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Archive for July, 2013

All the so-called “secrets of success” will not work unless you do.

–Author Unknown

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Debt, n.  An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.

–Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

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There are plenty of ways to get ahead.  The first is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to say it:  spend less than you earn.

–Paul Clitheroe

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New Treasury Secretary Jack Lew heaped praise today on outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.  It is odd that not one mention was made of the $17.3 TRILLION national debt the government has racked up.  I am curious, Secretary Lew, what will happen to the cost of servicing that debt load when rates do finally go up?  Perhaps, Secretary Lew, is the dirty little secret that Chairman Bernanke has allowed rates to remain so low because of this fact?  We did not believe it was possible to go downhill from the likes of Timmy Geithner, but it appears as though we were wrong.

MSH

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There is an old axiom in finance that says debt can be divided into two categories: good and bad.  As the saw goes, good debt is “invested” in something that should increase in value and have other favorable attributes, such as deductible interest; a home, for example.  Bad debt is all the rest, such as credit card balances.  This cavalier way of looking at personal debt has led millions of families to the brink of financial insolvency.  The truth is that ANY debt should be considered a negative; something despised; at best a “necessary evil” (such as a business loan) to bury as soon as possible.

The goal is to be debt free, whether we are talking about a family or a company or even a country.  In the best of times, debt is a drag on success.  In the worst of times, it can be the ballast that sinks the ship.  It must be our overriding drive to produce enough free cash flow and have enough retained earnings to fund our projects–whether that involves expanding our business or assuring a certain quality of life.

MSH

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The body is the servant of the mind.  It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed.  

–James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

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Economies of scale are a good thing.  If we didn’t have them, we’d still be living in tents and eating buffalo.  

–Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chairman & CEO

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By its nature, a government produces absolutely nothing that could add to a nation’s GDP.  Its sole duty is supposed to be the defense of the nation, from both external and internal threats.  Its only source of money–which equates to power–is what it collects from its citizens.  For those who would argue that the government employs millions and provides a paycheck for their families, consider this: every dollar the government puts into the economy via this method it has taken OUT OF the economy via some semblance of taxation.

Ultimately, private citizens working in unison with private companies provide 100% of a country’s profits, through the production of goods and the application of services.  At its best, the government is a net neutral force with respect to a country’s economic success.  At worst, it is a greedy and hungry beast beholden to none.

MSH

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Lincoln on Vigilance

America will never be destroyed from the outside.  If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Honest Abe

 

 

 

 

 

 

–Abraham Lincoln

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Man must be arched and buttressed from within, else the temple wavers to the dust.

Marcus Aurelius

–Marcus Aurelius

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