Monthly Archives: October 2015

Winston Churchill Quotes

Winston Churchill Quotes

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Never give in, never give in. Never, never, never, never. In nothing great or small; large or petty; never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

The price of greatness is responsibility.

I am easily satisfied with the very best.

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

I never worry about action, but only about inaction.

I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.

For defeat there is only one answer … victory.

Evils can be created much quicker than they can be cured.

You must look at facts, because they look at you.

The future is unknowable, but the past should give us hope.

Nourish your hopes, but do not overlook realities.

Justice moves slowly and remorselessly upon its path, but it reaches its goal eventually.

…I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.…

A lie will gallop halfway round the world before the truth has time to pull its breeches on.

It always looks so easy to solve problems by taking the line of least resistance.

You never can tell whether bad luck may not after all turn out to be good luck.

Men may make mistakes, and learn from their mistakes.

Men may have bad luck, and their luck may change.

…everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others

Can a people tax themselves into prosperity?

Perhaps it is better to be irresponsible and right than to be responsible and wrong.

The true guide of life is to do what is right.

I have in my life concentrated more on self-expression than self-denial.

Nothing should be done for spite’s sake.

Success always demands a greater effort.

I am a man of simple tastes—I am quite easily satisfied with the best of everything.

Let no one swerve off the high road of truth and honour.

It has been said words are the only things which last forever.

It is no use doing what you like; you have got to like what you do.

I like things to happen, and if they don’t happen I like to make them happen.

A fanatic is someone who won’t change his mind, and won’t change the subject.

You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is the time to dare and endure.

I felt as if … all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.

…this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning.

I must tell you that in spite of all our victories a rough road lies ahead.

I do not wish to withdraw or modify a single word.

Few people practice what they preach

Let him go to hell – as soon as there’s a vacant passage.

I myself find waiting more tiring than action.

Win or lose, we must do our duty

You aren’t a statesman until you’re dead.

Existence is never so sweet as when it is at hazard.

When danger is far off we may think of our weakness; when it is near we must not forget our strength.

What a slender thread the greatest of things can hang by.


The Economy: Where is Big Data when you need it? Recall that this massive intersection of data gathering and number crunching was supposed to shift the paradigm of existence. Maybe it works for Ashley Madison, the NSA and advertisers wanting to know which type of cinnamon you use, but it ain’t workin’ for making sense out of oil, global economies or financial markets. This week, the numbers were … well … weak. Housing disappointed. Consumer Confidence fell. Durable Goods disappointed. Q3 GDP disappointed. So with all this weakness, the Fed meets and tells us that interest rate Liftoff is still in the cards for December. Jeez! As mentioned previously, because of fiscal year end considerations and the fact that the planet is on vacation in December, the Fed has NEVER raised rates in December; much less embarked on a policy change to tightening. … not during WWI, not during the Great Depression, not during WWII, not during the boom years of the 50s and 60s, not during the Go Go years of the Nifty Fifty, not during Vietnam, not during the Oil Crisis, not during the Greed is Good years of the 80s and 90s, not during the Dot Com Boom, not during the Social Media Boom … but the most Fraidy Cat Fed wants the most highly educated electorate in history to believe Liftoff is a possibility. … so many braying asses in the dark of night. No wonder Central Bankers are despised.

Food for Thought: We’re music lovers and listen to it throughout the day. If you’re looking for streaming music, try Spotify. Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper I’ve pursued the twin mandate of the audiophile: Great Sound and Uninterrupted Playtime. There are many streaming music services out there. I’ve tried several of them. Spotify does it for me. There are two levels of service: Free with the occasional commercial and Commercial Free for $10/month. The $10 is well worth it. Spotify not only recommends music, it also allows you to build your own playlists and share those that have been compiled by other subscribers. Check it out:

Napoleon Bonaparte Quotes

Napoleon Bonaparte Quotes

1.“Death is nothing; but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”

2.“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”

3.“I saw the crown of France laying on the ground, so I picked it up with my sword.”

4.“A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon.”

5.“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”

6.“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”

7.“History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

8.“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”

9.“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest.”

10.“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

11. “Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.”

12. “We are defeated at sea because our admirals have learned that war can be made without running risks.”

Don Draper

Don Draper is the larger than life lead in the highly acclaimed AMC Series “Mad Men.”  Here are his more pithy quotes; some paraphrased. All credit goes to the Series and the character.

