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What is it about a glitzy gambling city on the Mediterranean, known as Monte Carlo, that could possibly diminish or eliminate the gamble we often associate with our lifetime-investing and planning? A second question sheds light on the first. Where do you think all that...

How often we've heard, and used, the phrase 'time flies' without giving it much thought. The phrase paints a picture of time flying away from us almost whimsically, like a butterfly, naturally and unburdened. The term actually derives from the Latin, tempis fugit, and originally appeared in Virgil's Georgics - as fugit inreparabile tempus or "it escapes, irretrievable time." Fugit forms the root of our word fugitive, painting a different picture of the flight of time than our butterfly, irretrievably escaping like a thief.

The Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule is an implicit endorsement of the business model we follow in serving our clients everyday - to act in their best individual and unique interests. While lofty in its proposal, the ultimate DOL rule will fall short of sweeping change for the financial services industry, due primarily to the efforts of the lobbying and political weight of Wall Street, banks, and insurers. The new rule for now, is focused solely on retirement services like 401ks and IRAs.

The Federal Reserve continues to be the guiding light for stock and bond investors. This week Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a speech “Given the risks to the outlook, I consider it appropriate for the committee to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy.” Following the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on March 15-16, the Fed sharply reduced its projected path of interest-rate rises this year, forecasting a total increase of half a percentage point, down from the full percentage point increase they expected in December. “The major thing that’s changed between December and March that affects the baseline outlook is a slightly weaker projected pace of global growth,” she said. “Global developments pose ongoing risks,” she added, citing specifically the dangers posed by the economic slowdown in China and the collapse in the price of oil, according to reports in the WSJ.

Every four years about this time a popular question arises - 'if so-and-so is elected, how will the stock market react? It's a fair question because presidents set the tone for government policy for the coming four or eight years. These policies can be beneficial or harmful to various businesses and industries, directly impacting their profits and stock prices.

Persistence is defined as "continuing without change in function or structure." Webster's second definition of politics is "a person's opinions about the management of government." Persistence describes a purposeful struggle against shifting winds to hold a course, while politics and politicians seem more and more purposeful in going with the shifts.

We had some really bad weather this week in North Carolina (as did other places in the Southeast). Between tornadoes and severe thunderstorms and all that accompanies those events, it was probably enough to make you think more deeply than you're accustomed to about what's really important.

Today's Brief is inspired by Seth Godin's blog entitled How to talk about your project. We've taken the liberty of broadening Seth's focus from project to "life goals." Like Seth encourages his readers to look beyond marketing, we encourage you to think big picture, of purpose, life goals, and how you communicate them 'strategically, to yourself, your partners, your coaches and your investors (yes you have investors).'