Group, a venture capital firm.

Every week Feld takes one day and turns off his phone and computer, cutting the cord from technology. "Feld says that by taking a digital sabbath he is 'doing the best work I've ever done.' In fact, he has seen such positive outcomes from taking a day off that he now takes a week off every quarter."

Unwind. Studies from Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of London have shown that a walk in a quiet, relaxing setting significantly improved cognitive performance, Edelheit says.

Creativity can be boosted by 60% just by taking these walks, he adds. Einstein was famous for taking walks when stuck with a problem to figure out. Steve Jobs believed in taking walks, the power of reflection, and taking a break from work. Ludwig van Beethoven and Charles Darwin are two other creative people who regularly took walks.

Your brain is more likely to process information and find patterns the more it is able to reflect and have downtime, Edelheit says.

Get enough shut-eye. Don't overlook the importance of an evening routine. Avoid playing catch-up with your day at night. "Getting to bed at a good hour will help ensure that you wake up refreshed and ready to get started on your morning routine the next day," Spall said.

The evening is the perfect time to get some nagging tasks done around your home. And it is the time to write your to-do list or schedule in items on your calendar for the next day, he says. The evening "is your time to relax!"

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17. Quotes Of The Week: Patterson, Hassell And BrothersПн., 23 июля[−]

Patterson On Ingenuity
It's rare that a fresh idea comes up out of nowhere. More often we put together disparate ideas that nobody has put together.
James Patterson, author

Hassell On Originality
We all have a unique gift or ability, like our very own superpower, which lives at the intersection of our talents and passions.
David Hassell, entrepreneur

Brothers On Caring
Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.
Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist

Grant On Boldness
If you want people to accept our original ideas, we need to speak up about them.
Adam Grant, educator

Bergman On Instinct
You must train your intuition — you must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.
Ingrid Bergman, actress

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18. Advisors Who Travel Abroad Gain Better Cross-Cultural UnderstandingСб., 21 июля[−]

When returning to the United States after spending time abroad, your perceptions change. You see the world differently, and that fresh perspective can help you forge stronger connections with those around you.

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Advisors gain a better understanding of wide-ranging cultures through their travels. Better yet, they apply what they learn to deepen their client relationships.

Consider your communication skills. It's easy to assume that prospects and clients can decipher your financial jargon.

Ed Cofrancesco knows better. An advisor in Orlando, Fla., he lived in the United Kingdom for nearly three years during a stint as a relationship manager for a global bank.

"I was pleasantly surprised at how well versed the people in the U.K. were to the U.S. and global markets," he said. "I'd talk with U.K. cabdrivers about market news and interest rate moves."

Back in America, Cofrancesco realized he needed to do a better job educating clients on the financial markets. If he lapsed into using too much lingo, he might confuse rather than enlighten them.

"I tell my colleagues all the time, 'Never assume what people know,' " he said. "Don't throw a term out there like 'ETFs.' Instead, find out if they know the term. If not, help them become familiar with it."

Spending Vs. Saving

Clients' attitudes about money can vary widely, especially if they were raised with different expectations or values. Advisors who have lived abroad gain exposure to a range of outlooks.

For example, Cofrancesco found from his travels that many Europeans reside in countries that provide social insurance programs. Public awareness of such benefits affects citizens' saving and spending habits.

"(Europeans) may count on their version of Social Security," he said. "Because they're more dependent on their government system, they're not saving for their retirement" in the same way that Americans should do.

As a result, he tailors his approach to retirement planning for clients who have moved to the U.S. from afar. He's more apt to explain how Social Security works — and its long-term viability — to these international clients.

Cofrancesco took away another lesson from his U.K. experience: Americans are more lavish spenders.

"We're way too materialistic of a society in the U.S.," he said. He cites examples of drivers who feel compelled to buy a new car every few years or a groom who buys his bride a diamond engagement ring worth three months of his salary.

Cofrancesco adds that he likes to share stories about the frugality he witnessed overseas "to heighten Americans' awareness" of the importance of managing their household budget with prudence.

Make Each Day Count

By immersing themselves in different cultures, advisors also develop a thirst for learning. Their inquisitiveness carries over into how they relate to clients.

Part of any advisor's job is extracting personal information from clients. This requires posing a series of sensitive questions.

Moving to the Dominican Republic in his early 20s, Andrew Sivertsen spent a year living with a host family. He enjoyed getting to know them and seeing the world through their eyes.

"It was an extremely warm, inviting culture," said Sivertsen, a certified financial planner in Moline, Ill. "It made me a better listener as I asked questions and learned from them."

He credits his travels with helping him "fully engage in clients' lives." In every conversation, he strives to learn something new about them and focus his attention on the here-and-now.

"It's important to listen in the moment, not think about what you're going to say or do next," he said. "It's all about curiosity."

He was struck by how people in the Dominican Republic lived each day with a heightened sense of appreciation and vigor. They often focused on "the most important thing to do right now," he says.

More than a decade later, Sivertsen, 35, fondly recalls their seize-the-moment mentality. And it has influenced how he advises his clients.

"Many people intend to retire in 10 or 20 or 40 years, so there's a long-term plan in play," he said. "But I'll also ask about their short- and intermediate-term goals. If someone hates their job, I may ask, 'Why wait to fulfill your dreams?' "

Sivertsen serves on the board of directors of a school in the Dominican Republic, so he revisits the country every year. Because many families get by on a modest income, they marvel at his profession.

"You Americans have so much money that you need a financial planner," they say with a smile. But these comments stick with him.

"We're blessed to live in a place where we have that," he said. "It makes you focus on the positive, not the negative."

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19. Sports Journalist Andrea Kremer's Work Ethic, Interviewing Skills Lead The FieldПт., 20 июля[−]

Covering a Super Bowl and giving birth were not mutually exclusive to Andrea Kremer.

She is the Emmy Award-winning longtime television sports journalist who will be honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

As the chief correspondent for the NFL Network since 2012, Kremer, 59, not only covers the game on the field, but tackles the important issues off it; such as the health and safety of the players. She further takes a deep dive into interview subjects and issues as a correspondent for HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel."

While she has earned a reputation for getting the story, Kremer became one in January 2000. She unexpectedly went into labor a month early right before Super Bowl XXXIV. Yet just four days later, after giving birth to her son, she was back on the air covering the big game for ESPN. She did her prep work from her hospital room.

The experience taught Kremer "a seminal lesson," she told IBD.

"Whether the story is traumatic or tragic or joyous — whatever it is, somebody is going through this in their life, but a journalistic entity wants to make it their story," Kremer said. The experience further enhanced her empathy and respect for her subjects. "It's our story, but it's their life. And now I had lived it!" She now knew what it was like to be the story.

Kremer reflects that she's done many unique and special stories of which she's proud. She's interviewed sports figures dealing with death, loss, drug addiction and other heart-wrenching situations. In some cases it's the only time these people have talked about it.

"People are really baring their souls and I've been asked a lot: Why do you think they talk to you?" Kremer says. "I think there's a variety of reasons but I'd like to think they knew that I respected the situations. I respected them. And having lived that, it put it in a whole different realm."

Reaching The End Zone

Kremer has covered more than 25 Super Bowls. She also covered the NBA Finals, MLB's League Championship Series, college football bowl games, Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and the Olympics.

Kremer has received two Emmy Awards in her career, in 2001 and 2005. For her story on NFL defensive player Dexter Manley's substance abuse and addiction issues, Kremer earned a Prism Award in 2005. In 2012, she helped Real Sports earn a Peabody Award with her story on the abuse of the drug Toradol in NFL locker rooms. Kremer has reported on sports personalities and stories dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Los Angeles Times named Kremer "the best TV interviewer in the business of covering the NFL." TV Guide, which named Kremer as one of TV's best sports correspondents, said her work is "distinguished by her eagerness to calmly ask tough questions and her refusal to pursue the same old story."

In 2014, she was the first inductee into the Cynopsis Sports Hall of Fame. In 2017 she was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

This past June, Kremer was named the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, given by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The award recognizes "longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football," wrote NFL.com. Kremer will be honored during the NFL's 2018 Enshrinement Week in early August.

"I've been doing this a long time and I'm very proud of my longevity, but I'm really proud of my consistency," Kremer said. "If I felt my work was diminished in any way, I just wouldn't do this anymore."

A residual benefit for her has been hearing from multitudes of colleague she's worked with over the years. They've said things like, " 'I wouldn't be where I am in my career if I hadn't worked with you,' " Kremer said. "I'm glad I've done stories that have resonated, but this acknowledgment that I've made an impact on people individually I've worked with has meant the most to me."

"Andrea possesses many skills that have allowed her to become a top-flight journalist, but if I had to name two they would be work ethic and the constant pursuit of perfection," said Fred Gaudelli, the executive producer of "NBC Sunday Night Football." "The bigger the challenge, the deeper Andrea digs in, and she just won't quit until the story is presented as creatively and accurately as possible."

Fellow longtime TV sports journalist Pam Oliver told IBD: "Andrea prepares and goes above and beyond. She's exacting, she's demanding of the people around her. Andrea's all about accurate information, and she's a great interviewer."

"The key to being a great interviewer is natural curiosity and a real true devotion to listening," Kremer said. "A lot of people say they listen but they don't really understand how to listen. They are thinking about whatever is going through their mind, the least of which is the follow-up question."

A Sporting Life

Born in Philadelphia, Kremer had a love of sports from an early age, both watching and participating.

"My parents were quite supportive," she said. "I watched everything that I could. Football definitely had a special place for me."

On the participation side, Kremer danced ballet for about 20 years and pursued field hockey, tennis and swimming.

"The great thing about ballet is that it really taught me discipline and the ability to compartmentalize," she said.

Kremer graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1982 as the sports editor of the Main Line Chronicle, Pennsylvania's largest weekly newspaper.

In 1984 she left the Chronicle to join NFL Films as its first female producer. There she found her first mentor in the business with the late Steve Sabol, who with his father Ed founded NFL Films. A picture of Steve Sabol adorns her office. In addition to producing, Kremer directed, wrote and edited. She was in her early 20s and working seven days a week.

"It would be late on a Saturday night and there would only be one other light on in the entire building and that was Steve's light," Kremer said. "That really resonated with me, and the lesson became don't ask somebody to do something that you haven't done yourself or you wouldn't do yourself."

The Spotlight

She joined ESPN in 1989. It was a time when women were not readily accepted as sports broadcasters. In one instance she learned she wouldn't be considered for a position because the hiring authority wouldn't hire a female.

Though devastated, she persisted. "I tried never to let any obstacle hold me back," Kremer said. "I felt I needed to put blinders on at some point. And I think you just know that as a woman in this profession, your margin for error is infinitesimal. … You just have to work to be better and smarter and more correct all the time."

"There is no one whom I have ever worked with who wanted to get it right more than Andrea Kremer," Gaudelli said. "She holds herself to the highest levels of accountability."

Oliver points to Kremer's relentless pursuit of a story. "Andrea will fly to a city to try to convince someone in person to please sit down with her. And pretty soon, she's got the interview."

It's all part of Kremer's success philosophy. From the great athletes and coaches she's interviewed (such as Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps) she's found that high achievers in sports have a single-minded sense of purpose and a steely focus, and they are intense competitors.

"Don't accept no," Kremer says. "Don't let anyone tell you no. The easiest thing is for people to say no, because if they say yes then they have to take the next step. Most people aren't willing to do that. So you can't take no for an answer. You can try to negotiate things, you can stay pleasantly persistent, you can stay on somebody's radar, but you just can't be deterred. Be determined and don't take no for an answer."

Kremer's Keys

Recipient of two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award, given by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Overcame: Bias against women in sports broadcast journalism.

Lesson: Let your work speak for itself.

"Somebody once said to me I came out of the womb determined."

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20. Quotes Of The Week: Deane, Brooks And OthersВт., 17 июля[−]

Deane On Drive
The person who gets it, the person who is going to win, is the person who wants it more.
Julie Deane, entrepreneur

Brooks On Dreams
Risk something or forever sit with your dreams.
Herb Brooks, hockey coach

Hale On Mentoring
To make a difference in someone's life, you don't have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful or perfect. You just have to care.
Mandy Hale, author

Rometty On Growth
I learned to always take on things I'd never done before. Growth and comfort do not coexist.
Virginia Rometty, IBM CEO

Spade On Integrity
Live in such a way so that if anyone speaks badly of you no one would believe it.
Kate Spade, designer

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21. Develop A Business Plan That Propels Your Entrepreneurial SuccessВт., 17 июля[−]

Entrepreneurs start with a dream. Turning it into reality requires a series of concrete, carefully crafted goals.

To advance from an idea to a viable enterprise, you need a roadmap. A business plan provides that direction. It also offers a framework to follow through and a basis for measuring your progress.

Eager to attain your vision, it's tempting to plunge in without a rigorous plan. But taking a seat-of-your-pants approach adds to the risk. To write a business plan that guides your success:

Keep it simple. Fledgling entrepreneurs may assume a business plan should be a lengthy, data-laden document. But brevity and clarity can work to your advantage.

"Don't be intimidated," said Noah Parsons, chief operating officer of Palo Alto Software in Eugene, Ore. "We recommend a lean plan, a one-page outline of your business concept."

This succinct version starts with a vision statement and pinpoints the problem your business will solve, the potential market for your product or service, competitors and sales goals. Download a free template here.

Think like a customer. Among the key elements of your business plan is defining the problem that you'll solve. That's harder than it sounds. You not only need to identify a glaring issue that consumers face but also propose a creative, cost-effective way to address it.

"A lot of entrepreneurs think of the solutions that they're offering, instead of what problem does my widget solve for my customer," Parsons said. "You need to get inside the customer's head and know how you will make customers' lives better."

He suggests talking to potential customers, heeding their input and easing into your market. Rather than act on your assumptions, determine if your gut instinct is correct. Contact a sampling of would-be buyers to validate your hunch.

Reduce uncertainties. Some parts of a business plan involve predicting the future. How will competitors react to your pricing strategy? How many people will buy what you sell? To what extent will the cost of equipment or raw materials vary in the coming years?

While it's impossible to answer these and other questions with certainty, you can build a plan around conservative calculations. Use recent data, demographic trends and purchasing patterns to refine your estimates.

"Setting sales goals may seem like the hardest thing to do because there's a fear of getting it wrong," Parsons said. "New entrepreneurs have to be comfortable making their best guess."

Research what's next. Once your business is up and running, you'll begin to gain a clearer understanding of how to advance from startup to second-stage growth. At some point, you may want to draft a more detailed business plan that answers questions that potential investors and future employees will ask. Examples include fleshing out your target market, your sales and marketing strategy, and the evolving structure of your company.

"You'll want to have a management and operational plan," said Warren Daniel, regional director of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center in Dover, N.H. "That changes with the economic cycles. In a growth period, it's harder to hire" so you'll need to think through how to recruit staffers in a tight labor market.

Keep updating. Treat your business plan as a work-in-progress. With each passing month, you'll want to review it and possibly rework it to reflect the myriad challenges that you'll confront.

"I look at a business plan as a living document," Daniel said. "As your business grows, it will change."

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22. Learn From Youngins: New Planners Offer Wisdom To Veteran AdvisorsПт., 13 июля[−]

Older advisors often share bits of wisdom with newly minted planners. But seasoned pros might also learn something from upstarts.

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Shaped by their tech-savvy upbringing, financial planners in their 20s and 30s are eager to dish out advice to their more experienced colleagues. You just have to ask them.

These newcomers realize that they don't know it all. As much as they welcome supportive guidance from veteran advisors, they may chafe if treated with bossy condescension.

"Mentoring young planners using encouragement and trust will breed confidence," said Jeff Realejo, a 25-year-old certified financial planner in Pompano Beach, Fla. That's better than telling them what to do and how to do it.

For example, asking, "Why don't you try this?" is more effective than declaring, "You should do it this way." Granting them the autonomy to make their own decisions — and learn their own lessons — contributes to a richer, more rewarding work environment.

If you've developed a well-oiled machine after decades of building a successful practice, you may figure there's no reason to alter a winning formula. But fledgling planners may offer useful suggestions to stay one step ahead as you navigate your business into an uncertain future.

"The pace of change is rising rapidly, especially if you want to attract younger clients," said Ashley Foster, a certified financial planner in Houston. "If you've been doing something for 30 years and it has been working for you, you may not want to change. But change will pass you by whether you like it or not."

Embrace The New

An increasing number of millennial clients — born in the 1980s and early 1990s — prefer to interact online. Advisors with easy-to-access digital platforms can appeal to this demographic.

Foster, 34, would advise his elders to embrace new technology now, not later. Waiting to apply the latest tech tools "until something begins to disrupt your livelihood" is misguided, he warns.

He recommends that older advisors ask two questions when weighing an investment in technology: "How will it help me operate more efficiently?" and "How will it help provide more value to my clients?"

"Using new financial planning software instead of relying on outdated and less comprehensive software can save you time you'd spend creating spreadsheets," Foster said. "I'd say be open-minded about changes to our industry, not just technological but also regulatory and business-model changes. Don't look at these changes as a roadblock; look at them as an opportunity."

Foster's prior business partner, an advisor for 50 years, initially resisted some of these changes. But Foster gradually persuaded him to come around — and he's now enjoying helping clients with a fresh emphasis on holistic financial planning.

To improve their daily business operation, Foster recommends that longtime advisors rethink workflow procedures and client service delivery. He cites advances in customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

"A lot of advisors either use Microsoft Office/Outlook as a CRM or nothing at all," he said. "It may have worked for them in the past, but today there are many customizable CRM solutions built specifically for financial planners to help them increase productivity."

The Right Culture

Misconceptions abound about integrating cutting-edge technology. Some advisors assume the transition from aging systems to agile ones will prove long and frustrating.

"Don't think that technology is too hard or will take too much time to learn," said Lucas Casarez, a 31-year-old certified financial planner in Fort Collins, Colo. "This may have been the situation in the past with old legacy systems. But in the last four or five years, advances have made the technology easier" to adopt.

Embracing low-cost automation can win over both junior associates at your firm and your clients. Aside from efficiency gains, going paperless can signal to your team that the firm wants to evolve with the times.

For example, Casarez favors e-signature apps. He says that DocuSign "is so easy that clients in their 60s and 70s can use it and they like it."

He also urges older advisors to cultivate wet-behind-the-ears planners by creating an appealing organizational culture. Providing ongoing constructive feedback on their performance and affording them ample pathways to learn and grow on the job will solidify your relationship with them.

"The younger generation is more focused on values than dollar signs," Casarez said. "It's the same with culture. If they feel your firm is doing the right things — reinvesting in the community through volunteerism, reinvesting in employees by sending them to conferences and helping them earn professional designations — they're more likely to buy into the culture and stay over the long term."

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23. Idexx CEO Jon Ayers' Passion Drives Innovation In Pet Health CareПт., 13 июля[−]

Jon Ayers knew Idexx Laboratories ( IDXX) had rich potential as soon as he came on board the pet health care company.

X

"When I got here I felt there was a gold mine of opportunity," Ayers, who joined Idexx as chairman, president and CEO in January 2002, told IBD.

Ayers also knew he needed to change Idexx's existing corporate mindset to tap into that opportunity.

"Before I came here, the consensus was the growth in pet health care diagnostics had seen its day and was over," Ayers said. "I thought that was completely wrong. In fact, I thought there was an enormous opportunity to bring new innovation and growth to that business which was growing at 3% to 4%" a year, he said.

So Ayers, a veteran business leader, combined his love of animals and interest in biology with his strong management skills to develop a strategy that would change that mentality and prove the naysayers wrong. At the core of this strategy is a focus on investing in constant innovation to provide veterinarians with cutting-edge diagnostic and information management tools that enhance the health and well-being of pets.

Guided by this approach, Ayers and his team have transformed Idexx into a leader in pet health care innovation. And it's also led to the introduction of groundbreaking and lifesaving diagnostic products.

A New Mindset

Ayers' strategy at the outset was aimed at moving Idexx into growth mode.

"When I came in 2002, I saw quotes that the company's growth in its diagnostics business could be three to four times what it was," Ayers said. "Now the business is growing at double-digit rates and is five times larger. And we're still in the same business. What changed was this mentality that you couldn't grow the business," he said.

Idexx's strategy, business and organization have been completely transformed under Ayers' leadership.

In the process, Ayers and his team have propelled impressive financial g rowth and gained the attention of investors. Idexx revenue grew to $1.969 billion in 2017 from $400 million when Ayers took the helm in 2002. Over the last 16 years, revenue has grown at an average annual compound rate of 10.7%. Idexx's market cap has rocketed from around $1 billion in 2002 to roughly $18 billion today. Since Ayers became CEO in 2002 through the present, its stock price has surged at a compound annual rate of 23%, at a time when the S&P 500 grew at 5.3%, the company says. Idexx joined the S&P 500 in January 2017.

Focus On Innovation

"We feel like we're just getting started, even though we're growing aggressively," Ayers said. "We are five times bigger than we were 16 years ago. And it's not through acquisitions. We're growing at a rate that is faster than it has been for the last 10 years. We've seen the company's acceleration in growth coming from the focus on innovation in pet health care."

Idexx's diagnostic and IT-based products and services for the veterinary market are part of its Companion Animal Group (CAG). It represents 87% of the company's business. Idexx's innovations in animal health care diagnostics includes tests to detect Lyme disease, heartworm and intestinal parasites; and most recently, a test that finds kidney disease early enough to treat it.

Ayers' focus on innovation is one of his core principles and key to his management philosophy.

"We bring innovation to new markets around our core focus of animal health care, specifically diagnostics," Ayers said. "My philosophy is to focus on doing a few things really well and continue to improve. We focus on innovation that creates growth. There's enormous opportunity in animal health care. We're bringing a tremendous amount of innovation that provides insights into the status of the pet's health."

Idexx's position in pet animal health care has soared.

"They are easily the dominant leader in animal health diagnostics globally," Canaccord Genuity analyst Mark Massaro told IBD.

He estimates Idexx has over 50% of the in-clinic animal health diagnostics market in the U.S.

Passion Fuels Growth

Massaro attributes the company's success to Ayers' strong leadership supported by his best-in-class management team.

"Jon Ayers has a unique passion for animal health that is unrivaled in the entire industry," Massaro said. "He is easily the most successful evangelist for animal health I've ever seen. He is an outstanding ambassador for a higher standard of care to test cats and dogs all over the world. His focus has never been limited to the U.S. Nearly 40% of its revenue is outside of North America."

Ayers' love for animals and inspiration for enhancing their health starts with his two cats, who have a variety of long-term medical conditions that have benefited from Idexx's diagnostics.

"I don't think they'd be alive today if it hadn't been for Idexx," Ayers said. "I like to understand the business through the eyes of a pet owner. We sell to veterinarians. But pet owners are ultimately behind the demand. If you're a pet owner, you really have a strong appreciation for the value we're bringing to the market."

Another one of Ayers' core principles is focus.

"I like to say: Ten things half done equals nothing done," Ayers said. "If you focus on doing a few things well, it will achieve better results. A lot of CEOs think they have to grow through acquisition. We grow organically at Idexx. We don't want to do anything that's outside of our core businesses and get distracted. Innovation is a team sport, and it starts with the CEO. Everyone is part of the team."

Leadership Experience

Ayers came to Idexx rich with leadership and business experience. He held various leadership posts at United Technologies ( UTX) and its business unit Carrier Corp. He served as president of Carrier from 1999 to 2001. He was vice president of strategic planning at United Technologies from 1995 to 1997. From 1986 to 1995, Ayers held various positions at Morgan Stanley ( MS) in M&A and corporate finance.

William Blair analyst Ryan Daniels gives Ayers, 62, high marks for his leadership.

"I covered Idexx for more than a decade and have traveled with Jon," Daniels said. "I always said he is in the upper-echelon of the executives I have worked with in my career. He has surrounded himself with a great group of executive leaders. I am always tremendously impressed with the strong executive team and how collaborative Jon is in working with them on key strategic decisions."

Daniels says one example of that collaboration was when Idexx decided to go from a hybrid sales distribution model where it used a variety of distributors to sell the CAG group's products in the U.S. to an all-direct product distribution model.

"It was a very controversial move," Daniels said. "They had a leadership position and had a lot of exclusivity with a lot of distributors."

Ayers was fully aware the move was controversial. But going direct fit in with his growth strategy.

"When we made the move in 2015 there were a lot of people who were skeptical about that shift, and many people said we made a big mistake," Ayers said. "We had every confidence that by getting closer to our customers we would be better able to help our customers adopt our products, and services behind our innovation, at a faster rate."

And so it has.

"We had developed a lot of new products and services," Ayers said. "But the vet needs to understand the medicine behind it. By moving fully direct we could spend more time with customers, form deeper relationships."

Since it went direct, Ayers says the company has seen its growth rate accelerate. Ayers says that in the first quarter of 2018 recurring (CAG) diagnostics revenue accelerated to 13% growth organically.

"That was a consequence not only of having innovation, but bringing our customers closer with our direct sales force," he said.

Secrets To Success

Ayers' advice to MBA graduates? "Take every job you have as a learning opportunity toward the goal that you seek. Work on self-development through your experiences through your entire life. No one else will do it for you. So take responsibility and seek those learning experiences."

That's what Ayers has done throughout his career.

"I learned so much in every one of my jobs," Ayers said. "I've been at Idexx for 16 years, and I'm still learning."

Ayers' Keys

Transformed Idexx into a leader in pet health care innovation.

Overcame: Slow-growth mindset in animal health care industry.

Lessons: "Take every job you have as a learning opportunity toward the goal that you seek."

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24. Quotes Of The Week: Vince Lombardi, J.K. Rowling And MoreВт., 10 июля[−]

Lombardi On Teamwork
People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society.
Vince Lombardi, football coach

Rowling On Taking Chances
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
J.K. Rowling, author

Disney On Challenges
I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn't know how to get along without it.
Walt Disney, entertainment magnate

Powell On Consistency
If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.
Colin Powell, secretary of state

Rockefeller On Goals
Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
John D. Rockefeller, oil executive

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25. Quotes Of The Week: Plutarch, Buddha And OthersВт., 10 июля[−]

Plutarch On Setbacks
To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.
Plutarch, essayist

Buddha On Fitness
To keep the body in good health is a duty … otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
Gautama Buddha, sage

Ralston On Impact
You have five seconds to grab my attention.
Geoff Ralston, businessman

Branson On Connecting
Communication is the most important skill any entrepreneur can possess.
Richard Branson, businessman

DeGrasse Tyson On Knowledge
There's nothing wrong with cherry-picking the good stuff.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist

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26. Challenge The Old Playbook To Breathe New Life Into Your BusinessВт., 10 июля[−]

Many organizations are over-relying on supposed best practices due to the mindset of "it's how we've always done things."

That's from Steve Goldbach, who with Geoff Tuff wrote " Detonate: Why — and How — Corporations Must Blow Up Best Practices (And Bring a Beginner's Mind) To Survive." Both authors are principals with professional services network giant Deloitte.

"We have recently entered into an era when lessons of the past seem no longer to provide effective guidance," Tuff said. Best practices in many companies have become "bad habits, and they may create blinders to impending disruption. To survive and thrive in a digital era, companies need to blow up the playbooks of the past in order to build something new and better."

Tips on knowing when and how to shake things up:

Trigger new perspectives. The average life span of a company listed in the S&P 500 in the early 1960s was about 60 years. Today, it's under 20.

This is partly because those once-successful companies clung on to their tried-and-true methods that worked well before. Instead they should have brought "a beginner's mind to the challenge," Tuff said. "Ironically, the best way for any company to stave off disruption from startups and unforeseen competition is to approach its business as if it is the underdog rather than the incumbent — and to continually refresh and renew."

Microscope status quos. Regularly ask: How does your company do things? How do you approach the competition?

"Then you need to figure out which orthodoxies are legit," Tuff said. "Some will need to exist: There are good regulatory and safety reasons that some playbooks need to remain sacrosanct. But not many will pass the test.

"When you have a hunch an orthodoxy might be challenged, ask: What would it look like if we didn't do things that way? Do we see evidence of companies — in our industry or elsewhere — that don't follow the same rule?"

Embrace differences. Whether in hiring or promotions, leaders often ask, "Does this person fit in?" This is the wrong question, says Francesca Gino, author of " Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life." She's also a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.

"Companies should hire people who poke holes in the status quo," she said. "When Catchafire founder and CEO Rachael Chong is deciding who to hire, she gives candidates problems the organization has struggled with or is currently facing. And then she looks for people who think differently from her and her team. She hires people who are going to challenge her and disagree with her thinking." Catchafire connects skilled volunteers to nonprofits.

Be nimble. Experience provides confidence to make quick decisions on the toughest problems, Gino says. "But a narrow focus on what we already know cuts us off from all we have left to learn, hindering creativity," she added.

An example she uses: In January 2009, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger had 208 seconds to make a decision after his plane was disabled by a flock of geese. "Landing at the nearest airport was the most obvious answer," she said. "But he put aside more than 30,000 hours of flying experience and kept an open mind."

Sullenberger quickly determined he'd never make it to an airport and instead made a daring water landing in the Hudson River.

Shake things up. Stability can be overrated, Gino says.

Whether in leadership or work it's easy to fall into "comfortable, almost mindless routines," she added. "That pattern allows people to make predictions about the future — to know how work will look tomorrow."

People find more joy in work when they are allowed and encouraged to come up with better ways of getting things accomplished. As a result, they are engaged, and the data show "they are more than three times as creative as their disengaged counterparts, and perform 20% better than them," Gino said.

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27. Archaeologist Howard Carter: How Persistence Led Him To King Tut's TombПт., 06 июля[−]

Even Indiana Jones would probably have given up.

Howard Carter and his team dug through hundreds of boulders in Egypt's Valley of the Kings for about five arduous years, looking for the lost tomb of Tutankhamun. His research told him the tomb was there. But no one — not even he — could find it thousands of years after the child king's death. Carter's once enthusiastic financial backer was losing patience.

But in one of history's greatest examples of persistence with a massive payoff, Carter removed rubble that revealed the entrance of the tomb on Nov. 25, 1922. His discovery is still considered the most significant archaeological feat in modern times, Tarek El-Awady, curator of the "King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" exhibit, told IBD in an email sent from Egypt. "Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun still stands as the greatest discovery made by man," El-Awady said.

The valuable treasures Carter found still draw crowds to museums around the world. But what Carter did to achieve his goals and persevere is equally priceless, including:

  • Combine your talents to create a unique skill set.

Carter was never formally trained as an archaeologist or even a scientist. He was the son of an artist and an artist himself. But he learned about archaeology on the job after he was hired at the age of 17 to draw Egyptian artifacts for a wealthy family. His skill as an artist won him a spot traveling to Egypt alongside some of the best archaeologists of all time, including Percy Newberry. From them he learned how to carefully excavate and catalog a dig's artifacts. This knowledge, paired with his previous training as an artist, created a powerful blend of skill sets that few in the world possessed. "He learned a lot on the job. You can't learn it until you're standing there having to do it," Pearce Creasman, associate professor and director of the Egyptian Expedition at the University of Arizona told IBD. "He put all the pieces together and learned from all these people and added his special skill (of drawing) to the mix."

Carter's skill set was so unique that he commanded respect on digs and was later named chief inspector for the Egyptian Antiquities Service — a position that would set him up for success later.

  • Record and remember everything you learn.

From Newberry and others, Carter learned the importance of being highly detailed in cataloging everything he found. His journals of findings are richly illustrated in painstaking detail — a standard practice in archaeology today — but perhaps seen as excessive or even obsessive in the day.

To capture every detail, Carter developed a breakthrough system of classifying digs that culminated with the King Tut discovery. Every group of objects found was designated with a number from one to 620, Nicholas Reeves and John Taylor wrote in "Howard Carter Before Tutankhamun." Smaller groups of items found were then notated with single or multiple letters, such as a, b, c, aa, bb, cc and aaa, bbb, ccc.

Again, this was Carter applying his talents to something he learned from someone else. Carter "learned excavation with British excavator Flinders Petrie, who taught him the importance of small finds," Brian Fagen, an archaeologist and emeritus professor of anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara, told IBD. "Researchers working on the tomb still consult his notebooks, which are an exceptional record, far ahead of their time."

  • Learn from "experts" but trust your instincts.

Carter closely observed and took valuable tips from "experts." But just as importantly, he knew what to ignore, too. Theodore Davis, a wealthy U.S. attorney and successful archaeologist whom Carter was working with, declared in the early 1910s that all the great finds in the Valley of the Kings already had been found.

Carter disregarded Davis' "expert opinion." Carter's own experience proved to be just as precious, if not more than Davis'. Carter "was a maverick operator, stubborn, ambitious and brimming with self-confidence," William Cross, author of "Carnarvon, Carter and Tutankhamun Revisited: The Hidden Truths and Doomed Relationships," told IBD. "His know-how, spark and ingenuity convinced him that the tomb of Tutankhamun was somewhere in the Valley of the Kings."

After Davis gave up on the dig, Carter had to find another backer to fund a continued search.

  • Bet on yourself — but make sure you have a backer.

Carter quit his stable job as an inspector for the Egyptian archaeological service in 1905 to free up time for his search. Some of the hardest years of his life followed.

Carter's quest for the tomb was almost an obsession. But he knew that to complete it he would need financial backing. After Davis left the quest, Carter teamed up with a new financial supporter, wealthy Briton Lord Carnarvon. The difficulty was convincing him to keep writing the checks even as Carter found nothing year after year.

When Carnarvon grew frustrated and was about to cut off Carter's financing, Carter modified his approach to appeal to Carnarvon's sense as an investor. In those times, archaeologist teams kept half of what they found and returned the remainder to Egypt. Carter knew the cost of financing another dig was a fraction of the reward possible if they found the tomb. He explained the economics to Carnarvon and said if he wouldn't pay to keep digging, Carter would from his own pocket. The pitch was so compelling — blending economic reasoning with scientific precision — it convinced Carnarvon to keep writing the checks. "He got one guy to buy in and sometimes that's all it takes, is one person to make something really big happen," Creasman said.

Carter's sharp tongue might have made it difficult to sell his idea, but he "was smart enough and eloquent enough in tales about Tutankhamun's lost tomb to be enticed and trusted by millionaire investors looking to cash in on antiquities, and the glint of gold to come," Cross said.

  • Don't just picture success. Visualize how you'll get there — long term.

Just imagining your success isn't going to do much. Success comes to those who visualize how to get there. Carter provides an example. While still antiquities inspector, Carter looked back and examined all the successful digs in the Valley of the Kings. Not just his, but everyone's. Most archaeologists randomly dug. But Carter applied his detailed grid-block system of analysis to past discoveries. This allowed him to build a holistic picture in his mind of what was explored, and what wasn't. By "retroactively applying to all the work done in the Valley of the Kings … he knew areas that other people had missed," Creasman said. By studying past records, Carter knew others "dug 10 feet to the right and 20 feet to the left, and 15 feet over here. They had not dug everything, everywhere."

Perhaps it was another example of how Carter elevated archaeology by blending facets of his unique mind as an artist would. Carter's attention to detail allowed him to visualize what parts of the valley were "clean territory — an area no one has ever excavated," Creasman said.

"He had this map in his head, along with internal motivation," Creasman said. "I haven't done everything I can do until I've done this. When people obsess on a thing, they can't let it go."

  • Enjoy your work. Passion drives persistence and success.

Carter loved his life's work — ever since starting out as an artist. That passion drove him to keep looking and learning. Others who were purely driven by money would have given up. "Working in the Valley of the Kings is like magic, the silence and the absolute power of the cliffs surrounding the valley makes every Egyptologist willing to spend his entire life working and working, running after a dream that might or might not ever come true," El-Awady said.

His passion yielded success even when he wasn't trying. In addition to exploring and drawing, Carter loved horses and riding the west bank of Luxor, El-Awady says. "One of his greatest discoveries happened when the leg of his horse got stuck in a hole that turned out to be the symbolic burial of King Mentuhotep II (Dynasty 11)," El-Awady said. "In this tomb, the beautiful statue of the king was discovered."

Carter brought "long-term planning, the need for a disciplined approach to finding and excavating sites, and the necessity for recording everything with photographs, drawings, or in writing," Fagen said. "He really was one of the first modern archaeologists, with a unique eye for detail, and always a mind for the long-term outcome of the project."

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Carter's Keys

Apply your unique interests and abilities to your profession to reinvent what's possible.