Advertising is based on happiness; happiness is freedom from fear.
Happiness is a billboard that screams, “You are ok.”
Get a slogan.
The Cowboy is quiet and strong. He always brings the cattle home safe
The most important idea in advertising is “new” it creates an itch
Nostalgia creates a deeper, sentimental bond with the product. It is delicate but potent.
Nostalgia is a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone it takes us to a place that we ache to go again.
Your success is due to your standing out.
Your feeling something is what sells.
Our worst fears lay in anticipation.
There will be lean years and there will be fat years.
Limit your exposure.
You can treat things with terror or joy.
If you don’t like what is being said, change the conversation.
Tell a story be happy.
Life is a beauty pageant.
When you have no power, delay.
Young men love risk because they can’t imagine the consequences.
This too will pass.
This is the greatest job in the world except for one thing, the clients.
A new idea is something they don’t know yet.
Be careful what you wish for because you’ll get it.
Fix It.
People tell you who they are,but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.
Kindness,gentleness and persuasion wins.
Life goes on.
This is the business we’re in: accounts come in accounts go out.
We will push ourselves and succeed 10-fold and it will be exhilarating.
Examples at presentation need to show the client how good it’s going to be.
Clients are always unhappy.
There is no fresh start; life carries on.
I’m tired of trying to prove that I have any value around here.
There’s no point at which you should ever stop trying.
It’s so simple when it’s somebody elses life.
Sometimes we don’t get to chose where our talent lies.
Going into a pitch with 2 ideas is weak.
The pitch has got to be,”Finally, you’re going to get what you want.”
Don’t let a wax figurine discourage you.
Don’t lose your nerve.
Success is a reality; it’s effects are temporary, you get hungry even though you’ve just eaten.
Happiness is a moment before you need more happiness.
Get into your client’s imagination and you can have him thinking of you all day.
It’s one thing to want something, it’s another thing to need it.
You make your own opportunity.
Be slick be glib be you.
You gotta be in the right place all the time.
A client should not have a single negative thought in your presence.
Every great ad tells a story.
Have A Vision.
Everybody elses tobacco is poisonous; Lucky Strike is toasted.

Stock Market Wahoo!!

Stock markets are rallying in spite of a couple of negatives. First, global economic growth continues to slow. Second, corporate earning estimates continue to fall.

Think about it. If the global economy was improving, would central banks would still be in QE and easing mode. This past week, the ECB declared they were ready to add more QE. China cut interest rates for the 6th time this year. The Fed remains paralyzed by fear of a global economic meltdown.

With regards to earnings, this reporting season is set to be the third straight quarter of declines. Yet we hear that most results have beaten estimates. Sounds great yet the actual numbers are coming in lower than originally expected. How is the myth perpetuated?

Here’s how it works: As the corporate finance department is putting together the quarterly numbers, they realize that the original estimates are too optimistic. The bad news goes up the chain of command. Word comes back down to quietly revise estimates downward to something more “realistic.” This actually means, “This company will beat revenue and earnings estimates … and your job depends on you making it happen (‘revise estimates downward before quarterly revenue and earnings are released’).” Voila! Another miraculous revenue and earnings beat even though the quarterly or annual comparisons show a drop.

The financial press reports the beat rather than biting the advertising hand that feeds. Many analysts in 2014 were calling for +20% earnings growth for 2015. It hasn’t happened but you’d never know it.

It’s like Axis propaganda claiming victory while their cities were being bombed back into the stone age. Edward R. Murrow who famously said, “…television in the main insulates us from the realities of the world in which we live …” must be spinning in his grave.

Within the past month, global stock markets have gone from gloom and doom to blind euphoria.  … against a worsening economic background. Caveat Emptor.

Remember, it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

Protecting Your 401k

The Economy: “It’s never as good as it looks, it’s never as bad as it seems,” best sums up the global and domestic economies. With Central Bankers unable to affect slowing global growth, politics is reclaiming some of the spotlight from the Masters of the Universe. Saber rattling is back with Russia in Syria and China in the Spratlys; both thumbing their nose at the U.S. Republicans are wandering in the leaderless desert of another government shutdown confused by their self-inflicted 3-Ring-Circus of a Primary. Democrats have a lame duck and match their Republican opponents for Circus acts and dynastic ambitions. The ECB meets this week with Mario the Magician expected to pump up the music. Angela faces a right wing insurrection of a million extra immigrants storming the Brandenburg Gate. The Fed meets next week to bore us with more dithering while talking heads parse entrails. At least Canada is a breath of fresh air with Camelot Deux in the wings. Now, if we could just get Mick and Bianca back to Ottawa. Global financial markets seem to be back to the Central Banker Put but without much conviction. China’s gonna increase stimulus. The ECB’s gonna increase QE. The BOJ’s gonna ramp up the printing presses. The Fed’s gonna go to negative interest rates … . Investors seem to have ceded the field to traders.

Food for Thought: Everyone knows 401k’s. The two most common questions are, how to invest your 401k and what to do when you change jobs. Employers will not provide investment advice. This means plan participants are on their own in a world full of information but no guidance. Many plans now allow 3rd party advisors to help participants. At Higgins Capital, we provide this service to plan participants. If you’d like information on how we might be able to help your, please contact us. The second big issue facing 401k participants is what to do to when you change jobs. When you do change jobs you have three options with your 401(k). First, you can leave it at your previous employer. Second you can usually roll your old 401(k) from the previous employer into the 401(k) at your new employer. Third you can roll your old 401(k) into a self-directed IRA. The short answer is: We believe you should always roll your 401k into a self-directed IRA. You want to do this so that you consolidate and maintain control over your retirement assets. In doing so you keep your retirement assets independent from the fortunes of your past and present employers. Subsequent 401k assets can be rolled into this same IRA as you move through future jobs. This allows for more comprehensive financial planning, less paperwork and makes for easier interaction with the IRS. Contact us if we can help you or your friends.

