Friday, February 21, 2014

The Top 10 MOREon Moments©

MOREon Moments© The Top 10
By The Maven of Craven ‘Never More’ Schwartz

10.- "I heard on Cramer"
  9. – The Mercedes is a great investment
 8. – As ER doctors we see how close we are to death, so have to spend and need more
 7.-  I know, but
 6.- Yes, but
 5.- What if, but
 4-  A cushion, just in case, but
 3-  (A holding goes down) we should have bought less of, and more of x
 2. –(A holding goes up) we should have bought more of it, and less of y

And the number 1 all time MOREon moment:

       Your fault! You weren’t persuasive enough!!  (even though the professional warned the client against the investment, strategy etc.)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lack-tose Intolerance, ENOUGH, & THE Invisible

                                      Lack-tose Intolerance, ENOUGH, & THE Invisible

Shaddai means G-d, G-d Almighty, Enough
Rabbi Mordecai Twerski to this writer

            “There is no completeness in matters of this world. We always lack for something in the realm of physical pleasures. If you have everything else, you still may want for the pleasure derived from respect. Or you may want because of sexual desire. We always lack for something,” per Kedushat Levi commentary on Torah by 19th century Rabbi Levi Yitzchak.
(Without our perceived ‘lacking’ ((failings and evil)) what justification is there for annual after life insurance premiums ((congregational dues)) and special assessments for the eternal new wing on the Church or The SINagogue Fund?)

“The more flesh, the more worms;
The more property, the more anxiety;
The more wives, the more witchcraft;
The more maidservants, the more lewdness;
The more man servants, the more robbery
Hillel Avot 218

            Lacktose intolerance is epidemic.
            And we are lackadaisical about questioning ourselves about the underlying premise of this lack contagion (as we are too busy seeking more to have enough which is never enough and thus the tautological lack pandemic thrives.)
            Thus, we are LACKeys
            And note: this lacktose intolerance is not related to diary products.

            Given ‘never enough’ – lacking is all-ways.
            Solve lack #1, lack #2 is promoted.
            (There’s no picking up the slack when one’s in lack)

            The presentational symptom & effect of this lackadaisical lacktose intolerance is the every increasing futile pursuit of Sisphusian more.

            Furthermoremore doesn’t complete nor soothe the savage lack. more is adaptive recycling to lack which requires more – in dosage, amount, degrees, etc. (Todays’ 2014 Subaru is better in terms of reliability, safety,  comfort, and affordability  than then 1994 Mercedes – the 2014 Subaru is never enough – a 2014 Mercedes ((more )) is preferred or better yet a Tesla!)

            And while more more moremore, better, now has a way of becoming less, worse, later ©– at the heart of more is the desire for permanence, continuity, certainty – in a word – immortality extinguishing the inevitable extinction.

The word ‘Esther’ (as in the Esther of Purim) is related to the root word ‘hester’ which means ‘I will hide.’ The holiday of Purim itself is a symbol of concealment. And uniquely, the Book of Esther, unlike all the other books of Torah, has not one mention of Hashem. And also note it is in Deuteronomy wherein Hashem states ‘I will hide my face’

            While wanting what one has, knowing what ‘enough’ is monetarily, and realizing one’s own enoughness (adaptability and resourcefulness) – may soothe & manages the savage lack (though seemingly never to be cured), the question becomes: how does one deal and or cope – reversion to the continued habituated acculturated hamster wheel of more, ennui resignation, or faith in the concealed, the invisible, the hiding – the beyond our comprehension but with beneficent intention.

Believe in God but row away from the rocks (and cut the deck twice)
Curmudgeon saying

            Invisibility – concealment (even with infrared glasses) is contrary to materialization’s need for ‘proof’ – ‘show me.’
            Personally, I’ve struggled lack (less effectively than Jacob with the angel) I’ve rowed away from the rocks and cut the deck twice. Professionally,  I’ve seen what lack ‘has shown me,’ I’ve seen the manifestations of never ending material lack  (when clients had more  than enough, but there is always another perceived reef ahead, another feared stacked deck  manifested ad nauseum and it is always about the material.
So rather than the resignation of ennui, or just coping with more ‘light,’ by material demonstration of lack and it’s more tributary, and yes, by default as a component as well, I choose the hidden, the concealed, the invisible faith in Shaddai.