Overcame: Many failed attempts to find King Tut's tomb and loss of financial backing

"All we have to do is to peel the shrines like an onion, and we will be with the king himself."

The post Archaeologist Howard Carter: How Persistence Led Him To King Tut's Tomb appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


28. Creative Prospecting Helps Advisors Grow Their BusinessПт., 06 июля[−]

For many advisors, prospecting is the lifeblood of their business. Whether they're just starting out or decades into their career, they routinely ask clients for referrals.

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Through email reminders or direct requests, these advisors often emphasize that the best compliment a client can give them involves referring friends or family to sign on. It's standard practice — and clients are accustomed to such entreaties.

To cast a wider net, enterprising advisors raise their profile in the community. They may lead public seminars on financial topics, write a column for the local newspaper or appear on radio shows as a money expert.

Through their outreach, advisors seek to attract prospects in need of financial advice. The more interested parties who call for introductory appointments, the more people these advisors can convert to clients.

But some advisors blaze a different path. Rather than succeed by following the conventional playbook, they adopt unusual prospecting strategies.

"I rarely ask for referrals," said James Hegland, an advisor in Rochester, Minn. "Yet I get them all the time, and I don't do any advertising."

Instead, Hegland is a prodigious sender of friendly letters. He jots handwritten notes to a wide range of acquaintances, including clients, which convey admiration, support or other positive sentiments.

"I'm always looking for people doing great things or attempting to do great things," Hegland said. "Then I write encouraging or complimentary things to them."

Hegland keeps his letters short and sweet. And he never raises business matters or even hints that he'd like the recipient to refer others to his firm.

Notes That Stick

Warmly personal notes can resonate with readers. Because writing letters is becoming less common, they stand out more.

For example, Hegland wrote a congratulatory message to a client's young son who became an Eagle Scout. A few days later, the client called and told Hegland, "This is one of the most meaningful notes my son has received."

Within weeks, Hegland gained a new client as word spread of his kind act. He says this often happens because recipients — and their families — tell others.

Hegland began sending handwritten notes on a more regular basis in 2012. He estimates that he has mailed over 700 letters each year since then.

When he chats with clients and others, he might inquire about their family or show interest in other aspects of their life. Their responses often trigger a follow-up note.

If a client mentions that he recently took a long hike with his children, Hegland will promptly jot a note, "I'm so proud of you for hiking five miles with your kids." It not only shows that he listened, but also that he likes what he heard or finds it inspiring.

He adds a few eye-catching touches to his letters. For starters, he writes "personal" on the lower corner of the envelope. He also uses stationery — and even stamps — with splashes of orange to add a distinctive flourish.

"I'm very particular about all of this," Hegland said. "And I never enclose a business card or anything else" with the letter.

Throw A Party

For some advisors, prospecting and socializing go hand-in-hand. Hosting festive gatherings for clients and other guests leaves a lasting positive impression, which in turn can generate leads.

Megan Jones, an advisor with AE Wealth Management in Topeka, Kan., throws an annual birthday party for all clients who turn 70-? during the year — to celebrate the age they start taking required minimum distributions from their tax-advantaged retirement accounts. They bring their children and grandchildren and enjoy cake and refreshments.

"We give them a funny cone hat to wear when they come in," Jones said. "We had someone post a Facebook photo of her husband wearing the hat. Others saw it, including someone who contacted us and became a client."

To attract prospects to her firm, Jones also leads monthly "lunch and learn" programs in her office's conference room. Along with guest speakers, she covers a range of educational topics including estate planning, tax reform and market updates.

For many advisory firms, local engagement doubles as a prospecting tool. By banding together to volunteer on a project, from providing services to the homeless to sponsoring a road race that raises funds for a nonprofit organization, advisors build their visibility while giving back to the community.

At its core, prospecting flows from strong client relationships. By maintaining strong connections with clients on an ongoing basis — through periodic calls, emails and other communication — advisors reinforce their value. This in turn triggers referrals, as clients are more likely to share their positive experience with others.

Get instant access to more trading ideas, exclusive stock lists and IBD proprietary ratings for only $5.

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29. Show Vulnerability And Be Authentic To Win TrustЧт., 05 июля[−]

Leadership isn't about being the person who has all the answers. Quite the opposite. There's nothing wrong with asking for input, seeking help and admitting you don't know it all. It pays to show you're vulnerable.

"A leader who acts like he has all the answers isn't approachable," said Steve Arneson, who runs his own Boulder, Colo.-based executive coaching and leadership consulting firm. "But if you're open-minded and not afraid to ask for help, then people know they have the opportunity to weigh in."

Here's how to build that environment.

Get participation. Make sure your people are involved in key decisions. Seek help, input and feedback. Say you're looking at both sides of an issue and want to hear what they think.

"You have to get past, 'I have all the answers,'" Arneson said.

Set aside ego. Confidence is vital for a leader. But that doesn't mean you know everything. Arneson said the most confident leaders are also often the most likely to show they're vulnerable. They're not afraid to open up, even about their faults.

Gain strength. The power inside people can only truly be unleashed if they bring everything they have to their role, says Barry Kaplan, a partner in New York-area executive coaching firm Shift 180. Openness plays a big role.

"That includes talking about things that might be dangerous or risky," Kaplan, co-author of "The Power of Vulnerability," told IBD.

Be clear. Build an open and trusting environment by first talking about it. When Kaplan works with companies, he often has people write down something they haven't shared before but that's important to the business. It might be about saving money or why one person hasn't been fired. Then talk about that point in a forum where there is no fear of retribution.

"There's a lot of pent-up truth that's ready to be unleashed," Kaplan said. "There's courage involved in being vulnerable and speaking my truth. But if I'm authentic it makes me feel good about myself."

Stay true. Be consistent in how you act and treat people. And stick to your values while doing that.

"That produces a track record of behavior that people can bank on," Arneson said. "Then when they walk in on Monday morning, they know who they're getting."

Spread the word. Build authenticity into your group's culture by displaying it yourself, so others see it starts at the top. Talk about it every chance you get: in meetings, through a CEO blog and at employee celebrations.

"The cool thing about authenticity is you don't have to think about it," Arneson said. "It just comes naturally."

Win faith. If you're open about your weaknesses, you'll earn trust among your team.

"Then you'll create a powerful team because people will have each other's back," Kaplan said.

Take the lead. If the company chief doesn't show vulnerability and authenticity, others won't either. But if she does, it'll spread fast.

Kaplan once worked with the leader of an auto parts company who was at a crossroads about whether to shut the doors or keep investing. The boss spoke openly to his people about his dilemma. They opened up about their fears and their staunch belief the company could recover from its slump. The boss decided to invest more in the company.

"His people believed more in him because he was willing to say, 'I don't know,'" Kaplan said. "He couldn't have been more real. And they ended up having their best year ever."

Reap rewards. Once you open up to the point that you build trust, the benefits pour in.

"Then you have an environment that's going to lead to improved performance," Kaplan said. "One new idea leads to creativity and innovation, or you can cut your losses earlier if your company was going to do something that doesn't work."

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30. 28 Inspiring Quotes About Leadership From Influential Business, Sports And Political LeadersСр., 04 июля[−]

What makes someone a successful leader? Is it a defined vision for the future or the ability to rally people around you? The following leadership quotes from some of the world's most inspiring groundbreakers in business, sports and politics may provide a clue about what sets someone apart as a powerful leader — and what doesn't.

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From the motivating words of Steve Jobs to the wisdom of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, here are 28 quotes about leadership that may inspire and motivate you to become an effective leader in your own life.

Inspiring Leadership Quotes From Business Leaders

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder

A lot of the discussion about leadership style sounds to me like carpenters arguing about whether saws are better than hammers, or artists arguing about whether red is better than blue. All styles are potentially useful.
Robert Lutz, auto executive

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.
Sam Walton, Wal-Mart founder

As a leader, you need to care deeply, deeply about your people while not worrying or really even caring about what they think about you. Managing by trying to be liked is the path to ruin.
Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO

Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.
John D. Rockefeller, industrialist

My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they're having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.
Larry Page, Google co-founder

Running a big organization is not a job for the smartest person; it's a job for someone that can mobilize others.
Ed Clark, former TD Bank Group CEO

Every move leaders make, every decision, every glance, every word is scrutinized, dissected, torn apart and reconstituted in the break room. Inconsistent behavior, from good to bad and back, is possibly the worst condition of all.
Duane Dike, executive

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results, not attributes.
Peter Drucker, consultant

When most people say they want autonomy, they really just want anarchy, with no accountability.
David Cancel, CEO, Drift

I firmly believe leadership is not just an important thing. It's the most important thing.
Les Wexner, chairman and CEO, L Brands

Treat employees like they make a difference, and they will.
Jim Goodnight, executive

People cannot be managed. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.
Ross Perot, businessman

I am still learning. That is an important mark of a good leader ... to know you don't know it all and never will.
Anne Mulcahy, former Xerox CEO

It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed.
Harvey Firestone, tire entrepreneur

Great Leadership Quotes From Sports Coaches

There are guys that give you that quiet leadership that in a way is more powerful, because it's not quite out there as much, but it's that quiet push that sometimes can maybe have a little more impetus.
Bill Belichick, head coach, New England Patriots

I've always felt that it's better if other people follow me because they want to follow, not because I've been put up there as the leader and they have to follow.
Tony Dungy, football coach

The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.
John Wooden, basketball coach

A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.
Joe DiMaggio, baseball player

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.
Phil Jackson, basketball coach

Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence, seeing how you react. If you're in control, they're in control.
Tom Landry, football coach

To be successful in coaching you have to treat your team like a family. The leader needs backing from everyone.
Morgan Wootten, basketball coach

Never criticize, nag or razz a teammate.
John Wooden, basketball coach

Famous Leadership Quotes From Politicians

The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.
Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. president

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army or in an office.
Dwight Eisenhower, 34th U.S. president

Diversity in counsel, unity in command.
Cyrus the Great, statesman

A leader has two important characteristics: First, he is going somewhere; second, he is able to persuade other people to go with him.
Maximilien Robespierre, politician

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister

You cannot lead from the crowd.
Margaret Thatcher

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31. George Washington's Military Strategy Led Patriots To VictoryПн., 02 июля[−]

In the first year of the American Revolution, George Washington led the rebel militiamen to victory, driving the British out of Boston in March 1776.

But over the next six years, he guided his relatively small Continental Army mostly in defeats and retreats. Moreover, he struggled to keep his inadequately supplied men from starving, freezing or being killed by the world's most powerful imperial force.

"Washington fought this protracted war with immense patience and skill," wrote Thomas Fleming in " The Strategy of Victory: How General George Washington Won the American Revolution." "His use of the militia as auxiliaries to the Continental Army regulars was inventive. … His surprising conclusion that self-interest more than patriotism was the prime factor in persuading men to remain loyal as the years of war accumulated was a profound insight crucial to recruiting a strong officer corps. But his strategy of victory came breathtakingly close to running out of time."

Washington (1732-1799) was born into a moderately prosperous plantation-owning family in Westmoreland County, Va. At 17, his brother's influential father-in-law decided to include him in a county surveying party. This enabled him three years later to buy 1,500 acres of his own.

"Although Washington received what today we would consider only an elementary school education, he read widely, including works of history, philosophy, politics, and etiquette," Jeanne Abrams, a history professor at the University of Denver and author of " First Ladies of the Republic," told IBD. "He was also ambitious, hardworking, determined and a man of great integrity. He made it a point to listen to divergent opinions before making a final decision and he accomplished this in such an affable manner that people did not always realize the steely strength of his will."

Military Hero

At 21, Washington obtained a commission in the Virginia militia, with a dangerous mission to carry a message 250 miles through wilderness in the middle of winter to French forces in the Ohio Valley. He was to inform them that they were encroaching on British territory. The journey took four months. His party of seven was ambushed on the way back. Washington escaped by improvising a raft and swimming in a freezing river. The following April, he led 150 men to protect a fort being built at Pittsburgh. Washington displayed bravery in two battles, which helped trigger the global Seven Years War (known in North America as the French and Indian War).

In 1755, despite suffering from malaria, Washington was the senior American aide to Gen. Edward Braddock on an expedition to expel the French from the Ohio Valley. At the Battle of Monongahela, the French and their Indian allies ambushed the British-American troops. They killed a third of the 976, including Braddock. Washington's courage in leading the survivors to safety won him the leadership of America's first full-time regiment. This role taught him the importance of training and discipline.

As America's most famous soldier, Washington was the logical choice as commander in chief for the colonists after heavy-handed British tax legislation provoked the rebellion starting in April 1775 at Lexington and Concord. But the initial success of militias caused the rebels to become overconfident about their ability to defeat battle-hardened British veterans and Hessian mercenaries. The amateurs fled fierce bayonet charges. Recruiting became harder after defeats. Yet members of Congress feared that a professional army might empower a dictator. So when Washington asked for 60,000 troops, only 20,000 were approved and barely supplied.

Struggle For Independence

After the British landed 32,000 soldiers near New York City in the summer of 1776 and crushed its defenders, Washington led a three-month fighting retreat with the 10,000 under his direct control into New Jersey. The state promised to send 17,000 members of its militia. But only 1,000 responded. By December, the patriot force was down to 7,000, just across the freezing Delaware River from Hessians in Trenton. The loss of New York had been partly due to an American intelligence failure, resulting in the organization of a patriot spy ring. But the day after Christmas, it would be British intelligence that would be deficient.
Steering their boats amid the ice in early morning darkness and a sleet storm, Washington personally led a surprise attack on the Hessians. The attack killed or wounded 106 and captured 868 with their armory, while 400 escaped. Two Americans died and four were wounded. On Jan. 3, 1777, again using stealth, Washington led from the front to achieve victory at Princeton. This time the attack killed or wounded 170 Redcoats and captured 200 to just 80 American casualties. Inspired, thousands who had intended to leave the rebel army because their contracts were up re-enlisted. Meanwhile, the enemy retreated to New York.

The rest of the year brought losses to both sides. The British occupied Philadelphia, the headquarters of the Continental Congress. The Americans won the Battle of Saratoga, N.Y. Washington, unlike most military commanders in history, wintered with his troops at Valley Forge, Pa., starting in December 1777, where 2,000 died from disease or exposure. For the next three years, the patriots suffered for lack of everything from food to ammo. They lost the South. They were only occasionally paid in nearly worthless dollars, and witnessed mutiny, treason and attempted coups against Washington.

Path To Independence

The turning point for independence came in 1781. Washington appointed his best general, Nathanael Greene, as the southern commander. He led a campaign of attack-and-retreat, like his mentor, against superior forces under Lord Charles Cornwallis, who finally marched to the coast at Yorktown, Va., to get reinforcements. But long-promised French warships arrived to keep the British navy away. The Franco-American army of 18,000 beat the 8,000 Redcoats into surrendering on Oct. 19. The war was effectively over because the British public was tired of the loss of treasure and lives.

Washington learned other lessons along the path to victory that have wider leadership application:

  • Strategic retreats to regroup and rethink are better than risking all on major engagements.
  • Small wins that keep morale alive are vital.
  • Don't make decisions when your emotions are high.
  • The supply chain is critical to front-line success.
  • Increase the odds of success through continuous improvement.
  • Don't ignore public and government opinion when they have influence.
  • Less-experienced individuals can work well with veteran professionals in appropriate roles.

After The War

After the peace treaty was signed in 1783, Washington retired. However, the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation to enable Congress to pay war debts led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Washington was elected the first president two years later.

"Washington's highest priority was preserving the independence of a young and fragile country," said Alvin Felzenberg, author of "A Man and His Presidents: The Political Odyssey of William F. Buckley Jr." "That meant maintaining a friendly distance from three powers that remained a presence in North America and in the Caribbean: France, Great Britain and Spain. War with any of them might result in the recolonization, so he fought hard for the Jay Treaty with Britain in 1795 because he felt it would take at least two more decades before the U.S. was strong enough to win another war with United Kingdom. That it nearly lost the war that commenced in 1812 underscored the soundness of his policy."

Washington stepped down from his second term in March 1797, dying less than three years later. He was the only major Founding Father to arrange in his will for the freeing of all his slaves following his death and the death of his wife.

Washington's Keys

Led the British colonies in America to independence and became the first president of the United States.

Overcame: Few resources to sustain a professional army to fight Britain's battle-hardened veterans.

Lesson: Success often depends on the ability to be resilient in the face of repeated setbacks.

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."

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32. Attentive Advisors Create A Comfortable Space For Clients To ShareПт., 29 июня[−]

Like psychologists, advisors can find themselves in intimate conversations with clients. To do their job, they need to listen raptly and gather highly personal information.

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Some clients speak freely about the most sensitive issues. Others prefer to avoid certain topics altogether.

By building trust and not passing judgment, advisors learn more from even the most reluctant clients. The key is making individuals feel comfortable opening up and revealing their innermost secrets.

"Advisors need to create a safe atmosphere," said Lynn Dunston, a certified financial planner in Denver, Colo. "We're letting them know we want to interact on a human level."

When leading these get-to-know-you meetings, Dunston begins by making three points. He assures them of confidentiality, emphasizes he won't judge what they say and thanks them in advance for sharing.

"They usually respond with a sigh of relief and say, 'That's good to know,' " he said.

His third point — thanking them for confiding in him — wields a special power. Many clients appreciate a sincere expression of gratitude and feel less guarded as a result.

"I want them to know that I'm honored to hear their stories," Dunston said. "And when they share their stories, I thank them again. It shows I don't take that for granted. And that brings us closer."

Dunston has learned that by remaining quiet, clients are more apt to talk. Even if they veer off-topic, he stays silent and does not interrupt.

Set The Stage

Because financial planners spend much of their day dishing out advice, it's natural to want to offer guidance to clients grappling with difficulty. But if they feel hesitant opening up, it's often best to restrain the urge to advise.

Clients may need time to weigh whether to broach a painful subject, such as their troubled marriage or a family tragedy. Advisors who strike an attentive pose signal that they are ready to listen.

"I learned early in my career to match and mirror clients' body posture," Dunston said. "If they lean forward, I lean forward. It signals, 'I hear you. I'm with you. I want to hear more.' "

The setting also plays a role. If clients feel relaxed in your environment, they're less likely to withhold sensitive information.

Shelly Terzolo, an advisor in Syracuse, N.Y., meets with clients around a table rather than from behind a desk. She offers them a beverage and lets them steer the conversation.

"I don't start off by opening a folder with a long questionnaire," she said. "I just have a notepad and a pen, and I'll move it aside to set the stage for them to feel comfortable in the space."

She has found that some clients are less inclined to open up if they see her writing notes as they speak. By maintaining friendly eye contact, she strengthens her bond with them.

Watch Body Language

Part of the challenge for advisors is prompting clients to flesh out their thoughts and feelings on a delicate matter. In many cases, individuals will not tackle a tender subject head-on; instead, they will hem and haw until they feel ready to address the core issue.

With a compassionate nod of the head, Terzolo shows her sympathy while allowing clients to elaborate. Her goal is to assure them that she cares and wants to help.

"I don't want them to feel bad that they brought it up," she said.

Flexibility pays off as well. Advisors may plan for a meeting to focus on investment strategy, but a preoccupied client may raise an entirely different and more personal concern.

"You can't say to someone who talks about some trauma or horrible situation with their family, 'Oh, that's too bad. Let's get back to that $4 million in your 401(k),' " said Nancy Coutu, a certified financial planner in Oak Brook, Ill. "I might be the first person they've told this to."

At the same time, Coutu knows not to press clients to divulge more. Observing their nonverbal cues helps her build rapport and avoid awkward moments.

"I read body language," she said. "If they're wrestling in their seat and not making eye contact, I'll move on and not keep asking about that. I may come back to it later."

Coutu lays the groundwork for more searching conversations by having new clients complete a questionnaire and bring it to their first appointment. Glancing at their responses might trigger an icebreaker such as, "I see you have five kids."

"Rather than dive into money, I start by acknowledging the information they've already shared," Coutu said. "What's important is do they have a problem that I can solve?"

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33. Use Simple, Relatable Stories To Get Your Message AcrossСр., 27 июня[−]

What's the No. 1 skill employees are lacking? Effective communication, according to a recent LinkedIn survey.

"The ancient art of persuasion is no longer a soft skill. It's your competitive edge in the age of automation and artificial intelligence," said Carmine Gallo, author of " Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great." Gallo is also president of Gallo Communications Group, a keynote speaker and Harvard instructor.

Tips on reaching people:

Keep it basic. Great persuaders use simple words to explain complex ideas, Gallo says.

He points to co-founders of a fast-growing startup in the health insurance space, who Gallo interviewed for his book. "They decided to write all of their material using third-grade words. Most of your customers don't understand your subject as well as you do. Use simple words to sell your ideas."

Spin yarns. Humans are hard-wired for storytelling, Gallo says. "Stories inform, educate and inspire," he said. "Stories are the single best tool we have to transport our ideas to another person."

Richard Branson, the billionaire Virgin-brand founder, told Gallo that storytelling can be used to drive change. Do that with your customers and within your organization by "seeing yourself as the chief storytelling officer for your brand or department," Gallo said.

Great storytellers have an unfair advantage. But you can learn to tell good stories.

Tell personal stories of overcoming hurdles. Share customer case studies. Inform about your company's history. Storytelling is "an unfair advantage that you can use to stand out in a sea of average," Gallo said.

Refresh presentations. Stick to a 10-minute rule, Gallo says. Studies show that most people tune out of a lecture or presentation after 10 minutes.

"After the 10-minute mark, you must re-engage your audience with stories, videos or demonstrations to maintain their interest," Gallo said. "Above all, make sure you hit the most important points in the first 10 minutes."

Be genuine. Honesty is always the best policy, because people will know where they stand. And they will have been provided a direction to improve.

That's from Sandy Brown, commissioner of Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league.

Acknowledge people. Offer a pat on the back for a job well done. "A little encouragement goes a long way," Brown said.

Be polite. No matter the subject matter of an email, always end with "many thanks," Brown said. Extend an olive branch even in the most difficult emails. And "for those emails that are even the most mundane, it shows that you care," Brown added.

It's also his policy to return emails within 24 hours, or better yet within the same day. "This says a lot about your dependability," he said.

Be present. FaceTime is a useful tool. But actual interaction is still crucial.

"Moreover, these opportunities do not always happen organically — sometimes you have to create the chance to get in the same room with your important constituents," said Scott Ferguson, CEO of World Trade Centers Association, a trade group.

Take initiative. Check in with employees across the organization. "Empathize with their concerns and jointly problem solve," said Tim Chen, CEO of NerdWallet, a personal finance website and app.

"Not only does this approach help leaders recognize the root cause of organizational issues, it also makes employees part of the resolution process," he said.

Master metaphors. Business magnate and investor Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway ( BRKA) can hardly get through an interview without using them and analogies to explain his investing decisions, Gallo points out.

"The human brain thinks in analogy," Gallo continued. "We process our world by comparing something new to something we've seen before. A great persuader understands this and will use metaphors and analogies to make the abstract understandable."

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34. Quotes Of The Week: Meg Whitman, Mark Cuban And OthersПн., 25 июня[−]
Whitman On Initiative
The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of a mistake.
Meg Whitman, businesswoman
Cuban On Persistence
It doesn't matter how many times you fail; you just have to be right once.
Mark Cuban, businessman
Walton On Uniqueness
Swim upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom.
Sam Walton, Walmart founder
Penny On Synergy
Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.
James Cash Penny, JC Penny founder
Gretzky On Anticipation
Skate where the puck is going, not where it has been.
Wayne Gretzky, hockey player

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35. When Clients Acquire Vast Wealth, Advisors Are A Priceless ResourceПт., 22 июня[−]

When advisors plan a client's financial future, they may assume a steady income stream. But in rare cases, a client stumbles upon an unexpected fortune.

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Whether they receive a surprise inheritance or hit the jackpot in some other unpredictable twist of fate, individuals can find themselves facing a host of challenges. Advisors step in to provide perspective and sound judgment.

To help clients manage unforeseen wealth, advisors wear many hats. Aside from offering tax planning and investment advice, they may serve as a sounding board as clients adjust to a new reality.

"Money changes people," said Joe Wirbick, a certified financial planner in Lancaster, Pa. "Their family dynamic changes. Their kids act differently. Their friends act differently. It can get ugly."

Over a decade ago, he worked with a client who won the lottery. The client used some of the money to build his sister a house.

Everything started off amicably, but the sister kept expanding the square footage well beyond what they originally agreed. As the construction cost soared, Wirbick's client pulled the plug.

This led to a feud, and the siblings stopped speaking to each other.

"If you don't earn money slowly over time, you don't know how to handle it when it comes all at once," Wirbick said. "You are not equipped to manage that money."

His client started attending a support group for lottery winners, where they heard cautionary tales of how others had squandered millions. Wirbick recalls that his client couldn't believe that another support group member spent $50,000 on a toilet seat embedded with gold coins.

What Matters Most?

Advisors can play a stabilizing role in keeping their clients grounded after gaining great wealth. That's especially true if they've known the client for years and earned their trust.

"I've seen too many people give away their money to their kids or grandkids and, 15 or 20 years later, they may not have enough for themselves," Wirbick said.

He gives three pieces of advice to those who acquire a huge windfall: It's important to be a good steward of the money, the dollar amount is not as large as it appears on paper, and try not to let everyone know.

On a deeper level, advisors strive to enable clients to extract more meaning from their newfound wealth. Doubling as life coaches, they offer guidance on how to harness the money to leave a lasting legacy.

Michelle Maton, a Chicago-based certified financial planner, cites a client who sold a painting for vastly more than she paid decades earlier. Maton posed a series of questions such as, "What have you always wanted to do?" and "Who will this impact?"

"That clarifies their values," Maton said. "It uncovers what's really important to them. Say their family is really important. They have a choice of buying a fancy car or taking the family on a big vacation every year."

When basking in sudden wealth, clients can look to their advisor to take on a new role as a family mediator. Financial planners often lead meetings to educate family members on the repercussions of having so much money.

Wait To Spend

"With my clients, we discuss what expectations family and friends might impose on them and what expectations they impose on themselves," Maton said. "I tell clients that they can say to their adult children that I've set this rule (about disbursing funds), that they can make me the bad guy."

In addition, advisors can provide a calming influence amid the turbulence that accompanies a planeload of money. Their ability to assess the situation with clear-eyed understanding produces an invaluable benefit.

"The first thing we say to a client is, don't do anything until we develop a plan for what the money would be used for," said Ryan Dennehy, an advisor in San Ramon, Calif. "There's no rush. The worst case is to lose it in a casino right away."

From his experience with two clients who hit the jackpot — one in a lottery, the other in a lawsuit award — Dennehy prioritizes debt avoidance. He cautions clients to resist the temptation to finance their high-ticket purchases.

"You can buy so much more if you finance it out, but that's what gets people in trouble," he said. For newly rich clients, he recommends that they spend $1 million in cash to purchase a home outright than buy five $1 million properties — paying a total of $1 million and borrowing the rest.

"Those mortgages stack on top of each other," he said. "People can get themselves into financial trouble more quickly than they can get out of it."

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36. Leonard Cohen's Words And Songs Are The Soundtrack Of A GenerationПт., 22 июня[−]

Leonard Cohen had most of his life savings stolen. But rather than being fazed by it, he started over — at 73 years old.

And it set the stage for a final act for the ages.

Cohen (1934-2016) was the influential singer-song writer who for five decades stood the test of time. He's in both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The latter said of Cohen: "Simply brilliant. His music and words will resonate forever."

He's been compared to Bob Dylan as far as influencing his generation. "Cohen's haunting bass voice, nylon-stringed guitar patterns … shaped evocative songs," Rolling Stone magazine said.

When Cohen's former manager, Kelly Lynch, embezzled over $5 million from him — most of his retirement money — he took her to court in 2005. He was awarded $9 million in a civil judgment in 2006 but received nothing from Lynch.

"I had to go to work," Cohen said in 2005, as quoted in " Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen," edited by Jeff Burger. "I have no money left. I'm not saying it's bad; I have enough of an understanding of the way the world works to understand that these things happen. ... I said, 'Let me start fresh at 70. I can cobble together a little nest egg again.' "

Starting Over

"Perseverance and talent aside, Cohen succeeded by being his own inimitable self rather than chasing after success," Burger told IBD. "He cared about success only to the extent that it allowed him to put food on the table and keep working. He was never particularly interested in wealth or fame. He was genuine to the core."

In 2008 Cohen undertook his first world tour in 15 years. It lasted until 2013 and encompassed close to 400 performances. He performed to the largest audiences he'd ever had. And the three studio albums he released in the last five years of his life were the most commercially successful records of his career.

"He was also the rare artist of his generation to enjoy artistic success into his 80s," Rolling Stone said.

Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. He was 73. He was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada, that nation's highest civilian honor, in 2011. He also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award that same year.

"I just set out to write what I felt as honestly as I could, and I am delighted when other people feel a part of themselves in the music," Cohen said, as quoted by Harvey Kubernik in " Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows."

"If there's a universal lesson in Leonard Cohen's life and career," Burger said, "it's that perseverance can pay off. And it's never too late to score a major success. Cohen's first album didn't come out until he was 33, (and he) didn't really begin reaching mass audiences until 40 years later."

"I was in it for the long haul," Cohen said in 1993 at age 58. "And the long haul for all of us is a lifetime." He added that "any artist should be better with time; there's more experience, more maturity, hopefully more vision."

Born to a well-to-do family in Westmount, Quebec, Cohen lost his father at age 9. He wrote a farewell to him "and sewed it into his bow tie and buried it in the garden where the pansy (flowers) grew," Cohen said. "He always used to wear a pansy in his lapel. That did something good for my head so I kept on writing."

He also learned to play the guitar as a teenager and started a folk group.

Cohen went on to become a poet and novelist. In 1956 his first book of poems was published. He won the McGill University Literary Award. In 1959 he earned a grant from the Canada Council that funded a European writing excursion. He earned another one in 1961.

He went on to write other books of poetry and novels. But while he was getting published and his work was well-received, he wasn't making much of a living from writing.

Discipline And Drive

A return visit to New York City in the mid-1960s left him influenced by the Greenwich Village folk-song culture. He decided to put his poems to melodies. Cohen's big break came in 1967. Judy Collins recorded two of Cohen's songs, "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag." Other artists such as James Taylor and Willie Nelson were soon asking Cohen to write songs for them.

He quickly moved on to performing. By the end of 1967 he recorded his debut album, "The Songs of Leonard Cohen." And in 1969 he recorded "Songs from a Room," which featured "Bird on a Wire."

Singing and songwriting brought him acclaim and financial success. He continued to record through the 1970s. His popularity declined in the 1980s. But his 1984 album "Various Positions" included what would become Cohen's signature song, "Hallelujah." Although the song didn't receive acclaim until the mid-1990s, "Hallelujah" has since been sung by hundreds of artists and has been featured in films and TV shows.

"I've only learned one thing writing songs and that is, if you stay with it long enough the song will yield," Cohen said. "But 'long enough' is beyond any reasonable length of what long enough might suggest to you. You might think it's a few months — it might be a year or two."

He said songwriting was a long and difficult process for him. It made him "run through word after word after word and test every idea. I have to write perfectly many verses that get thrown away because they are imperfect for a particular song; and it takes time and patience and tears to get there."

"Leonard certainly had a drive, this need to take notes, to write, to study to somehow make sense of (life)," said Cohen's foremost biographer, Sylvie Simmons, to IBD. She authored " I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen." "He was a student. He studied very deeply right up until the end of his life. Leonard was a very disciplined man. He had this drive and this discipline to get through almost any obstacles."

Cohen's 2008-2013 tour was one of the biggest-grossing ones in music history, Simmons says. "Leonard was met by a tsunami of love everywhere he went. Even then he was showing this kind of humility of taking his hat off and holding it over his heart when different band members were playing things on their own. He always liked to give the credit to other people."

"The hardest thing about touring with Leonard was that he spoiled me for everyone else," said Perla Batalla, a backup singer for Cohen before embarking on a successful solo career. "He treats everyone in his universe with the same degree of respect and kindness."

Cohen said he was writing all the time. He wrote right up to his death. Simmons says Cohen carried a little black notebook everywhere so when an idea or inspiration popped into his head, he captured it on paper. It was all part of the process for him.

"I've accepted the fact that I sweat over every word," he said. "But why shouldn't my work be hard? Almost everybody's work is hard. One is distracted by this notion that there is such a thing as inspiration, that it comes fast and easy. And some people are graced by that style. I'm not. So I have to work as hard as (anyone) to come up with the payload."

Cohen's Keys

Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Recipient of Companion of the Order of Canada and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Overcame: Setbacks in his career and life.

Lesson: If you believe in what you're doing, stay true to yourself.

"At times when commercial defeats and setbacks happened, I wasn't too troubled, because I knew the worth of the work, and I look back on a lot of my songs and poems and feel good about them because a lot of them have lasted."

The post Leonard Cohen's Words And Songs Are The Soundtrack Of A Generation appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


37. Quotes Of The Week: Marc Jacobs, Samuel Arbesman And OthersЧт., 21 июня[−]

Jacobs On Innovation
Innovation is an evolutionary process, so it's not necessary to be radical all the time.
Marc Jacobs, fashion designer

Arbesman on Intelligence
We must think of critical thinking like a muscle: The more we use it, the stronger it will be and the more natural its use becomes.
Samuel Arbesman, scientist

Hopper On Leadership
Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one's superiors; care for one's crew.
Grace Hopper, U.S. Navy rear admiral

Franklin On Perseverance
Write your injuries in dust, your benefits in marble.
Benjamin Franklin, founding father

Emerson On Growth
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

The post Quotes Of The Week: Marc Jacobs, Samuel Arbesman And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


38. Cal Turner Built Dollar General Into Megachain One Buck At A TimeСр., 20 июня[−]

Cal Turner was raised in Scottsville, Ky., a spit of land roughly 60 miles north of Nashville, 120 miles south of Louisville and home back then to about 2,000 folks. It was the values Turner (1915-2000) learned in this small town that formed him and ultimately led to the creation of the Dollar General. The retail giant now has around 6,000 stores nationwide and annual sales of about $6 billion.

According to Cal Turner Jr., who took over the reins of the company from his dad in 1977 and is the author (with Rob Simbeck) of the just-published memoir, "My Father's Business," Turner was convinced that living in a small town made you a better person.

"Your behavior and values are different in a small town," Turner said in a phone interview. "Everyone knows you and is keeping an eye on you. Small towns encourage good behavior."

It was "a vision and value system" instilled by family patriarch John Luther, a dirt farmer with a third-grade education who actually turned his lack of schooling into a plus. As Turner writes, "He was convinced that everyone he met was smarter than he (was), and he needed to learn something from each of them."

In 1939 he opened J.L.Turner & Son, Wholesale Dry Goods, Shoes, Notions and Hosiery. His son Cal did much of the buying. Cal instinctively could pick out merchandise that his retail customers (and, in turn, their customers) would like. He also knew how to strike fair bargains with his suppliers.

In his book Cal Jr. quotes Paul Polizzi, a manufacturer's rep, describing Cal Sr.:

"He was an outstanding negotiator, but a fair negotiator. He knew the perceived value of a product and what his customers needed and wanted. When he saw a good buy, he jumped right into it."

Junior agrees with that assessment: "He thrived on negotiating," he said. "He was the quintessential people person."

Vendors loved dealing with him because he paid his bills on time and never sent back returns. That helped him get the best price.

Turned Mistakes Into Opportunity

Ironically, it was one time that he overbought a product that eventually led to creation of the Dollar General stores. It was a sizable order of ladies' panties that he couldn't unload. He decided that the retailers he was selling to were less of a pipeline to consumers and more of a bottleneck.

"We realized you had to go directly to the consumer," Cal said. "We decided we had to have more outlets to get rid of our (buying) mistakes."

Because he knew it well, he decided to serve the value market. He planned to open what he called junior department stores in communities like Scottsville around the South. In these stores, salespeople helped customers and then escorted them to the cash register.

And because they knew Cal Sr. well, roughly three dozen merchants became willing partners. The Turners opened stores in Tennessee and Kentucky. They were wholesalers for all the stores. But the stores themselves were 50-50 partnerships.

Still, Tuner had definite ideas of how the stores should be run. He insisted they be clean, with all the merchandise displayed. He hated walking into a store and finding goods in the stock room. And he preferred the front doors open, a welcoming sign for potential customers.

