May 2017

I met Erin Brooks & her family last week.  Erin is a 9-year-old future surfing champion and an amazing young lady.

In last week’s surf competition she came in 3rd.  I was impressed with Erin and her entire family; and the tremendous support system they’ve built. Her father had a great perspective.  While he could have listed the legitimate reasons she was at a disadvantage, he focused on the character that was being developed as part of these trials and errors, these wins and losses.

From the moment you said yes to Jesus, you were meant to be amazing.  Your setbacks are merely preparation along the way.  You can choose to let the setbacks drag you down or choose to look beyond them and see that God’s plan is still at work.

God has big plans for you, but our attitudes will either carry us on to our destiny or cause us to miss it completely. So carry the Brooks family perspective with you, always.

By the way, if you want to cheer Erin on, you can find her on Instagram & Facebook @ErinBrooksSurf.

First off, let me say it… risk, risk, risk.  Ok for the (completely correct) grammar police I know I use the word risk way too much, but how else do you say it?

As many of you know I have been wary over the last few years of international investments.  Taking excessive risk without a clear strategy is the equivalent of gambling.

After the “great recession” hit the world economy, it didn’t make sense to accept that additional risk when America had so much potential.  Now the global economy has continued to recover at varying speeds and many American company’s P/E ratios are a bit pricey.

The American economy seems poised for continued growth, which may cause the dollar to continue to strengthen.  So, for those who are inclined to take more risk…there may be opportunities presenting themselves in the international markets.

Remember, along with your normal investment & economic risks, when you invest internationally you also are accepting additional risks such as political and exchange rate to name just two. One look at what’s happening in Venezuela and the seizure of the GM plant there and you know what I’m saying is more real than one might like to admit.

I am still reluctant to approach emerging markets.  They tend to be tied closely to commodity prices.  The Chinese economy is uncertain and has traditionally been a huge buyer of the commodities.  That isn’t to say you can’t do well, but again you are taking a whole new level of risk when investing internationally.

Mark Twain famously commented that he was more concerned about return of his money than return on it.  If you feel similarly, you might consider staying with America to limit your risk.