            The material is an Ecclesiastical ephemeral bet, lack is snake eyes, and more more more is for morticians and tuchass kissing MORE-on financial planner parasites  preying (not praying) on outsourcing lacktose intolerant hosts seeking more.

            As the wily Guirjieff once stated, ‘we attract our own life.’
            Lacktose intolerance MOREon Karma.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Inherent Conflict of Interest Between Asset Under Management Fin. Planner Compensation & Personal Financial Planning

(A Email To Ms. Joyce Hanson relative to her featured front page story about Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management's "Goals Based Planning" in Investment News - A weekly Crain Publication)

Subject: John Thiel & Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management's Goals Based Planning & AUM An Oxymoron & Inherent Conflict of Interests

Ms. Hanson

                     If all you know is a hammer, everything looks like a nail - Maslow

The monetizing business model of both investment firms with asset management divisions and personal financial planning firms (actually asset managers in personal financial planning clothing i.e. a Trojan Horse) is assets under management (with the emphasis on under in reality). The amount of assets under management monetizes the value of the asset management/personal financial planning Trojan horse firm - way more than fees (be it hourly, bracketed, flat fee etc.)

As the cofounder of NAFPA (from which I resigned though I was their Fee Only Personal Financial Planner of the Year in 1985), author of two editions of ENOUGH(sm), blogster (which updates More vs Enough -- AND RETIRED from planning, assets under management personal financial planning compensation is not only an oxymoron to fee only planning but an inherent conflict of interest.

Personal financial planning is first, second, third about managing goals NOT the primacy of managing assets. (Managing Assets is just a tactic).

When one is compensated for managing assets this has the inherent conflict between managing of goals.

And here a couple of examples.

1) how many planners said - keep the mortgage - don't pay it down - and invest in the market?  (Think 2007). Well the mortgage - even after tax increases the amount of the goal (be it slow down, ed, or retirement). One is playing leverage (for the planner as well) which goes both ways. In the meantime, the planner has more assets under management to get his or her 1% annually on....
2) sometimes - especially with those with 'enough' (even with a cushion 'just in case') they need to take less risk (however you define it) which usually means a lower rate of return - but less volatility and potential for loss. This means less revenue from assets under management lowering the monetized value of the firm.

The 'managing goals' Trojan horse is not new. Yes, now it is for assets under management. But do a little historical investigation - and the first attempt I believe was Connecticut General's Living Planning - which was on the death side of objectives versus assets - a ruse for the sale of 'viola' more insurance needed. (Who woulda thought?)

I have personally seen where 'planners' - being compensation primarily via assets under management constructively make planning 'the second class citizen of the firm'  (the dimini? of the firm). For example, neglecting the potential of long term care needs (when life coverage was available and not even discussing it with these clients) and I could give other examples.

And while many can argue that there are conflicts in all compensation methods - transactional, fee, etc - holding out 'goals based planning' as planning when it in reality (and I wonder compensation formulas for planners) an oxymoron. In perspective, there is a difference in degree between going 65 in a 55 mile per house zone and going 120mph. Goals based planning when the compensation is overwhelmingly from assets under managment is 150mph - qualifying it for Fast and Furious 7. So the (im)moral equivalency argument doesn't hold STP The Racer's Edge.

I realize Investment News' readership is primarily those whose compensation is transaction based or assets under management. That said I hope you, Crain and your editor see it fit to give the same front space to an examination of planner compensation and mutuality of clients' interest. And please, understand, I know there is client amnesia (I wrote a piece by that name.) I also know there is no parasite without a host - wanting 'more, more, more' relative to others seeking external validation by more (more, better, now has a habit of becoming less, worse, later). But as fiduciaries - kicking and screaming - recognized in law or not - but in fact - leadership is by example