New Webinar

For the past year I stopped all social media and limited my projects while working on creating a series of new webinars.  Today technology exist that will help advisers better manage their practice and portfolios.

These institutional tools do not exist inside the firms and a knowledge gap exists between advisers and sophisticated investors. The secrets that the large institutional traders know and the tools they use are what separated the retail broker from the institutional trader in 2008. The upcoming webinar will inform advisers how to eliminate that risk and turn their existing investment process into a marketing tool.

Webinar Info

Title: New Tools to Help Understand and Manage the Markets (2-part series)
Date: January 6 & 7
Time: 4:00-5:30pm Eastern

Cost: $195 (plus HST for Canadians)

Space is limited because of the High Definition Webinar  bandwidth requirement.

Registration Link Here

Prior to the Webinar:

  • Each participant will complete a Trader Self Assessment
  • Complete an Anymeeting system test to confirm compatibility

Topics Covered:

  • Investors need to understand the trader's mindset
  • Why understanding what happens in the short term will improve your long term
  • How the Big Picture impacts funding accounts, entering trades, and new relationships
  • Determining the market's context and condition to better position portfolios
  • Understanding economic and geo-political risks and how to handle them
  • Importance of managing multiple time frames within accounts
  • Trading tools for investors
    • Market Profile - Looking inside the market
    • Volume Profile - Levels where business is best conducted
    • PnF charting - Information without all the clutter
    • Professional vs Amateur activity in the markets
    • Percent Change - The Flight to Quality Indicator
  • Other outstanding tools and technology available today to simplify your process and create a competitive edge
  • The six keys to a risk-control system
  • Managing risk to maximize investment returns
  • Five fundamental truths about the markets
  • Psychology of trading
  • The seven beliefs for consistency
  • Creating headspace to improve your focus and results
  • How to change bad habits and habit mastery
  • Creating a lean business
  • Systems vs Goals
  • Best processes
  • Turning your practice into a marketing message

Post Webinar:

  • Recording of webinar series available for two weeks
  • Reading list of all references
  • Software and technology list
  • List of essential websites

Email me if you have additional questions: wlw3@mac.com

Margin Days

Every so often a book comes along that changes the way we perceive the world and our place in it.

Dr. Swenson defines margin as “the amount allowed beyond that which is needed.” We each  have a capacity of emotional energy, physical strength, financial assets, and time.  Like a glass that holds eight ounces, once filled to capacity, it overflows.  We tend to run our lives at maximum capacity. There are several ways to add margin into our life or oganization. 

First

Once a month, allow each team member to have a weekday off to spend with family or running errands they are unable to do during the weekend. Start with half days and then move to full margin days. A team member’s absence, one day a month, will not adversely affect your team, and you might find that the remaining workdays have more energy and are more effective.

Second

Set aside a certain period during the work week when each person has uninterrupted time to work on whatever they deem most important. This focused time will yield greater results.

Third

Give descretionary margin days, following a stressful project,. These become days of re-creation, not just recreation.  

Margin Days recharge our batteries and allow us to return ready to tackle the job at hand.  Creativity increases and more work is accomplished in less time. No longer are we operating at the limit of our physical and emotional energy.

The Dark Arts

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The following is a quote from Will Buckingham, writer and philosopher, that may help us better understand the the real value of economic forecasting. Prediction, foresight, or timing are difficult, if not impossible. Their attraction is a great temptation. A better approach is to  observe carefully and react quickly to the trends that naturally occur.

The complex science that in ancient China was known as shuxue 數學 — a term that, when applied to the numerological speculation that surrounds the I Ching, is only inadequately translated as “mathematics” — is no less abstruse than that most divinatory of practices, economics. Indeed, if one wanted to seek out the contemporary equivalents of those ancient diviners, they would be found not amongst the religious, nor amid those strange, otherworldly figures who spend their days enveloped by incense clouds, but instead amongst those other mystics who, schooled in economics and the dark arts of finance, are passionately convinced that in the manipulation of number there might lie the secret of our future destiny.
— http://willbuckingham.com/the-dark-arts/

Emphasize the Good Stuff...

"Emphasize the good stuff, the things you enjoy. Encourage. The rest leave to the morons who judge by counting faults. Be grateful for even one singular phrase or transcendent moment."  - From the movie the Late Quartet at 1:15:00 ff.

Transient

Top Five Regrets of the Dying

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Source: The following is from the Guardian - http://m.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying 

There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'.

Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

"This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it."

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

"This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence."

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

"Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying."

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again."

What's your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change before you die?

 

Long-Term Perspective on Interest Rates

Source: Global Financial Data

Source: Global Financial Data

Article of Interest

Systematic Relative Strength brought the following to everyones attention:  

With interest rates surging in recent days, I think it is interesting to stand back and look at a chart of the 10-Year Treasury Yield from a broader historical perspective.
Business Insider’s take:
So if you believe in the power of mean reversion, then it’s not unreasonable to expect yields to head back up toward 4%.
Although investors have grown accustomed to interest rates primarily moving in one direction (down) over the past 30+ years, history shows a number of periods of extended rising rate environments. Needless to say, it is quite possible that there will be opportunities to add value over a passive approach to fixed income exposure by being tactical in years ahead. In the context of multi-asset class portfolios, that may mean underweighting fixed income altogether. For allocations within fixed income, it may mean being more discriminating when determining what sectors of fixed income to own. I suspect that relative strength may prove to be very valuable in the years ahead as it relates to fixed income exposure.

