Blog

  Some 241 years ago the United States of America became a sovereign nation simply by declaring it, knowing all too well that the prospect of actually winning it against the will of the most powerful nation in the world was smaller than scant. The men...

With summertime upon us, complete with tropical storm Cindy soaking the South, and nearly half of 2017 in the books, this might be a good time to review the progress and condition of the capital markets. While forecasting the direction of the markets is not...

This week I’ve been cleaning out my desk as I prepare for our move to our new offices on Glenwood Avenue. While organizing, I discovered that I have a paper copy of every single tax return I’ve filed since 1994. The financial nerd in me...

This weekend my wife and I will be keeping three of our grandchildren and I can't wait. The twins are 6 and the youngest, 3. We've been thinking all week about the fun things we will do together. This morning, while pondering today's Brief, I was reminded of one of the great joys of being with children; which is their boundless capacity for imagination. It is nothing short of amazing how freely and effortlessly they enter into a world that we adults have sadly  'grown' out of along the way. But if we are willing, our children and grandchildren can happily lead us, hand-in-crayon, marker, dirt, or paint-covered hand, back into the lost world of our imaginations.

Just three weeks away from moving into our new office here in Raleigh, we've learned a lot of lessons about planning in a very hands-on sort of way. The hand-drawn timeline that we started with (thanks to our wonderful general contractor) appears almost laughable in hindsight, and yet if we hadn't begun there, it's likely that we would be three months away from move-in rather than three weeks.

We plan for the expected, but the unexpected so easily and so often wrecks our plans. It's why most folks don't plan. They view it as a futile exercise in an increasingly complex and chaotic world. Increasing uncertainty doesn't render planning any less useful than seat belts and airbags are in a crash. Not knowing what to expect in the future screams for the preparedness of planning.

Just yesterday, following a conversation with a client, I experienced an all too familiar tug, not unlike the one an alcoholic might feel at a cocktail party, when the smell of alcohol is rich in the air and that drink is but an order away. During our conversation I learned that Amazon AMZN was now up 21% for the year so far. The broad stock market is up 5.7% by comparison