By the mid-1950s, the stores were grossing $2 million (almost $18.5 million today). Turner was looking for ways to make that number grow further. He became intrigued by Dollar Day specials, a marketing tactic used by several big-city department stores.

He figured since the stores were spending a lot of money advertising the specials, they had to be drawing in a sizable number of customers who clearly loved that price point.

That's what gave him the idea to open a store where everything always costs $1. It simplified operations and lowered his expenses. His management team told him it wouldn't work. But Turner was a classic entrepreneur who operated from his gut. And his gut told him he was right.

The first Dollar General store opened on June 1, 1955. He'd converted an existing store that was failing. In the first 10 months it did $1.1 million in business. Others soon followed.

Since this was a new concept, Turner decided to buy out his former store partners. When he first formed the partnership, he understood that for it to work, both partners had to be committed to the stores' success. So he presciently added an intelligent and fair buyout agreement to each contract.

If party A wanted out, party B got to name the price for the other half of the business. For example, say B offered $20,000 for A's share. If A thought that was too low — if he felt for that half the business was worth $30,000 — he would immediately be allowed to purchase B's half of the business for $20,000. That way, both parties would be assured that the correct price was offered. No one would underbid knowing he could lose his half of the business.

"It was a point of great pride with my dad that while he dissolved all the partnerships, each partner was still his friend," Cal Jr. said. "He attributed that to this agreement."

If Turner made the right call on how to happily dissolve a partnership, he wasn't exactly on target with the everything-for-a-buck concept. That became clear when he sold shoes for $1 each, and people with different size feet left him with unmatched pairs. So, ultimately, he had to abandon the everything-for-a-buck strategy. But everything in the store went for even dollar amounts, and higher-priced items were a step up in value.

For example, Turner refused to pay more than a dollar a square foot annually in rent. He didn't care about location. At the low prices he was charging, he understood customers would find him.

Hands-On Management

Turner also paid attention to the tiniest details. Early on, he'd be on the phone with each store manager after closing Saturday night. He needed to know what sold, what didn't and what the cash flow would be the following week.

Even as the chain grew and managers sent in paper (or later computer) reports, he might circle a utility bill and send it back asking why a manager was heating the outdoors.

He cut expenses where he could. But the bottom line was value for his patrons. One example was his decision to stock irregulars — or slightly flawed — clothing from brand-name manufacturers. He knew Dollar General customers appreciated well-made clothes. And he recognized that an irregular from a good manufacturer was likely better made than the best quality clothing from one not so good.

Stonie O'Briant was an executive vice president of Dollar General. He spent about three decades sitting in the office next to Turner's. He saw that Turner was willing to spend money when necessary. The pair would go out on 30, 40 or 50 store visits a year.

"If he went into a store that was struggling for whatever reason, he'd encourage the manager to do whatever he thought necessary to make it right, even if it cost a little extra money," O'Briant said in a phone interview. "Sure, he was budget-conscious, but he wanted the manager to know that he had the support he needed."

Asked why he felt Turner was successful, O'Briant summed it up in two words: common sense.

"He'd come into my office every morning for about 30 minutes to have a business discussion.

"I spent a lot of time in retail, and I pride myself on having a lot of common sense when it comes to people and processes. And he'd come up with ideas, and I'd constantly be asking myself, 'Why didn't I think of that?' "

Turner's Keys

Founded value chain that became a $6 billion behemoth.

Overcame: Discouragement from peers who thought they knew better.

Lesson: Go with your gut.

Quote: "If I control my expenses better than the competition, I just have to buy as well as he does and I got him."

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39. Produce Great Ideas On A Tight DeadlineСр., 20 июня[−]

Coming up with brilliant ideas is hard enough when you have lots of time. But when you're under pressure to produce breakthroughs, tension can mount.

Leaders know they cannot demand instant innovation. Instead, they need to nurture a supportive environment for employees to think creatively and experiment freely.

If you're seeking quick results, create a sense of urgency without setting unrealistic expectations for your team.

To encourage innovation when facing a ticking clock:

Tamp down the frenzy. Even if you're privately worried about an approaching deadline or a looming competitive threat, convey outward confidence in your colleagues to come through in the clutch. Calmly explain the need for fast output without adding to everyone's anxiety.

"When the brain is under stress, it can't operate as creatively," said Stephen Shapiro, author of " Best Practices Are Stupid." To optimize innovation, he suggests alleviating stress for you and your team by taking walks, yoga classes and relaxation breaks.

Simplify the issue. Potential innovators operate best when they understand exactly what they're trying to accomplish. Make their job easier by directing their attention to what matters most — and jettisoning the rest.

"Get your team to rally around the problem that you want to solve," said Shapiro, a professional speaker based in Orlando, Fla. "The brain loves focus. Otherwise, we innovate by meandering all over the place."

Adopt counterintuitive measures. If you're under the gun, you may demand that employees crank out dozens of ideas immediately. But insisting that they meet a certain quota is misguided.

Shapiro cites a leader who asked associates to propose 40 new product ideas within a week. They couldn't deliver so much output, so soon.

"He then decided to take them to lay on the grass with notebooks, look up at the clouds and jot their ideas," he said. "That worked better because they were able to focus on quality, not quantity."

Convey excitement, not desperation. When racing against time to devise innovative solutions, emphasize the positive aspects of the situation. Talk about what's to gain by capitalizing on opportunity rather than conjuring negative outcomes and cautioning your team to avoid a calamity.

"When leaders keep saying 'Stakes are high' and 'Time is tight' it doesn't produce the results they want," Shapiro said. "When pounding people with a threat, they can't be as creative."

Ditch formalities. When confronting a time crunch, abandon standard operating procedures — and free your team to brainstorm in new ways.

"Innovation is unpredictable and can be messy," said Amy Radin, author of " The Change Maker's Playbook." "So set aside the things that have always been done, the processes that are based on predictability and avoiding risk."

If you usually spur innovation by holding highly structured off-site meetings, for example, replace those retreats with a series of smaller test runs. Staging more short-term trials — and pulling out early if initial results prove underwhelming — encourages bolder experimentation.

Rather than have your team present new ideas using an elaborate slideshow, try sharing ideas in five-minute standup gatherings. That way, you let employees articulate succinctly why their suggestion has merit — and avoid long meetings driven by dense slides.

Maintain an open mind. Beware of letting your preconceived notions color your judgment. Consider proposals that initially strike you as too vague or imprecise — and give people a chance to run low- or no-cost pilot projects.

"You have to trade off precision for speed," Radin said.

The post Produce Great Ideas On A Tight Deadline appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


40. If You're Going To A Conference, Get The Most Out Of Every MinuteПт., 15 июня[−]

In any given year, there's no shortage of conferences for advisors. The big question is whether to attend, given the time and expense.

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Sponsored by professional associations, financial services firms, tech suppliers and other groups, these multiday conferences often feature prominent speakers, training workshops and vendor booths. Advisors may also get continuing education credit for attending certain programs.

Advisors rarely take the decision to attend lightly. Because they often need to travel long distances, they miss opportunities to confer with clients and run their operation if they're out of the office.

"It costs you money to go, the time off work and the lost momentum of your business," said Tom Mosley, an advisor in Anaheim, Calif. "So you need to make sure you get the most out of it."

Mosley estimates that he's attended more than 125 conferences over his 23-year career. A former football coach, he creates what he calls "a game plan" before every trip.

In the weeks beforehand, he reviews the conference's calendar of events along with the roster of attendees and vendors. Then he drafts a written list of individuals he wants to see and specific questions to ask them.

"It takes reflection to decide what you want to accomplish when you're there," he said. "Your day can get so cluttered, so it helps to have an agenda going in."

If he knows a digital marketing firm will have a booth, he will visit with a prepared set of questions. Or if a representative from a particular life insurer will attend, he might seek information on a new product from that carrier.

Start With Goals

When weighing whether to go to a conference, many advisors assess their likely return on investment. That's especially true if they run their own firm and pay for team members — from junior associates to marketing specialists — to attend as well.

For Mosley, the decision involves two steps. He starts by reviewing his annual goals for his firm. If a conference promises to help him advance any of those goals, he's more apt to show up.

In 2018, for example, he has three goals revolving around marketing and lead generation, staffing additions and refining internal processes. As he scans conference descriptions, he says he evaluates to what extent he "can move the ball downfield" on his three current objectives.

When traveling to the East Coast, he arrives a day ahead. This enables him to spring into action the next morning with a full night of sleep, as sessions or breakfast meetings often start early.

To retain what he learns throughout the conference, Mosley brings a stack of index cards. When he hears a great idea, he writes it on a card.

"I may have 30 index cards with me after a conference, so on the plane home I'll read through them and add notes on how we can implement an idea," he said. "Then I discuss them with my staff and we commit to follow through on what I've learned."

More Mingling

If you want to extract the most knowledge from a conference, stay alert. Drink lots of water and listen with curiosity to presenters. Ask questions and huddle afterward with experts to clarify how you can apply learning points.

For many advisors, the highlight of a conference is mingling with peers from around the country. They share best practices, discuss industry trends and compare notes on tech tools.

After a long day of meetings and presentations, Mosley gathers with other advisors to socialize. He finds such interaction invaluable.

"It's great to listen and learn and work through some of the challenges you face," he said.

Informal chats with advisors — as well as guest speakers and other attendees — can produce both professional insights and personal friendships.

"It can be tempting to go from one speaker to the next and ignore everybody around you," said Alvin Carlos, a certified financial planner in Washington, D.C. "But I like to use the breaks between sessions to talk with the people sitting next to me. And at meals, I'll sit with others and try to have meaningful conversations."

Carlos usually attends one or two conferences a year. While he earns continuing education (CE) credit in some sessions, he chooses topics based on overall relevance to his business.

"Don't just focus on CE credit," he said. "I've found sessions very valuable where I don't get CE credit, like focusing on ways to delegate to staff and provide more value to clients."

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The post If You're Going To A Conference, Get The Most Out Of Every Minute appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


41. Quotes Of The Week: Garry Kasparov, Dale Carnegie And OthersСр., 13 июня[−]
Kasparov On Imagination
There's one thing only humans can do, and that's dream, so let us dream.
Garry Kasparov, chess champion
Carnegie On Communicating
If you remember my name, you pay me a subtle compliment; you indicate that I have made an impression on you. Remember my name and you add to my feeling of importance.
Dale Carnegie, writer
Rickover On Observation
It is necessary for us to learn from others' mistakes. You will not live long enough to make them all yourself.
Hyman Rickover, admiral
Hopper On Boldness
Go ahead and do it. It's much easier to apologize after something's been done than to get permission ahead of time.
Grace Murray Hopper, admiral
Buck On Integrity
You cannot make yourself feel something you cannot feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.
Pearl S. Buck, author

The post Quotes Of The Week: Garry Kasparov, Dale Carnegie And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


42. Take Your Startup To The Next LevelСр., 13 июня[−]

In 2015, there were 35,584 businesses that only employed their owners. Yet each still brought in $1 million to $2.49 million in annual revenue, according the U.S. Census Bureau. And the number of businesses reaching those revenue figures represented a 33% increase since 2011.

That's from Elaine Pofeldt, author of " The Million-Dollar One-Person Business: Make Great Money. Work The Way You Like. Have The Life You Want."

Tips for startups:

Replicate your efforts. Expand capacity beyond what a single individual can typically do, Pofeldt says.

How? Hire employees? Not necessarily. Instead consider enlisting contractors, outsourcing and automating some of your work, says Pofeldt. "Most high-revenue, non-employer business owners are using some combination of all three strategies," she said.

Specialize. Pofeldt quotes David Fairley, founder and president of internet-business broker Website Properties, who says "the average person can be successful pretty easily by creating something very niche-oriented. The more of a niche, the better."

Fairley has helped clients sell successful internet stores. Many of them market items like gumballs, sleep masks, muck boots, fairy figurines and decorative mailbox flags.

Invest in you. Attend conferences. Work with a business coach. These "may seem like luxuries. But among entrepreneurs who break $1 million in solo businesses, these are common practices," Pofeldt said.

Take Ben and Camille Arneberg. They founded the fast-growing Amazon store Willow & Everett. When they launched the business, they put $5,000 into inventory. They raised some of it from friends and family.

"The Arnebergs looked at their startup costs as an investment in their own education," Pofeldt said.

Ben Arneberg: "You pay thousands of dollars for a college course. We said, 'Let's spend $5,000. We're going to learn a lot. Even if it all goes down the tube, that experience will be invaluable.'"

Be relentlessly systematic. Most business failures result from poor execution, not unsuccessful innovation. That's from Jantoon Reigersman, who with Randy Komisar wrote " Straight Talk For Start Ups: 100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds."

Both authors have significant experience as venture capitalists. Among the key stages of implementation they cite are:

  • Develop your idea.
  • Assess its attractiveness.
  • Build the technology.
  • Deliver the product.

"The creative process is essentially an execution process, not a eureka moment," Reigersman said. But even simple plans can be hard to execute. "They require the utmost discipline," he added.

Stay persistent. Results will disappoint. And challenges will arise. But these setback don't have to be failures. Instead learn from your mistakes. Refine your approach.

He added: "You haven't failed until you stop trying or run out of money. Ventures need to be patient through this trial-and-error validation period."

Create relationships. "We live in a day of impersonal communication and social media friends," said KP Reddy, author of " What You Know About Startups Is Wrong."

"It is very hard to build trust virtually," he said. "As an entrepreneur, many times you are asking someone to trust you and take a leap with you."

Scrutinize potential investors. Don't just take the first eager investor who knocks at your door, Reigersman says.

"The best entrepreneurs are always making the time and effort to meet potential stakeholders well in advance of needing money," he said. "In this way they can vet the field for the best match."

Ask if they can:

  • Attract new clients.
  • Find other investors.
  • Bring in strategic partners.

The right partners bring much more than cash. "They bring experience and connections," Reigersman said. "If they have the skills and judgment, they can make a big difference."

The post Take Your Startup To The Next Level appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


43. Father Of Stealth Ben Rich Found Success In The 'Hopeless Diamond'Пн., 11 июня[−]

It was Jan. 17, 1991. America was at war in Iraq. The mission: Operation Desert Storm. Lockheed's F-117 Nighthawk, the first stealth fighter, showcased America's superior air power to Saddam Hussein and the rest of the world.

The unconventionally shaped stealth plane would make 1,300 sorties, hitting 1,600 high-value targets during the campaign. It accounted for 40% of all targeted damage, without a single hit by enemy fire.

Stealth played a key role in the military's second offset strategy, where a small number of high-tech platforms could beat the massive military hardware the Soviets boasted. Stealth marked a new era in air warfare and is a foundation of U.S. air supremacy to this day.

But the game-changing F-117 wouldn't have been possible without Ben Rich, the second director of Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works, who took a major risk despite the discouragement of some of the brightest minds in aerospace.

Rich was born on June 18, 1925, in Manila, Philippines, to a British hardwood lumber mill superintendent and a French linguist.

As tensions rose in the Pacific, his family moved to Los Angeles just months before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. There he went to work with his father in a machine shop to help support the family during the war years. His shelved his dream to go to college to become a doctor.

At 21 Rich was finally able to attend college. He graduated in 1949 with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He later received a master's degree in aerothermodynamics from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he met his first wife, Faye.

The postwar recession made jobs scarce. But Rich managed to find an engineering job at Lockheed ( LMT) in 1950. Because he wasn't earning enough to support his growing family, he gave notice after just four years of employment. He was all set to take over his father-in-law's bakery-delicatessen. At the last second, Rich changed his mind. Truth was, he liked building airplanes better than selling deli meats.

Soon after deciding to stay at Lockheed, he joined Skunk Works at the request of founder Kelly Johnson.

Skunk Works, formally called the Advanced Development Programs, is Lockheed's legendary research and development lab. Created in 1943 to develop the company's top-secret technology during World War II, it was the birthplace of the P-38 fighter. Employees at the secretive unit refer to themselves as "Skunks."

The division started in a circus tent outside the main Lockheed building in Burbank, next to a smelly plastics factory. Their unique moniker comes from a stinky concoction make by a bootlegger in the "Li'l Abner" comic strip.

Under Johnson, Rich worked on the highflying U-2 spy plane, which the Air Force plans to keep flying for more than 100 years.

He also designed the air-inlet control system for the SR-71 Blackbird, which can fly three times the speed of sound. In his autobiography, "Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed," Rich called his contribution to the SR-71 the most "exhausting, difficult and nerve-wracking work" of his career.

Rich won the American Institution of Aeronautics and Astronautics Award in 1972 for the Blackbird's propulsion system. His work on the F-117 would win Rich aerospace's top award, the prestigious Collier Trophy, in 1989.

Kelly Johnson tapped Rich as his replacement in 1975. Rich was a popular choice. Most of the Skunks chose to stay during the major transition.

"Tip your hat to someone like Ben keeping an operation going after such a strong leader like Kelly," said Larry Pellett, the current director of major projects at Skunk Works. Rich asked Pellett to join Skunk Works after seeing him give a presentation in 1989.

Johnson was an autocratic leader. He was very hands-on with his technical workers. He reworked submitted designs, striking fear into some of the younger employees. But Pellett said Rich's success resided in the fact that he never tried to be like Johnson. Instead he adopted his own managerial style.

"There is a joke among Skunks that Kelly managed with his bad temper, and Ben managed with bad jokes," Pellett said. "He was the cheerleader, the facilitator that built the team up."

Other employees felt the same way about Rich's brand of leadership.

"Ben kept a close eye on all our problems, but he was never a second-guesser," Alan Brown, Rich's program manager, said in Rich's autobiography. "Rich let us do our thing and smooth our way with the Air Force and Lockheed management."

Rich took the reins during a tumultuous time for Lockheed. Spending on the unpopular Vietnam War was winding down. And the company found itself in the midst of a bribery scandal.

To add to the company's woes, Lockheed hadn't won a fighter contract since the F-104 Starfighter, built during the Korean War. But a major breakthrough was on the horizon.

The aviation community considers Rich the father of stealth. But the idea came from an unlikely source. Pyotr Ufimtsev, a Soviet scientist, theorized about stealth technology in a 1962 paper called "Method of Edge Waves in the Physical Theory of Diffraction."

The paper outlined equations on how to calculate radar cross-sections, an object's ability to reflect radar. But the Soviets deemed the paper impractical and of little use.

Ufimstev's discovery would have stayed buried in a Soviet library, if not for Rich.

Denys Overholser, a radar specialist, brought the research paper to Rich just six months after Rich took the helm at the Skunk Works. Overholser suggested the company use the equations to build their own stealth plane that could evade the Soviet Union's radar.

"I take credit for immediately recognizing the value of the gift I was handed before it became apparent to everyone else, and for taking major risks in expanding development costs before we had any real government interest or commitment," Rich said in his autobiography.

The result was a model made from a series of flat surfaces that looked like a cut diamond. It was nicknamed "Rich's Folly" and "Hopeless Diamond," among other things. The oddly shaped plane is now sometimes compared to a flying Darth Vader.

Despite having a working model, Lockheed hadn't been invited to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) competition to build a stealthy plane. All development contract money had been awarded by the time Rich heard of the contest.

Rich convinced DARPA head George Heilmeier to let Lockheed join the competition. Rich also smartly rejected DARPA's pro forma $1 offer. Instead he submitted his proposal for free, ensuring the technology would remain the property of Lockheed.

Never straying too far from Skunk Works, Johnson caught wind of the stealth plane. He furiously told Rich to shut down development. Johnson erroneously believed missiles were the future of warfare. The ugly, flat-paneled airplane would never fly, he thought.

Larry Kitchen, Lockheed's president at the time, was also a skeptic. He said the company needed "real projects, not pipe dreams," Rich recalled in his autobiography.

But Rich persevered despite the naysayers. He believed in the game-changing technology. Rich spent nearly 1 million dollars of Skunk Works' development cash on the stealth project. He envisioned huge military and financial returns in the future.

"I never wavered from believing that stealth could create the biggest Skunk Works bonanza ever," Rich wrote.

Despite being shut out of the DARPA competition at first, "Rich's Folly" eventually beat Northrop's submission. After two successful experimental prototypes, built quickly from off-the-shelf items at Skunk Works, the F-117 program was born.

But while Rich was about to make a major military breakthrough, he suffered a major personal loss. His wife Faye passed away in 1980. Rich pressed on in his work to manage his grief.

The F-117 first flew in 1981 and entered service in 1983. Kept in the dark, the plane wouldn't see its first mission until 1989 in Panama. It wouldn't become an international sensation until the Gulf War. And as the first F-117s took to the skies over Iraq in 1991, Rich and his Skunks celebrated his retirement.

Rich had some setbacks during his time at the Skunk Works. Lockheed lost out on the B-2 bomber contract to Northrop ( NOC) because he refused to overpromise on price and capabilities. The B-2 would become a casualty of a "death spiral," where decreased military spending by Washington led to less planes being purchased, leading to a higher cost per plane. The B-2 would eventually go on to cost billions of dollars more than first budgeted as Congress kept cutting the number of planes ordered.

"I never lied to a customer or tried to dodge the heat when we screwed up," he wrote. "I knew how other companies operated, and I was convinced that our reputation for integrity would gain more business than we would ever lose by turning away questionable ventures. And I was right."

Rich died of cancer on Jan. 5, 1995, but his legacy lives on at Skunk Works. Stealth brought Lockheed back into the fighter jet business. The company built the F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters. The latter accounts for a quarter of Lockheed Martin's yearly revenue.

Following Rich's belief in the need to find the next revolutionary advancement, Skunk Works is developing the next disruptive technologies, from hypersonics to artificial intelligence, in an effort to stay ahead of growing advances by U.S. adversaries like Russia and China.

Rich's Keys

Engineer who believed stealth technology would be a game-changer on the battlefield

Overcame: Skepticism and the shadow of his revered mentor.

Lesson: Recognized the power of a new technology and stuck to his project despite doubts from respected members in his field.

"I was convinced that our reputation for integrity would gain more business than we would ever lose by turning away questionable ventures."

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44. Morningstar Investment Conference 2018: News From Gathering For Financial AdvisorsПт., 08 июня[−]

The 30th annual Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 (MIC) is one of the premier brainstorming gatherings for financial advisors. The three-day event opens June 11 in Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center.

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MIC 2018 will offer financial advisors advice about growing their practices, learning new investment strategies for clients and finding new sources of income for clients in a yield-starved world.

Keynote speakers include Charles Schwab ( SCHW) Chief Executive Walt Bettinger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson and GMO co-founder Jeremy Grantham are also scheduled to speak.

For more information about the Morningstar Investment Conference 2018, visit MIC 2018 website.

Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 News

Morningstar Investment Conference 2018: Finding Profit In PsychologyInvestors take note of behavioral economics for the wrong reasons, Morningstar behavioral economist Sarah Newcomb said on Tuesday morning at the Morningstar Investment Conference 2018, as she hosted a question-and-answer conversation with... Read More
Morningstar Investment Conference 2018: Blockchain's Pros And ConsThe final day of the Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 (MIC) got underway in Chicago with a panel discussion of the pros and cons of investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and blockchain, the... Read More
Morningstar Investment Conference 2018: Are Cryptocurrencies 'Rat Poison'?Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, provided the luncheon keynote presentation at the Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 by offering a smorgasbord of tasty tidbits about her firm's evolution, about the value of... Read More
Morningstar Investment Conference 2018: Schwab's Bettinger Tells Advisors To Build TrustThe Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 (MIC) for financial advisors shifted into high gear with keynote addresses by Kunal Kapoor, CEO of Morningstar, and Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger on Monday afternoon. Their... Read More
Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 Kicks OffFinancial advisors are going to school the week of June 11 in Chicago. They'll be attending one of their industry's biggest annual teach-ins: the Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 (MIC) Monday through Wednesday... Read More

MIC 2018

In addition to the speakers noted above, industry notables also slated to participate in panels include David Herro, portfolio manager and Chief Investment Officer of international equity at Harris Associates; and Diana Strandberg, director of International Equity at Dodge & Cox.

Financial advisors in attendance will have a chance to beef up their research and client-presentation skills. In a series of presentations, Morningstar experts will go over their firm's latest research and tools.

MIC 2018 attendees can also network with fellow financial advisors — or simply check out what's new in the FA and wealth management industries. More than 100 organizations, including asset management firms, fintech companies and media groups, will host display booths in the exhibit hall.

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45. Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 Kicks OffПт., 08 июня[−]

Financial advisors are going to school the week of June 11 in Chicago. They'll be attending one of their industry's biggest annual teach-ins: the Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 (MIC) Monday through Wednesday at McCormick Place Convention Center. Advisors will hear presentations about building their practices, learning new ways to enrich clients and discovering how to milk income for clients from a low-rate world.

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Keynote speakers at this 30th annual edition of the MIC 2018 will include Charles Schwab ( SCHW) Chief Executive Walt Bettinger; Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics; Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson; and GMO co-founder Jeremy Grantham.

In addition, industry notables appearing on various panels include David Herro, portfolio manager and chief investment officer of international equity at Harris Associates; and Diana Strandberg, director of international equity at Dodge & Cox.

Herro and Strandberg's panel, on Wednesday morning, is titled "Global Equity Investing in a World of Blurring Borders."


IBD'S TAKE: Read more in IBD about the Morningstar Investment Conference 2018.


Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 Speakers

The three-day Morningstar Investment Conference 2018 will feature more than 60 speakers in formal sessions, with additional presentations taking place in informal side appearances, which are not on the official agenda.

"The financial services industry is at an inflection point given the increasing role of technology, a hunger for best-interest solutions, and a younger generation of investors on the horizon," Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor said in a release.

He added, "This year's conference features timely themes such as the drivers of investor success, taming technology in the modern advisor landscape, the future of diversification, the role of machine learning in asset management, and more."

On Monday, several Morningstar experts will speak on such topics as data that can help shareholders choose a mutual fund and sustainable investing.

Tuesday's Experts

The conference shifts into high gear on Tuesday.

One breakout session is titled "The Bond-Pickers' Guide to Fixed-Income Strategies." Scheduled panelist Elaine Stokes told IBD before the conference that economic stimulus in the form of tax cuts and government spending on infrastructure should extend the cycle.

Stokes, who is co-manager of seven Loomis Sayles funds, including $12.4 billion Bond Fund (LSBDX), said, "Investors should skew to short and short-intermediate bonds."

She added, "The other thing you can do is be more flexible. Instead of buying long high-quality U.S. bonds, which are very affected by (Federal Reserve rate) moves, look at convertibles, emerging-market debt or other non-U.S. bonds."

Practice-Building Advice

"Manager Selection From A Practitioner's Perspective" is a panel devoted to practice-building. Speakers are slated to discuss how an advisor should select a money manager. Panelist Phil Huber, chief investment officer of the Chicago area's Huber Financial Advisors, told IBD that he looks for mutual fund managers whose expenses are in the lowest third of their universe. Second, he prefers managers with a track record of at least five years. Third, in fixed income, he wants managers whose rolling three-year returns outperform their benchmarks 80% of the time. Fourth, in stock funds, he wants managers whose five-, seven- and 10-year records top their categories about 60% of the time.

'The Human Element'

Bank of America's Anna Snider, another participant on the manager-selection panel, told IBD that you can run computer screens to identify managers who meet various objective criteria, but don't overlook "the human element in selecting managers."

Snider said, "At the end of the day, you want to trust them and trust that they are communicating what's going on in a portfolio — what the risk is, positioning, changes that might be happening on the management team." Nothing does that as well as human judgment, says Snider, who is head of due diligence for the chief investment office of the bank's Global Wealth & Investment Management division, which includes Merrill Lynch and US Trust.

Snider added, "Make sure the client understands the role of each portfolio manager. ... The client should know how the parts (of an overall portfolio) fit toward the client's overall goal."

Participants in the panel, "Defensive Equity Investing," are slated to talk about where advisors and their investor clients can look for yield without excess risk at a time when interest rates are rising.

Darby Nielson, head of Fidelity Investments' equity quantitative research team, told IBD that one solution for many investors is to find acceptable yield from dividend stocks that are not treated like bond proxies.

The strategy that an investor chooses depends on his or her priority. "When I think about choosing a defensive equity strategy, it depends on whether you want yield income or low volatility," Nielson said.

Additional Tuesday panels include "On the Cutting Edge of Retirement Research," "Smart Plays in Developing Markets" and "Making Sense of the Multitude of Multi-Factor ETFs."

Also, panels devoted to "Crypto, Blockchain, and Lamborghinis, Oh My!" and "Show Me the Income" are on the curriculum.

Wednesday's Wind-Down

Wednesday sessions include a panel scheduled to discuss whether growth strategies are poised for a comeback and another about how advisors should make decisions about investing in new technologies.

James Murphy, manager of $5.6 billion T. Rowe Price Tax-Free High Yield Fund (PRFHX), is due to be on the panel "Tax-Free Yield: Finding Opportunity and Avoiding Potholes in Munis Bonds."

Murphy told IBD that he has grown more cautious about general obligation bonds due to fiscal difficulties in Puerto Rico and Detroit. Now he leans toward revenue-backed bonds for not-for-profit hospitals, transportation projects and toll roads.

"There's terrific underlying credit quality in the hospital space," he said. When he was a hospital analyst in the late 1990s, the average cash-to-debt ratio was 70%. Now it is close to 100%, he said. "There's been significant balance-sheet improvement."

In addition, most hospitals offer defined contribution retirement plans to employees, rather than defined benefit plans. "That diversifies them away from the underfunded pension headache," he said.

Shape Of The Conference

Morningstar ( MORN) expects this year's conference to draw higher attendance than last year's did, which 2,200 people attended. More than 1,300 of last year's attendees were advisors and affiliate firms. Morningstar expects more than half of this year's attendees to be advisors and affiliated people.

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46. Train Your Brain To Gain DetailsВт., 05 июня[−]

Some people have an eye for detail. They notice what others miss.

These observant types are not born that way. They expend the effort to watch what's going on in their midst — and capture subtleties that help them forge connections and solve problems.

If you want to see more acutely what's happening around you, train your brain to work to your advantage. To strengthen your observational skills:

Get ready. Lay the groundwork to absorb more details by mentally priming your brain. Filter sensory input so that you're ready to focus on what matters most.

Before entering a meeting, for example, ask yourself, "What people do I need to pay the most attention to?" Identify in advance what you want to learn about those individuals, such as their attitude, opinions or commitment level to their job.

"Don't hope that good observation just happens," said Jason Womack, an executive coach in Ojai, Calif. "Prethought helps you be more present and heightens your overall awareness."

Stay in the moment. If you tend to dwell on past incidents or fret about the future, you can wind up overlooking what's happening now. Reliving your anger from an earlier argument — or worrying about a big presentation you're scheduled to deliver tomorrow — can leave you distracted and less dialed in to the present.

"You want to place yourself in the here and now," said Womack, author of " Your Best Just Got Better." "Otherwise, you might miss something right in front of you."

Flex your mental muscles. Like a runner training for a marathon, gain strength in increments. Work toward a goal of becoming a keen observer.

Practice by trying to see and retain more in routine encounters throughout the day. Each time you strive to detect more details, you sharpen your skills.

"When you walk into a familiar room like a colleague's office, notice one thing you've never noticed before or something new about that person," Womack said. "That way, when the stakes are higher, you'll train the brain to notice more details."

Snap photos. Keep a camera handy to memorialize aspects of your everyday environment. Then look at the images later and note details in the background that you previously missed.

When he carries a camera, Womack finds that he's more observant. He visually scans his surroundings and highlights interesting details, snapping photos at will.

"You can take a photo of the room where you'll be speaking, a whiteboard before you erase it or a page from a book you're reading," he said. "Then you can send the photo to someone and say, 'Let's discuss this later.' Or you can send it to yourself so that you see it again later with fresh eyes."

Change your lens. Imagine you're seeing the world from a different angle. Walk the factory floor as if you're a time traveler arriving from another era. Or pretend you're a child taking a field trip to your workplace.

"We tend to develop a frame of reference over time," said Jeff Toister, a customer-service consultant in San Diego, Calif. "By changing your perspective, you're more likely to notice something you've never seen before."

Take periodic pauses. You're less apt to digest details if you multitask or rush from activity to activity. Constant busyness can limit your powers of observation.

"As a routine, I'll stop every few minutes, step back and just look around," said Toister, author of " The Service Culture Handbook." "It's important to create a procedure to change your focus."

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47. Quotes Of The Week: Sonia Sotomayor, John Foster Dulles And OthersВт., 05 июня[−]

Sotomayor on Perseverance
No matter how things are for you, they're harder for other people, and if you stick with it you can get around the brick walls in your life.
Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice, Supreme Court

Dulles On Success
A man's accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail.
John Foster Dulles, diplomat

Robespierre On Leadership
A leader has two important characteristics: First, he is going somewhere; second, he is able to persuade other people to go with him.
Maximilien Robespierre, politician

Ziglar On Motivation
People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing — that's why we recommend it daily.
Zig Ziglar, sales trainer

Goethe On Wisdom
The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, writer

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48. Annie Turnbo Established A Hair Care Empire For African-American WomenПн., 04 июня[−]

Annie Turnbo Malone became a millionaire early in the 20th century, when a million bucks still meant something.

And she did it the hard way: as a black woman without formal education. Against all odds, she combined an innate skill in caring for hair with an unquenchable desire to succeed to create a national beauty care product company. In the process, she gave jobs to thousands of African-American women who sold her products door to door like early-day Avon Ladies and even started a college for women that taught skills for success.

Her unlikely journey began in Metropolis, Ill. Annie Turnbo (1869-1957) was the 10th of 11 children born to former slaves. Her parents died when she was still a toddler, so Turnbo was sent to live with an older sister in Peoria.

Shomari Wills, author of " Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires," noted: "She was very smart. She looked around and saw her options were (limited): become a sharecropper or a domestic servant, and she certainly didn't want what she saw as a very hard life without money. But she knew she had a skill."

From a very young age, Turnbo had a penchant for working on women's hair, braiding and combing often difficult-to-manage locks. Her sisters and their friends happily let Annie work on their tresses, but also warned her not to vest too much in her foolish notions of starting her own hair care business, as necessary as it might have been.

As Wills wrote, "There was no defined black aesthetic" for hair care in the years following the Emancipation Proclamation." Women often braided their hair in an African style or covered their heads with scarves or bonnets. Some used harmful lye or bear grease in a misguided attempt "to look more like white people."

Added Adia Harvey Wingfield, professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis and author of " Doing Business with Beauty: Black Women, Hair Salons, and the Racial Enclave Economy": "Around this time, black women often considered their hair unattractive and unmanageable. Particularly in the post-slavery era, women had to work outside the home and they tried to improve their appearance to more conform to white society and be more acceptable to white employees. They'd receive ads for hair straightening products from white-owned companies that damaged their hair."

Self-Educated

Though not in school, Turnbo continued to read about the latest advances in chemistry, which had been her favorite subject. One day, she read an article about an ointment that dairy farmers used to treat the skin of cows' udders. She purchased some from a local drugstore, mixed in natural ingredients from an herbalist to add a fresh, attractive aroma and created a formula that regrew hair in bald patches left by snake oil concoctions women had used in the past.

She went door to door and stopped by as black churches let out Sunday mornings. Success didn't come immediately. The locals were skeptical. But slowly word spread that this product — she continued modifying and improving it — worked. She called it, appropriately, Wonderful Hair Grower. It eventually outgrew the small-town market.

She moved to St. Louis, anticipating large crowds for the 1903 World Fair. By this time, she'd already expanded her line of hair care and beauty products for black women, including face powders, cleansing cream and shampoos.

As she'd done back in Illinois, she hired and trained women to sell her products. She had to. Because she was black, normal distribution and sales channels were closed to her. But here the World's Fair proved a major boon to her business. It attracted African-Americans from around the country and the Caribbean. They were tourists who were not only potential customers, but also potential salespeople.

She visited the fair as often as she could, pitching the idea every chance she had. In relatively short order, she built a national sales network.

Around 1906, she named the company Poro. There is some question about how she came up with that. One theory is that it likely was named after a West African secret male society dedicated to discipline and enhancing the body physically and spiritually. Another was that she selected it just because it sounded African. In either case, it became clear that she wanted to connect her sales agents with their African roots.

Paying It Forward

For Malone, it wasn't just about money. She believed if African-American women improved their appearance, it would enhance their self-respect and improve their ability to achieve success in all aspects of their lives.

"The thing that struck me most about her is not only that she worked for her own success, but that it was important for her to help other African-American women succeed on their own," noted George T. Haley, professor of marketing and quantitative analysis at the University of New Haven's College of Business.

