Month: April 2009

What’s worse than a house of cards?……

The answer is much easier to state than  getting  someone to understand. Here’s an example….

A house built of solid materials,  new technology, great neighborhood, energy saving technology, new paint, etc, etc.  What  could possibly be wrong?…..How about a  weak foundation….. or improperly mixed concrete……..shoddy foundation work…etc, etc.

Most people (and even worse a lot of business people )  today seem only interested in the superficial. You can build a great house with the finest materials and craftsmanship, but if the foundation is not properly constructed, it’s only a matter of time till it All comes crashing down.

Today, yesterday, and tomorrow the foundation of this country, and it’s economy IS, and WILL BE,  for as long as you or I am alive is, JOBS.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs is what an economy is built on. If unemployment is growing at record levels, and no end in sight, I don’t care what your selling, you’ll be hard pressed to find buyers. No buyers, no profits, no profits, no jobs, no jobs, No Economy…..Period! This notion that we are going to create all these jobs when company after company announces layoff after layoff is In my estimation….Fool Hearted.

We are at a point as I’m writing this post over 6 Million unemployed..and at 8.5 percent…with the number continuing to climb with No End In Sight!….Every report this year has been titled as…The worst since 1945, or 37, or 42, or 77…….The current theme is Worse than…Not Better than…and with that you’ll see politicians, business leaders, and talking heads quote this statistic, or that statistic stating why one shouldn’t be  worried.  I gave this statistic at a speech I did at the End of last year and I believe it to be more relevant now than then…….The so called ” Experts ” and ” Analysts” who make their living, and are paid by Fund Managers, and people like the ones who probably control Your IRA…correctly called 2 of the 500 companies earnings on the S&P 500……I did not miss type…..2 as in TWO…out of 500…yes Five Hundred. That’s a winning percentage of let’s see…….Zero….Oh wait ..I’ll move to a floating decimal point….0.004%……I guess that’s better than zero right?

So here’s the rub, and why I’m so indignant on this issue…. I was speaking with someone the other day who was telling me how the      “Government” was in the process of fixing the economic conditions, and will be ” Creating better business conditions”.  Then they went on to tell me how this was going to be, and how that was going to be, and how this projection will put that projection, and all will be profitable in the end. So me being me I asked only 1 question….I said I’ll assume all of your projections are correct if you just simply answer this One Question.

Your projections are based on unemployment not going any higher than 8.2%…and it has to be no higher at any time over the next 10 years to make your projections credible….We’re 3 months into the first year, and we’re currently at 8.5% and it has been rising every month for the last 6 months. All indicators, and all corporate reports are stating more layoffs are coming, and larger, and larger layoffs are announced weekly…( 16,000 more announced from one company just yesterday)…So already your numbers, and projections are suspect are they not?

There was silence for about a minute, then he started telling me how well  the windows were constructed, and what color the house would be, and………..I think you get the picture.

Pinochle anyone?

Mark


They’re on TV so they must be smart. Right?

Over the last several weeks the television, radio, and papers have all been a buzz. I’ve see talking heads, and columnists stating how they predicted the current rise, and now the giving details on why they were correct, and blah blah, blah.

Problem is with most of these so called experts, they seem to think that the only people who listen to them are as vague in memory, and details as they are.  Not so fast Charlie Brown…( My apologies to Charles Schultz ) some of us are listening, and watching, and keeping score on you. We’ re watching because we want to make sure we do the exact opposite of everything you’re saying, and also want to know how the misinformed, and lazy in their analysis gathering are going to view the world. And why would one do this you might ask?….To exploit it!…That’s correct, I didn’t stutter or miss type. I’ll say it again so I’m not misunderstood….To Exploit it!

In business and in life there will always be people or companies that will make bad decisions, wrong decisions, panic decisions, and on and on. It’s up to you to make sure your using the best information available to make the best decisions based on the size and scope of your needs. An example of this would be…If your building a dog house, and you have some basic carpentry skills, you might not need a blueprint. However…If your a master carpenter and your building an office building, you would NEVER even think of picking up your hammer without a seeing a detailed set of plans from what you believed a reputable architect.

So would someone please explain to me why people are putting so much faith and weight into this craziness I’m observing in the media?  I have listened to people who I believed to have a very good handle on their finances, and other things tell me they are doing this and that based on what they saw on TV, or read in the paper, and here’s the kicker, they have not looked up or even tried to find evidence to solidify their position.