Proverbs 10:2

As long as you’re breathing, nothing is final.

It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.

Have a good sense of humor.

You can’t be everything to everyone.

Never burn a bridge.

Kindness never goes out of style.

Check your ego at the door.

Question authority.

Be ethical.

Treat others respectfully.

Do what is right.

This too will pass

Be careful what you wish for.

Fix It

Life goes on.

Practice what you preach.

It’s never as good as it looks; it’s never as bad as it seems.

Learn through failure.

Understand the luck of the draw.

Proverbs 10:1

The future is something we create.

To whom much is given, much is asked.

You deserve it.

Shake it off.

Take it one day at a time.

Make lemonade out of lemons.

Living in the past will always take away from the present.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right name.

Laugh because you are alive.

Never give in to anger.

Positive patience prevails.

Never give up; never give in; never quit.

Hope makes the world go round.

Turn off the voices.

Life is a daily act of will.

Men plan; gods laugh.

The past is dust.

You can manage fear by looking straight at it.

Be tough.

Character matters.

Don’t to let the bastards get you down.

Find something you love to do and you’ll never work another day in your life.

San Diego Residential Real Estate

The Economy: The Fed released their minutes today. Nothing new. This week marks the beginning of earnings season. Alcoa kicked off with both a revenue and an earnings miss. We’ll see if Alcoa is the rule or the exception. This is the week before the Columbus Day Holiday and so is light on economic reports. We’ll devote a few lines to San Diego real estate since a recent report says that San Diego residential real estate has climbed 5.8% year over year. San Diego is one of the priciest markets in the U.S. It’s difficult to find much more than a chicken coop for less than $500,000. Around the corner from our office in La Jolla is a 1950’s vintage “cottage.” It’s unoccupied and has had a green construction fence around it for 3-years. Shoulder high weeds grow in the yard. Price: $3,500,000. A place nearby on the water is listed for $21,000,000. On Zillow, La Jolla is full of listings. Up the coast in Del Mar and Carmel Valley listings are even more prevalent. In Carmel Valley a home was listed last year for $2,2000,000. It was reduced to $1,999,000 before being taken off the market at the end of the summer. In other areas throughout these three communities prices have declined from 2-years ago. Real estate management people I’ve talked to say the top has passed. I don’t understand where this 5.8% appreciation number comes from.

Food for Thought: Acclaimed economist Gary Shilling recently gave an interview. The following are some of his comments, paraphrased:

The Fed is irrelevant at the present time. It’s impotent. They have exhausted Monetary Policy. 2% GDP growth is a joke after trillions in QE. It didn’t work. Lower interest rates have created a lot of distortion.

We are not in a traditional economy. We’re going through massive deleveraging. The present Age of Deleveraging must run its course before growth resumes. Deleveraging used to last about 10-years. We’re 8-years into it and it might take another 5-8 years to go. The old 10-year metrics don’t work. This time around might take 18 years. There may be political heat. There is no comparable economic period for what we are going through. This is a unique period in our history.

Increased Globalization is acting as a great equalizer on wages worldwide. American labor is no longer enjoying the isolation of the 1950s and 1960s. The wage gap with emerging markets continues to shrink. This cannot be legislated away with minimum wages.

Energy: $20 oil is on its way. OPEC is tired of the cheaters. So they’re on the warpath. The marginal cost is all that matters. In the Permian Basin or the Persian Gulf the marginal cost is $10-20/barrel.

Consumer Confidence

The Economy: With the exception of consumer confidence, economic numbers have disappointed this week. Is this the pause that refreshes, or is it the beginning of the end, or is it the end of the beginning? You choose. We remain cautious. It’s important to understand that financial markets have been disconnected from the economy for a while now. Your organization or business may be doing better or worse than the numbers spewing out of Wall Street and Washington. Global trade appears to be slowing as China’s economy decelerates. The energy sector is sluggish. Mining and raw materials have hit a speed bump. Fortress America has remained largely untouched by these developments. The consumer confidence numbers tell us that Americans are happy as clams. That’s good for business. Buy now; tell me how.

Food for Thought: The third quarter is history … and never too soon. After 4-years of unbridled euphoria stocks took a beating in August and September. Markets are down about 11% from their highs; 8% in the past 2-months. While we still see this as a healthy correction, we encourage you to have an exit strategy. The “I’m ready to bail at any moment” crowd is out in force. Hope is not a strategy and planning to hold losing positons through a major downturn is a recipe for disaster. Murphy’s Law is alive and well. Letting the market turn your 401k into a 101k is not sound financial planning. Contact us if you’d like help.  We Quarterback Money®.