"She wanted them to be independent, earn a decent wage and have a decent life. She recognized a salesperson's appearance (and the way she spoke) was a key to her success. It was something she learned on her own, and she made it part of the training for her sales force."

She was right. It was during this period that Jim Crow replaced Reconstruction laws. Black shoppers were excluded from white-owned stores and white institutions. The result was the creation of a sizable black economy stimulated by black-owned businesses.

Turnbo not only rode this wave — at its height the company's sales amounted to almost $37 million in today's dollars and employed 75,000 women around the world — but she fueled it as well. (One benefactor was Madam C.J. Walker, who worked for Turnbo and borrowed her formulas to found her own beauty company.)

Turnbo, who married Eugene Malone (a former teacher and religious book salesman), extended the brand by franchising beauty salons around the country. She assured a continued supply of qualified beauticians and salespeople by starting Poro College in 1918. Given her interest in promoting a better life for black women, the school's curriculum went far beyond hairstyling and sales techniques. It included also courses on etiquette: how to walk, talk and dress — all this to prepare women for the workplace.

Turnbo was the first black female millionaire and a strong believer in giving back. An important philanthropist, she donated substantial sums to Howard University School of Medicine and the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home (now the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center), among other charities.

Turnbo's Keys

Used her natural gifts and unbridled determination to build a multimillion-dollar beauty care empire.

Overcame: Deep-seated prejudice and a Jim Crow society.

Lesson: If you have a good product and a dedicated sales force, you can overcome a lot.

Quote: "Would you like a job selling the Wonderful Hair Grower?" she asked satisfied customers again and again.

The post Annie Turnbo Established A Hair Care Empire For African-American Women appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


49. Building A Successful Financial Advisory Practice? Woo Clients' Adult ChildrenПт., 01 июня[−]

After decades of working together, advisors and their longtime clients form tight bonds. These relationships often extend to the next generation. This can be a vital part of building a successful financial advisory practice that lasts.

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To grow their business, advisors welcome aging clients' adult children to the practice. This can happen naturally as these children mature and need financial expertise.

Some advisors adopt a proactive strategy to cultivate the rising generation. But if they push too hard, they can drive away the people they're trying to attract.

What's the best way to win over clients' adult children? Start by creating a firm that appeals to all ages.

"We tell parents that we want to figure out a way to make it easy for your children to work with us in their style," said Mike Searcy, a certified financial planner in Naples, Fla. "We know that parents are concerned that there's continuity" for their kids in planning their financial future.

In 2010, Searcy launched a subsidiary company to focus on a younger clientele. It has a different name and brand identity geared to up-and-coming professionals.

"Unlike the parent company, our subsidiary has no minimum asset requirement," Searcy said. "It's a different tier of service with millennial partners — advisors in their 30s — who can relate to my clients' adult children. My clients encourage their kids to meet with us."

Knowing that younger clients are more tech-savvy, Searcy harnesses technology at the subsidiary firm. Clients must agree to receive communication via email and many opt for videoconferencing, online educational resources and electronic signatures to sign documents.

Coaching Sessions

To work with multiple generations of a family, advisors create opportunities — both formal and informal — for clans to share financial goals and strategize about their future. By hosting such events, advisors help families come together over money issues.

"When we do an estate plan for the parents, we like to bring in their children so that it's no longer cloaked in mystery," Searcy said. "Even if the kids don't see all the details about Mom and Dad's assets or the value of their business, they get a sense of the master plan."

In addition, his firm offers coaching for clients' adult children or grandchildren who seek financial advice. He finds that giving them practical home- or car-buying tips can double as a trust-building exercise.

Such meetings lay the groundwork for a full client relationship as their assets grow. Searcy, 63, hands off the coaching duties to junior associates so that they can build rapport with their peers.

Matt Sivertsen, a certified financial planner in Moline, Ill., goes a step further. He offers to host what his firm calls "first step cash management" meetings with clients' adult children. In these one-hour sessions, they learn budgeting tools to develop a long-term financial plan.

"We'll ask the parents if they'd like to have our 27-year-old junior planner take their children or grandchildren through this cash-flow management process," Sivertsen said. "In offering this education, we may find that in five years they remember what we did for them" and sign on as clients.

Generations Count

To encourage a client's adult children to come aboard, Sivertsen's firm offers them a 10% discount on its monthly or quarterly retainer. But what helps even more is exposing them to comprehensive financial planning in the first place.

"When Generation One holds a family meeting, Generation Two comes," he said. "They come away seeing what we've done for their folks, how we focus on being stewards of the balance sheet and the breadth of our analysis, and they understand the full scope of what goes into a financial plan or a retirement plan."

Initiating periodic contact with a client's adult children — with the parents' consent — serves as relationship-building outreach. Advisors involve the next generation by inviting questions and providing information they can use.

"We touch base with them one or two times a year with Mom and Dad's permission," said Brian Spinelli, a certified financial planner in Long Beach, Calif. "We not only ask if they have any questions, but we might also get ahead of certain health issues related to their parents such as early signs of dementia or other behavioral issues."

Spinelli has learned that he doesn't need to impress the next generation by discussing investment strategy in depth. Instead, he responds to their queries with jargon-free advice.

"We can get too technical with them and go into the weeds," he said. "But we've found that they usually don't need a lot of technical information. They just want to know we're here and what our role is."

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The post Building A Successful Financial Advisory Practice? Woo Clients' Adult Children appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


50. Practice To Make Skills A HabitСр., 30 мая[−]

Discipline and persistence are keys to learning leadership skills. That, says Martin Lanik, CEO of Denver-based leadership development firm Pinsight, is because he sees it as vital for leaders to practice those skills, just as an athlete or musician would.

Here's how to do it.

Rote is right. Lanik, author of " The Leader Habit," tells leaders to identify the traits and characteristics they need to be successful and then constantly work at aspects of them.

"Do it so often that you don't think about it," Lanik told IBD. "Make it like your morning routine."

Take small steps. It'll take too long if a leader focuses on a big task, Lanik says. Break it down into pieces so you can focus on one thing and make it a habit. Say you want to get better at delegating tasks. Rather than focus on that broad goal, start with one aspect, such as confirming that the person to whom you're delegating actually wants to do it.

"Ask as you're delegating if that's something the person would like to do," Lanik said. "If you keep practicing that, after a couple of months it'll become automatic."

Win faith. It's vital for the leader to be disciplined because that consistency creates stability that shows the team members they can believe in the person at the top.

"Then there's a lot of pride and trust in the leader," said Bette Price, who runs the Price Group, her Dallas-based management consulting firm.

Find opportunity. Persistence is vital because problems are always going to pop up. Things rarely go the way you planned. Take the attitude that you won't give up, Price says.

"See obstacles as steppingstones," Price said. "It's the old idea of either earn or learn. Obstacles are an inherent, realistic part of business."

Make less effort. You probably want to try harder, but Lanik gives the opposite advice. Practice traits that aren't as complex and that are achievable.

"You can be persistent by minimizing effort," Lanik said. "Cramming behaviors into a day is not sustainable. Keep it simple and focus on one step at a time. That's actually sustainable."

Focus on your strengths. You're better off paying attention to improving areas where you have natural talent, Lanik says. If you're an introvert, it'll take so much energy and effort to force yourself to do public speaking that it's unlikely you'll become successful at it. Instead, replace it with something you have a knack for, such as active listening.

"You can fake that you like it and learn to do anything," Lanik said. "But is the time and effort you put into it worth what you'll get out of it?"

Stay positive. Avoid negative people. They're never going to overcome problems, Price says. Get people with a can-do attitude who can get past challenges.

"No leader can do it alone," Price said. "You have to trust your team."

Seek input. Don't just look for help from your executive team when trying to bring discipline and perseverance to the company's culture. Listen to all of your people. The best ideas often come from front-line workers.

"They know that whatever part they play, they'll feel involved," Price said.

Make end results clear. When people know how important their role is, they'll have a stronger sense of purpose, Price says. As she's researched millennials she found one person who had to compile papers for a presentation. It seemed like a menial task but he later found out it was for the sales team trying to close a big deal.

"He said if he knew that he would've felt important," Price said.

Track progress. Gauge how you're progressing in hitting your leadership practice goals.

"Think about leadership development as a continuous process and have a system that keeps people accountable," Lanik said.

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51. Quotes Of The Week: Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln And OthersВт., 29 мая[−]

Gates On Mistakes
It's fine to celebrate success, but it's more important to heed the lessons of failure.
Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder

Lincoln On Taking Action
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president

Thatcher On Persistence
I've got a woman's ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.
Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister

Shakespeare On Responsibility
The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves.
William Shakespeare, playwright

James On Passion
If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.
William James, psychologist

The post Quotes Of The Week: Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


52. Advisors Steer Clients On Safer Course When Family Squabbles EruptПт., 25 мая[−]

Advisors often find that they don't help clients manage their money as much as their emotions about money. But dealing with emotions requires delicacy.

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That's especially true when a client's family enters the picture.

At some point, every advisor gets embroiled in a family squabble. An aimless son or daughter wants more money from Mom and Dad. Siblings argue over their inheritance. A married couple engages in a save-or-spend feud.

Advisors rarely take sides when clashes erupt. Instead, they listen to all viewpoints with an open mind and seek to guide combatants to reach an amicable resolution.

"When emotions run high, it's important not to butt in and put in your two cents," said Jose Reynoso, an advisor at Clarfeld in Tarrytown, N.Y. "You have to be careful in understanding what your role is and what clients understand your role is."

When clients and their families start to argue, Reynoso remains quiet. He lets people express themselves without trying to muzzle them.

"I'll wait to be prompted for a response or I'll intuit an opening when I can add value," he said. "Those safe entry points are usually when you know all parties will agree, so you say, 'Can we all agree that …' "

He strives to inject relevant information into the mix rather than give his opinion. Providing objective data redirects the discussion away from emotional outbursts so that everyone can focus on facts and figures.

"Citing the law or the rules that apply to the situation places you in the position of honest broker," he said. "It's a lose-lose if you go into the subjective too much."

Set Ground Rules

Some advisors take a proactive stance to keep the peace. Rather than accept periodic skirmishes, preventive tactics can pay off.

Reynoso suggests that advisors propose ground rules to ensure productive conversations among family members. For example, they can paraphrase what they just heard — and get confirmation that they correctly summarized what others said — before stating their case.

"You need to establish a structure to resolve disputes," he said. "Talk to them about family governance. Bring in experts if that would help. If it's a family business, you can cite rules relating to succession, voting or other existing norms."

Another way to prevent squabbles is to encourage respectful dialogue among all individuals. An advisor who helps a client unclog communication channels within his or her family can contribute to more harmonious relations.

"When you have good communication along with formal agreements as part of the client's financial plan, it keeps fighting to a minimum," said Reshell Smith, a certified financial planner in Orlando, Fla. "Getting in writing at what age your kids will get money and how that money will be distributed can really help."

A lack of communication within a family can pave the way for conflict. An advisor who promotes open conversation can enable clients to steer clear of rancor.

Smith recalls advising a mother who refused to involve her three adult children in her finances. She set up a trust and chose an executor without informing her kids.

"I suggested that she include her children in her thinking so that they understood her wishes," Smith said. "Getting them involved on a limited basis, even if they don't know all the hard numbers, could prevent squabbling later."

Ask, Don't Judge

When tempers flare among family members, advisors know to stay neutral. But it can be hard to remain calm when everyone around you explodes in anger.

Rather than ratchet up your voice volume to match hotheads, maintain a calm demeanor. Mentally sift through what you hear to identify each person's main concern.

"Ask open-ended questions so that you bring to the table how they arrived at a certain conclusion," said Diane Pearson, a certified financial planner in Pittsburgh. "Don't put anybody on the spot. You don't want to make them defensive."

Pearson sharpened her listening skills after completing a training program led by Susan Bradley, founder of the Sudden Money Institute. She learned from Bradley that individuals going through transitions benefit from an advisor's nonjudgmental guidance.

"You don't want them to feel like you're scolding them in any fashion," Pearson said. "If they feel that way, they won't want to share and open up."

Conflict-averse advisors may seek to skip any topic that might trigger a testy exchange among family members. But avoidance carries risks.

"You can't be afraid to confront these issues," Pearson said. "My approach is, 'Let's talk about this.' I'm a moderator who allows everyone to express their opinions. If it's not talked about, you can lose them as clients if they wonder why this wasn't addressed."

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53. Adm. Eugene Fluckey Dove Deep And Unconventionally To Wage WarЧт., 24 мая[−]

For Eugene Fluckey, his deep dive came by way of a president nicknamed "Silent Cal."

Fluckey (1913-2007) was a retired rear admiral who revolutionized submarine warfare in World War II while in the Pacific. His list of honors made him the most decorated living American at the time of his passing.

As a youngster, Fluckey recalled being captivated by the famous words of President Calvin Coolidge: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. … Education alone will not: The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Almost instantly Fluckey went from an average student to excelling academically. He later put the president's mantra "into his own words of 'Put more into life than you expect to get out of it. Drive yourself and lead others,' " as quoted by Carl LaVO, author of " The Galloping Ghost: The Extraordinary Life of Submarine Legend Eugene Fluckey."

Fluckey's success is a testament to his maxim. His World War II military service as the young commander of the submarine Barb earned him high honors. Among them: four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor (the nation's highest honor).

He led the sinking of 85 enemy vessels and more tonnage than any other U.S. submarine captain. "The Barb had emerged under Fluckey's innovative leadership as one of the great submarines in an undersea offensive that had much to do with winning the Pacific war," LaVO wrote.

"Fluckey was a no-pain, no-strain, easy-on-the-nerves individual whose good-humored, upbeat personality was infectious," said Lt. Tuck Weaver. "He had a unique and wonderful ability to make all of those around him feel good about life. He made them better than they really were."

Under Fluckey, the Barb and its crew earned six Navy Crosses, 23 Silver Stars, 23 Bronze Stars, a Navy Unit Commendation and Presidential Unit Citations.

"What made Admiral Fluckey an exceptional leader was his genuine compassion for his crew," said Scot Christenson, communications manager at the U.S. Naval Institute. "Fluckey was most proud of the fact that none of his crew was lost or wounded on a patrol."

When the watch command passed on the Barb, he had officers say "SLIPKEEP" to each other, "short for 'one slip and it's for keeps,' " Weaver said. "It was a constant reminder to stay alert."

Determined To Blaze Path

Fluckey was born in Washington, D.C. His father was demanding of his four children. He set high expectations for them. He was a great believer in education.

Young Eugene loved military history and wanted to serve. His ancestors fought in every American war beginning with the Revolution. A next-door neighbor who'd earned the Medal of Honor encouraged him to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

When the time came, Fluckey had to find a member of Congress to nominate him to the academy. He persisted but was told all slots had been filled. Finally Rep. William Holaday, impressed with his passion to serve in the Navy, pulled some strings.

Fluckey enrolled at Columbian Preparatory School to prepare for the rigorous academy entrance exam. The exam was designed to weed out two-thirds of the applicants. Fluckey passed. He entered the Naval Academy in June 1931.

He was doing well at the academy. But in fall 1933, he failed his eyesight exam. Midshipmen were required to have minimum 20/20 vision. The nearsighted Fluckey's was 11/20. He would be permitted to finish the school year, but then had to resign.

With seven months to save his dream, he painstakingly researched his condition. He became convinced the answer lay in getting three sets of prescription eyeglasses: very mild, strong and "powerhouse." Used in combination, it could correct his nearsightedness.

He found a doctor to fulfill the prescriptions. He practiced daily. Then Fluckey insisted on being retested. He passed easily. In June 1935, he graduated Annapolis as a U.S. Navy ensign and was assigned the battleship Nevada. In May 1936, he was transferred to the destroyer McCormick.

Fluckey disliked the long stretches away from his new wife Marjorie and their infant daughter. Submarine duty would increase family time. It would also offer more pay and a faster promotion track.

In June 1938, he reported for instruction at the Submarine School in Connecticut. Upon completion in December, he served on the submarine USS S-42. In June 1941, he was assigned to the USS Bonita at Coco Solo in Panama.

After the U.S. entered World II, now Lt. Fluckey completed five war patrols in the Pacific zone on the Bonita. But he grew restless. There was no enemy in sight or combat.

In June 1942, he requested graduate instruction in naval engineering at Annapolis to advance his career. In December 1943, he was admitted to the Prospective Commanding Officer's School at the Submarine Base New London. In January 1944, he reported to Commander Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, where the Barb was stationed.

Leader And Teacher

The Barb's skipper, Captain Waterman, knew Fluckey had top ratings from his former submarine skippers. Waterman suggested Fluckey accompany him on the Barb's next patrol, as the prospective future commanding officer. The division commander, Capt. Hensel, was leery of turning over the Barb to Fluckey, who had no combat experience.

"Once I had convinced (Hensel) that I knew the job of every single member in the Barb, he gave me his blessing," Fluckey wrote in " Thunder Below!"

"He also made it a priority to get to know each member of his new crew and tutored them in all aspects of submarining," LaVO noted.

He "had a wonderful willingness to try new ideas," said executive officer Robert McNitt.

As lieutenant commander, Fluckey put into practice combat philosophies he'd developed. He viewed submarines "as a kind of torpedo boat that ought to operate on the surface, where it could use its fast speed to outmaneuver ships in hit-and-run attacks and could dive quickly when planes approached, only to pop back up minutes later," LaVO wrote.

"You see more ships and sink more ships," Fluckey said, referring to a periscope extended on the surface.

On Jan. 8, 1945, the Barb sank a large Japanese ammunition ship. On Jan. 25, Fluckey located a concentration of more than 30 Japanese ships in China's Mamkwan Harbor.

He ordered the Barb's torpedoes launched at 3,000-yard range, obtaining eight direct hits on six targets and exploded an ammunition ship. On the Barb's way home it sank a large Japanese freighter.

Fluckey earned the Medal of Honor for his efforts. His citation lauded him for "conspicuous gallantry … at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty."

Overall "what gave the Barb its edge was ingenuity, the quality of its personnel, careful planning, tenacity, and avoiding undue risks. Above all the boat did the unexpected," LaVO said.

"The Barb was never in competition with anybody but herself," Fluckey wrote. "We were determined on each patrol to do better than the last one."

Fluckey's Keys

Revolutionized submarine warfare in World War II. Received four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor.

Overcame: Resistance to introducing unconventional submarine tactics.

Lesson: Don't blindly accept the status quo.

"We don't have problems; we have solutions."

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54. How To Get Along With Any ManagerВт., 22 мая[−]

A recent Gallup poll pegs two of the top reasons people leave their jobs: Their manager either doesn't help them succeed at work or doesn't value them as a human. But if quitting isn't an option, learning to improve work relationships is key.

"You're going to have a spectrum of bosses," said Mary Abbajay, a workplace consultant and author of " Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss." "It's like a puzzle. You have to decide: What is important to them, and how can you work with them and learn."

Here's how to succeed with any type of boss:

The narcissist. Handle this boss with care. "You have to be thoughtful," Abbajay said. "Sycophants are most likely to survive (this boss); it's sad but true."

But you don't have to sell your soul to be one of the survivors, Abbajay adds. "Find a good side. You don't want to be inauthentic," she said. "If you want them to shift behavior, focus on how your ideas will improve their image. They don't have empathy, but they care about their image."

The upside to having this boss? They tend to be very successful, Abbajay says. You can at least learn a lot while you stick with this boss until you find a better fit.

The impulsive boss. Wait for the storm to pass. Don't react to every idea. Recognize the good intentions behind this type of boss. They often want to make a difference and are open to new ways to achieve this goal.

"Let them talk about it and tell them you will think about what they've said," Abbajay said. Come back later and show them what can be done and what really isn't achievable, she adds.

Be careful not to be a yes person with this boss, no matter how enthusiastic they seem. They are likely to change their minds often, and you will have wasted your time planning for all the ideas they had.

"Don't jump down the rabbit hole too quickly," Abbajay said. "Wait three or four days; if the idea stuck, then work on it. Pay attention to your boss' rhythm without being a wet blanket or rolling your eyes. Don't be an Eeyore."

The pushover. As frustrating as it is to know that your boss won't ever speak out or stand for anything, especially if it's controversial, this boss offers opportunities for you to shine. Fill the power vacuum with honorable intentions, Abbajay says.

Say you're tired of working with a team of slackers, but your boss just shrugs it off because in the end the work gets done (mostly by you, of course).

"Step up without undermining your boss," Abbajay said.

Offer concrete solutions to your problem. Bolster their position by giving them options and information.

"Say: Here are the three ways we can fix this and here's why you should consider them," Abbajay suggested. "It helps them develop a backbone."

The incompetent. First set aside your ego and assess if your boss is truly incompetent or if you're overrating your own abilities. If your boss is truly in over his or her head, step up, compensate and deliver. Your assistance will be noticed and rewarded, Abbajay says.

"You've got to look at it from a different perspective," Abbajay said. "They got the job for a reason. Try to learn what you can from them. Maybe they are afraid of making mistakes in a new position."

Don't gossip about your boss' failings or your prowess. Make your boss look good instead. Most people know who the competent people in the organization are; you want to look like a team player that can be trusted.

The post How To Get Along With Any Manager appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


55. Quotes Of The Week: Pablo Picasso, J.K. Rowling And OthersПн., 21 мая[−]

Picasso On Priorities
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Pablo Picasso, artist

Rowling On Character
It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J.K. Rowling, author

Einstein On Perspective
If you want to be happy, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.
Albert Einstein, physicist

Morrison On Acceptance
A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.
Jim Morrison, musician

Bradbury On Success
Life is trying things to see if they work.
Ray Bradbury, writer

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56. Want To Know How Financial Advisors Get Clients? This Expert ExplainsПн., 21 мая[−]

How financial advisors get clients is often the most important lesson. If you want to attract more millennials as clients, it's going to take more than unleashing your inner hipster.

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At some point, many seasoned financial advisors fret that their aging clients are dying off. That leads them to look for younger professionals to replenish their pipeline and sustain their practice for years to come.

Unfortunately, it's easier said than done.

Alan Moore urges advisors to pursue the next generation of clients with vigor. But it requires some heavy lifting.

Moore, 31, co-founded the XY Planning Network in 2014 along with Michael Kitces. The national membership organization provides resources and support for fee-only advisors who specialize in working with Generation X and Generation Y clients.

A certified financial planner, Moore sold his advisory practice in 2015. He's the chief executive of AdvicePay, which provides online payment processing for advisors. Based in Bozeman, Mont., he also hosts a radio podcast for independent advisors.

In this interview with IBD, Moore strategizes on how advisors can cultivate younger clients and foster lasting relationships with them:

IBD: For advisors who want to bring in more millennial clients, what steps should they take?

Moore: It's not a small tweak to appeal to millennials. It's not like you can make a few small changes. If you're going to do it, you need to go all in.

IBD: How can you go all in?

Moore: I'm talking about marketing, fee structure, technology — everything that goes into a practice. A lot of firms don't go all in because it can mean a lot of changes.

IBD: What if advisors aren't able or willing to overhaul their entire business?

Moore: A lot of advisors hire a millennial planner and let them come in to build out a service model and build a new brand. That might mean a brand with a different website, a coffee shop look (to the office) that's more attuned to what these younger clients expect. That can absolutely be done, and it's a wonderful strategy if that's the way you want to go.

IBD: Can you elaborate on how this new brand might differ from an advisor's existing brand?

Moore: If you look at the branding of many of our (XY Planning Network) members, you can see how it varies from old-school advisors. You can barely tell they're in the same industry! The service model is so different. They have more-frequent but shorter meetings with clients, while old-school advisors may have more in-person, longer meetings. They have a different technology platform. And the conversations with clients are very different.

IBD: How?

Moore: Our advisors like to ask their clients, "Where do you want to be in 30 years?" Millennials may have no idea. So career planning becomes an important part of what these advisors offer. They may also discuss saving habits, budgeting and managing student debt, while old-school advisors may focus more on protection of assets, Social Security needs analysis, cash flow analysis in retirement.

IBD: Do younger and older clients have different perceptions of an advisor's role?

Moore: Younger clients look to advisors as more of a guide than a gatekeeper. They want an advisor who can serve as a filter, who takes all of the information out there and filters out what doesn't apply to them. Older clients may want an advisor who tells them what to do, who's more authoritarian. They may be looking for someone who manages and protects their assets, rather than someone who understands and manages debt.

IBD: You mentioned career planning. How can advisors develop expertise in that area?

Moore: Most advisors don't tend to ask their clients questions such as, "How much do you enjoy your job?" and "How can you invest in yourself?" But these are great questions to ask millennials, and other clients as well. Some old-school advisors are focused on a client's assets. But if you're going to attract younger clients, you need to make it not just about the money.

IBD: Are clients surprised when their financial advisor raises career-oriented issues?

Moore: I think many clients, especially younger ones, want someone to walk them through these life decisions. An advisor who has all this financial knowledge and who can also connect with clients and communicate in a more personal way can provide a great service.

IBD: What tips can you give older advisors in hiring a millennial planner to build a distinct brand to attract their peers as clients?

Moore: Say to these younger advisors that you bring on, "Here's our business plan. Here's how you can build this service model from Day One. I'll be your mentor and coach." That's better than putting them through two or three years of training before they can make decisions.

IBD: What if these young newcomers seek equity in the firm?

Moore: You hear that millennials want equity. But I hear more that what they really want is control. They want to make decisions in how they charge clients, what technology to use, their marketing strategy. It still makes sense if you tell them, "Here's your partnership track." The caveat is: The fastest way to burn bridges is to promise equity or promise to grant ownership in five or 10 years, and then you don't. That's worse than not promising it at all.

IBD: Does that happen often?

Moore: There are owners who thought that they'd retire early and turn over the practice to a younger advisor. But then they change their mind and don't retire as planned.

IBD: Any other suggestions for older advisors on how to help their new hires hit the ground running?

Moore: Have your junior advisors sit in on every client meeting. Let them watch you work. And allow them to train your team on their areas of expertise. They may have developed skills that benefit you and your colleagues.

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57. Advisors Are Learning How To Market Financial Services To MillennialsПн., 21 мая[−]

For financial advisors seeking to build a sustainable business, attracting clients is a strategic imperative. Learning how to market financial services to millennials can pave the way for years of steady growth.

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Yet trying to discern the preferences and proclivities of millennials — those born in the 1980s and early 1990s — poses a series of challenges for financial advisors in a hiring mode. While they may have grown up on social media and rely on tech tools to manage their everyday lives, their attitudes and aspirations are hard to pin down.

Depending on whom you ask, millennials are a different breed of consumer — or they're similar to older generations. They enter into professional relationships with different expectations — or the same ones that older clients bring.

Stereotypes of cynical, lazy narcissists miss the mark. Assuming that they are coddled, entitled or impatient can stymie marketers, hiring mangers and professional service providers.

When advisors strategize about the future, they often conclude that they must redouble their outreach to millennials. Winning over young adults paves the way for long-term relationships as they accumulate assets and need comprehensive financial planning.

"My target is clients age 25 to 35 because that's an underserved market," said Mike Zeiter, an advisor in Carthage, Mo. "This age group lacks the assets to work with traditional advisors, but they may have student loans and face decisions about their 401(k), buying a home and setting other financial goals."

Young professionals with limited income can still benefit from an advisor's guidance. The financial decisions they make at an early stage of their career can have lasting, powerful effects.

Zeiter says that many of his clients are young couples with a combined annual income over $100,000. These clients may lack a deep grounding in financial matters.

"They often don't choose the right 401(k) option," he said. "They may choose the default (option) or what the guy in the next office suggests."

Learning How To Market Financial Services To Millennials Takes Patience

Persuading millennials, even high earners or hard-charging entrepreneurs, to pay for an advisor's services can take patience and perseverance. They may view financial planning as a low priority or harbor misconceptions about an advisor's role.

"It can be a hard sell because it's a service many of them aren't used to," said Zeiter, a fee-only planner who charges a monthly retainer. One of the top questions he addresses on his firm's website is, "What do you offer that I can't do myself?"

Younger advisors wield an advantage because they can connect with millennials better than their elders. In their own lives, they may have grappled with buying their first home, managing debt and optimizing employee benefits.

Creative Marketing Ideas For Financial Advisors

They can also assure clients they will provide financial planning services over the long haul. Zeiter, 28, often tells millennials: "I'm young enough where we can work together for your whole career."

Because he expects to stay in the business for decades, Zeiter has established a client mix of about 75% younger professionals who pay a monthly fee and 25% who are older and pay a percentage of assets under management.

"That can change over the years to a 50/50 split as I get older and my clients get older," he said.

In structuring their practice, advisors who defer to their clients' preferred communication style tend to attract more millennials. Along with providing a secure online platform for clients to access and track their accounts, advisors learn to develop strong working relationships from afar.

"Many millennials don't want to talk on the phone or meet in person," Zeiter said. "They may be more comfortable doing everything virtually."

Communicating largely by videoconference, text messages and email may initially seem like a less effective way to cultivate trust with remote clients. But over time, an advisor's accessibility and sound advice can prove a differentiator.

Marketing Ideas For Financial Advisors

To grow your business, you'll need existing clients to refer their friends and colleagues to you. Traditionally, advisors ask for such referrals. But that approach can backfire with millennials.

"It's not easy to get referrals from millennials," said Greg Karis, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based advisor. Through their online networks, they may know hundreds of people but lack strong connections with them.

Karis, 31, invests time getting to know his millennial clients better — and tracks their lives via social media. Rather than press them for referrals, he waits for the professional relationship to blossom.

"If you ask for referrals too early, they will clam up and pull away," Karis warned.

Prospecting Ideas For Financial Advisors

As an alternate strategy, Karis recently asked a friend — a real estate entrepreneur — for help identifying prospects. After his friend told Karis to scan his LinkedIn contacts, Karis came up with 15 promising leads.

"He told me more about each of them and introduced me to them," Karis said. He reached five of them by phone and he's hoping his outreach bears fruit.

As much as older advisors try to identify with a young client, the age gap can prove tough to bridge. That's why they often seek to recruit new associates who can better relate with their millennial peers.

"If you're an advisor in your 50s or 60s and you want to attract the next generation of clients, look inward and ask who on your team is going to attract the next generation," said Aaron Schaben, executive vice president at the Carson Group in Omaha, Neb. "You need to incubate the next generation of leadership in your firm."

Schaben, 32, works with advisors to grow their business. He extracts insights from his firm's "millennial advisory council," a sampling of young clients who offer input.

"We've found that millennials want an advisor who's the same age as them along with the power of a team who's behind that advisor," he said. "And they want an experience that combines maximum technology with the human touch."

Millennials seeking more connections in the community suggested that the firm host networking events. Pouncing on the idea, the firm launched one-hour "Wine Wednesdays" in which clients and prospects mingled with a guest speaker such as a real estate agent or home health care expert.

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58. Financial Planning For The Self-Employed: Helping Millennials SucceedПн., 21 мая[−]

Providing financial planning for the self-employed can be lucrative, but this niche market requires special handling.

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Many financial advisors seek young professionals as clients. And many of those young professionals are self-employed. It makes sense for an advisor to build relationships with self-employed millennials who have high earning potential.

As their career takes off, so will their assets and their need for comprehensive financial planning.

Self-employed individuals in their 20s and 30s offer a particularly alluring niche. Their business can grow exponentially, giving advisors a golden opportunity to add value. Even if they only attain modest success, solo practitioners face myriad challenges that call for specialized financial expertise.

For advisors who want to attract millennials as clients, targeting self-starters can pay off. That's because 27% of millennials are self-employed, according to Deloitte. And many more aspire to be their own boss.

Experienced planners offer more than investment advice to young entrepreneurs. In providing financial planning for the self-employed, they can also help with tax planning, structuring the business and plotting an exit strategy.

"When it's your own business, you bring your own emotions and biases to your decisions," said Jennifer Harper, a certified financial planner in Chattanooga, Tenn. "An outsider can bring objectivity to your decisions."

Harper, who launched her firm in 2015, knows what it's like to build a business from the ground up. Uneven or unpredictable income heightens the need for long-term financial planning. Budgeting to pay self-employment tax and other benefits merits attention. And new business owners who plan to buy a home may face extra hurdles because lenders can look askance at the first few years of self-employment income.

Simplify Complex Concepts

Because the self-employed sell their time — and need to squeeze more productivity out of every hour — advisors who cater to them need to provide accessibility and flexibility. Just getting a harried business owner to show up for an annual review meeting can prove difficult.

Like many advisors, Harper accommodates self-employed clients by offering virtual planning services. She also helps them address a range of issues, from valuing their business to securing the proper insurance coverage.

"My younger self-employed clients must make sure they have enough of an emergency fund to start a business and be realistic about how long it'll take to generate a revenue stream," she said. "They also need to separate their business and personal finances, and draw up a good partnership agreement if they bring on a partner."

Advisors brimming with technical mastery can talk themselves into trouble with busy self-employed clients. While it's fine to share your knowledge, it's easy to overdo it.

"The self-employed hire you to distill complex concepts in a concise way into plain English," said Justin Harvey, a certified financial planner in Philadelphia. "A big part of that is understanding what is their appetite for detail."

Harvey, 30, recently launched his own firm. He focuses on serving young, self-employed physicians.

"Having the age and life stage in common allows me to build a rapport with them," he said. "And because I'm working with self-employed high earners, that introduces tax complexity so I lean on CPAs and business valuation experts" to assist clients.

Financial Planning For The Self-Employed: Succession Planning

To retain self-employed clients, some independent advisors evolve into wide-ranging business consultants. They go beyond portfolio management and traditional financial planning to provide bookkeeping, risk management and other services.

Business succession, even for younger entrepreneurs, can prove especially valuable. Advisors who help founders envision how their business will sustain itself for decades to come can fortify their client relationships across generations.

"I always start with a detailed cash flow analysis," said Justin Porter, a certified financial planner in Calhoun, Ga. "Then it becomes a long-term process in coaching the client to look at succession planning, to understand all the options of what's possible. They need to prepare for the day when someone else may need to own the business."

By thinking ahead, advisors pave the way for a smooth transition when clients want to sell their business. Reviewing legal documents, often with the help of an attorney, can prevent problems later.

Harper recalls advising a client — a longtime owner of a real estate company — who was preparing to sell his share of the firm. Reviewing the partnership agreement from the early 1980s, Harper spotted several red flags.

"It was a terrible agreement," she said. "The owners couldn't remember its terms. So my client took it back to his partners and they updated it, which helped with the financial impact of the sale of his portion of the business."

For advisors who work with sole proprietors, the focus often shifts to harnessing tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts to maximize tax benefits. For example, they may recommend a simplified employee pension (SEP) IRA or solo 401(k) as a cornerstone of their retirement plan.

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59. To Attract Younger Clients, Firms Focus On Recruiting Young Financial AdvisorsПн., 21 мая[−]

The future for the financial advisory industry is in attracting the millennial generation and making them clients, but most financial advisors are more than 50 years old. So how does an industry attract a set of clients more comfortable with texts and Instagram than phones and email? The obvious answer is recruiting young financial advisors.

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But can the old school go about recruiting young financial advisors? What are the do's and don'ts to vetting these applicants? And how should small firms train their young advisors to reach out successfully to their peer group in order to cultivate them and turn them into clients?

Richard Saperstein, managing director of Hightower's Treasury Partners, based in New York City, sees three main reasons for hiring millennial advisors: "Capturing the demographic wealth transfer that's going to occur over the next 30 years, enabling a wider range of younger clients to benefit from an experienced team and finally to create a succession plan."

When evaluating candidates, Saperstein looks for maturity and confidence to present to wealthier clients. He said he prefers they have a niche market, such as financial planning, legal, 401(k), or some subspecialty to add to the team. He wants the person to come in with a thoughtful business plan, a strong work ethic and strong outside passion, such as cooking, skiing or reading.

"We need them to have an outside passion and to be an interesting person," he said. "But in the end it comes down to a cultural fit with the team."

Other firms want someone who already takes life seriously, said Bill Francavilla, author of "The Madoffs Among Us." The firms want someone who has a family and a mortgage, and understands the impact of being responsible and planning for the future. "We wanted someone who would relate to the client's situation. Former teachers and coaches went to the top of our line." Francavilla is the former director of wealth management for Legg Mason. He speaks to consumers and investment professionals.