I have been pointing this out time and time again.  If you had taken the advice, or followed their predictions over the last 2 years….You would be Broke, Out of Business or both.

Tough times demand pertinent information from credible sources, and yes….It’s going to be expensive. Probably much more expensive than your paying now. However, true actionable, and relevant advice usually does cost more than your cable bill, or the newspaper.

So here’s some free advice,    You’ll  get what you pay for, one way or another.

Mark

Let’s call it….”Problems Solved”

I’m writing to inform everyone that I solved the financial crisis. I also solved “Global Warming”, the “Energy Crisis”, and while I was at it “World Peace”.

Some of you I  imagine are very skeptical as you should be, but take my “word” for it…Yes I did.  I wrote it all right down here on my blog. I gave stellar details on how I did it. I wrote flawlessly with every correct syntax, and punctuation that would make an English Teacher proud. ( That in itself should make you suspect! )

My thoughts were bold…my use of debate skills were extraordinary. Well that’s what I would have liked to write…However the real reason for the post is this…In the process of trying to add some new features to the site…Some of my recent posts were Permanently Deleted and Erased! Since I can’t retrieve them, and don’t remember exactly what I wrote, I figured what better time to tell of accomplishments that I never did, and no way for anyone to prove I didn’t.

I figured why not try the same type of false claims most of the so called ” Speakers” claim they can do, or have done. Seems to work for them.Then I came back to my senses….Making false claims Never Works….Might fool others and yourself for awhile, but in the end your going to have to Prove it!

Mark

Why it’s the same……But different.

Unusual times can demand unusual headlines, which is exactly why I used the above.( Yogi Berra might have been the originator.)

I’ve been writing and speaking on the topics of business and the economy, as well as motivation and other topics  people need to navigate these difficult times. Unlike other speakers, or the so called “Gurus” who pitch these..”Get Rich”..”Invest in This”…”Increase Your Income”…” Jump Start Your Business” schemes..I have at least done in life, and in practice what I preach. If you were to steer your life or your business in the direction of these and  more troubling, the so called “Experts”…and…”Talking Heads” on television, or radio. You would  either be  broke, bankrupt, unemployed, or all three combined.

I’ll limit this post to just focus on what the headline truly pertains to, because I could write a book on this subject. ( Don’t be surprised if I do!)

The parallels with 1929 and 2009 are numerous in deed. However, the difference  now is the media. Back in the day when the depression was taking hold the so called ” Spin factor” from the media was almost non existent by today’s standards.  You received your news by either a dominant local or national newspaper, or you heard a variation of the same headlines on the radio and  again only from a limited amount of sources. The news was the “News” not a lot of conjecture and opinions. You also had the man on the street telling experiences to his neighbors, not a so called ” Man in the Street” poll by an unknown source. Listening to the “Media” of late,  you would wake up in the morning being told” The Great Depression is upon us all is lost”….only to be told the next day..” Greatest Buying Opportunity in Stocks and Real Estate since 1939″…Personally, I never knew macro economic shifts could happen daily ( yes, pun intended!), but if you rely on the “Media” for your information as to how your going to position your business or portfolio, well I would imagine your business, your pocketbook, and your sanity are all in the same place….In the dumpster.

Today I watched the financial channels, and to my amazement I heard one person say in response to  reported plummeting economic indicators  ” Well the figure is right in line with expectations…This number is built into the market..We should go up in value from here.” The problem with this was the pushed aside fact of the previous numbers were revised DOWN..to the worst since 1937!  This is the equivalent of someone telling you they thought they had $100 in their pocket , but only found $50 , but since they thought they could have been broke, they can now go out to dinner. However they will not take into consideration that they just received a bill for $200 that went unpaid which will be due tomorrow.

It ceases to amaze me how people who seemingly understand this dynamic are unwilling to do anything to counteract it. If there is one thing I could point to over my years that’s helped me and protected me from some of the worst mistakes a  person could make, is I pay for my information. Yes I pay, and to some I pay far to much. I have been told that they could buy a new car with the money I spend annually. However my “News and Information” is for the purpose of  useful, usable, actionable, and results based information. What they don’t understand is my information buys me the car. Them just buying a car will only give them large repair bills, and even larger headaches!

You need to pay for information….You’ll go broke paying for opinions!

Mark