 

Coffin Experience

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Do the coffin experience. I have recommended this every December for my consulting clients. Go somewhere quiet and imagine you have died and see your family, friends, employes, clients, and associates walk by your casket and tell you what they think of your life up to today. Listen for the positives and negatives. Then see what changes come from what you hear. Only the courageous will do this. If you do, it will be a life transforming exercise. [Every major change in my life has occurred because of this exercise and looking back after doing this annually for forty-three years, I have no regrets, regarding those decisions.] I encourage you to try this.

The following is paper I received from a client. He found this on Linkedin and it confirms the value of this exercise: Confronting Our Final Deadline

 

Best Business Book Ever Written

I just reread this book, which I tend to do every year of so and was again amazed at Drucker's insight into business and human nature.  

This new edition covers sixty years of Drucker's writings from twenty-six different books. No one has impacted modern business more than he.  

If you have not read Drucker before, this is a great introduction. If you have read him, then this condenses all of his key concepts into a single volume. 

Highly recommended. 

Bridge to Change

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What to create a change in 2013. The follow five steps will get you from where you are to where you want to be.

  • Step 1. Write a paragraph about where your life and business are today 
  • Step 2. Write a paragraph about where you want your life and business to be in 3-5 yrs. 
  • Step 3. Identify as bullet points all the differences between the two paragraphs 
  • Step 4. Select the three most important differences 
  • Step 5. Create the Next Physical Action for each of the three differences to remove them

9 Free Ways to Become Wealthy

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Wealth is normally defined in terms of money. But that is confusing wealth with riches. The following is from the blog, Marc and Angel Hack Life.

The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.  Start building real wealth today by doing the following:

  1. Realize that the small things are really the big things. – We are always looking for something better that we sometimes fail to realize that we already have the best we could hope for.  When you get something small, you want more.  When you get more, you desire even more.  But when you lose everything, you realize the small things were really the big things.  Read The Last Lecture.
  2. Cherish your relationships. – Sometimes people are beautiful, not in looks, not in what they say, just in who they are and what they do.  Remember, you will never fully appreciate all of the things someone does for you until you find yourself doing the same things for yourself.  So be grateful for the people who make your life a little brighter.  They are the charming gardeners who help your soul blossom.
  3. Be okay with the fact that you can’t control everything. – When you’re younger, you exhaust yourself trying to take charge of everything in your life, other people, and all situations.  Then one day it dawns on you that you will never gain control until you lose the need to have it – until you can simply let it be okay, to not be perfectly okay.  When you’re wearing yourself ragged trying to juggle the outcome of everything happening around you, it’s time to stop, take a breath, and remind yourself that the only things you can truly control, are what choices you will make, and how much control you will give to the fear that you’re feeling.

Go to Marc and Angel Hack Life to read the remaining six ways to become wealthy.

How To Run Your Meetings Like Apple and Google

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Meeting can either be a waste of time or a catalyst to productivity. Are your meetings as effective as you would like? If not, Sean Blanda from 99U has written an excellent article outlining how several truly productive companies make the most of each meeting. Learn from Apple, Google, and others.

The following is a short excerpt from the article.

Rapid experimentation with meetings in the past decade by startups and Fortune 500 companies alike has produced a new set of rules to consider. Here are three that seem to be universal:

  • All meetings must have a stated purpose or agenda. Without an agenda, meetings can easily turn into aimless social gatherings rather than productive working sessions.
  • Attendees should walk away with concrete next steps or Action Items. We love Action Items here, but we're not the only ones. From Apple to the Toastmasters, the world's most successful organizations demand that attendees leave meetings with actionable tasks.
  • The meeting should have an end time. Constraints breed creativity. By not placing an endtime, we encourage rambling, off-topic and useless conversation.

Of course, there's no need to stop there. Truly productive companies always continue tweaking to suit their specific culture.

Your meetings can be productive. To read the entire article and hear what Apple and Google do, click here.

Interesting Chart: Newspaper Ad Revenue Crashes

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The Problem

Over the past decade the impact of the internet (blogs, Twitter, and Facebook) has replaced the newspaper as the primary source of daily information. With iPhones, iPads, and the ability to send photos or video around the world instantly over the social networks, print is just too slow. Example: video streamed live during the last tsunami, not from the news services, but from individual cell phones.

The Necessary Change

The print media, like the book industry, must adapt to the changes occurring around them. Publishers realized when ebook sales surpassed print book sales, several quarters ago, that they must embrace what they have resisted for so long. The print newspaper industry must also adapt or perish. Without the meager addition of online sales the newspapers would be back to the 1950’s revenue.

Impact on You

We are all susceptible to change, which remains constant. Humans are the most adaptable creatures on the planet and businesses must also be adaptable. Look around and see what technology or resource you are resisting to adopt. It may be just what you need to prepare for the future.