How is Caring Measured?

When my son was growing up in NYC he was obsessed with the NY Knicks and Coach Pat Riley. Many say Coach Riley is on the top ten list of all-time best basket ball coaches. Perhaps the number one NBA coach of all time is Coach Gregg Popovich, AKA Coach Pop, president and head coach of the San Antonio Spurs. What can MI retailers learn from Coach Pop? In one word: Caring. Below I’m paraphrasing from Culture Code by Daniel Coyle who writes about Coach Popovich’s ability to keep his players fully engaged by establishing trust through caring. The first tip you’ll find about the character type Coach Popovich looks for is when you look at the Spur’s scouting template. To read the rest, check out my March MMR column.

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Strategies to Engage and Keep Your Best Employees

For those of you who had the opportunity to attend my winter NAMM talk with the same title as this column, consider this a concise summary. For everyone else, here’s the reader’s digest version. I began my talk by introducing a fictional music retailer, named Barron Key, owner of Harmony Music Anywhere, USA. And the story begins… It’s 10:10 and Barron is about to meet with his employees in the conference room to address a serious company wide problem. You see Barron wasn’t satisfied with his quarterly revenue. He believes that his team is not executing previous agreed upon sales goals.  He’s not in the best of moods.  Before the meeting begins, let me introduce you to his two key managers. To read the rest, check out my February MMR column.  

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Curing Financial Pain

Many of the financial decisions we make may not be aligned with our true values. As a result we become trapped with negative feelings like, shame, envy, anger, fear guilt, jealousy, anxiety, sadness, depression and despair. In Kinder's book "Lighting the Torch," he asks three profound questions, which if answered honestly can lead you to a more fulfilled and happier life. To read my May column in MMR, click here.

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More Irrational Exuberance? Has unchecked optimism inflated asset values?

“Irrational exuberance.” That phrase – uttered by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan in 1996 and reputedly coined by economist Robert Shiller – has become part of the investment lexicon. Now and then, bears reference it – especially when the market turns red-hot. Late last year, many Wall Street investment strategists thought the S&P 500 would advance about 5.8% in 2014. They were wrong. As 2014 ends, the broad benchmark is poised for another double-digit annual gain. Asked to explain the difference, bearish market analysts might point to irrational exuberance.1 Irrational exuberance – the run-up of asset values due to runaway enthusiasm about an asset class – reared its head catastrophically in 2000 (the tech bubble) and in 2007 (the housing bubble). In the first edition of his book of the very same title (2000), Shiller warned investors that stocks were overvalued. In the second edition of Irrational Exuberance (2005), he cautioned…

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What can a music teacher offer the financial planning profession?

In another life time I taught music appreciation classes. My narrative was simple. Understand the aesthetic qualities of music- Melody-Rhythm-Dynamics-Form and Texture, and you will better appreciate the art. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. Improving music listening skills requires that the listener becomes more aware of the aesthetic building blocks of music.  A few questions for financial advisors to consider. Can financial planning be thought of and communicated in terms of aesthetic qualities? Can using an aesthetic approach to financial planning enable clients to more easily see their problems? Is there a benefit to creating more interactive and "playful" financial conversations? The book I studied in graduate school, Teaching General Music, was written by Thomas Regelski, might give us some clues. Participation in music should have the same qualities as play: 1- It must engage the attention immediately. 2- Many of the rewards…

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ideas to develop

- tell me about your best day as a financial advisor - I have been asked  from a practical sense what it would look like to connect a plan to your personal values- tell rabbi"s issue where he needed to make a decision to sell a rental property and fund the proceeds with an annuity or keep it. I asked him If he like being a landlord. He said no. - The days of trial and error to master your discovery process are long gone.

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