07Oct 2007

The Dark Side of Wealth: Risks associated with growing up in an affluent family — Risk #1: Drug & Alcohol Abuse

I apologize to my friend, Thayer Willis, for borrowing from the title of her excellent book, Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth, for this entry, but I really couldn’t think of a better description of the topic. As I work with financially successful families across the country, I repeatedly see three negative patterns in family members. Most often (but not always)

29Sep 2007

Business Lessons from Music

Music, and how it is performed, seems to serve as an interesting analogy to business. A solo features a single, star performer – and in the true sense of a soloist, they perform totally by themselves (although they may sing while accompanying themselves on an instrument). Truly talented soloists are entertaining and able to maintain the audiences attention. But less

23Sep 2007

The Healing Power of Music — or Whatever Does it For You

A week ago, I had the privilege of attending a music festival with my son, Daniel.  Although the festival is several days long (and many people go and camp out, playing music all night long), we were only able to go for one long day. For those who are not familiar with it, the Walnut Valley Festival can sound like a

13Sep 2007

Work / Life Balance and the Superball

This week I have been asked to present to my local Chamber of Commerce on “Work / Life Balance”. After thinking about it for a while, I chose to use the Superball as an object lesson. Now for those of you who are young and don’t know much about the Superball, let me fill you in. The Superball was marketed

02Sep 2007

Finally, Realistic Expectations for Leaders

I am excited. I finally have come across an article on leadership that doesn’t expect every leader to “have the intellectual capacity to make sense of unfathomably complex issues, the imaginative powers to paint a vision of the future that generates everyone’s enthusiasm, the operational know-how to translate strategy into concrete plans, and the interpersonal skills to foster commitment to

25Aug 2007

Psychological and Perceptual Issues that Impact Investment Decisions: Part II

Two weeks ago I shared some thoughts from the very interesting book, Inside the Investor’s Brain, by Dr. Richard Peterson. Here are some more of his insights. Some of the initial parts (e.g. feelings) are fairly self-evident but are necessary foundations for later comments and conclusions. [reminder: page numbers are in parens] Feelings Feelings are the result of the comparison

19Aug 2007

Tips for Success in College: How to Study Effectively

It seems like colleges start earlier and earlier each year — but in the Midwest, at least, a number of colleges and universities started this past week or will this coming week (I know many schools back East and on the West Coast start after Labor Day). And with the beginning of the fall semester comes the transition for thousands

10Aug 2007

How Psychological Factors & Emotional Intelligence Impact Investment Decision-Making

I’m on vacation this week — and when I’m on vacation (after the first few days of brainless activity), I dive in to books I have had in my reading pile for a while.  One of the books I brought, Inside the Investor’s Brain: The Power of Mind over Money by Richard Peterson, (published just this year) is quite interesting.  And I’d

30Jul 2007

What is the Purpose of Work?

“What is the purpose of work?” is both a personal question for me and a key question for many of the families with whom I work (although they don’t necessarily ask it directly like that). Consistent with the stereotype of a hardworking Midwestern farmer, I am a pretty hard-working guy (I am not a farmer, but come from that heritage).

15Jul 2007

The Best Way to Find a Job — Still

As I continue to work with families across the country, as well as locally, one of the most common challenges facing young people (and the most common daily life concern voiced by their parents) is the struggle of finding a job. It can be a high school or college student looking for a summer job, college graduates looking for full-time

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