Bill Logue, a financial planner who runs Clearfocus of Mountain Side, N.J., vets applicants based on how they articulate their interest in personal finance.

"Personal finance is different from a finance degree from a university," said Logue. "It's an intimate process that relies heavily on communication. I vet in the interview by asking 'What is your interest in personal finance?' I'm looking for indicators of interpersonal skills and an almost innate need to help."

A big red flag is an emphasis on sales, says Donna Skeels Cygan, president of Sage Future Financial, in Albuquerque, N.M., and author of "The Joy of Financial Security." She said her two worst hires came from large wirehouses. They were trained to see someone in just 15 minutes, focused on pushing products, and didn't have good work ethics.

On the flip side, make sure your firm is a place where someone wants to work. Since so many are owned by a single person, owners have to ask themselves if they've developed a career path for younger financial advisors, said Rita Robbins, president and founder of Affiliated Advisors, a New York-based group of 110 financial advisors, all of whom she recruited. "Do you have the methodology to train them? There are some obvious challenges here. One of the places to look is young people who have been successful in a similar type of business."

Tips For Recruiting Young Financial Advisors?

The traditional advisor model is to have the new advisor try to make their friends and family into new clients. But Logue disagrees with that. Instead he has the young FA shadow existing advisors, then work through the entire process by working with the older FA's clients. The young advisor learns everything from data entry, working with portfolios, selection of investments, cash-flow modeling, and nuances of a client interview by sitting in meetings with the older advisor's clients.

Saperstein also believes in a lot of training and meetings to go over investments, marketing leads and integration with the team. And he encourages advisors to take outside courses.

Most experts recommend introducing young advisors to the adult children of the older advisor's clients to allow the young advisor to try to cultivate them into his or her clients. This has the triple bonus of helping the young advisor get clients around his own age, helping the client's children get an advisor around their age and keeping the assets in the firm when the older client passes on.

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60. My Price Is Right: What Millennials Want From Financial ServicesПн., 21 мая[−]

Figuring out how to help midcareer executives is fairly easy compared with figuring out what millennials want from financial services.

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Midcareer executives hire an advisor to handle the complexities of their financial life. They've got sizable assets to manage, steep tuition bills for their kids and retirement and estate planning needs.

Millennials, by contrast, may have a limited understanding of what advisors do. They're just starting out in their career, so they have less cash on hand.

Moreover, some young professionals harbor suspicions about the financial industry. Growing up amid the Great Recession left them skeptical of Wall Street institutions and investment products.

Yet advisors cannot ignore this huge segment of the marketplace. In the coming decades, millennials will inherit substantial assets from their baby boomer parents while entering their prime earning years.

For advisors to win over the next generation, citing their credentials and knowledge isn't enough. They also need to explain their fee structure.

"A lot of millennials have a negative perception of financial advisors," according to a Deloitte study. "To overcome this negative attitude, wealth management firms initially need to focus on the pricing transparency."

Advisors who court a younger clientele are getting the message. Many of them include an overview of their fees on their firm's website.

"Millennials seem cost-sensitive, particularly with so many low-cost platforms available," said Peter Lazaroff, a certified financial planner in St. Louis. "They are more likely to bring up cost-related questions like, 'How are you paid?' or 'What's the cost of this fund?'"

Name Your Price: What Millennials Want From Financial Services

When millennials weigh whether to hire an advisor, they want assurance that they're hiring an educator acting in their best interest. They don't want a salesperson pitching products.

They may already understand the role of a fiduciary, but many advisors still define the term. Stating at the outset that the only compensation they receive comes from the client — not from products they sell — can address concerns about hidden fees and commissions.

"When we go through the client agreement, our fees are very clearly laid out," Lazaroff said. "We show fees in both annual and monthly terms. Millennials are used to a monthly subscription model, so we bill monthly."

Prospecting Ideas For Financial Advisors

Because many young adults have wide-ranging financial needs, they tend to seek advisors who adopt flexible pricing options. Advisors who offer pricing to fit an individual's situation can attract more early-career clients.

Deb Meyer, a certified financial planner in Saint Charles, Mo., charges new clients a one-time fee, currently $1,000. That reflects more frequent meetings during the first year. From there, financial planning clients pay a monthly amount based on the level of service that she provides. The amount ranges from $175 to $375.

"I give them the exact number after I meet with them, based on their net worth and income," she said. "My practice is heavily focused on young professionals in their 30s and 40s" who welcome different pricing tiers.

She knows of other advisors who charge new clients on an hourly basis or per project. But she rejects that approach. After 10 years as an advisor, Meyer has learned that summarizing her fees on her firm's website filters out some wavering prospects.

"Providing more pricing transparency on my website has improved the quality of leads I get," she said. "There's this question of whether potential clients will be deterred by seeing my fees upfront. But it's fine if that happens because my time is valuable and I'd prefer to serve more engaged clients who are committed to the process."

Explain And Educate

Young professionals may not necessarily understand how advisors get paid. That can lead to faulty assumptions about the nature of the relationship.

When millennials who already have an advisor decide to shop around and switch wealth management firms, they may balk at the notion of paying a monthly retainer. Even though many advisors are embracing this model, it's still sometimes perceived as a less traditional way to charge for financial planning.

When Autumn Campbell, an advisor in Tulsa, Okla., presents her fees to newcomers, a few of them reply, "But my current advisor doesn't charge me."

In addition to educating them about the various ways in which advisors earn compensation, Campbell might propose that they bring in their current statement so that she can compare costs. She finds that many clients aren't accustomed to paying a monthly fee.

"We use a fee calculator, entering (a prospect's) net worth and income on a screen to show what they'd pay," Campbell said. "If there's sticker shock, which we've had just a few times, we thank them and emphasize that we want them to make informed decisions."

Ending the meeting on a positive note pays off. Campbell recalls a woman in her mid-30s who didn't want to pay the fee, but changed her mind three months later and signed on.

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61. NBA All-Star Elgin Baylor Inspired Fans And Teammates AlikeСр., 16 мая[−]

Not surprisingly, Elgin Baylor was the No. 1 pick in the 1958 National Basketball Association draft. After all, he'd been selected to the Associated Press All-American team and named Most Valuable Player in the NCAA Final Four. So he was rewarded with the highest salary ever paid to an NBA rookie: $25,000 for the season. The average salary paid to an NBA player today is over $72,500 per game — whether they play or not.

You'd think that Baylor might be a tad envious, but he isn't. In typical Baylor fashion, he looks to the positive.

"That was a lot of money then," he said in a phone interview with IBD. "Teachers were only making $6,500 a year."

Baylor, of course, went on to a magical career, named to 11 NBA All-Star teams (he was 1959's All-Star Game MVP), averaging over 27 points per game over 14 seasons with the Lakers — first in Minneapolis and then in Los Angeles — and inspiring fans and teammates alike.

Baylor writes about all this in his newly published memoir, " Hang Time: My Life in Basketball," written with Alan Eisenstock.

He was born Sept. 16, 1934, and grew up in heavily segregated Washington, D.C. His father — presciently — named him Elgin, after his dependable watch. It was a difficult life, but Elgin had basketball.

The park in Baylor's neighborhood did not have a hoop, but he and his brothers started sneaking into a white neighborhood's park at night to play. Once the authorities put up a basket in his neighborhood park — it was a rim without a net and a wobbly wooden backboard — there was no stopping him.

Sought Challenges

Baylor became obsessed with basketball, playing after school and on weekends. He was good, far better than his peers. So he begged his brothers to take him along to their games. "I wanted to play with older guys," he said. "Playing with kids was no fun." He couldn't learn anything.

When he was 14, Baylor got into a one-on-one game with a taller, older boy who played for his college team. The game was close, but Elgin lost. And he lost the second game, too. And the third. They played each other almost daily for weeks before Baylor eventually won one. And after that first victory, he never lost again.

"I'm living the old saying: If you want to improve your game, play against somebody better."

Current fans of the game likely wouldn't recognize the way basketball was played then. It was mostly a lot of passing until someone was clear to take a two-handed set shot. But Baylor was fast, jumped high and recognized that he didn't have to be constrained. He had moves. And he had great hang time. He could stop on a dime and jump over defenders for one-handed shots.

There are times where he took one of his jumpers and he heard "the crowd gasp," he recalled. "That's what I'd call it — a collective gasp, as if coming from one large body."

Confidence Under Pressure

But Baylor had more than skill working for him. He took to the court every day with another important ingredient for success: confidence. He built it in the schoolyards where trash-talking was an important element in the game — "You can't guard me," was a regular Baylor refrain to opponents — and carried that through to the NBA.

"The thing about it is that in the neighborhood I lived in, everybody had an attitude that they were better than the other guy. You had to go out there (on the court) with that attitude and give as good as you got."

Trash talk didn't end in the schoolyard. It extended all the way to the top levels of the game, "especially when I was a rookie," Baylor said. "The most important thing is having confidence and the veteran players would try to break that in me, especially because I was the first player chosen in the draft.

"I was never arrogant or cocky, but I felt I had the skills to go out there and do what I had to do and I just concentrated on that."

Baylor's single-minded focus on playing his game and avoiding distractions was significantly more important for him than for other rookies — and not just because he was the first draft pick. He was also the savior. It had been years since the Minneapolis franchise enjoyed a championship season as it did during the years when George Mikan led the team to titles in six years (1949-54). The Lakers finished 19-53 in the season before Baylor joined the team.

But along with the team's lackluster performance there was another problem: It was hemorrhaging cash. And there were some who placed the team's future squarely on Baylor's shoulders.

"I never thought about it," Baylor told IBD. "I was just happy to be able to play professional basketball, and that's what I concentrated on."

It paid off. The Lakers made it to the NBA finals in the next two seasons, before moving to Los Angeles. Certainly it was Baylor who made the difference, not only because of his skills but also his attitude.

Overcame Setbacks

He came to his first training camp prepared — and respectful. He'd memorized the names, numbers and stats of all his new teammates. Watching him in practice, they in turn soon came to appreciate him and his skills.

However, practice doesn't always make perfect. Early in the season, Baylor's performances were largely lackluster until teammate Hot Rod Hundley lectured him.

"I remember Hot Rod told me I was thinking too much. I was a rookie and didn't want to go out there and show off too much. But he said I should play my game, that I wasn't playing the way I did in practice."

That discussion not only freed Baylor to become the player he became, but also a leader of a team he would lead on and off the field.

"He treated everyone with respect," teammate Jerry West said in an email exchange. "He was beloved by all his teammates. I used to watch him out of the corner of my eye (wondering) can I learn anything from this? He never called attention to himself. His own teammates were the ones who called him great."

Part of the example he set was not holding on to tough losses. His philosophy: Once a game ends, it's over. We'll get 'em next time.

"You can't let a loss bother you," Baylor said. "My mother used to tell me everything is going to be fine. You have a long life ahead of you."

The professional part of that life, however, was potentially curtailed by a serious knee injury. Multiple doctors were unable to diagnose the root cause of his pain, so Baylor just kept playing. Finally, one physician figured out what the problem was, and successfully operated on it, but doubted Baylor would be able to play again. In fact, he told Baylor he might walk with a limp.

Baylor refused to listen. Instead he followed an extensive exercise regimen that sufficiently recuperated his leg so that he could play.

"I was concerned about how well I could play," Baylor recalled. "I had to change. I knew I couldn't do the same things I did before."

So at first, he did not play all-out, until his surgeon cornered him:

"He told me, 'You're not playing the way you should play. I did a great job on your knee. But you're just going out there being tentative. If you're going to play like that, you might as well come and sit on the bench with me.'"

Baylor went back and played all-out. And no one appreciated his presence more than fellow All-Star West.

"He helped draw me out of my shell (to the point) where I was more personable with people," West said. "My tendency was to always run away from publicity. I would watch Elgin sit and talk to reporters. He had a grace about him. Some people are real. He came into a room, and there'd be this white light where he was sitting, He had this aura about him. He's someone I care about deeply, as a player — and a person."

Baylor's Keys

A perennial All-Star, he was a great athlete and a team leader.

Overcame: Growing up in a deeply segregated Washington, D.C.

Lesson: Find something you like and concentrate on that.

Quote: "As a youngster growing up, all I wanted to do was play, and I tried not to let the other stuff (such as inferior facilities in his neighborhood) bother me."

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62. Quotes Of The Week: Doug Conant, Eleanor Roosevelt And OthersВт., 15 мая[−]
Conant On Priorities
To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.
Doug Conant, businessman
Roosevelt On Effort
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady
Maxwell On Fundamentals
Discipline is doing what you really don't want to do so that you can do what you really want to do.
John Maxwell, author
Sagan On Imagination
Without it we go nowhere.
Carl Sagan, astronomer
Thatcher on Persistence
One only gets to the top rung of the ladder by steadily climbing up one at a time.
Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister

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63. Refine These Skills Specific To LeadersВт., 15 мая[−]

Much of the conventional wisdom about what skills it takes to get to the top and succeed is wrong, according to new research.

For example, only 7% of CEOs graduated from Ivy League colleges. Forty-five percent of CEO candidates had at least one major career setback, yet 78% percent of those still won the position.

In a "Moneyball"-style research study, author Elena Botelho analyzed the data tied to successful leaders, much like the baseball executive in the famous movie used statistical analysis to prove that the conventional wisdom of baseball's way to measure player productivity was wrong.

"We spent a decade applying state-of the-art analytics to a database of over 2,600 leaders to uncover who gets to the top and what sets apart the best CEOs," said Botelho, co-author with Kim Powell of " The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors That Transform Ordinary People into World-Class Leaders." Botelho is also a partner in leadership advisory firm ghSMART.

Tips on sharpening the right career skills:

Master something. The most effective CEOs are 10 times more likely to be skilled in one or more of the four key behaviors highlighted in "The CEO Next Door": decisiveness, relentless reliability, engaging people for impact, and adapting boldly.

Hire a mentor. "The fastest and most effective way to develop any skill is to seek the guidance of a coach," said Stacey Hanke, author of " Influence Redefined: Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday."

Be decisive. Aim for speed over precision, Botelho says.

Her research advises making fewer but faster decisions, rather than spending too much time deliberating over the perfect one.

Decisive CEOs are 12 times more likely to be high performers, she says.

Show relentless reliability. Deliver what you promise, on time, every time, Botelho says.

This sounds simple, but it turns out to be "the most powerful behavior," she emphasizes. "CEOs who are known for being reliable are 15 times more likely to be high-performing, and their odds of getting hired are double that of everyone else."

Reliable leaders do seemingly little things like being on time for meetings, planes and phone calls, and they follow up on agreed-upon actions.

Adapt boldly. This is not so much about having a perfect lens into the future as it is about embracing a willingness to let go of the past, Botelho says.

Conduct annual spring cleanings, she writes. "Ask yourself and your team what habits, practices and assumptions hold you back today," and let those go.

Remember that Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders were once household names, but failed to adapt.

Engage for impact. Maintaining deliberate routines and being steady keep CEOs close to the business and its people so they can communicate what is important, Botelho says.

While "wildly charismatic 'masters of the universe' may prowl unchallenged in the boardrooms shown in Hollywood films," she continued, "in real boardrooms, results speak louder than charisma."

Seek accountability help. If you don't measure something, it doesn't get done, Hanke says. And expanding your influence alone is nearly impossible.

Hanke advises identifying areas where you'd like constructive criticism and then asking individuals in your circle to hold you accountable daily or weekly.

Develop consistency. It's the difference between a good communicator and one with true influence, Hanke says. Make sure your verbal and nonverbal communication is in alignment.

"When your listener is not guessing who is going to show up every day for every conversation," she said, "they begin to trust you, which encourages them to follow your lead."

If you speak publicly or to a group regularly, record video of yourself. Analyze it to improve your performance, Hanke says.

Perfect abilities. "Think like an athlete," Hanke said. "A professional athlete knows that the results they achieve reflect the quality and quantity of how they practice."

The post Refine These Skills Specific To Leaders appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


64. 24 Perseverance Quotes From Business Leaders, Politicians And CelebritiesЧт., 10 мая[−]

When it comes to business, there are few overnight successes. Building a company into a thriving enterprise is a step-by-step process that takes many years, if not decades. That's why perseverance is typically a trait of great leadership. As the perseverance quotes below indicate, the key to success is continuing to chase your long-term goals, even when faced with opposition or difficulties. This is true even for the most gifted of CEOs and business professionals.

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So, whether you are looking to achieve an important corporate milestone or reach the next rung on your own career ladder, let these famous quotes about perseverance inspire you to keep moving forward.

Perseverance Quotes:

Quotes About Perseverance From Business Leaders

I am not smarter than anybody else, but I can outwork you.
Michael Bloomberg, businessman

Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.
Conrad Hilton, hotelier

A hungry dog hunts best. A hungrier dog hunts even better.
Norman Augustine, former CEO, Lockheed Martin

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Thomas Edison, inventor

Failure is only an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
Henry Ford, industrialist

The most entrepreneurial trait there is: the ability to persist.
Steve Chou, author/entrepreneur

Perseverance Quotes From Politicians

In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. president

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill, British prime minister

I've got a woman's ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.
Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.
Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. president

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.
Colin Powell, U.S. Army general and secretary of state

The only lost cause is one we give up on before we enter the struggle.
Vaclav Havel, Czech statesman and writer

Famous Quotes About Perseverance By Famous Athletes And Sports Coaches

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.
Michael Jordan, basketball player

A champion is one who gets up when he can't.
Jack Dempsey, boxer

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.
Henry Aaron, baseball player

It's OK to lose, to die, but don't die without trying, without giving it your best.
Walter Payton, football player

As long as a person doesn't admit he's defeated, he is not defeated — he's just a little behind, and isn't through fighting.
Darrell Royal, football coach

People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don't know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.
George Allen, football coach

Persistence Quotes From Well-Known Writers

Big shots are just little shots who kept shooting.
Christopher Morley, novelist

Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for 22 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds.
Malcolm Gladwell, author

Success seems largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
William Feather, author

Never despair! But, if you do, work on in your despair.
Henry Tyrrell, poet

Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest steppingstones to success.
Dale Carnegie, motivational speaker and author

One thing we all know, if one does not possess persistence, one does not achieve noteworthy success in any calling.
Napoleon Hill, author

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65. Advisors Extract More Value From Their Time By Working EfficientlyЧт., 10 мая[−]

Advisors sell their experience, expertise and commitment to client service. But most of all, they sell their time.

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Their success largely revolves around their ability to work efficiently. If they're putting out fires all day, they can wind up exhausted as they constantly race to catch up.

Clients can tell the difference between an efficient advisor and a poor time manager. The productive planner runs tight meetings, sticks to a well-orchestrated schedule and rarely runs late. The less organized planner loses track of time, overlooks details and struggles to respond promptly to calls and emails.

Sensible work habits drive productivity. Allocating sufficient time to complete critical tasks — and delegating other activities to reliable aides — creates a more effective system.

Staying on track doesn't happen by accident. Savvy advisors master their workflows by scrutinizing their to-do lists, prioritizing the most pressing issues and setting aside time to tackle whatever merits their immediate attention.

"Any way we can reduce stress makes us better planners," said Kathy Parks, a certified financial planner in Knoxville, Tenn. "Early on, I learned a good way to do that was to put time on my calendar for what I needed to do so that I no longer had to rush to get ready for a meeting at the last minute."

Parks relies on a carefully crafted calendar to maintain her focus and maximize her productivity. By plotting her workday in advance, she leaves less to chance.

One Meeting, Three Steps

Face-to-face meetings — with clients, colleagues and others — can wreak havoc on an advisor's schedule. Conversing in person has its advantages, but it's easy to let time slip away when you're in the same room with someone as you both keep chatting.

Parks lays the groundwork for efficient client meetings by planning diligently. Soon after booking an appointment, she blocks out three commitments in her calendar: a time to prepare for the meeting, the meeting itself and a follow-up.

"The client meeting is an important part of the process, but so are the things that I need to do before and after that," Parks said. "So if I set a financial planning meeting with a client for May 2, I might enter in my calendar that on April 30 at 1:30 p.m., I'll enter data, do analysis to prepare, and come up with my recommendations. And I'll schedule time to follow up after May 2 to enter my meeting notes into my CRM (customer relationship management system), change a beneficiary, etc."

After many years of using CRM platforms, Parks has learned to save time when typing her meeting notes. She describes client conversations succinctly while thinking ahead.

"When you're in CRM, you're talking to three people: your future self, your colleagues and a regulator," she said. "So give all three the gift of clarity in your notes."

As she enters her notes, she asks herself: "If I'm unfamiliar with this, would I understand what happened and why?" and "Would a colleague or regulator who's unfamiliar with this understand what happened and why?"

Big Plans

Many advisors treat time management as a daily challenge, examining every hour — even every 15 minutes — on a granular basis. But taking a big-picture perspective helps as well.

Every January, Parks maps out her annual calendar. Highlighting her priorities for the coming year, she divvies up her time based on pursuing the most meaningful objectives.

"Looking at things globally, I'll work with my colleagues in an intense account-overview process," she said. "It starts with: What are the big rocks that go into my calendar first? Then the smaller rocks, and then the sand."

Her planning doesn't stop there. Every summer, she spends two to three weeks reviewing every client's file. Her goal is to stay one step ahead of what needs to happen for the rest of the year.

"It's a deep analysis of each client account, with a list of action items," she explained. "I'm intimately in their world. If a client sold a business earlier in the year, for example, I may plan for a meeting with their CPA in October to discuss tax repercussions."

To allocate the proper amount of time for meetings, Parks follows a few simple rules. For starters, she finds that phone conversations are more efficient than in-person meetings to cover routine issues.

If the meeting will benefit from face-to-face discussion, she tries to hold it in her office. She's more apt to stay on track when she hosts visitors.

"When you're in your own environment, you can control the meeting far better," she said.

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66. Experienced Advisors Dish Out Pearls Of Wisdom To Rookie PlannersЧт., 10 мая[−]

As new financial planners set up shop, they crave advice. And seasoned advisors are eager to give it.

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Ask experienced advisors to share success tips and many will dish out eternal truths: Treat clients with respect, deliver superior service and listen more than you speak.

Older advisors also urge new entrants to the field to document client meetings with care and never stop learning. Also: Don't pretend to know more than you do. By adopting disciplined work habits and understanding how emotions drive financial decisions, young advisors can gain an edge.

Perhaps the most crucial factor in determining whether a new planner will prosper centers on motivation. The more passion you bring to each day, the better.

"There are three levels to how you approach your work," said Rick Kahler, a certified financial planner in Rapid City, S.D. "It can be a job, a career or a calling. Your probability of success goes way up if it's a calling."

People treat a job as a grind and a career as a series of milestones to check off. But if they derive deep gratification from helping clients — and they're compelled to excel — then they possess the fortitude to persevere and build a thriving practice.

Kahler, 62, also emphasizes the importance of lifelong education. He tells young associates to attend professional conferences, read industry publications and take webinars.

"Continuing education isn't a nuisance; it's a way to keep learning," he said. "Even now, I spend over 100 hours a year on continuing ed. You can't just go with bare-bones CE requirements; that's a low bar. Be the best fiduciary you can be. "

A Dose Of Humility

Advisors who polish their people skills work more effectively with colleagues. But young planners can graduate college feeling cocky and project a know-it-all attitude.

"It's great working with new associates who are savvy and really smart," said Marianela Collado, a certified financial planner in Plantation, Fla. "But if they don't agree with what they hear, there's a difference between saying 'You're wrong' and 'Please help me understand how you arrived at that.' "

She counsels newcomers to demonstrate humility and disagree in a diplomatic, respectful tone. Posing questions works better than insisting you know more than a co-worker.

"This goes a long way to make people want to work with you and appreciate having you on their team," Collado said. "It's the same when working with attorneys and CPAs. Don't put them on the defensive by saying, 'Here's what you missed.' Instead, ask 'What do you think of this other approach?' "

Another way that new associates gain acceptance at their firm is to learn the unglamorous side of the business. In addition to amassing technical knowledge to help clients, they can show interest in less visible but vital aspects of the practice.

"Often, young advisors don't spend much time on back-office operations — things like rebalancing software, compliance updates, financial reporting," said Sammy Grant, a certified financial planner in Sandy Springs, Ga. "But you'll be more valuable to your firm's partners if you understand that stuff, and that knowledge will also serve you well if you launch your own practice."

Peer Support

Empathy differentiates top advisors. By communicating with prospects and clients in a sensitive manner, they're more apt to build rapport and earn their trust.

"Step out of your shoes into the client's shoes," Grant said. "It's something you can't learn in school. You need to respond to what clients do and say by understanding them, not judging them."

For newcomers who launch their own firm, the isolation of a solo practice can prove challenging. Longtime advisors recommend that you join a network of other planners.

"We're social creatures, not lone wolves, so it's important to have peers to bounce ideas off," said Kenneth Robinson, a certified financial planner in Cleveland, Ohio. "Don't go it alone. You'll learn more than you think you'll learn from your peers."

Advisors can create their own informal peer groups and meet regularly to share their experiences. Or they can join membership organizations such as the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners, XY Planning Network and Garrett Planning Network.

Robinson also advises new planners to carve out a niche and specialize in serving that universe of clients. He suggests an exercise to envision the type of individual you want to attract.

"Figure out your ideal client," he said. "Then you can play to your strengths."

For example, Robinson works with independent professional women. But he's also a fan of index funds, so a professional woman seeking a stock picker for an advisor wouldn't be a good fit.

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67. Running Judge Solves L.A.'s Homeless Crisis One Step At A TimeЧт., 10 мая[−]

Southern California is currently in the grip of a homeless crisis.

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One man making a difference literally one step at a time is Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell. He started a running club at the city's Midnight Mission in the notorious Skid Row area in Downtown Los Angeles.

"It started seven years ago when an individual I sent to prison was paroled to the Midnight Mission down on Skid Row," Judge Mitchell said. "He came back to my courtroom and asked if I would come down to the Midnight Mission and meet the people who he was spending his life with."

The 61-year-old former schoolteacher and prosecutor went along. What he saw convinced him to lend a hand.

With three children in graduate school or college, Mitchell had few funds to spare back then. "So I said I can give up my time and I would try starting a running club."

The Skid Row Running Club started small. Only three or four runners took part on a good day. But the popularity rapidly swelled. They now have around 35 people regularly taking part. Hundreds of people have been helped by joining the program.

He admits some of his fellow adjudicators are terrified at the thought of climbing down from their ivory towers to mix with the homeless. But Mitchell's previous experience as a teacher in South L.A., where most of his students were designated "at risk," has stood him in good stead.

"Some of my fellow judges say, 'Oh my God, you go down to Skid Row. You don't have any protection, you don't take any law enforcement with you,' " he said. "My whole life I have been in the housing projects, I have been in very dicey neighborhoods, so this is nothing new for me."

Twice a week the judge jogs with his band of runners through Skid Row. Every other Saturday they are treated to a more picturesque route as they run by the Pasadena Rose Bowl. They have also started running with other local running clubs and have made several trips to far-flung parts of the globe to run in marathons.

More Than Running

Mitchell said the reason for the club's success is the way it shows addicts and those down on their luck that they can turn their lives around.

"First and foremost it gives people in recovery, people who are homeless, a sense of community," he said. "Many of them have been estranged from their families for many, many years due to their drug use. This is a real opportunity to bond with a group of people that care about each other. That, I think, is the real draw."

The chat is inevitably about the trivial during their long jaunts. But when the conversations turn more serious, change begins to be achieved.

"On our long Saturday runs, if you run 10 to 15 miles — and we inevitably pair off — you're going to have an opportunity if you want to say this relationship is not going well with me, or these are the aspirations I had before I became addicted," Mitchell said.

After learning of their stories, Mitchell calls upon his network of business and government contacts to help his charges, giving them the opportunity to transform their lives through work or education.

"Critical to our program is half of our members are what I would label mentors," Mitchell said. "We have people from the business community, from the legal community, government. They run with us so they can partner with people who are facing some real challenges in their life and provide guidance and opportunities to move into employment and give them direction in terms of if they need additional schooling."

The running club works. It has helped many people over the years go from living in the streets to becoming productive members of society. Its success has led to it being profiled in the award-winning documentary "Skid Row Marathon."

"I've seen people who are days from their last use of drugs when they are at their lowest and now in meaningful relationships where they are gainfully employed and now living on their own. Major transformations," Mitchell said.

Rafael Cabrera is one such man. A convicted murderer at 18, he joined the club after striking up a relationship with Judge Mitchell as he sought parole. The 53-year-old is now working for the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. Cabrera refers to the running club as his "second family."

"Craig is something different; he's not like everyone else," Cabrera said of Judge Mitchell. "He's like a dad. Being around Craig, it's inevitable that you see changes in yourself too. He's not running for office; helping others is something he's done all his life."

Empathy Led The Way

One reason that the judge is able to identify with his charges is he was homeless himself for a time as the UCLA graduate worked his way through college.

"I was living in my car," Mitchell said. "I was working either at the cafeteria at the dorm in UCLA or I worked for a couple of years for a limo company in Los Angeles as a dispatcher. I didn't choose to (be homeless); I had no money."

Mitchell said that after his father remarried following his mother's death, his father decided he was not going to help any of his children financially. But he was unable to qualify for financial aid due to his parent's high income.

"I never really considered myself homeless, but in today's definition I would be. I showered in the back of the hamburger stand I worked at. I poured hot water over my head ever morning; that's how I showered," he said. "But it was OK; it was temporary. I knew as soon as I got out of college I would be able to earn a wage that would let me get an apartment."

Paying It Forward

But Mitchell admits he gains immense fulfillment from his good work as well, such as when he took 44 people to Israel and Jordan to run in a marathon last month. He said people were moved to tears as they set their eyes on Wadi Musa, the Valley Of Moses.

"I get so much out of it, just watching them expand their understanding and appreciation of what the world has to offer," he said. "We had people who were literally crying as they stood there and looked at where they were, and appreciated two weeks ago they were in Skid Row living in a dormitory with 200 people."

The staff at the Midnight Mission are grateful for the service he provides to the homeless.

"Judge Mitchell has a unique understanding of the community we serve and has dedicated his life to helping others, especially those living on our streets who are hungry and without a home," the mission's director of public affairs, Georgia Berkovich, said. "He is not only their team leader; he is their friend. They travel, eat, sleep, train, laugh and cry together. He has opened his heart and his home to the runners, creating a community of love and support. The Skid Row Running Club is a family through and through."

Mitchell's Keys

Superior court judge who helps the homeless on Skid Row.

Overcame: Living in his car as he worked through college.

Lesson: Anything worth accomplishing is not going to be easy. It takes a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work.

"You do not have to do it alone. There are people willing to encourage you and support you."

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68. Quotes Of The Week: Brooke Shields, Ferruccio Busoni And OthersПн., 07 мая[−]

Shields On Trust
The more authentic you are, the quicker you are able to separate people that you can trust from people that you can't trust.
Brooke Shields, actress

Busoni On Creativity
The role of the creative artist is to make new laws, not to follow those already made.
Ferruccio Busoni, composer

Bennett On Leadership
It's only after you've stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow and transform.
Roy T. Bennett, author

Poehler On Leadership
To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody's passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn't mind leading.
Amy Poehler, actress

Ewing On Attitude
Hard work spotlights the character of people: Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.
Sam Ewing, writer

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69. Set Goals To Spur SuccessПн., 07 мая[−]

Ideally, leaders set goals that are easy to measure and tough to reach.

As long as staffers understand how to keep score in a simple, unambiguous manner, they can track their progress. And if they must stretch to attain a challenging but achievable goal, then it's calibrated just right.

Yet setting effective goals is fraught with peril. A target that's too fuzzy or complicated to measure can stymie your team. It also should spur them to struggle a bit — but not too much — to cross the finish line.

To drive success, rivet everyone's attention on ambitious but realistic objectives. Here's how:

Study history. Before finalizing goals, analyze your employees' historical performance. Review their results in past years, under different circumstances and scenarios.

"Good managers observe how their people perform and talk to them on a regular basis," said Ira Kalb, a professor of marketing at USC's Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles. "They ask them how they feel about a goal" before setting it in stone.

Welcome griping. It's tempting to refuse to listen to employees who gripe about the high bar that you've set for them. But it's better to stay attuned to their reaction.

"Your goals need to be challenging but not too difficult or people might leave," Kalb said. "And they can't be too easy or people might get bored. If (employees) are complaining a little bit about the goals, that's perfect."

Know when to lighten up. While it's smart to push people to exceed their expectations, there's a risk that you can go too far. Continually prodding hard-charging employees to work even harder can lead to burnout.

Once staffers attain impressive goals, don't rush to up the ante. They may call it quits if their resentment boils over.

"If you keep saying to successful people 'You did well. Now I'll increase your goal,' they won't like it," Kalb warned.

Reinforce what you measure. Remove any mystery about how you intend to measure the team's pursuit of the goal. As long as they see what you see — and they know what metrics you're watching — they can focus their efforts on higher-priority activities.

"We set goals on an annual basis and update them quarterly to all our employees," said Jeff Bevis, co-founder and chief executive of FirstLight Home Care, a provider of nonmedical home care based in Cincinnati. "We have a score card with 18 criteria that we track on a monthly basis."

Educate staffers. Create opportunities for employees to learn about the goals and why they matter. This fosters buy-in across business units.

Bevis hosts quarterly gatherings of his workforce where he and other department heads discuss the goals as stipulated on the score card. Attendees gain insight into how the goals came about.

"For example, an employee asked why we have a benchmark for caregiver retention," Bevis said. "Our head of (human resources) explained that retention saves us money in lower recruiting costs" and increases operational efficiency in other ways.

Celebrate incremental gains. Lofty goals can seem unreachable at first. But if you laud your team for modest victories along the way, you'll boost morale.

"If the leadership team has created reasonable projections, then communicate to your team as much information as possible so that they believe in your projections," said May McCarthy, a serial entrepreneur and angel investor in San Antonio. "As you celebrate each milestone, they'll get excited and that builds confidence and shifts belief. Then they think the next set of goals aren't as crazy after all."

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70. Marco's Pizza CEO Jack Butorac Quit Retirement For Stellar Second ActПн., 07 мая[−]

Retirement sounded great to Jack Butorac, 69 — until he actually retired.

Butorac, now CEO of Marco's Franchising, the nation's fastest-growing pizza chain, had retired at the age of 55 after a long career in the restaurant industry. He thought it'd be great. Finally, there'd be time to chase after what he thought was his dream — to be a pro golfer. Breakfast with his wife every day was a perk, too.

It didn't take long, though, before he realized three things: He wasn't skilled enough to be a golf pro, golf isn't what really drove him, and his wife was tired of him being home.

"I'd traveled for business all the time before and my wife had the house to herself," said Butorac, who has more than 30 years of experience in the food industry, including stops at Hormel, KFC, Fuddruckers and Chi-Chi's. "She told me, 'You have to find something to do.' "

These realizations put Butorac on the path to a second act. Many people would be happy for their first. Butorac teamed with a group of private investors to buy franchise rights to the Toledo, Ohio-based Marco's Pizza chain in 2004 from its original owner, Pasquale "Pat" Giammarco. The goal? Turn Marco's, which had 123 stores at the time, into a national pizza chain.

The results have been impressive. Marco's Pizza went from being the local pizza shop centered around Northeast Ohio to the fastest-growing U.S. pizza chain in 2017, says industry tracker Nation's Restaurant News. The company posted 17.1% sales growth last year, powered by 15.4% growth in units. Marco's reached 881 stores by the end of 2017. Sales reached $530.9 million last year, says Pizza Today. Meanwhile, Marco's is now opening a new store every three days on average and plans to have 1,500 locations open by 2020.

That level of growth makes some other pizza chains look like they're standing still. Domino's Pizza ( DPZ), the industry darling which has seen shares jump 1,600% in the past decade, posted U.S. sales growth last year of 11.1% and a 7.7% increase in total U.S. stores.

"I'm a guy with goals. I like to build. What I've done my whole life is build," he says. "I realized I'm not going be a great golfer, which I'm not, so I looked for the next challenge," Butorac said.

Throughout his career, Butorac sought methods to help him be more successful, which he continues to use today. Those include:

  • Turn your to-do list into a follow-up tool. Many executives keep to-do lists, but most aren't like Butorac's. His list isn't just a tally of the things he hopes to get done, but a living document he uses to keep his short-term and long-term plans on track. The first thing he does every day is print the list — and it's often two or three pages long. The list shows what Butorac describes as the "big rocks" or the things he has to get right during the day. Anyone who meets with Butorac will notice he brings the to-do list to every meeting. If there's a holdup with any of the goals on the list, he figures out who's accountable for the blockage. If it's him, he writes down what he needs to do and immediately follows up with the person who needs it.

