Some Monday Morning Thoughts

One of the things I criticize Governments about on a regular basis is that in a lot of cases they don't seem to have any clue where they are and how to get where they want to be.  As Dan Stanley, our acting City Manager leaves, he articulated the Topeka situation fairly well and a good road map to get where we want to be.  Like a good politician, he did say that the road to the accomplishment of our goals is bumpy and would take at least five years to get better.  I am proud to say I live in Topeka, KS in spite of all the warts on her butt. Now if the City manager we hire will just try to spend some time understanding the big problems and not let the small one's overwhelm him (or her).  

There is a management style called the fighter pilot.  He pretty much understand he has some bigger things to do, but he stays pretty busy flying his plane.  These are managers that fly their "in box" like that and fail to see the big picture.   They don't crash but just get the job done.  My management style was to try to look at the big picture and help articulate it to the staff.  I would fly my in box for a limited period each day and then try to see every person once a week to get an update.  I would sit down at the end of each day and make up my schedule for the next day.  I would list the must do's, would like to do's and try to include one or two things to take a bite out of on the long term list.  I was far from perfect, but that's the best I could do.

Yesterday we went to Kansas City to have a Memorial Day Picnic with Dan and Carrie Craig.  Their boys, Owen and Joe were home from attending classes at Washington University in St. Louis.  Owen graduated this year and is headed to Washington  D.C. for his first job.  I am proud of him and know he worked hard to get to where he is today.  His brother Joe has a couple of more years and someday we'll be proud to see just where his rocket ship career will take him.  I'm sure that we'll see more of his accomplishments on the Political stage as he is so well liked by everyone that meets him.  

This morning I woke up and went into the kitchen to put a pot of coffee on.  It looked like Hurricane Denny hit the joint and there were pots, pans and dishes everywhere.   I loaded up the dishwasher and tackled everything else.  There is just no way two crock pots were going to fit in anything but my hands and the sink.  I had forgot what dishpan hands felt like.  But, with that said, it is all clean for now.  Next I will start to work the plan to clean up the joint for next weekend.  Dave and Barb are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary and several of the family will be in town.  I love to cook and entertain people that are visiting.  Barb has worked hard to get the outside looking pretty darned good and I hope the weather will let us use the inside and the outside to do so.

I had a pretty good talk with Owen Craig, a Summa Cum laud graduate in Finance and Economics. he is going to work for Capital One in Washington, D.C. starting in late June.  We discussed the effects of Bank using Government guaranteed (as in FDIC) money in their investment portfolio.  I think he agrees with me that they should use the money they take in selling stock to "speculate" and that way the stock holders that understand risk and reward and not the Government should be in charge and "At Risk."  No risk, no gain should be written on the hand of every investor.

Speaking of investments,  Barb and I discussed some of the rules that have seriously changed since we started our financial journey 40 years (+) ago.  When we started out, the rule was buy a house and keep moving up.  When you arrive at retirement, it will be a sizable part of your investment portfolio and worth more than you paid for it.  With all the bubble bursting in the real estate market, I am pretty sure that is not one of the strong tenets of the investing advice I would use.

When we started out, having a good job that had a retirement program with it was a great idea.  Civil Service, Teaching and the Military were on our list of ways to live well at the end of our careers.  It is fairly clear to all of us that if you want to have a good retirement when you do retire, we can't depend on Businesses to pay for it.  Even the Government has gone to a program where the majority of our pay out is self investing in 401(k)s and what other tools you use.   I am sure that the return on such programs is pretty evident to all of you.  

I have tried to base my investments on the principle of, "The return of my money is as important or more important than the return on my money."  We also have a rule that we don't loan money to relatives, we gift it.  If they return it, that's great but we never gift more than we can afford to walk away from.  I fight to keep from making a tally of who we gave money to and why.  Barb has a much better head for the "no harm or foul" in gifting than I do.  But, she is a much better person in the Mercy or Justice league.  I talk a good game but sometimes am just Petty, wonder why?


1 comment:

  1. I agree with your idea of gifting money to relatives. I'm rarely asked because they all know I'm not a bank, but if a true need exists, after some consideration, I might shake loose a few rupies.