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October 10, 2008

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Next Gen Politics

It's so strange that you wrote this today. I have been thinking about this same thing recently. I think that one of the things that got us into this mess is that we as a people were trying to find meaning to our lives in material items, to the detriment of our the lives we were already living.

To those who don't live off of credit cards and who didn't buy more house or car than they needed, this "crisis" probably isn't effecting them very much. This financial event gives us a great opportunity to reconnect with the people and things that are important to us, not because of what they say about us, but because of how we feel about them.

Thanks Kent for once again writing something profound. I look forward to your next post.

Jerame Clough
-Next Gen Politics

The Financial Philosopher

Thanks, Jerame...

I do not mean to judge those who are feeling panic in these times; however, this display of panic reveals the displaced value for money ahead of other things in our life that provide true meaning, such as personal relationships.

You make a good point, that if our priorities were properly aligned with our pursuits in the first place, our economy may not be in this mess.

Again, the extreme morning over the "loss" of money expresses a "love of money," in much the same way as one would react to the loss of a loved one...

I hope people will take the weekend to reflect and refocus.

The storm will pass and we will rebuild. Hopefully, however, our complacency will not rebuild along with our economy...

Grace

I recently resubscribed to the Wall Street Journal and now am reconsidering my action. Do I REALLY want to know excruciating details about a melt-down that I am powerless to control? I think your approach is much more healthy. Thanks for letting me think! G.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Grace:

I generally like the WSJ but I believe I would turn down a free subscription.

I much prefer to read books, especially classic and ancient philosophy. It's much better on the mind and the soul. More importantly, when I read something like "Meditations on First Philosophy," by Descartes, I know there is no pretense or opinion or noise to steal my attention with the incentive to sell advertising or more books...

As with a diversified portfolio of investments, it is prudent to "allocate the attention" in such a way that we prevent its theft...

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts...

Narendar Kumar

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn

Sara R

I agree that it's good to have a larger perspective. Of course money isn't the most important thing. Of course tragedies refocus your perspective. I am a two-year stage 3 breast cancer survivor and 35 year old mother of 3, so I completely understand this. Even if the financial markets completely shut down, we go on living life. I have a rich family life and we can happily live frugally.

However, that thought does not address the point I made in the other thread. The goal of financial planners should be to not lose their clients' money, and to educate them so you can help them make good investment decisions. The stock market is no longer behaving the way it has historically. In the interests of giving the best service to your clients, this change in the stock market should be fully disclosed to your clients, so they can change their investments to something safer.

For example, your earlier post was written on Monday. Between Monday and Friday, the market went down 18%. Your clients who were in the market will need a 21% gain by October 5, 2009 just to break even from the losses that week! These kinds of numbers should be disclosed to your clients so they can make informed decisions.

Also, cancer patients do care that the balances of their 401Ks are down. They too hope to get to retirement. Their health conditions can make it more difficult to earn money and save for their futures (or, if they die, for the futures of their children). Losing huge amounts of retirement money in the stock market is additional stress at an already stressful time.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Sara:

Thanks for adding your perspective...

I have spoken with my clients, by the way, not that it has a place on this blog.

Also, as I stated, any money needed within 3 to 5 years, especially near or in retirement, should not be in stocks, not matter what the economic or market environment.

My clients and I were prepared for this before it began.

Of course, I did not know the shape or size it would take, but each of my clients nearing (or in retirement) have more than three years of income needs in safe places (cash, high quality bonds).

I must say that you are placing me in a stereotypical mold of all other financial advisors in the universe.

Please read every one of my posts, speak with each of my clients, and call me on the telephone before placing judgjment on my skills, ethics or success as an investment advisor/planner.

I will also resist the temptation to judge you as well...

I wish you the best. Feel free to email or call me if you would like to discuss this further...

Kent

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Narendar:

Thanks for sharing the beautiful words! "Such is the solution of the dawn."

I really enjoyed that (and needed it)!

Andrew

“Never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” - Buckminster Fuller

Change it, or change the way you think about it.

Each moment that passes changes you.
You do not, cannot possess even yourself.
How can you hope to possess anyone or anything else?
(The Silent Flute)

Padre

Now go hug someone you love.

Satyam Nadeen says, "... my only definition of Love is embracing whatever-is, just as it is, and only because it is--without conditions that it be other than what it is". Therefore, Love and Acceptance are equivalent to each other.

"It is only when you arrive at the deepest conviction that the same life flows through everything, and that you ARE that life, that you can begin to love naturally and spontaneously".

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About Kent Thune


  • Kent Thune is a philosopher who happens to be a money manager and freelance writer... Read More

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