Jimmy Harmon, CEO of restaurant management firm Bennett Management Group, which counts Butorac as a board member, has been at the receiving end of the feedback. After a meeting, Harmon noted how Butorac verbally summarized three things: everything he asked other people to do, things he offered advice on and also new ideas. One of those items hinged on Butorac: He'd offered to help Harmon upgrade some equipment. Not long after the meeting ended, Harmon received an e-mail with a list of equipment vendors Butorac used in the past. "Jack is always taking notes," Harmon says. "He's great with follow-up."

Sometimes it takes just minutes to hear back from Butorac. Scott Shafer, a Marco's Pizza franchisee in Los Angeles, was having trouble with an equipment supplier when opening a new store in 2017. The supplier sent the wrong kind of oven. Knowing he'd get the runaround if he contacted the oven maker himself, Shafer texted Butorac, who was on vacation in Australia. Butorac called him back in five minutes. "He had that fixed so fast it wasn't even funny," said Shafer, who grew up next to the original Marco's pizza location in Ohio and plans to open 10 to 20 more stores in California in the next six years.

  • Do your due diligence — in person. Especially in today's digital age, it's tempting to rely on data and analytics as sole inputs for decisions. That might be fine for some calls, but for the important ones, don't overlook the importance of actual shoe-leather research.

While researching which food business he'd buy coming out of retirement, Butorac and a business partner jumped into an SUV in their hometown of Louisville and drove to Toledo to meet with Marco's management. Along the way, they pulled over and stopped at five different locations and ordered the same food items. Butorac wanted to know if the food tasted good, but he was also looking for something more important: uniformity. At all five locations, Butorac saw the food looked the same, was packaged the same and tasted the same. That's exactly what Butorac was looking for. It told him the company had systems in place, albeit informal, to ensure uniform quality and service. This was a key factor convincing Butorac the basics were there to take the chain national.

  • Learn from everywhere — and everyone. When you talk with Butorac, it doesn't take long to realize he cobbles together the best ideas from wherever they come. He'll rattle off all the people he's worked with or read about to get ideas to improve things. Inspiration comes from all places, including Marco's founder, who still operates 30 stores, to Ray Kroc of McDonald's. "I've read every book about him," Butorac said of Kroc.

During a fishing outing with business partners at Hormel, several key executives talked about how the food company was able to accelerate business growth. They talked about how a book, " The Oz Principle" was a game changer, Butorac says. The book's key message is that establishing accountability is a key to successful management. Now, all managers adopt this principle at Marco's.

Butorac is not looking for credit, but rather accountability. After buying franchise rights to Marco's, Butorac says the biggest challenge was standing out amid a crowded industry, with more than 70,000 pizza restaurants in the U.S., according to Statista. So he brought in people with skills he lacked and made them accountable. Syl Sosnowki, who had been at Papa John's, helped Marco's settle on what made it different: authenticity. Butorac learned from Sosnowki that the brand's differentiation is built on the fact that Marco's is the only top 10 pizza chain founded by an Italian American. That heritage actually improves its product. For instance, unlike many other pizza chains, Marco's never freezes its cheese or its dough, which is made by hand daily in the stores.

Leaders must be willing to wait — months if necessary — to hire the right person for a role. Getting the right people in the right places is critical, he learned from what he considers one of his professional failures. He bought a Mexican food chain called Tumbleweed in 1995 with the goal to expand it. But some of the key members of the team "had their own agenda" and Butorac's business growth plan didn't pan out. "That is where the bad hire issue surfaced. That was a mistake. A huge mistake," he said. The board decided to sell the company in 1999 instead of making growth the goal. "That's when I decided to retire. I considered it a failure."

  • Tame the anxiety beast early on — with a system. Butorac was just 17 years old, a senior in high school, when his father died from a heart condition. Butorac himself had heart bypass surgery when he was just 47. Stress was catching up with him, and he knew he couldn't ignore it any longer. So he and his wife signed up for a five-day stress management class. After the first two days of lectures, the instructor asked Butorac what he thought. "I told him this has been the biggest waste of two days. I want to know ways to do things," he said. "You gave us no tools." Butorac says he's a "systems guy" always looking for a step-by-step approach to solve a problem.

That's when the instructor realized the root of Butorac's stress and a way to help him. By his own admission, everything Butorac does is a competition. Golf. Tennis. Even reading is a race with him. Butorac has taken speed reading classes so he can get through 60 pages an hour. "I like that feeling of competition," he said, but "my body doesn't. I need to learn to manage it."

To help him, Butorac needed something to do when he was stressed. The instructor told him that when work became overwhelming, he needed to drive onto the freeway and get into the slow lane — and don't pass anyone for 10 miles. "It worked," he said. Doing that enough times taught Butorac how to calm his mind, to the point he doesn't actually have to get into the car and do that anymore.

Butorac is still intense. He's up every day between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. and checking e-mails. But now, rather than getting into the car, he makes time in the day to bike. "I get exercise. It's not as stressful," he said.

Above all, Butorac stresses that leaders know to focus on winning the big things and avoid sweating over trivial items. Keep your personal goal in front of you on your to-do list. "Each of us has our own definition of success. Some are personal and some are financial," Butorac says. "You just must have milestones you want to achieve. You're never done. You can always build."

Butorac's Keys

Use your to-do list as your guide. Know what you have to get right every day.

Overcame: Stress-related anxiety threatening his health and ability to have a long career.

Lesson: Get out of the office. Don't rely on data and analytics for decisions. Go out and taste the pizza.

The post Marco's Pizza CEO Jack Butorac Quit Retirement For Stellar Second Act appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


71. Adapt To Change To Reach The TopВт., 01 мая[−]

"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change themselves," wrote Leo Tolstoy in "War and Peace."

That's a favorite quote of John Knights, who along with Danielle Grant and Greg Young wrote " Leading Beyond the Ego: How to Become a Transpersonal Leader."

Knights, also the co-founder and chairman of consulting firm LeaderShape, cites a study that suggests one in five CEOs have sociopathic tendencies, meaning someone who has no empathy and is interested only in themselves. While these leaders are often very persuasive, charismatic and good at getting to the top, ego run amok is often their Achilles heel.

"Ego is that part of our self that is based on our self-image and only interested in our own personal benefit," Knights said. "There is nothing immoral about having an ego, but we must learn to manage it."

Tips:

Resist hardwiring. The human brain today is virtually the same one our Stone Age ancestors had, and is designed for survival and crisis, Knights says. This influences leadership in that "the human default is to know everything and tell people what to do."

The reality, though, is that this kind of "command and control leadership style is not effective in our modern, complex world where knowledge is no longer power," he said, "because everyone can get it." The problem lies in the fact that individuals "are not very good at being told what to do. Our brain default to that is to switch off."

The solution lies in transpersonal leaders who "operate beyond their ego, continuing personal development and learning," he said. "They are radical, ethical and authentic while emotionally intelligent and caring."

Inventory core values. List your personal ones, and make sure being caring and ethical are on the list.

Considering values to be "your personal touchstone against which you check before making important decisions is a very valuable tool toward making your life more fulfilled and successful," Knights said.

Corral hubris. Landing on the C-suite short list — meaning CEO, COO, CFO, etc. positions — requires the bold moves and uber-displays of competence that typify executive temperament, says Cassandra Frangos, author of " Crack the C-Suite Code: How Successful Leaders Make It To The Top."

But avoid excessive pride and conceit. Once you're under imminent consideration for a C-suite position, it's important to demonstrate that your feet are planted firmly on the ground.

"With emotional intelligence, persuasion and relatability becoming ever more important as leadership competencies, arrogance and the inability to admit when you are wrong is an immediate red flag during your climb to the top team," she says.

Master adaptability. The idea of "not knowing" is a major theme across all paths to the C-suite, Frangos, a member of consulting firm Spencer Stuart's leadership advisory services team, has found.

She says success in the C-suite means making decisions with limited information, adapting fast and coping with risk. "When you can handle that trio of tough tasks, your mind will be primed for the ambiguity you will encounter as a part of the top team."

Test your beliefs. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden once said, "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

People need to show that they have reinvented themselves numerous times over the course of their career and demonstrate "the ability to unlearn the things that no longer apply," Frangos said. Further, the shape of the top team is morphing dramatically, she notes. New roles such as chief digital officer are trending, and the size of the top team is changing.

Loners seldom reach the top. People who integrate multiple perspectives, "as opposed to acting solely on their own beliefs," achieve more success, she says.

"There are new core competencies for top executives," Frangos said. "Sacrosanct concepts such as experience and tenure mean far less, and things such as followership, mindset and culture fit make all the difference in career success."

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72. Quotes Of The Week: Walt Disney, Dr. Joyce Brothers And OthersВт., 01 мая[−]

Disney On Action
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
Walt Disney, entertainment innovator

Bottura On Originality
You don't let tradition bind you. You let it set you free.
Massimo Bottura, chef

Brothers On Connecting
Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.
Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist

Hawthorne On Transparency
No man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer

Van Gogh On Process
Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.
Vincent Van Gogh, painter

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73. Quotes Of The Week: Booker T. Washington, Thomas Edison And OthersПн., 30 апр.[−]

Washington On Adversity
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
Booker T. Washington, educator

Edison On Persistence
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas Edison, inventor

Ali On Preparation
I run on the road, long before I dance under the lights.
Muhammad Ali, boxer

Keller On Teamwork
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
Helen Keller, lecturer

Wooden On Strengths
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
John Wooden, basketball coach

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74. Before Aging Clients Show Signs Of Dementia, Advisors Take ActionПт., 27 апр.[−]

You cherish your longtime clients. You grow fond of them and help them transition into retirement. That makes it especially hard to see early signs of dementia setting in.

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As people age, their odds of cognitive decline increase. Roughly one in 10 individuals age 65 and over have Alzheimer's disease.

Advisors who serve retirees know that health issues can derail their best-laid plans. But dementia presents a particularly vexing set of financial, emotional and medical challenges.

"For an advisor, it's important to do as much as you can in advance," said Josh Scandlen, a certified financial planner in Alpharetta, Ga. "Preparation can really help."

Instructing clients to set up a living will, a living trust, a durable power of attorney and other legal documents can prove invaluable, as well as bringing in family members to complete the proper advance directives. These steps make it easier to honor a mentally or physically incapacitated person's wishes related to medical treatment decisions, financial disbursement of assets and other sensitive issues.

While the rate of cognitive decline from dementia varies widely, individuals eventually lose their ability to make sound judgments about money, health care and other matters. Advisors who think ahead can enable aging clients — and their families — to gain peace of mind from knowing that they've done the heavy lifting in advance.

Advisors who serve older clients may build a professional network that includes elder law attorneys, geriatric care managers and behavioral specialists. Assembling a list of resources for caregivers — from local nonprofit agencies to educational websites — can add value as well.

Wait It Out

Of course, even mentally healthy people sometimes turn irrational when it comes to their money. But the stakes get higher when advisors counsel clients who are starting to struggle with dementia.

Scandlen recalls an older client — a Korean War veteran — who began to undergo a slow cognitive decline. At first, the situation was manageable.

"But as it progressed, there was a tipping point," he said. "The client had about 20 stocks that he had owned since the 1950s and 1960s. One day, he called wanting to sell one of them. I advised against that, given the tax bill he'd have with $400,000 in capital gains. He got very upset at me."

Scandlen held off on selling the stock. A few days later, the client called about another matter and forgot his earlier request.

The incident spurred Scandlen to enlist the client's wife and an attorney to lay the groundwork to draft the necessary legal documents. But the client initially refused to cooperate, as denial is a common reaction among people with early-stage dementia.

"It was only when my client realized that he had bounced a $10,000 check that he went along," Scandlen said. "That's what resonated with him" and motivated him to follow through.

Trusted Contacts

The onset of a client's dementia can put advisors in a bind. As much as they want to offer resources and recommend sensible planning steps, they may fear resistance or triggering an argument if they press too hard.

"Advisors can be hesitant to bring this up," said Carolyn Rosenblatt, an elder law attorney and registered nurse who co-founded AgingInvestor.com, which provides online courses for financial professionals on best practices to help aging clients. "In some cases, they don't want to lose the client so they go along" with imprudent requests.

She suggests that advisors ask older clients to designate two or three trusted contacts, such as their accountant, lawyer or close friend, to serve as a surrogate decision-maker if needed. If they subsequently suffer from dementia, the advisor can call upon these contacts to step in.

Smoother Transition

"An advisor should have an office policy with a clear path to escalation if a client has dementia," said Rosenblatt, co-author of "Succeed With Senior Clients." For example, the policy can stipulate that if advisors observe three indicators of impairment (such as confusion, repeated client calls on the same day asking the same question, uncharacteristic displays of agitation or aggression), they will reach out to the designated contact.

She adds that advisors are ideally suited to help trusted contacts understand how their role might evolve in the future. Preparing them for the client's potential loss of mental capacity — and the various decisions that can arise — paves the way for a smoother transition.

"Say the client has a large investment portfolio," Rosenblatt said. "If the trusted contact isn't sophisticated about investments, the advisor can start helping that person (gain) financial literacy."

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75. Edwards CEO Mike Mussallem Driven By Passion For Helping OthersСр., 25 апр.[−]

Motivated by a goal to create meaning in his work, Edwards Lifesciences ( EW) CEO Mike Mussallem pushed boundaries to follow his passion for helping people live their best lives.

In the process, Mussallem and his team have transformed Edwards into the global leader in patient-focused innovations for structural heart disease, as well as critical care and surgical monitoring.

Mussallem believes the key to a leader's success is finding meaning in work.

"When I talk to folks that are developing leaders, I strongly encourage people to find meaning in their work because it allows you to be your best and might even surprise you in terms of how much impact you can have," Mussallem told IBD.

For Mussallem, the meaning in his work is "to impact individual patients with life-changing and lifesaving technologies."

Such thinking has been the driving force behind Edwards' "patient first" culture and innovation strategy. And it's led to Edwards' introduction of lifesaving and life-sustaining therapies such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), rapid-deployment surgical heart valve replacement and noninvasive hemodynamic monitoring.

But it took Mussallem some soul searching to identify his true calling.

"Early on I worked to try to pull myself up; I helped to pay for my education by working in the steel mills," he said. "At that time in my younger years, I was probably more focused on how big my paycheck was and how good the benefits were. It probably wasn't until I joined health care in 1979 that I started thinking about doing something that really mattered to people's lives."

Mussallem's leadership role at Edwards traces back to his career at Baxter International ( BAX), where he started working in 1979. He held a number of posts there, including group vice president of its cardiovascular division from 1994 to 2000.

Mussallem was part of a group at Baxter that in the 1990s proposed the cardiovascular division could innovate faster and better serve patients if it spun out as an independent company. That happened on April 3, 2000, when Edwards Lifesciences was established and began life as a public company. Mussallem is the first and only chairman and CEO Edwards has had as a stand-alone company.

Thanks to ongoing innovation, guided by Mussallem's passion for helping improve and save patients' lives, Edwards' position in the medical technology industry has skyrocketed. Edwards is the leader in surgical and transcatheter heart valves, says Glenn Novarro, an analyst and managing director at RBC Capital Markets.

The reasons: "They have the best technology, and they invest the most of any med tech company in heart valves," Novarro told IBD. "And they're always first to market."

Edwards and his team have propelled impressive financial g rowth and gained the attention of investors.

In each of the last 10 years, Edwards' top line has grown more than 10%. Its stock price has gone from 3.438 (split-adjusted) at its IPO on April 3, 2000, to 136.67 on April 3, 2018, a gain of 3,875.3%.

Patient-Focused Innovation Strategy

"I learned a lot over the years by doing," he said. "More and more I found that having a great culture is what first and foremost underpins the success of the company, especially when the culture drives the real purpose of the company. I feel like it's the driver of a lot of our success, and it gives me great comfort that we are all aligned."

Edwards' culture is grounded in a patient focus, says Mussallem. Edwards has an opportunity to be close to patients. Each one of its heart valves has a unique serial number that Edwards can trace back to the people who handmade and inspected the valve. Edwards often has reunions for the patients and the teams who made their individual valves.

"You can imagine what that does for our team," he said. "It reinforces the importance of people's work."

Adds Novarro: "This is his passion. He puts everything into this company. That's why he is a great leader. Most successful CEOs are passionate. Mike takes it to another level. It's not just Edwards that is his passion. What Edwards does for patients (also) is his passion."

Mussallem says the company doesn't try to solve every health care problem. "We stay very focused on structural heart disease and critical care medicine. We feel like these patients could be better served than they are today, and there are big opportunities to apply technology to improve their care.

"We like to focus on bold innovations, literally breakthrough technologies that are transformative to existing care. And when we get that right, we can add a lot of value for patients."

For Edwards, the big groundbreaker has been its pioneering efforts to bring transcatheter aortic valve replacement to market, which in turn, has led to a major transformation of the company.

"It's abundantly clear that in the 18 years that Edwards has been a public company, Mike not only has thoughtfully reshaped the company's post spinoff portfolio by divesting and acquiring, but also has clearly demonstrated visionary insight about how and where to innovate — brilliantly — in the complex medical device space with the company's TAVR/structural heart initiatives." Rick Wise, senior medical technology analyst and a managing director at Stifel, told IBD.

Mussallem saw a big opportunity with TAVR, despite the fact it might cannibalize the company's existing leading products.

"We were, and continue to be, the leader in surgical heart valves, and TAVR was such a radical idea and most of our customers would discourage us," said Mussallem. "The rationale was that if someone was going to disrupt our core business, my feeling was that it must be us. We had to be the ones. No one else could pursue this radical idea.

"We worked very hard to develop this therapy. It was not simple or linear. But we persisted because the promise for patients was so powerful. It was the first time in my career I had a chance to experience in a significant way what I call a triple win — improve mortality, improve the quality of life for patients and improve economics for the health care system."

The Edwards SAPIEN family of transcatheter aortic heart valves and their delivery systems are used to treat heart valve disease using catheter-based approaches for certain patients for whom traditional open-heart surgery isn't optimal, the company says. Delivered while the heart is beating, these valves can enable patients to have a better quality of life sooner than those receiving traditional surgical therapies.

Learning Culture

To motivate and guide employees, Mussallem and his team have developed a "secret sauce," of principles. With an eye always on patient needs, Mussallem encourages his team to dream big, not be afraid of failure and learn from mistakes.

Mussallem developed his leadership and management principles from many sources. While at Baxter, Mussallem gained confidence in his skills.

"One of the lessons I learned was not to be afraid of difficult jobs," he said. "Often if a job is not high profile or involves taking over an underperforming business or function, it isn't seen as glamorous. But it is an opportunity for someone to get significant responsibility and demonstrate their own ability to add value."

That lesson helped Mussallem support the decision to spin off as an independent company the cardiovascular division of Baxter, for which Mussallem was responsible. At the time, the cardiovascular business was the poorest performer in the Baxter portfolio, he says. It had a low growth rate, low profitability and an uncertain future.

"We had a lot of hard work to do in those early years," he said. "But the team stayed optimistic. And over time we were able to sharpen our strategy and seriously invest in new innovation. We were able to completely change the profile of the company."

Another element of the strategy that has been a priority is leadership.

"We feel like we should try and be the best in what we do," he adds. "I'm proud that over 98% of what Edwards sells is in the No. 1 global position."

Mussallem, 65, was born and grew up in Gary, Ind. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1974.

After graduation, he worked at Union Carbide as a chemical engineer making Prestone antifreeze. But over time he realized he could be doing something more fulfilling — changing people's lives — and then went into health care.

He developed many of his personal values and passion for innovation in his younger years.

"I've never been one to be afraid to take on a challenge," he said. "I was fortunate to have loving parents who, like others, lived their life to give their children a better life. I always felt a responsibility to do my best. I believe our company has many of those same ideas."

Mussallem's Keys

Transformed Edwards into the global leader and innovator for structural heart disease

Overcame: Risky business decision to spin off Edwards from Baxter to develop complex therapies.

Lesson: Find meaning in your work "because it allows you to be your best and might even surprise you in terms of how much impact you can have."

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76. Tell The Truth Even With Bad NewsСр., 25 апр.[−]

It's easy to say it's always best to be honest. But sometimes it takes guts to be a straight shooter with someone and to show you're vulnerable.

Here's how to gather that fortitude to effectively lead your group.

Tell the truth. Start with the basics. Honesty really is the best policy, even if it's easier to tell a white lie than to confront someone with the bad news that they're not performing well enough.

"If you're not honest, sooner or later it will catch up with you and then it interferes with building trust," said Linda Finkle, founder and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based business coaching and consulting firm Incedo Group.

Admit mistakes.Famed investor Warren Buffett wins trust because he's open about his missteps, says Constance Dierickx, Atlanta-based advisor to boards and senior executives and author of " High-Stakes Leadership." Each year, Buffett summarizes where he and his firm went wrong with their investments. Dierickx at times calls back clients a day or two after giving them advice and tells them after thinking about it further she has a different recommendation.

"People will know you're honest and they can trust you," Dierickx told IBD.

Help others. Finkle once had to let someone go for performance reasons. Years later the woman thanked Finkle, saying it showed her where she needed to improve.

"If our goal as a leader is to be in service to people, then it's important to tell the truth, whether it's something the person wants to hear or not," Finkle said.

Seek support.When you're breaking bad news to people, you have to muster the guts to tell them. But don't feel as if you have to go it alone. Dierickx says she'll often advise clients to go public about a problem even if their lawyers tell them to do the opposite. They're usually better off being open about it. Home Depot ( HD) CEO Frank Blake was upfront in 2014 when a data breach exposed more than 50 million payment cards. He admitted the problem, said customers wouldn't be harmed, devoted resources to the matter and published a letter of apology.

"Companies have to protect their image, but it has to be subordinate to being honest," Dierickx said.

Develop fortitude. Dierickx says you can build up your ability to steel yourself and deliver bad news. She views it as a combination of vision and mission to show your belief in what you're doing. Toss in persistence, and the combination will get you to face the toughest conversations. Your character is the great multiplier.

"If you don't have character, the other stuff doesn't make any difference," Dierickx said.

Get advice. Some people don't know how to have brutally honest conversations. Ask others how to handle it.

"It doesn't make you less of a leader because you need to ask for help," Finkle said. "Even Olympic athletes have coaches."

Be open. If you're uncomfortable with the discussion, tell the person you're talking to that you might not be the best at this. Then work your way through it. It'll get easier.

"Talk about it in a way that's not self-deprecating, but is aimed at, 'How can I get better?' " Finkle said.

Keep improving. Others will trust you if you don't appear to be a know-it-all. Show people you're always learning. Dierickx once worked at a company that had a "belly flop" award. People talked in a meeting about something that went off the rails and what they learned from it.

"I have more credibility if I show that I'm learning," Dierickx said.

Stay true to yourself. The key to breaking bad news is to be genuine, Finkle says. If the company has to lay off a batch of people, admit it's painful rather than putting up a false front.

"People respond to genuine humanness," Finkle said. "If you're not yourself, people respond to that more negatively than anything."

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77. Advisors Track Economic Reports To Stay One Step Ahead Of MarketsПн., 23 апр.[−]

Some advisors read economic reports with great interest. They track data with an eye toward deciphering market moves and helping position clients for what's ahead.

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If they enjoy writing, advisors may blog about what the latest indicators might reveal about the domestic and global economy. Their comments tend to focus on a range of reports, from employment numbers to Beige Book results, that they use to assess current and future markets.

Like professional economists, advisors often strive to interpret data and educate clients in plain English about the significance of certain indicators. These reports can shed light on macroeconomic trends and even offer potentially valuable trading clues.

"Most clients like it when we tell them what's going on beyond the headlines," said Daniel Kern, chief investment officer at Boston-based TFC Financial Management. "A lot of these numbers tell you a different story than the headlines."

For example, he notes that overall wage growth is widely reported as slowly improving. But on closer inspection, the big picture becomes more complex based on variations in different sectors.

"If you look at certain segments of the economy like manufacturing, construction and technology, wages are growing," he said. "And wages are slowing in other industries like retail and financial services."

Scrutinizing wage gains by industry allows advisors to draw more reliable conclusions about inflation and the labor market. It might also influence buy or sell decisions for stocks in particular sectors.

Key Numbers

Among the myriad economic indicators that vie for attention, a handful of reports dominate. Monthly numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics tally nonfarm payrolls, new jobs and the unemployment rate. Advisors know that dramatic, unexpected swings can move markets.

Kern prefers to look beyond the unemployment rate — which has been 4.1% for the last six months — to consider the U-6 rate that includes unemployed and underemployed people. Factoring in discouraged workers who've quit seeking a job along with part-timers who want a full-time position gives a fuller reading of the unemployment situation.

"The U-6 rate gives you a picture of how much labor slack there is in the economy," Kern said. "How many people can enter the labor force or work longer hours? It shows if there's room for economic growth without triggering inflation."

Advisors also track manufacturing data to gain a better sense of the economy as a whole. One of the most popular measures is the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) produced monthly by the Institute of Supply Management, a nongovernmental group.

"It gives us an overall read on whether manufacturing is in expansionary or contracting territory," Kern said. The result provides a gauge of economic growth.

Part of the challenge that advisors face when scanning economic reports is distinguishing between leading and lagging indicators of stock prices. Some observers find that manufacturing data such as the PMI can lead the direction of stocks, while other measures such as the unemployment rate tend to lag equities.

Subsequent revisions of data can add another wrinkle to the process. Gross domestic product, unemployment and other indicators are often subject to rounds of revisions in the months following their initial release, undermining their use in real time as a stock trading tool.

Lean On Experts

When providing economic commentary, advisors usually emphasize that a single indicator simply adds an element to a larger mosaic. Taken collectively, these strands of data enable keen market watchers to assess the potential for economic growth — or whether inflationary pressures, consumer confidence or monetary policy will surprise the markets for better or worse.

To save time and streamline their research, some advisors defer to experts who track economic indicators. They may rely on these financial gurus to highlight the most important numbers from month to month.

Mitchell Kraus, a certified financial planner in Santa Monica, Calif., likes to read the Calculated Risk blog. Written by Bill McBride, the blog includes a weekly schedule of economic data releases.

"He follows a bunch of indicators, and I sometimes refer clients to read it too," Kraus said. The blog also cites excerpts from economists and provides graphs to help readers place the most recent data in historical context.

Yet Kraus cautions that economic reports, while useful, play a limited role in understanding markets and making investment decisions.

"I find that clients can overfocus on indices," he said. "I often get calls from clients who say they've read online that a certain indicator signals a buying opportunity. But you can't time the markets" or read too much into a single data point.

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78. Violin Virtuoso Itzhak Perlman Threw Away His Mental CrutchesСб., 21 апр.[−]

When Ed Sullivan introduced the 13-year-old Itzhak Perlman on his television show, he said the young violin prodigy was there "by the grace of God." Sullivan wasn't far off.

Perlman was just four years old when he contracted polio. That was in 1949, well before the Salk vaccine. Given the state of medicine at the time, it was more likely that the Israel-born youngster would die or spend the rest of his life in an iron lung than become a world-renowned violin virtuoso.

Perlman, however, doesn't see any cosmic intervention. "It never occurred to me to consider that scenario," he said in an interview with IBD. "I was just concentrating on playing the violin, liking what I was doing. I liked to play the violin — though I hated to practice."

If not otherworldly, Perlman certainly did benefit from a series of fortunate events. The first occurred when he was three years old. He heard Jascha Heifitz on the radio and immediately fell in love with the violin. Why?

"Look, it's a very interesting phenomenon, what makes kids want to study the instruments they want to play. It's what speaks to you. The sound appealed to me. I wanted to do that," he said.

Perlman was twice blessed. Not only did he find his passion very early in life, he also was good at it. He demonstrated great talent from the very beginning of his violin studies.

And while he didn't fantasize that the life he now has might actually happen, he did imagine a professional career. "Whenever one plays and has a certain amount of talent, one dreams that you can make a living at something you are passionate about, something that captures your imagination," he said.

But as often happens in life, talent alone is not necessarily enough to assure success. Though he played exceptionally well and even had a recital at age 10, there were many who discouraged any thoughts of a professional classical music career.

Some people "were listening to the talent," but others couldn't see past the crutches. They "were saying, well, he won't be able to travel, he won't be able to do this or that, but that (should have been) secondary," Perlman said.

Family Support

Extensive naysaying can prove a difficult obstacle to overcome for an adult, let alone a preteen. It would have been easy — understandable even — if young Perlman gave up. But he didn't. And that, he maintains, "has to do with my parents. They believed in me. Whatever you hear in your house, the vibes you get from your parents, that gives you strength."

Then another stroke of luck hit. Popular TV host Ed Sullivan sent staffers to Israel in search of talent. "They held auditions around the country, because he wanted to have Israeli acts on his show. Everybody was auditioning," Perlman recalled.

After the number of acts was winnowed down to a manageable few, Sullivan himself came and approved Perlman. Perlman believes he wasn't selected solely on the basis of his violin skills, as great as they were. Working in his favor, he's said, was that he was a cute, chubby little kid who walked with crutches.

Crutches don't make superstars though. But the way Perlman crushed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto that Sunday evening in 1958 does. In retrospect, Perlman has said he sounded like a talented 13-year-old rather than a master musician. Still, the result, as they say, is history.

At great personal sacrifice, his family moved to New York, where he attended the Juilliard School, after which a combination of his artistry and the irrepressible joy with which he makes music propelled him to the top of the classical music universe — primarily as a single star but also regularly in combination with others, including frequent trip partners Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax.

Perlman's well-rounded life, though, involves more than just concertos. He loves jazz and klezmer music and has played with everyone from Billy Joel to the Sesame Street Muppets. He's even performed the national anthem before a playoff game involving his beloved New York Mets.

He's also won almost every significant honor available. This impressive list includes the Medal of Liberty from President Reagan (1986), the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton (2000), the Kennedy Center Honors (2003) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama (2015).

And Perlman has won four Emmy awards and 16 Grammys plus a lifetime achievement Grammy.

Documentary

Filmmaker Alison Chernick spent a year with the maestro for her recently released documentary, " Itzhak." She chose him as a subject "not only because of his incredible musical talent, but his wonderful human soul behind his public persona."

In an interview with IBD she added, "His humility, his honesty, his vulnerability, his kindness. I wouldn't say this surprised me, but in this time of moral corruptness, it was really nice to be around someone like that."

It is difficult to pick up a newspaper and not read a story about some celebrity gone astray. Which brings up another piece of good fortune along Perlman's path to success: He attended a prestigious music camp where he met his wife of 50-plus years, Toby, who was a violinist herself. She heard him play and immediately thereafter rushed into his bunk and proposed to the then-17-year-old prodigy. There was at least one girlfriend between then and the nuptials, she says, but eventually they became partners in life — and fiddle.

"About his playing, nobody else is going to be honest," she told IBD. "Everybody is going to say, 'You're so great. You're so wonderful.'

"I'm going to say it too, because I think he is the greatest. But if he's (playing) sharp or I think there's a bad habit that creeps into his playing, I'm going to tell him that too."

Perlman claims people always ask him if he has any remaining goals, if there is something left he wants to accomplish. And he responds simply: I don't want to be bored. To that end, he regularly plays new pieces.

He's also taken up conducting. Perlman has led some of the world's best orchestras, including symphonies in New York, London, Berlin and San Francisco. "It's a different process," he said. "But the goal is the same: to make music the way I hear it."

Perlman has also become very active as a teacher, at Juilliard and at the Perlman Music Programs, founded by wife Toby, which brings talented young string musicians 12 to 18 years old to Shelter Island in New York for a seven-week summer program and older students to a chamber music program. There are also weeklong residencies in Vermont in the fall and Sarasota in the winter.

Part of the rationale for the teaching is paying it forward. When he was a struggling young student, a benefactor donated funds for sheet music and taxi fares so Perlman could make the roughly three-mile trip from his home in Manhattan to Juilliard.

But, also, he feels teaching makes him a better musician. "Teaching is really very important," he's said. "I always tell my students that you should find an opportunity to teach. When you teach others, you teach yourself."

In fact, he feels, teaching, conducting and his performing career support each other. One of the most important things you can do as a musician, he says, is to listen. And the three elements of his current life allow him "to listen with different ears."

"Life is full of challenges," he's said. "I believe you're never happy unless you are consistently making challenges for yourself."

Perlman's Keys

Widely considered one of the greatest violinists of his time.

Overcame: Discouragement from outsiders who viewed his polio as an impediment to a classical music career.

Lesson: Ignore naysayers.

Quote: "I have a very simple philosophy: One has to separate the abilities from the disabilities. The fact that I cannot walk, that I need crutches or a scooter or whatever it is, has nothing to do with my playing the violin."

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79. Raise Your Media Profile Like The ProsСр., 18 апр.[−]

The first commandment when conducting public relations?

"Thou shall tell the truth," says Harold Burson, the legendary 97-year-old founder of PR giant Burson-Marsteller, which has over 77 offices on six continents. He's also the author of " The Business of Persuasion."

Paul Blanchard, author of " Fast PR: Give Yourself A Huge Media Boost," says companies and businesspeople who choose not to hire a PR agency can learn how to implement their own internally as long as they are ambitious about it.

Tips on conducting and implementing public relations:

Be consistent. Communicate with a single voice, Burson says, as "that's the overriding objective of a public relations program."

It's also why "the chief public relations or communication officer should report to the chief executive officer, the only person entitled to speak for the totality of the institution," he said.

Match words to actions. Communication and behavior go hand in hand, Burson says. "How you behave always trumps what you say."

Get real. Build relationships, not just email lists.

"Don't spam journalists with press releases, because you'll irritate them, and they'll go in the trash anyway," Blanchard says.

He says it's better to identify five applicable journalists by name and try to build relationships with them. "Take them out for coffee or lunch. Be interested in them."

Not only will these journalists be more receptive to your emails, but if they know you're reliable, friendly and easy to reach, "then they can save themselves the time and the effort of contacting a dozen other people and speak to you directly if they need expert comment," Blanchard says.

Use LinkedIn. Many journalists take themselves off media databases so they can avoid the hundreds of press releases "thoughtlessly sent their way each day," but they remain on LinkedIn, Blanchard says. (LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft ( MSFT).)

"LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to find out a little more about the journalists you'd like to speak to, and it gives you another way of establishing contact in a personal and friendly way," he says.

Research. If you're serious about developing your company's profile in the media, you have to roll your sleeves up, get out there and do your homework. Do as much as your time allows and get ahead of the competition.

Blanchard suggests listing your competitors and seeing what their CEOs have been doing to raise their own profiles. For example, has that CEO spoken at a conference recently? Then contact that conference and make yourself available as a potential speaker too.

Create Google ( GOOGL) Alerts for relevant people and publications. If you disagree with something that someone in your industry has said in the media, "contact the journalist who covered the story and offer the other side of the argument," he says. "Suggest a follow-up article, and try to generate more of a buzz around the issue."

Don't guess. A common mistake spokespeople make, especially in crisis situations, is speculating publicly before verifying facts, Burson has found.

It's better to know nothing than to have wrong information, he says. "The best answer in those early tense moments is: 'I don't have the answer to that question; I will give you an answer when I have the facts.' "

Be a thought leader. This is absolutely essential for business leaders who want to raise their profiles, Blanchard says. It "runs alongside, and builds upon, corporate PR."

Say, for example, you sell travel trailers; you should also be talking in the media about that industry. While no one in the media is likely to invite someone to talk about how their sales of travel trailers are doing, "if sales are down across the board they are likely to invite someone to talk about the state of the industry from the perspective of someone in it," he said.

Burson: "To achieve success in public relations … communicate well in writing and in speaking, always be thinking about what else you can do for your clients or employer, and take the initiative."

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80. Words Of The Week: Mary Tyler Moore, Robert Kiyosaki And OthersСр., 18 апр.[−]

Moore On Boldness
Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
Mary Tyler Moore, actress

Kiyosaki On Collaboration
The richest people in the world look for and build networks; everyone else just looks for work.
Robert Kiyosaki, author

Chou On Diligence
I do think anyone can be an entrepreneur, but then it does seem to take a certain type of personality, and it's a personality that includes the most entrepreneurial trait there is: the ability to persist.
Steve Chou, entrepreneur

Hammarskj?ld On Vision
Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.
Dag Hammarskj?ld, diplomat

Welch On Implementation
An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.
Jack Welch, businessman

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81. Advisors Promote Health And Wellness To Help Clients Live BetterПн., 16 апр.[−]

Clients hire an advisor to focus on their money. But some advisors take a broader view.

