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Show me the money!

Last week’s Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. banks were now scrambling to shift their bond holdings into a category of bonds labeled as being “held to maturity.” Meanwhile, there’s an object lesson here for “little people” like you and me that recalls Cuba Gooding’s chant in the movie “Jerry McGuire --- “Show me the Money!”

Old money managers (almost) never die

Irving Kahn, the founder of the money management firm Kahn Brothers Advisors, just died at age 110 in New York City where he had been coming to work on a daily basis. Entering the investment business in 1929, he became yet another disciple of Benjamin Graham, author of “The Intelligent Investor” which has become the bible of value investing for other reasonably successful people like Warren Buffett. The investment philosophy was simple enough --- on paper. Just buy companies at prices that represented good values and resist the urge to sell them.

It takes a village

The longest obituary I've ever read was for Capt. Henry Adams, who died recently at age 90. It was the story of a life well -lived that, like a good book, I just couldn't put down. The better part of the story was the list of all he accomplished after retiring.

Go with the flow when it comes to stock market

With American stocks reaching an historic high water mark last week, the feeling I now have reminds me of the days when I was the parent of teenage children. The challenge then was to encourage independence while still providing a dose of adult supervision. The only thing left beyond doing what I thought made sense was the exercise of sitting quietly and gripping the arms of my chair as tightly as possible. This sums up my approach to the stock market these days.

Staying on track with investments

I once asked a friend whose son races motorcycles professionally, "What is the specific skill that distinguishes winners at the highest levels of motorcycle or automobile racing? Is it balance, strength, endurance or just guts?" He answered, "Great racers have an instinctive feel for what are known as the 'limits of adhesion.' It's the exact speed on curves beyond which the vehicle will go completely out of control. Being able to drive consistently at just that limit is the special talent marking a winner."

For retirees, life without a car not end of the world

One of the most difficult senior transitions in life is to have to give up the car. The day anyone has to hand over the keys at the insistence of concerned younger family members is traumatic to say the least. Some states, like Florida, make it easier because a person’s doctor can make the decision and be “The Bad Guy” rather than a family member. A letter from the doctor to the state DMV essentially ends the driving privilege leaving family members with the luxury of a Pontius Pilate (“my hands are clean”) state of affairs.

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