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Increasingly, health and wellness play a central role as advisors collaborate with clients on formulating a comprehensive, long-term financial plan. Issues related to diet, smoking and stress enter into their discussions.

Advisors who gently prod clients to adopt healthier habits strengthen their relationship and produce added value. For example, they might persuade individuals to take steps to reduce risk factors that threaten their longevity.

"If I think a client is responsive, I'll give them information on how they can make healthier choices," said Susan Pack, a certified financial planner in Cincinnati. "They see that I'm interested in their entire well-being."

Part of the reason for advisors' interest in a client's health reflects surging medical costs. Health care spending will rise at an average annual rate of 5.5% from 2017 to 2026, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Prescription drugs will rise on average 6.3% a year, potentially blowing a hole in the budget of all but the highest-income earners.

On a more personal level, clients appreciate advisors who look beyond dollars and cents to assess the whole person. They're more apt to rave to friends that their advisor doesn't just manage money, but really cares about keeping them happy and healthy.

"It's a huge part of what we should be doing as financial planners," said Bridget Grimes, a certified financial planner in San Diego. "For all we do, it's for nothing if someone isn't healthy."

Speaker Series

Experienced advisors broach health and wellness issues with clients without lecturing them or making them uncomfortable. They know that criticizing a client's weight or sedentary lifestyle might trigger defensiveness, so they find creative, nonthreatening ways to convey their concern.

For about eight years, Grimes has hosted a speaker series devoted to health and wellness. She holds each bimonthly session in a conference room overlooking San Diego Bay that fits 12 people.

She limits the size because she wants attendees to interact with the speaker. Because most of her clients are female executives, she chooses topics relevant to them such as the effects of hormones and meditation as a stress reliever.

"We tell speakers to give actionable advice that a client can implement incrementally," Grimes said. "We don't pay speakers and they do not pitch their services. Since (attendees) are all busy professionals, we want them to take away a few action steps that they can manage for better quality of life."

Grimes sometimes receives emails from clients who describe how they've applied what they learned. She also writes a blog that summarizes key points from each session for those who do not attend.

Healthy Choices, Lower Cost

Another tactic that advisors use to convince clients to lead healthier lives centers on cost savings. Rather than scold people for making poor choices, they may crunch the numbers and let clients draw their own conclusions.

Marguerita Cheng, a certified financial planner in Gaithersburg, Md., recalls helping a couple in their 30s purchase term life insurance. In completing the application, she learned that they were social smokers. Comparing the premium, she showed them that they'd save $87 a month if they were nonsmokers.

"They bought the insurance at the higher rate, but they vowed to quit over the next year to qualify for the preferred, non-nicotine rate," she said. "I never nagged them. It wasn't about shaming. But they did say, 'This is our motivation to quit.' And they did."

Because advisors often work with clients to craft a budget, they can signal the importance of good health by approving certain purchases. For instance, Cheng may tell clients, "I want you to eat healthy, and it can cost more to eat right!"

If they want to join a CSA (community supported agriculture) run by a local farmer, she gives an enthusiastic thumbs-up. If they're weighing whether to buy salmon or other nutritious but pricey food, she assures them it's fine.

"I tell them I won't micromanage where they shop," she said. "But I'll validate it and put it in their budget."

Similarly, Pack often assures clients that they can afford organic foods, yoga classes and other investments in their health.

"Some people need permission to spend money on themselves," she said. "I tell them we're building those expenses into their plan."

A longtime vegetarian, Pack doesn't preach to clients. But if the topic arises, she might send them links to information on toxic chemicals in foods.

"When people know the why and the reward, then they don't feel selfish spending extra money on organic food," Pack said.

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The post Advisors Promote Health And Wellness To Help Clients Live Better appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


82. How CEO Strauss Zelnick Resurrected Take-Two InteractiveСр., 11 апр.[−]

First things first: Strauss Zelnick is neither a gamer nor a designer of the imaginative video games that put the company he leads, Take-Two Interactive ( TTWO), on the forefront of digital entertainment.

He insists as much. What's more, he is neither an entertainer nor a creative type of any kind.

"I know what I'm not good at," he said in a recent interview from the New York offices of the video game publisher he has guided for more than a decade. "I always wanted to be an entertainer, to be creative, but I just didn't have the requisite talent on that side."

What he does have is an abundance of management skill, a knack for identifying talent and a passion for developing it.

With both a law degree and an M.B.A. from Harvard University, Zelnick, 60, built an executive career that spans decades and various corners of the entertainment industry — from a four-year run as president of motion-picture power 20th Century Fox in the 1980s, to heading music giant BMG Entertainment when the recording industry still thrived in the 1990s, to his current role leading Take-Two.

Zelnick has been executive chairman of Take-Two since 2007 and CEO since 2011. The company publishes the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto and NBA2K series of video games.

All of his business leadership endeavors have proved successful. Analysts say his latest stands out as particularly impressive.

Take Two For Take-Two

Back in 2007, when Zelnick agreed to help turn around Take-Two, the company was mired in woe. It was coming off an annual loss that approached $200 million, its former chief executive had pleaded guilty to falsifying records, regulators swirled with demands, and its stock was battered.

The company had its Grand Theft Auto franchise of games but not much else. Zelnick said he focused first on the things he had to do: Rein in costs, shore up controls, rebuild Take-Two's reputation and push the company out of the shadow of controversy.

Zelnick said his previous experience taught him an important lesson: Do not put off tough decisions, and act swiftly when changes are necessary or problems need fixing.

It's About The Talent

Along the road to redemption for Take-Two, Zelnick focused intently on recruiting talent — and in some cases parting with underperforming employees — both on the creative and business sides. He created a vision and worked to build a team that bought into it.

He believed that video game technology at the time was powerful. It enabled designers to incorporate into games not just impressive graphics but also rich characters and evolving stories that users found engrossing, even gratifying.

And Zelnick believed that, as long as Take-Two's games evolved with fast-developing technology and expanded in number to meet the interests of a wider audience, the company would not only recover but also flourish. He was right.

It took time and an infusion of prominent video game developers. Zelnick ensured that the creative forces of the company had the resources and runway to develop the best games possible. And when a new offering was ready to go public, he made sure the company was ready to market it aggressively and shrewdly.

Easy Access

Pressed to set aside what appears an instinctive modesty, Zelnick acknowledges that he is uniquely gifted at identifying talented people and unwaveringly committed to making sure they get the backing needed to excel.

"I'm very devoted to the success of the enterprise," he said.

Accessibility and responsiveness to staffers' needs and questions, Zelnick added, go a long way toward successful retention. "We have very low turnover," he said. "I don't want it to be hard for anyone to get to me. It needs to be easy. That makes a big difference."

From Bust To Boom

Today, Take-Two has annual revenue of about $2 billion, nearly three times the level it was at when Zelnick took over. It has no debt and is flush with cash.

The company has nurtured and made increasingly sophisticated its GTA series, and it continues to generate robust sales. "Grand Theft Auto 5," released in 2013, had sold more than 90 million copies by early 2018. It is the best-selling console video game ever made.

"It was — and remains — the standard-bearer for the industry as far as quality, entertainment and fun," Zelnick said of GTA.

From Sports To 'Civilization'

But Take-Two also has broadened its offering considerably, venturing successfully into sports with the NBA2K (basketball) and WWE2K (wrestling) series, and into a range of other popular adventure offerings such as XCOM and "Sid Meier's Civilization," among others.

The company's stock has climbed more than sevenfold over the past five years. Over the 12 months ended Feb. 28, shares of Take-Two soared more than 80%. Its market capitalization tops $11 billion.

For its fiscal 2018 third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, Take-Two posted net income of $25.1 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, on net revenue of $480.8 million.

Its outlook is bright. Take-Two and larger rivals Activision Blizzard ( ATVI) and Electronic Arts ( EA) are benefiting from a steady shift from packaged games to digital delivery, which includes full-game downloads and add-on content and services. Take-Two said its digitally delivered net revenue in the December quarter increased 8% from a year earlier to $258.4 million. It made up 54% of total net revenue.

Bright Outlook

Piper Jaffray analysts predicted in a report that, by 2023, 100% of console video games will be sold as digital downloads.

Digital delivery enables video game publishers to pass over retailers, sell directly to consumers and bolster profit margins in the process. The trend bodes well for the likes of Take-Two and helps explain why the company is upbeat on both revenue and earnings.

It projected net revenue in a range of $460 million to $510 million for its fiscal 2018 fourth quarter. Net income is forecast to come in between $87 million to $99 million.

The company recently raised full-year fiscal 2018 guidance, projecting adjusted earnings per share of $3.23 at the midpoint, up from $2.90 previously. Its fiscal 2018 revenue guidance of $2.02 billion was up from $1.98 billion.

For its fiscal 2019, it looks for revenue to top $2.5 billion.

"They have a lot of positives in their corner," analyst Neil Macker of Morningstar said in an interview.

He said the fall 2018 release of Red Dead Redemption 2 — think GTA in the 1800s Wild West — should prove an important indicator of how strong the tailwinds are. If Red Dead can enter the realm of GTA5's online sales performance, Take-Two's favorable outlooks are likely to prove prescient, Macker said.

Getting It Right

While some observers wish Zelnick would pick up the pace with launching new products, he prefers to give projects the time and attention they require.

While analysts such as Macker applaud the breadth of Take-Two's catalog today compared with a decade ago, some also wish Zelnick and company would expand deeper into potential growth areas such as sports and launch new versions of its existing games at a faster pace in order to gain ground on the notably larger Activision and Electronic Arts.

"Management gets high marks," Macker said. "They have a much more robust profile of franchises. But there is still room for more."

Zelnick understands. Investors do not like waiting long stretches for new catalysts. Development costs per new game tend to run high.

But Zelnick said Take-Two's success ultimately is premised on the splendor of its games — not just the visuals, but also the nuances of the stories and uncommon challenges within the games. Game developers cannot be rushed. Taking time to get it right may leave gamers waiting longer than they like, but when they are truly dazzled with the product once it does come out, they tend to form stronger attachments to it and pass along positive reviews that help fuel long-term sales.

Take-Two's average Metacritic ratings — an aggregation of game reviews — are consistently on the high end for the industry. The sales follow. And that validates one of the three pillars of leadership that Zelnick adheres to: Never compromise integrity. The others: Listen emphatically, and show up early and work hard.

The last one comes naturally for Zelnick. From his college days, through the course of his career, and in his personal time — he is famously devoted to physical fitness, working out daily with people half his age — Zelnick digs in full-bore. But he views it more as devoting himself to cherished pursuits than hard work.

"I'm not in the coal mines. I'm blessed," he said. "This is very cool place to work."

Zelnick's Keys

Executive posts span music, movie and video game giants.

Overcame: Steep losses to resurrect Take-Two into a video game power.

Lesson: Show up early and work hard. Listen emphatically. Never compromise integrity.

"I know what I'm not good at." Realize your strengths and capitalize on them.

The post How CEO Strauss Zelnick Resurrected Take-Two Interactive appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


83. Remove Distraction, Listen ActivelyСр., 11 апр.[−]

Great listeners gather more facts and opinions while forging deeper connections with others. Better yet, they use their attentiveness to boost their creative problem-solving skills.

By capturing more of what people say — and remaining receptive to wide-ranging input — you increase your learning and identify new approaches to address thorny problems. Rapt listeners train their minds to expand with each tidbit of new information.

While it's not easy to keep quiet when you're tempted to assert your rightness or showcase your smarts, you'll reap huge benefits. To listen effectively and flex your innovative muscles:

Embrace mindfulness. Many people admit they could listen better, but they lapse into bad habits when it counts. To differentiate yourself from the herd, prepare to listen with care.

"What separates good listeners is a mindfulness practice long before an interaction," said Brenda Bailey-Hughes, a senior lecturer at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Ind. Taking five minutes to sit quietly in which you will yourself to ignore distractions and concentrate on one thing (such as an object in the room) can strengthen your ability to focus on speakers later, she says.

Set the stage. If you want to pick someone's brain, exhibit curiosity from the outset. Signal your intent to digest every word.

"Shove your paperwork aside, put your phone away, close your office door," Bailey-Hughes said. "You've got to look like you're going to listen. That helps you stay focused and it helps the speaker" feel like the center of attention.

Crave the details. Listen with the goal of empathizing with the speaker. Ideally, you want to remove your biases so that you view the situation through the other person's eyes.

Don't assume you know what someone is about to say — and rush to respond. Instead, stay silent and wait to offer your advice or opinions.

"If I understand your problem well, it's easier to come up with an innovative solution," Bailey-Hughes said. "You want to be a frog in the pond rather than a bird flying over the pond. Listening is your pathway into the pond so that you understand their experience and their feelings about their experience."

Stop cutting in. Adept listeners rarely interrupt. They prefer to purse their lips shut and let speakers take their time in formulating their thoughts.

"Interrupting is a common problem for people in power," said Dorie Clark, an adjunct professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. "If you shut down a person enough times, they'll stop bringing ideas to you. You're eliminating a good data source."

Align your body. Speakers tend to open up to listeners who demonstrate interest. To underscore your eagerness to learn, send nonverbal cues that reinforce your curiosity.

Nod to acknowledge that you understand a key point. Smile sympathetically if appropriate. Maintain eye contact, especially if others lurk nearby vying for your attention.

"If you're talking face-to-face, position your feet toward the person, not away from them or toward the door," said Clark, author of "Stand Out."

Bailey-Hughes offers a similar tip: Align your heart and torso with the speaker's heart and torso. Turning toward someone rather than shifting your body as if you're eager to escape will heighten your nonverbal connection.

Withhold judgment. When you hear a fresh idea, respond by digging to learn more. Ask a few neutrally worded questions to flesh out the speaker's suggestion.

Even if your initial reaction is negative, don't say so. Listening with receptivity does not obligate you to endorse what you hear. You can always render a verdict later after investigating further and deliberating at your own pace.

The post Remove Distraction, Listen Actively appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


84. Words Of The Week: Robert Fulghum, Sam Walton And OthersВт., 10 апр.[−]

Fulghum On Teaching
Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.
Robert Fulghum, author

Walton On Motivation
Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise.
Sam Walton, founder, Walmart

Wyse On Negotiation
The single and most dangerous word to be spoken in business is no. The second most dangerous word is yes. It is possible to avoid saying either.
Lois Wyse, advertising executive

Curie On Courage
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
Marie Curie, physicist

Garland On Authenticity
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
Judy Garland, entertainer

The post Words Of The Week: Robert Fulghum, Sam Walton And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


85. William J. O'Neil: Live With Purpose, Learn From The BestПн., 09 апр.[−]

William J. O'Neil built IBD's "10 Secrets To Success" column as an action plan for anyone who wants to create a better life for oneself or for others.

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Secret No. 1? "How You Think Is Everything." In other words, stay focused on success.

Secret No. 10: "Be Honest And Dependable; Take Responsibility."

Perhaps an 11th secret helps the founder of Investor's Business Daily and Investors.com continue to influence readers today:

No matter how big you've hit it, be modest. Stay humble.


Editor's Note: The Chartered Market Technician Association recently honored Investor's Business Daily founder William O'Neil with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Bill O'Neil was one of the first people on Wall Street — and remains one of the few — to combine fundamental research with technical analysis, giving everyday investors the tools to change their lives. For readers who might not know the man who built IBD, we are updating and republishing this Leaders & Success profile, which first appeared four years ago on IBD's 30th anniversary.


If you walked into his office at IBD's Los Angeles headquarters a few years ago, you would have found it similar to the way it was about 10 years earlier in 2004, when IBD celebrated its 20th birthday.

The room was the same size as before, with barely enough space to house a conference table and shelves. Same metal desk. Same gray carpet. No mahogany paneling. No Impressionist or postmodernist paintings on the wall.

Instead, it featured a portrait of a dog, front pages of IBD and a photo of O'Neil meeting President Reagan in the Oval Office in the 1980s.

When a reporter asked O'Neil, "Outside of starting IBD, what is the achievement you are most proud of?" the Oklahoma native, now 85, arched his eyebrows, breathed deeply and shrugged.

"I don't think of that, don't look at that very much," he replied. "I think starting a business is important because you've got the total freedom to start and create what you want. We've obviously created products that have helped a lot of people."

He added: "If you want to start a business, you've got to have some experience in the field. If you're going to be selling peanut butter or something, you better have some experience with peanut butter."

O'Neil never joins a conversation with an intention to boast. He publicly cares less about what success he's had and more about the organization's mission today: Make readers smarter investors.

"I think the stock market is complicated itself, and not very many people really understand how the stock market works," he said. "If you're going to invest in the stock market, you're going to make mistakes. The typical person doesn't want to buy and then turn around and sell it for a loss. To some extent, to be very successful in the market, you've got to do what you have to do, which means taking some profits and taking some losses."

O'Neil has done very well in a large number of stocks over the decades. In 1962, as a broker at Hayden Stone in Los Angeles, he made profits of more than $200,000 (more than $1.5 million in today's money) in a short play on discount department store chain Korvette, a long investment in Chrysler and a buy in Syntex, one of the first companies to cash in on the birth control pill.

That haul helped the graduate of Southern Methodist University start his own institutional stock research firm — William O'Neil + Co. — on Nov. 7, 1963. One of the company's early achievements: managing money for the Vatican.

In 2013, O'Neil's research firm celebrated 50 years in the business. It remains a force in the world of institutional stock research.

He was one of the first people to use computers to collect vital stock information, and one of the first to place key information on fundamentals and buying trends by mutual funds and top money management firms right on the stock chart.

These simple innovations made his products stand out immediately.

"How did William O'Neil + Company survive and grow over 50 years? We concentrated on stocks, the one thing we know best," O'Neil wrote in the introduction to the book "50 Years of Independent Market Vision." "People asked me why I didn't buy bonds or commodities. The answer was simple: I didn't want to be distracted."

He added: "Just the concept of concentrating, seeing all the details, is important to innovation and being the best."

Twenty-one years after founding the securities company, O'Neil in 1984 launched Investor's Daily (later changed to Investor's Business Daily) with a mind toward building a new business and helping individual investors use the same tools as top money managers to find stock market winners.

Today, IBD is more than a paper and a website. It hosts dozens of beginning-to-advanced-level workshops as well as IBD Summits to help investors of all levels, including money managers, to become smarter in the stock market and make consistent profits through the platforms Investors.com, Leaderboard, SwingTrader and MarketSmith.

Awareness of IBD continues to grow. Investor's Business Daily reaches over 5 million investors each month who access IBD content across platforms including digital, mobile, print, events, meetups and social media.

Long-Distance Applause

Brian Edwards, a former high school English teacher who moved to Southeast Asia to start an online toy manufacturing business, first met O'Neil during a two-day Level 4 Masters program workshop in Los Angeles in 2004.

An active growth investor, Edwards asked O'Neil about the paper's online direction and whether he felt overwhelmed by the changes sweeping the media industry.

"I was looking for insights. Bill's response was knowledgeable and reassuring, down-to-earth, the meat-and-potatoes variety. I like meat and potatoes," Edwards told IBD. "Bill's investment approach is similar. He urges one to follow historically valid rules and not to get overwhelmed by emotion. He has found stability in an environment others find chaotic."

Does O'Neil ever take losses in stocks? Of course. One reason for his success in the market is the ability to consistently keep losses small, usually in the 3%-4% range.

He quickly learned the benefit of acting fast when you realize you have made a mistake.

In addition, early in his stock-investment career, O'Neil made a point to meet Gerald Loeb in New York. Loeb was making serious money as a stockbroker and wrote the investment classic "The Battle for Investment Survival."

In that book, he advised people to limit losses to 10% in any stock.

Loeb, a California native, went to Los Angeles and visited O'Neil, who recalls: "As he was leaving, I asked Loeb, 'Do you always sell every stock in trouble at 10%?' He said, 'I would hope to be out of them much quicker than that.' "

Onward In Oklahoma

Born in Oklahoma City, O'Neil moved with his family to Muskogee, roughly 40 miles southeast of Tulsa, when he was young.

His father had left the family by then, but O'Neil says his aunt motivated him to strive for success. She encouraged him to sell magazines to women in the neighborhood when he was in grade school.

O'Neil listened. Soon he landed a better-paying job on a newspaper route. He loved sports, particularly baseball, and worked hard to earn the extra $20 needed to buy a new glove or bat. After school, he hustled to finish his newspaper route so he could join baseball games.

"I was a pitcher. You're competing with nine batters all game long. You can do all right, then in the sixth inning, one of them beats you," said O'Neil, who also played the cornet. "I think I learned something from sports and a couple other activities."

O'Neil stresses that it's crucial to listen and learn from the very best in their respective fields.

The same philosophy applies to books. O'Neil once bought a library of investment books and found that most were junk. Only five or six really helped him learn how to make money in the stock market.

O'Neil himself has produced four editions of "How to Make Money in Stocks", a best-seller.

"Everyone and his brother has written a book on investing," he said. "Find out who is successful in a field, and if they've written a book, then the writing is from somebody who's been there, done that and been successful in that field. That, I think, is the whole key."

O'Neil is upbeat about the stock market's prospects over the next 30 years. "The country will grow and continue to grow as it's done in the past. You cannot hold human nature down," he said. "And you've got this freedom in the country, so there's a lot of opportunity. There will be new inventions, new developments, new companies. That I wouldn't worry about.

"You have this constant renewal of new products coming along, new services coming along, and a company does pretty well for a while. Then the company either gets too large to grow or is replaced by someone else. That's been going on for cycle after cycle after cycle."

(Please follow Saito-Chung on Twitter at @IBD_DChung for analysis and commentary on growth stocks, buy points, sell signals, the CAN SLIM investment system, and financial markets.)

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The post William J. O'Neil: Live With Purpose, Learn From The Best appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


86. How Advisors Turn Clients' Tax Anxiety Into Smart PlanningПн., 09 апр.[−]

In early April, advisors often detect a sour mood in clients. As the tax deadline nears, anxieties tend to spike.

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While some taxpayers fret about a hefty bill from Uncle Sam, others turn angry and resentful at the very thought of paying the government. Advisors can bear the brunt of clients' wrath.

Rather than just listen to clients complain about forking over their hard-earned cash, advisors may treat these discussions as an opportunity to engage in tax planning. It's an ideal time to explore saving and spending strategies.

When his clients express frustration during tax season, Olivier Cornet likes to reply, "Let's focus on what we can control." Then the Los Angeles-based advisor analyzes steps to mitigate one's taxes in the future.

"You have to be compassionate when people are vocal about what they don't like about taxes," he said. "But the reality is you have to deal with it in the most efficient manner."

He says that federal tax reform has bred discontent among some of his clients — California residents — who face a tax hike due to changes in state and local tax deductions and other aspects of the new law. Advisors in other high-tax states such as New York and New Jersey are confronting similar rumblings of dissatisfaction.

Tax Triggers

Coupled with unhappiness over changing tax rules, some clients limit their advisor's options to make tax-smart moves. For example, a new client may hold a mutual fund with significant unrealized capital gains on large-cap equities — and insist on keeping the fund even if the advisor warns of steep taxes ahead.

"If a new client has an existing investment and doesn't want us to touch it, it can create constraints on what we can do (to mitigate taxes)," Cornet said. "It's a balancing act. We may want to replace it with a better investment, and hopefully over time the client agrees. Sometimes, they're very strict at first."

Thanks to the complexities of the federal tax code, individuals may lack a sophisticated understanding of how their personal financial decisions affect the amount they owe every April. Otherwise intelligent folks may seem baffled by their tax returns — and by cause-effect relationships that drive taxes higher.

"A high percentage of our clients aren't familiar with what causes tax implications," said Greg Hammer, an advisor in Schererville, Ind. "They may do things not knowing the impact, and that leads to shock value at tax time."

His firm provides tax preparation to clients, and he finds that many of them express uncertainty about the interplay between their investments and tax liabilities. For example, he notes that many people assume that taking an early withdrawal from a tax-advantaged account such as a 401(k) will "only cost me 10%."

"It actually goes deeper," Hammer said. "There are additional repercussions" beyond the one-time tax penalty.

Fear And Loathing

Even if taxpayers appreciate how certain actions will increase the amount they owe the government, they may struggle with myriad fears. Examples range from concern about audits to identity theft.

"Just getting a letter from the IRS can cause a lot of anxiety, especially with seniors," Hammer said. "They think, 'Gosh, something's wrong.' But the IRS may just need to verify documentation."

Fending off hackers poses another challenge. To file his clients' returns electronically, Hammer needs their driver's license as an extra safeguard to prevent stolen identities. But some clients are wary about giving their driver's license to tax authorities, he says, which in turn adds to their anxiety.

As a result, advisors often find themselves coaching clients to win a psychological battle. By educating them about certain risks, such as the odds of facing a full IRS audit, advisors can allay fears and guide taxpayers to take prudent planning steps.

Nevertheless, some people will go to great lengths to avoid paying taxes. They may refuse to sell a soaring stock or a rental property that's doubled in value, even if they suspect their gains will not last.

"I've seen situations where they need liquidity but they won't sell (an appreciated asset) because it'll trigger a tax bill," said Ryan Wibberley, an advisor in Rockville, Md. "They'll say, 'I'd rather not make money than make money and pay taxes on it.'"

By crunching the numbers, Wibberley addresses their concerns with facts and quantifies their projected net gain after taxes. They usually change their mind once they see how much they'll come out ahead, he says.

"I let them vent," he said. "And then I focus on how they'll benefit from tax strategies and proper planning."

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The post How Advisors Turn Clients' Tax Anxiety Into Smart Planning appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


87. Words Of The Week: Ella Fitzgerald, Ross Perot And OthersСр., 04 апр.[−]

Fitzgerald On Tenacity
Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.
Ella Fitzgerald, jazz vocalist

Perot On Example
People cannot be managed. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.
Ross Perot, businessman

Carlyle On Focus
The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder — waif, a nothing, a no man.
Thomas Carlyle, writer

Da Vinci On Drive
Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.
Leonardo da Vinci, artist and inventor

Lewis On Effort
Laziness means more work in the long run.
C.S. Lewis, writer

The post Words Of The Week: Ella Fitzgerald, Ross Perot And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


88. Selling To C-Suite Executives Requires Preparation And StrategyСр., 04 апр.[−]

Eighty-four percent of executives interviewed in studies said they'd grant a sales meeting if the salesperson were recommended internally by a credible source.

Contrast that to referrals from people outside the organization, which get meetings a still-impressive 50% of the time. Cold calls to the executive, even those following a letter or an email, worked only about 20% of the time.

That's all from Stephen Bistritz, who co-wrote with Nicholas Read " Selling To The C-Suite: What Every Executive Wants You To Know About Successfully Selling To The Top." Both authors are accomplished salespeople and sales trainers.

More tips:

Never sell yourself short. Bistritz and Read asked a chief information officer of a Fortune 500 technology company, "Why would someone at your level ever agree to meet with a professional salesperson?"

The CIO's answer: "Professional salespeople offer me suggestions about solutions to business problems that even people in my own organization can't solve. Some of these salespeople have encountered similar problems in other organizations and have creatively addressed them. That's what I expect from salespeople who want to have a trusted advisor relationship with me."

To further achieve trust, Bistritz says a salesperson's focus should be on a longer-term relationship that transcends any short-term sales.

Hail the gatekeepers. Don't attempt to circumvent them unless you're certain you can obtain the meeting with the relevant executive you've identified, Bistritz said. "As one savvy salesperson put it: 'Hell hath no fury like a gatekeeper scorned!' "

Treat them like they are the boss. "Gatekeepers often have an understanding of the executive's key issues and can often help salespeople gain access to that individual," he added.

Do due diligence. In the surveys Bistritz and Read conducted, C-level leaders stated clearly they expect salespeople who meet with them to have an in-depth understanding of the key business issues facing the company, and they have little patience for those who don't.

Learn about their industry, company and the executives you'll be presenting to. "At each level you become more valuable to the client executive," Bistritz said.

The authors also say it's vital that salespeople "listen intently before proposing any product or service solutions."

Make yourself indispensable. Lisa Wardell, president and CEO of Adtalem Global Education, which empowers students to achieve goals, says be ready to answer this question for potential clients: "What problem are we trying to solve?"

Have a timeline for deliverables, budget and revenue benefit, she adds.

"As CEO, I'm always looking for the best talent – typically a creative problem-solver who finds new opportunities and has the determination to follow through," Wardell said.

Demonstrate consistency. Bistritz says salespeople need to remember "that every interaction with an executive either enhances or dilutes your credibility. You need to be at the top of your game at all times."

Cut the fat. Matt Kerbel, CMO of MusclePharm, a lifestyle and sports nutrition company, says the key to a sales presentation winning him over is "the three C's: clear, concise and compelling."

He adds that whether the salesperson has 30 seconds or an hour, they must "make it as hard for me to say no as possible. You have to keep me engaged or chances are it's a pass."

Recently Kerbel was presented with a plan about future ingredient innovations for their products in about five minutes, "which consisted of work that likely took months to organize," he said. "That individual left me with an appendix for every major product on the roadmap. I was floored."

Be authentic. When someone wants to sell Kerbel on an idea, he says, "I'm not concerned whether it's on a napkin or PowerPoint. The most important things are that it has a strong business case, is aligned with our overarching brand purpose, and is grounded in data.

"Don't tell me things I already know — I'm not only looking for great ideas, but for people to bring information and expertise to the table that my team doesn't already have."

He tells of a pitch from a senior leader who spent 20 minutes reading slides to Kerbel's team word for word. "He never asked us whether we had questions and, candidly, lost the business within the first two minutes."

The post Selling To C-Suite Executives Requires Preparation And Strategy appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


89. Advisors Learn Lasting Lessons From Their Favorite Business BooksПн., 02 апр.[−]

Top advisors are students of their craft. Guided by intellectual curiosity, they commit to continual learning.

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A big part of that process involves reading about money — and a life well lived.

But what books stand the test of time — and help advisors gain an edge? While some technically minded market mavens seek out more esoteric fare, others prefer to soak up material that has a mass appeal.

For many advisors, the books that resonate most with them present a comprehensive approach to investing built around a core set of principles. Authors who champion a buy-and-hold strategy or highlight the benefits of diversification tend to stand out.

Ed Snyder, a certified financial planner in Carmel, Ind., discovered "Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth" by Nick Murray around the time he co-founded his firm in 2000. As soon as he read it, he knew it was a keeper.

"Murray focuses on the value of investing in equities for the long term," Snyder said. "His message is building long-term wealth doesn't have to be fancy. Another message is the ups and downs of the market is the short-term price you pay for long-term returns."

Snyder admires how Murray writes in plain English for a broad audience. It's one reason he likes to give the book to clients, especially newcomers, so that they can gain a better sense of Snyder's investment philosophy.

Furthermore, Snyder often reminds clients of a key point in Murray's writings: Investors' behavior matters more than the actual investments they choose.

"Your behavior is the most important factor in investing success," Snyder said. "So if you sell amid a downturn, always try to time the market or look for the latest fad," you're in trouble.

Communicate To Win

In some cases, advisors stumble upon a book that changes the arc of their career. It's as if the author is reaching out to them personally and striking a chord.

In 2005, Brook Thompson read "Smart Women Finish Rich" by David Bach. His focus — to give women the tools to plan for their financial future — motivated Thompson to rethink her ambitions.

"When I read the book, I realized I wanted to help women with financial planning," said Thompson, an advisor in Omaha, Neb. "I was in the insurance side of the business, so it motivated me to do more. It's one of the reasons I'm in this business today."

While advisors must master the complexities of personal finance, they also realize that their success depends on their people skills. They are more likely to attract and retain clients if they know how to build rapport, speak clearly and listen well.

Sterling Neblett, a certified financial planner in McLean, Va., cites two self-help classics as his favorite books: "How To Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie and "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill.

"They go together," Neblett said. "Carnegie helped me with my communication skills and being more empathetic in understanding where people are coming from and taking their perspective. Hill talks about having a positive attitude — a mental state of how to think about money and make it work for you, rather than you work for it."

Inspired By Buffett

Advisors spend countless hours talking about money. They calm nervous investors during volatile markets, coach savers to stay the course and recommend investment vehicles.

With all this emphasis on tracking cash flow and attaining financial security, it's no wonder that some advisors rave about books that transcend the world of dollars and cents in favor of loftier concepts.

In 2006, Neal Van Zutphen came across "Authentic Happiness" at a bookstore. The author, Martin Seligman, presents groundbreaking research in the field of positive psychology.

"I was skeptical at first," said Van Zutphen, a certified financial planner in Tempe, Ariz. "But I found the book has self-actualizing exercises to explore how we can create a happier and more fulfilling life. Money is necessary for life, but it's not the primary driver of happiness."

He sometimes gives the book to clients to encourage them to savor their life. Many readers come away with a fresh sense of purpose that goes beyond accumulating assets.

As much as busy professionals may love reading books, they may lack the time to sift through 200 or more pages of text. But there are shorter works that attract a loyal following.

Tony D'Amico, a certified financial planner in Strongsville, Ohio, enjoys Berkshire Hathaway's ( BRKA) annual shareholder letter. Written by legendary investor and Berkshire Chief Executive Warren Buffett, the letter conveys a spirit of optimism that D'Amico finds reassuring.

"He believes that the economy will do well over time and that people shouldn't bet against America," he said. "I think that's an important message."

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The post Advisors Learn Lasting Lessons From Their Favorite Business Books appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


90. Basketball's Al McGuire Did It His Way On The Court And In The BoothПт., 30 марта[−]

Al McGuire didn't coach the game of basketball as much as he reached and influenced his players.

McGuire (1928-2001) was Marquette University's Hall of Fame coach who then went on to become a unique and popular television color commentator on college basketball games for over 20 years.

"Coach McGuire was revolutionary," said former Marquette star center Jim Chones. "He wasn't a traditional coach. He understood the times of the '60s and '70s. He knew how to get the most out of us on the court, and he was always teaching us about life off the court.

"He'd make us form a circle around midcourt before practice and he would just talk about the current events and life, like how it was important to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. All that made him different."

The talks could go on for as much as an hour before a ball was bounced. He wasn't trying to be his players' friend; he was acting as their teacher and coach.

Bo Ellis, a star on Marquette's 1977 NCAA championship team, said: "Coach was an excellent people person and a master psychologist."

"I don't think too much about coaching," McGuire said, as quoted in "I Remember Al McGuire: Personal Memories and Testimonials," by Mike Towle. "I do that by instinct. I work upstairs, in the boy's mind."

"A player has to give all he has for you," McGuire added in " Cracked Sidewalks and French Pastry: The Wit and Wisdom of Al McGuire," by Tom Kertscher. "It has to be a personal thing. He has to feel a win and he has to feel a loss. He has to be willing to give up a dented nose or a tooth or a bent rib. He isn't playing basketball for you if he isn't willing."

"You didn't want to let Al down because he wasn't going to let you down," Chones said. "You didn't want to embarrass him, so you go out there and try extra hard because he'll do whatever it takes for you."

Hard-Earned Accolades

At Marquette from 1964-1977, McGuire led the Warriors to 11 postseason tournaments while compiling a career record there of 295-80. His .739 winning percentage ranked among the top-20 all-time for Division I coaches at the time of his death. His .786 all-time percentage, which includes his seven years at Belmont Abbey College, a Division II school, is good for 11th place all-time.

McGuire led Marquette to the 1970 NIT title, and in 1971 was named college basketball coach of the year by AP, UPI, the Sporting News and the United States Basketball Writers Association.

In 1976-77, his final season at Marquette, McGuire led his team to the university's only NCAA men's basketball championship. He was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

"I know my profession," McGuire said. "All my life I've worked at it hard."

"Coach knew how to manage the game," Ellis said. "He knew preparation, and he was excellent at making adjustments once the game started."

Chones said McGuire wasn't as technical as some other coaches, "but he understood that this game was about will, and whoever could sustain their efforts could break the other team's will."

Chones, who went on to have a successful NBA career, said what McGuire instilled in him most that helped him was to "be tough, don't be afraid to compete."

Joseph Moran, author of " You Can Call Me Al: The Colorful Journey of College Basketball's Original Flower Child, Al McGuire," said the coach "was always true to himself. And whenever Al said something, he was always a man of his word."

McGuire championed civil rights and was a pioneer of making sure female sports writers had the access they needed to games and his team. While playing a game at Bradley University in 1965, an arena official decided that Barbara Roncke, the first female sports editor of the Marquette Tribune student newspaper, wouldn't be allowed to sit in press row. McGuire issued an edict: "She doesn't sit in the press row, we don't play this game." She sat and they played.

After he retired from coaching, McGuire went on to a new profession, that of a "hoops-savvy television analyst whose unique mix of humor, candor and uncanny insights brought a whole new dimension to sports broadcasting. … It made him one of the sports world's most enduring icons," Towle's book says.

When watching USC's Harold Minor's ritual before shooting his free throws, McGuire quipped: "He goes through so many things at the foul line, I think I'm watching 'Macbeth.' "

McGuire also philosophized: "The only mystery in life is why kamikaze pilots wore helmets."

Opening Tap

Born in New York City, McGuire grew up in Rockaway Beach, N.Y., where his family ran a tavern. He said his family was so poor that "when we tossed the dog a bone, he'd call for a fair catch," referencing a football term.

The 6'3" McGuire was a star at St. John's University from 1947-51. The New York Knicks selected him in the 1951 NBA draft. He played with the team from 1951–53.

McGuire then went on to play one year with the Baltimore Bullets in 1954 before beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Dartmouth in 1954. He coached the freshman team there, before freshmen were varsity eligible, to a 19-4 record in two seasons.

In 1957 McGuire was named head coach at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.

During one game McGuire was so irritated by the refereeing he took off his coat and handed it to one of one them, adding "Here, take this, you've taken everything else from me tonight."

McGuire compiled a 109-64 record, good for a .630 winning percentage, in his seven years at Belmont. While his last two years produced only a 12-37 record, he was highly recommended to Marquette by big-name college and pro basketball people. McGuire aced his interview and was named Marquette's head basketball coach in 1964.

McGuire leaned heavily on and delegated to assistant coaches Hank Raymonds and eventually Rick Mejarius, who both became successful college head coaches.

"Coach McGuire always gave Coach Raymonds his props for how important he was to him," Ellis said.

McGuire "lived for the games, leaving practice regiments to his assistants to run," Moran said.

In Control

During games "stalking the sidelines, McGuire was as intense a game coach as there was," Kertscher wrote.

He also left no doubt to anyone who was ultimately in charge: "I don't discuss basketball," McGuire said. "I dictate basketball. I'm not interested in philosophy classes.

"I'm the boss. The players know it. There's give and take, but in the end I'm the dictator."

Off the court, McGuire would tell his players to "use basketball but don't let basketball use you," Moran said. "He always reminded them, 'Take advantage of your education here at Marquette because it's a short basketball career. It's only a sliver of your life.' "

Title Run

McGuire announced early in the 1976-77 season it would be his last, even though he was only 48 years old.

In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Marquette played the University of Cincinnati, who they'd lost to in the regular season. At halftime Cincinnati led 31-28, and McGuire had a physical confrontation with Bernard Toone about playing time.

"I didn't think coach would play Bernard anymore, but it turned out he played him in the second half," Ellis said. Marquette outscored Cincinnati 38-20 in the second half to win 66-51. "Bernard was a very significant role in that game and the four next ones.

"Coach never had anything to say about it until right before the national championship game. He told us that he felt the team needed a spark and that was his way of getting us going, having that little altercation with Bernard and challenging him."

Marquette beat Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar Heels 67-59 to win the 1977 title.

"Dream big," McGuire said. "Don't be just another guy going down the street and going nowhere."

McGuire's Keys

Career record as head coach at Marquette of 295-80, a .739 winning percentage. Elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

Overcame: Unconventional coaching and leadership style.

Lesson: Decide what you believe in and be yourself.

"My personal style is not negotiable. That's how I fly."

The post Basketball's Al McGuire Did It His Way On The Court And In The Booth appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


91. Advisors Take Smart Steps To Engage Women In The Planning ProcessСр., 28 марта[−]

Some clients love to talk money. With their knowledge and strong opinions, they enjoy batting around investment strategies.

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While women sometimes take a deep interest in portfolio management, advisors often find that men are more apt to drive the process. Women who are less familiar with financial matters, from single professionals to divorcees to widows, may lean more on their advisor.

"Women can get overwhelmed with the enormity of the financial planning world and put it aside — and not pick it up — until there's an urgency," said Wendi Strom, a certified financial planner in Denver, Colo. "Their anxiety tends to come from uncertainty, from what they don't know."

To empower female clients, advisors take steps to educate and encourage. They offer a menu of choices, including pros and cons of various investment options, and invite women to ask questions and make their own decisions.

If a client hesitates to take charge of her finances or lacks the confidence to call the shots, advisors might double as cheerleaders. They express faith in their client to step up and demonstrate strength and wisdom.

"One way I empower women is to tell them that they can do it," said Scott Clarke, a certified financial planner in Colleyville, Texas. "They must believe that they have the capacity to handle their finances well. Then you give them the tools and the information they need."

Facts, Not Emotion

Newly divorced women face myriad financial challenges. They may need to grapple with money issues for the first time.

With his background helping women navigate divorce, Clarke knows their concerns. They may lack grounding in investment products and worry about cash flow in the years ahead.

He finds that as he crunches the numbers and projects their expenses, some women react by saying, "I can't live on that amount of money!"

Rather than rush to contradict them, he'll ask, "Why do you think that?" This serves as a springboard for a more revealing conversation about their attitude and expectations.

"It's important for me to understand why they say that," Clarke said. "It's often a fear-based statement that's made without data."

By educating his clients, he says that they're better able to set aside their emotions in favor of digesting facts and engaging in a clear-eyed analysis of their saving and spending habits. From that point, they're well-positioned to take charge of their financial future.

Some women prefer a female advisor. But in many cases, their larger goal is finding someone who listens, translates complex concepts into plain English, and provides short- and long-term guidance.

Clarke says that women, like all clients, seek an advisor who earns their trust, demonstrates competence and possesses knowledge. But rather than show off their knowledge, the most skilled advisors replace lectures with a gentle curiosity to uncover the client's aspirations, concerns and goals.

Give Good Answers

Clients who enjoy tracking their investments may take an analytical approach with their advisor. These clients — often male — propose ideas, assess new products and debate strategies.

When advisors confer with married couples, they may find that the man does most of the talking. Ideally, they seek to involve the woman as well so that she feels equally connected to the planning process.

During her first six years as an advisor, Strom says she worked mostly with male clients and couples "where the male dominated." But then she shifted her practice to serve women.

"I saw a need to work with women so my process had to change," she said. "It moved from investment-related with a bit of planning to more comprehensive financial planning. With women, there's more of a need to connect life and money, not just 'Let's go with this strategy.' "

For those advisors who want to empower female clients, part of the challenge is mastering question-and-answer exchanges. The ability to respond to queries clearly and succinctly can reassure an anxious client.

"The women I've worked with really want to learn," Strom said. "They want to be comfortable asking questions."

When replying to a question, it's important to stay on point and avoid roundabout or confusing answers. Advisors need to make sure they don't over-explain or lapse into industry lingo that's hard for clients to decipher. Checking in with the client ("Did I answer your question?") can help.

If a female client raises an emotionally charged topic, stay attentive and let her elaborate. Jumping in to give advice can backfire. Women may welcome the chance to open up to an advisor who's able to listen without judgment.

"Money decisions are emotional decisions," Strom said. "So making good money decisions requires emotional clarity."

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The post Advisors Take Smart Steps To Engage Women In The Planning Process appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


92. How To Optimize Your Memory When ReadingВт., 27 марта[−]

You read reports, review documents and peruse online posts. But moments later, you forget almost everything you just took in.

Learning a new fact is half the battle. You also have to find a way to remember it before it skips away forever.

When you're busy or distracted, retaining what you read gets even harder. To boost your memory for critical information:

Stop and reflect. If you're rushing to read something, you may figure it's better to keep going without interruption. So you aim to get through the whole document and finish it in one sitting.

That's an admirable goal, but it's misguided if you want to retain the content. Despite your best efforts to concentrate, you may lose your grasp of the material.

"When you've just read something that you want to remember, look away and reflect on it," said Roddy Roediger, a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. "It's more of an effort than just reading, but it really helps."

Repeat, then repeat. Just as students do drills or exercises to memorize key facts before a test, you can increase your retention by repeating vital information. If you can wait awhile in between repetitions, that's even better.

"People drop things too quickly," said Roediger, co-author of "Make It Stick." He warns that even if you've repeated something once or twice in the hours after you've read it, you may not have captured it for good.

He recommends repeating it "over long-stage, spaced intervals" to keep the information fresh. Reinforcing it every week or two helps seal it in your brain.

Create a catchy word or phrase. If you need to retain a series of items, devise a catchphrase or slogan that doubles as a mnemonic device. For example, some people remember the five elements of effective goal setting with "smart" (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound).

"Acronyms work great if you can make them up and remember them easily," Roediger said.

Remove distractions. Regardless of how well you try to focus, it's harder to retain what you read if you're surrounded by diversions. The ping of your phone can derail your concentration, and even soft background music or a photo on your desk might redirect your thoughts away from the content at hand.

"When I want to remember what I read, I put myself in a barren room," Roediger said. "No computer. Nothing on the walls to distract."

Make connections. In isolation, it's tough to retain stray facts. But if you can tie them to something memorable, they are more likely to stick.

"The more connections you've created, the better off you are remembering something," said Danny Oppenheimer, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "Look for how you can make it personally relevant to you. Put it in context of what you already know."

If you want to remember an event that occurred on a certain date, for instance, connect it to something else that happened on that date, such as your child's birthday.

Prioritize what counts. As you're reading, keep asking yourself, "What's the key thing I need to know?" Rivet your attention on the most valuable information you seek.

"Otherwise, seductive details can be really tempting," Oppenheimer said. A juicy tidbit that has little to do with what you need to know can prove alluring, crowding out your ability to digest what's truly important.

The post How To Optimize Your Memory When Reading appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


93. Quotes Of The Week: Rose McGowan, Anne Frank And OthersВт., 27 марта[−]

McGowan On Courage
Being brave doesn't mean you are not scared, it just means you do the scary thing anyway.
Rose McGowan,
actress

Frank On Optimism
Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.
Anne Frank, diarist

Aristotle On Excellence
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Aristotle, philosopher

Campbell On Destiny
If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.
Joseph Campbell, writer and mythologist

Johnson On Happiness
It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
Samuel Johnson, writer

The post Quotes Of The Week: Rose McGowan, Anne Frank And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


94. LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda Found Fortune In FixesПн., 26 марта[−]

LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda knows the key to business success lies in finding solutions to common problems.

Lebda was trying to get a $55,000 mortgage to finance a condo in 1994, and faced the same issues many Americans deal with daily when they're shopping for a loan.

"I got the runaround from the banks," said Lebda, who is also founder and chairman of LendingTree. "They'd tell you one price and advertise another in the newspaper. I couldn't understand why I couldn't comparison-shop and there was no easy way to find the best deal on a mortgage. That was a problem that made me very angry."

Lebda's idea for what today is LendingTree ( TREE) was born out of that frustration.

Rather than give up, Lebda looked for ways to circumvent the hassle of searching for a mortgage. In the process, he pioneered the concept of an online loan marketplace and revolutionized the way Americans shop for loans and credit.

Lebda started LendingTree in 1996, launched it nationally in 1998 and took it public in 2000. Following his vision, today LendingTree is an online marketplace where consumers can comparison-shop across a full suite of loan- and credit-based offers from multiple lenders that compete for their business.

Always Learning

Lebda honed his leadership and management skills from multiple sources. Experience led to valuable entrepreneurial insights. He also gleaned lessons from business consultant and author Jim Collins and former General Electric ( GE) CEO Jack Welch. As a result, Lebda has led LendingTree through many cycles and challenges — from the dot.com bubble and subsequent meltdown to the housing crisis — and transformed it into an industry dynamo.

Today, LendingTree is the leading online loan marketplace in terms of market share and size of its lender network, according to the company. It's No. 1 in market share for marketplaces/comparison-shopping sites on mortgages and personal loans. It has a network of over 500 lenders.

As of the fourth quarter 2017, LendingTree has delivered EBITDA growth north of 50% in every quarter since 2014. EBITDA is defined as net income from continuing operations excluding interest, income taxes, amortization of intangibles and depreciation.

LendingTree's share price has soared from 4.07 on Feb. 20, 2009, to 354.65 at Friday's close, a gain of 8,614%.

What has propelled LendingTree's impressive stock performance?

"They've diversified the business a great deal to have a larger addressable market," Needham & Co. analyst Kerry Rice told IBD. "Their customers can use more than one product, and they continue to innovate and bring new products to market. Above all, under Doug's direction, they've executed very well. Doug has done a great job of laying out a strategic plan and executing on that plan. That's why the stock has performed so well."

Lebda's idea for LendingTree took shape in 1995, when he was doing some consulting with natural gas and oil companies for accounting firm PwC, where he worked as an accountant after graduating from Bucknell University in 1992.

"I watched inefficient markets get very efficient through open marketplaces and transparency," said Lebda. "I said to myself: 'Why can't you have an exchange or marketplace for loans like you have for natural gas and oil companies to help volatility? You should be able to create an efficient exchange to help consumers trying to find loans and lenders trying to find borrowers.'

"Then my entrepreneurial thinking came in: If I could go to banks and sell them on the notion I could introduce them to customers over the internet and have them give prices to the consumer so the consumer could make a choice; we'll make the lenders compete online for their customers' business. LendingTree would be a marketplace that can serve the buyers and the sellers."

Lebda further developed his loan marketplace idea through a business plan in a competition at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where he started attending in 1995. He won second place. But he didn't give up.

In 1996, Lebda went to a guest lecture by consultant Collins at Darden. Lebda was inspired by a story Collins told about the fact that the founder of L.L. Bean started the company around boot making because it solved the problem of people having wet feet.

After that lecture, Lebda was determined to create a solution to a problem with his loan marketplace. He dropped out of business school to pursue his goal.

But Lebda says he almost didn't start the company. Lebda decided to give himself one year, his "affordable loss," to see if he could come up with an idea that gained the support of the industry. If he couldn't make something happen, he figured he'd go back to business school.

As it turns out, the industry was open to his idea. Lebda says since he started LendingTree, he never thought about giving up.

(Lebda waited until 2012 to go back to Darden. He received his MBA from there in 2014.)

Lebda, 48, says his philosophy of leadership is through "empowerment."

"I try to be very disciplined about what I can uniquely do and what others can do," he said. "If they can do it better sometimes, I have them do it."

Lebda is a proponent of Collins. He aims to follow Collins' concept of "Level 5 leadership," meaning Lebda gives credit to others and takes the blame himself. That means, in part, that he ensures he has the right people in the right roles, and the right processes in place to endure the test of time.

In addition, Lebda urges employees to challenge the status quo — and their bosses. He welcomes a debate if there are objections. Lebda encourages and invites others to share their knowledge, explain their opinions and back up their positions.

When Lebda started the company, he laid the foundation with a set of guiding principles of a company he would like to work for.

Some of Lebda's core principles:

Build truly outstanding products. Find breakthrough ways to surprise and delight customers with insight and clarity.

Be open and candid. Mistakes are fine, as long as they're small, quick, not repeated, and we learn from them.

Act with urgency and creativity. Search for ideas everywhere. Test, debate and develop ideas until you quickly find the best answer. Then, execute with urgency and a sense of purpose.

Take charge. Ask for the ball. Make a decision and stand by it.

Commit to excellence. Keep learning, and don't be afraid to take on more responsibility and tackle larger challenges. Encourage, help and teach others so they can reach their full potential, too.

Lebda says LendingTree overcame the impact of the dot.com meltdown and housing crisis by adhering to these principles and common practices.

"We kept our heads down and remained focused on our internal metrics," Lebda said. "We had our eye on what we could become five, 10 years down the road — and made sure we had the right people in the right roles and the right strategy to help us get there."

Lebda also led LendingTree through a major metamorphosis by drawing on such principles: In 2003, LendingTree was acquired by IAC/InterActive ( IAC), which is controlled by media mogul Barry Diller. A few years later, in 2008, IAC spun off LendingTree as its own public company, and Lebda resumed his position as LendingTree's CEO.

Lebda was IAC's president and chief operating officer from 2005 to 2008. During this time, Lebda oversaw websites such as Match.com, HomeAdvisor.com and Expedia.com and learned a lot from the experience.

Lebda says marketplaces like Expedia run on the same "physics" as LendingTree.

While at IAC, Lebda learned a lot about leadership as well as managing and transforming a business under the tutelage of Jack Welch, who was a consultant for IAC while Lebda was there.

Lebda says Welch reinforced everything he learned from Collins.

"(Welch) really showed me that leadership has to be through other people, and as you grow you can't do it yourself," Lebda said.

Master Of Change

Welch also taught him how to transition from one role to another.

"When you start a company, you're a player. Then you have to get off the playing field and be a coach," Lebda said. "Then at the next level of growth you go from being a coach to being a general manager making trade-offs and thinking mostly about creating the best team."

Welch strongly influenced Lebda's future path when IAC spun off LendingTree. At the time, LendingTree was struggling amid the housing and mortgage crisis.

"(Welch) convinced me to leave that job (as president and COO of IAC) and try to turn LendingTree around," Lebda said. "Jack said: 'You'll regret it if you don't return to LendingTree.' He said I'd be an idiot not to."

So Lebda analyzed ways to turn LendingTree around. In examining LendingTree's assets, he found the company had a "great brand name, a huge customer file and a lot of opportunities for growth."

Lebda's plan: Expand into new categories such as personal loans.

"We had a great position in mortgages and added more capacity in our mortgage business," he said. "We were able to create My LendingTree — a new platform for consumers to better understand their credit profile, and offer ways to save money on their current loans and credit cards."

My LendingTree has over 6 million consumers enrolled.

How does Lebda see the future?

"Our vision for the future is we want to be ubiquitous in helping every customer regardless of your credit situation," he said.

Another goal: "Every lender will work with LendingTree and LendingTree will be an integral part of the way they find new customers," he added.

In addition, Lebda aims to make LendingTree "as good as Amazon.com ( AMZN) as a highly personalized experience, giving you what you want, when you want it. "

"That's what My LendingTree is about," he said. "It's a highly personalized experience of your having a relationship with us. We can save you money on credit cards, mortgages, student loans, auto loans and more by using real-time data and machine learning."

Lebda's Keys

Pioneered the concept of an online loan marketplace.

Overcame: the dot.com meltdown and the housing crisis.

Lesson: "My management philosophy is one where a CEO articulates a key set of principles for his company and makes sure they're commonly held."

The post LendingTree CEO Doug Lebda Found Fortune In Fixes appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


95. Treat Setbacks As A Learning Experience To Fuel Further GainsВт., 20 марта[−]

Temporary setbacks happen. A project goes wrong, a sales pitch falls flat or a client goes to the competitor. The key is to move past setbacks and avoid letting them mushroom into personal failures.

"You don't want to let these things fester into fact," said Kevin Eikenberry, who founded his own Indianapolis-based leadership training and consulting firm, quoting Robin Williams in "Dead Poets Society."

Here's how to recover from setbacks:

Look from another angle. Most successful people start attacking a problem by reframing it, says Skip Prichard, CEO of Dublin, Ohio-based library software, data and content provider OCLC Inc.

"Maybe a competitor is coming into your space and you say, 'This will make us so much sharper,' " Prichard told IBD.

Get energized. Look at a setback as a means to light your fire. It can boost your resolve.

"Some people are so focused on their mission that a temporary challenge fuels their drive even more," said Prichard, author of "The Book of Mistakes." "Setbacks are like these bugs on the windshield that they overcome and keep going."

Take the right view. Focus on treating the setback as a learning experience.

"Change the language from 'I can't' to 'Next time I will … .' " Eikenberry said. "Realize that we had a failure or a setback, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will happen again."

Be educated. Everyone at Eikenberry's firm writes a report each week on what they learned. Much of that comes from things that went wrong.

"That keeps people thinking about a culture of improvement instead of a culture of blame," he said.

Check both sides. When Prichard runs into an obstacle, his lawyer background comes out. He lays out the arguments on both sides — why it's a disaster and why it's a good thing.

"Then I make a decision like a judge," he said.

Model the behavior. Eikenberry planned to conduct a live video event online several years ago. People at his firm had tested it, but when the event began there was no video or audio.

"That was an expensive and frustrating day, but it didn't mean we quit using video," he said. "My job was not to blame but to figure out what we do next time. If I start blaming other people, I'm not looking at my part in it. If the leader is thinking like a coach with a culture of learning, we have a better chance."

Innovate. Persistence and overcoming failure are keys to breaking new ground.

"When you have an organization of people saying, 'We tried that once and it didn't work,' then you have a group of people who have decided they're not going to try anything new," Eikenberry said.

Be realistic. You can't happily explain away every problem. People won't buy it. Be honest with them. If you say getting a new competitor is the greatest news you've ever heard, people will roll their eyes. Admit that it's tough news, but point out it's an opportunity to get better.

"People respond to authenticity," Prichard said. "Start with the reality of the situation, then take them where you want to go."

Admit errors. Show your vulnerability by telling stories about mistakes you've made. Then explain how you and the company were able to overcome them. That shows staffers how the company deals with setbacks.

"Build a culture where people know it's OK to fail," Prichard said.

Know when to quit. There's such a thing as persisting too much. Don't be hardheaded about pushing an initiative that isn't working. Eikenberry suggests asking questions about what could resolve the problem next time. Maybe it's best to contract out for that project if it's just not in your team's wheelhouse.

"Sometimes we have to say no to some things so we can say yes to better things," Eikenberry said.

The post Treat Setbacks As A Learning Experience To Fuel Further Gains appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


96. Quotes Of The Week: Stephen Covey, Ralph Waldo Emerson And OthersПн., 19 марта[−]

Covey On Goals
Start with the end in mind.
Stephen Covey, author

Emerson On Innovation
Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

Joyner On Aspirations
I believe in the impossible because no one else does.
Florence Griffith Joyner, track champion

Newton On Gratitude
If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Sir Isaac Newton, physicist

Hemingway On Grit
The world breaks everyone and afterward some are strong at the broken places.
Ernest Hemingway, author

The post Quotes Of The Week: Stephen Covey, Ralph Waldo Emerson And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


97. Deal Maker Extraordinaire Kirk Kerkorian Mined His Past To Build A FutureПн., 19 марта[−]

Kirk Kerkorian was on his way to LaGuardia Airport after a business trip to New York City. Halfway there he ordered the driver to turn back to his hotel.

The reason: He'd forgotten to tip the room maid.

The billionaire deal maker, an eighth-grade dropout who overcame a hardscrabble youth to become one of the richest men in the world, never forgot where he came from. And how hard it was to make a buck.

"I think it very much informed his approach to life later," says William G. Rempel, author of " The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Dealmaker in Capitalist History."

That deal making included starting Trans International Airlines, three times building what would then be the largest hotels in the world and purchasing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio.

His career had an unlikely genesis. His father was a successful farmer in California's rich San Joaquin Valley until he lost it all in the Depression of 1921-22. The family moved to Los Angeles when Kerkorian (1917-2015) was five years old. Ironically, much of his later success is rooted in the difficult times he experienced in his youth.

In a phone interview, author Rempel continued: "That poverty, that desperation, that uncertainty gave him a comfort with risk, and with that comfort came a willingness to place big bets."

It also imbued Kerkorian with a scrappiness. He even thought about becoming a professional boxer; he'd compiled a 33-4 record and won the Pacific Coast welterweight title as an amateur. While he may not have had a killer instinct, he certainly didn't lack confidence.

Kerkorian was booked to fight a more experienced, undefeated boxer. After watching his opponent warm up in the ring, he called over his manager/brother Nish and said, "I can't fight this guy." Kerkorian wasn't afraid of his opponent, he was afraid he "might hurt him."

His confidence was warranted. Kerkorian knocked him out within seconds of the first round. But boxing was probably not the best career choice. In a twist of fate and luck, his boss at the heating company where he worked took him along on a flying lesson and Kerkorian was hooked.

He signed up for flying lessons, eventually became a flight instructor, and during World War II took on the dangerous task of ferrying RAF planes from Canada to Scotland. The flights required a stiff tailwind, and many aircraft (nearly including one Kerkorian piloted) didn't make it.

After the war, he started a charter service that flew between Los Angeles and Las Vegas; Bugsy Siegel and John Wayne were regular customers. He saw a future in aviation and steadily expanded what started as Los Angeles Air Service into Trans International Airlines (TIA), a major supplemental carrier at the time.

Instinct And Foresight

Kerkorian seemed to have a special wisdom to see deals where his contemporaries didn't. For example, when, after a rough landing, an insurance company declared a BOAC (a forerunner of British Airways) Constellation a total loss, Kerkorian offered $150,000 for it with the proviso the insurer throw in four new (or rebuilt) engines, which it gladly did.

Kerkorian promptly leased the engines to TWA for $150,000, invested that amount in rebuilding the plane, and ultimately (after leasing it elsewhere) sold it to El Al for $750,000.

It is the kind of deal Kerkorian repeated time and again. "I think there was an instinct," Rempel said. "He also did his homework. He didn't turn to advisors with MBAs. He searched (on his own) for things outside the common wisdom, looking for hidden assets."

In 1962, Kerkorian sold TIA to Studebaker in a deal valued at approximately $10 million — plus an approval-of-purchaser clause. By the following year, the automaker was in free fall, and its board tried to sell TIA to Continental Airlines. If successful, it would have impacted TIA employees' seniority and pensions. Kerkorian said no way. He would not leave in the lurch the employees who had been there for him in the beginning.

"All he had growing up was family and the loyalty of friends," Rempel said. "He put value in people."

So he agreed to purchase the airline back — for $2.5 million. He'd purchased a large parcel of land on the Las Vegas Strip with his share of the initial TIA sale, so he had to go into debt to repurchase the airline. He willingly put up every property he owned as collateral and covered the rest with his personal savings. He did this time and again, because, Rempel said, "He didn't have an attachment to things. Things didn't matter. He didn't have toys growing up. He didn't even have the same house from one month to the next. Things were what he traded."

In 1968 he sold TIA again, this time to Transamerica Corp., but a last-minute hang-up, a technicality over a class of stock, threatened to squelch the deal. Kerkorian needed the proceeds to pursue his Las Vegas dreams, but wasn't prepared to net any less than the original amount agreed upon. So at the meeting where the final papers were to be signed, Kerkorian called it off and started to walk out. But he was stopped, and Transamerica adjusted the terms to the original level.

That money was used to help build the International Hotel, at the time (1969) the largest hotel in the world. In subsequent years, he built even larger properties, the MGM Grand Hotel (1973) and the MGM Grand (1993), each the largest hotels in the world when they were constructed.

While the mob may have started Las Vegas, it was Kerkorian's vision of the modern leisure industry that created its current incarnation.

When we think of the marketing of Las Vegas as an "entertainment center instead of just being known for gambling with ancillary activities, we forget that Kerkorian had been (an innovator) a long time before," noted Michael Green, an associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

"When (he) opened the International, it had two showrooms, not one. ... The hotel had a youth hostel and activities for young people. ... This is the kind of thing we might expect today, but not back then."

He recognized value in Vegas just as he did with his purchase of MGM. The studio was bleeding cash when he made a tender offer for 1 million shares — initially for $10 a share more than the stock was then selling for. It seemed to produce one bomb film after another. He considered the company's real estate, vast library of classic films ("Singing in the Rain," "Wizard of Oz," "Gone With the Wind") and even its symbol, Leo the Lion, as unvalued assets.

Integrity

Kerkorian revealed another aspect of his personality in 1985, when he sold MGM to Ted Turner. Turner signed on to a deal that was unsustainable, so Kerkorian restructured it, helping Turner finance the purchase. He didn't want to squash Turner. CNN could have been KNN, but Kerkorian kept changing the deal to accommodate Turner's needs.

"You see in his dealings with Ted Turner and others that a good deal is a deal that benefits both sides," Rempel said.

Early in his career, Kerkorian sold a used DC-4 to Pacific Northern Airlines. The company's mechanics complained that the aircraft leaked so badly it posed a safety hazard even when parked on the ground. When the airline's executives protested, Kerkorian apologized, said he was unaware of the plane's condition and immediately returned the full purchase price without question.

Certainly Kerkorian had setbacks in his career, but his reputation for honesty as personified by actions such as these made it so he was able to get multimillion-dollar loans on his signature alone.

When he died in 2015, his estate was valued at around $4 billion, but not because he didn't try to give much of it away. Mostly anonymously, he gave millions to charities such as the American Red Cross. But following the devastating 1988 earthquake that hit his parents' native Armenia, he spearheaded and donated $1 billion to relief efforts.

"His acts were pure charity," Rempel said. "He felt it wasn't charity if you expect something in return. He didn't want his name on buildings and no credit for any gift."

Toward the end of his life, Rempel says, Kerkorian confided to a friend that he wanted "to give it all away — and start over. He so much enjoyed making deals."

Kerkorian's Keys

Deal maker who founded a charter airline and helped create the modern Las Vegas.

Overcame: A poverty-stricken background and a lack of education.

Lesson: Use your background as your strength.

Quote: "When you're a self-made man, you start very early in life. ... You get a drive that's a little stronger than somebody who inherited."

The post Deal Maker Extraordinaire Kirk Kerkorian Mined His Past To Build A Future appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


98. Curious Advisors Probe To Gain Insight From Knowledgeable ClientsПт., 16 марта[−]

When advising clients, you're the expert. But what if you switch roles?

X Some clients possess expertise in their chosen field or study certain types of investments with rigor. Their background or training may enable them to spot trends, make sense of market conditions or even identify potential buying opportunities based on their familiarity with a particular sector.

Savvy advisors listen with an open mind to knowledgeable clients. Better yet, they may come away with valuable insights that help them make wise decisions on the client's behalf.

Showing receptivity to client ideas and input has an added bonus: It positions the advisor as a collaborative ally rather than a know-it-all. Picking a client's brain — and following up to learn more — builds trust and solidifies the relationship.

Of course, tapping clients' expertise differs from extracting secrets that result in stock tips. Clients who reveal nonpublic information about, say, a pending merger in their industry can embroil an advisor in insider trading.

But it's perfectly legal for advisors to ask clients to give updates on their work lives. Such questions often arise during quarterly reviews.

"With all our client relationships, we like to go a little deeper in getting to know them," said Scott Bishop, a Houston-based certified financial planner. "They are used to opening up to us. Over time, they see me and our firm as a sounding board."

Industry Insight

When chatting with clients, Bishop routinely invites them to discuss their work. His goal is to gain a fuller understanding of their life rather than unearth investment ideas, but sometimes their remarks stoke his curiosity.

He recalls a client who worked at a company that provides logistical support for private jets. After asking if the client was on track to earn a big bonus that year, Bishop gathered a piece of business news that he had previously missed: profits had fallen due to volatility in the pricing of jet fuel.

"After I heard that, I told my investment committee to look into any airline stocks we own," Bishop said. "They confirmed we didn't have an over-allocation in that sector, and we didn't take on additional airline exposure."

In some cases, clients contact Bishop to propose investments. During the 2009 recession, for example, he received calls from two oil and gas executives. Both favored buying energy stocks during the downturn, arguing the sector was due for a turnaround.

"They know that business," he said. "So I told them I'd bounce it off my investment team," which approved buying shares of an exchange-traded fund that comprises large oil services companies.

Here's An Idea

In order for advisors to heed client input, they need to feel comfortable listening and learning. If their professional identity revolves around having all the answers, they may spend more time holding court — and volunteering their opinions — than asking questions.

"I don't always have to be the smartest person in the room," said Kristi Sullivan, a certified financial planner in Denver, Colo. "Listening to clients is a great way to get new ideas and make the relationship stronger."

Like Bishop, Sullivan enjoys hearing about clients' jobs. She finds that getting a better sense of what they do for a living — and their career prospects — helps her plan for their financial future.

But she's wary of individuals who get too attached to their employer — or to their industry as a whole.

"You have to be careful when people in a certain industry, like oil or biotech, want to overweight that sector," she warned. "They think they know their sector better than most," but they risk missing out on the benefits of broader diversification.

Occasionally, clients have urged Sullivan to consider investing in specific mutual funds. After researching their suggestion, she might act on their recommendation.

"It can be a fund that I've missed during my regular screening process," she said. "It usually comes up during our quarterly review of their investments if I say, 'I'm not thrilled with fund X.' It might spur them to do a little research and come to me with their idea."

While she's eager to learn from clients, Sullivan knows that many of them lack a deep grounding in investments. They prefer to let her handle all those decisions.

"Still, I think it's always good to ask open-ended questions and gather information from clients like what jobs or industries are paying great (employee) benefits," she said. "It's good to know what careers are more risky and what careers are more likely to offer secure, long-term employment."

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The post Curious Advisors Probe To Gain Insight From Knowledgeable Clients appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


99. Chivalry Is Not Dead: Civility Is Worth LearningСр., 14 марта[−]

Amid today's coarse political dialogue, the value of courtesy and politeness can be lost. Former White House social secretaries Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard teamed up to make the case for respect. In their book " Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life," Berman and Bernard contend that what they learned about achieving goals with integrity at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is applicable to any workplace.

Their tips:

Be prepared. Minding the details shows you care about everyone's success.

"Being prepared shows that you're on top of the situation," said Berman, who was social secretary for First Lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush. "For us, the endpoint of things not going well was a bad press article or embarrassing our presidents or first ladies. We sat down and thought about every event and how we could prevent anything from going wrong."

Use levity. Humor at work can by tricky. Carefully deployed, though, it can be an effective tool in easing tensions. Self-deprecating humor is safest, says Jeremy Bernard, social secretary for First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama.

"That way the target is not someone else — it's yourself," Bernard said. "Self-deprecation shows people that you are secure enough to make fun of yourself and you don't take yourself too seriously while at the same time recognizing a fault of your own."

Listen actively. Multitasking doesn't always produce positive results. It can be disrespectful.

"We all know what it's like to be talking to someone and then they come back and ask a question that we just answered or something we just discussed and it's very insulting, because you realize they're sitting there or standing there or they're across from you but they're not listening," Bernard said. "I never want that to be how someone feels when I'm in a conversation or listening. It really is important to take that moment and really listen to what they're saying so that you don't make matters worse."

Active listening sends the signal that you are invested in solutions.

"When you take the time to really give someone your full attention, and you take the time to respond because you're actually thinking of the best way to respond, it shows a level of attention that we don't see very much anymore," Berman said. "It also shows a willingness to be open-minded with what you're listening to, which can be a very valuable thing whether you're talking with a family member, your boss or your neighbor."

Use tact with honesty. Telling the truth is obviously a virtue. But if stating a truth is hurtful and doesn't yield anything positive, it's probably best to say nothing.

"It always makes me nervous," Bernard said, "when someone says, 'I'm just being honest.' Sometimes you can have information that can be hurtful or mean, and there's no positive outcome of sharing that with another person. (For example), if you know you're invited to a dinner party and someone else isn't, there's no reason to say, 'Hey, I'm going to this dinner tonight, were you invited?' "

Berman says deciding who made it on the invite list for a White House party often resulted in uncomfortable situations in which simply telling the truth would serve no good.

"We both had experiences in the White House where people felt they were closer to the president and first lady than they were in reality," she said. "And they would say, 'I need to be at this party. They would be disappointed if I'm not there. I'm going to have to talk to them about not being included in this party.' We would never say: Hey, there's no way they would think to include you in this party or there's no reason for you to be there. We would say, 'Well, you need to do whatever you feel you have to do, but I'm sure they would include you if they had space.' We weren't being very honest, but we were trying to smooth over what was an awkward situation."

The post Chivalry Is Not Dead: Civility Is Worth Learning appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.


100. Quotes Of The Week: Maya Angelou, Confucius And OthersВт., 13 марта[−]

Angelou On Positivity
Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
Maya Angelou, author

Confucius On Persistence
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Confucius, philosopher

Simone On Truth
It's an artist's duty to reflect the times in which we live.
Nina Simone, singer

DeGrasse Tyson On Curiosity
There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, scientist

Mandela On Tenacity
It always seems impossible until it's done.
Nelson Mandela, political leader

The post Quotes Of The Week: Maya Angelou, Confucius And Others appeared first on Investor's Business Daily.



 
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