ESG: It’s Toasted.

Client meetings could not be more tense than the one between the Sterling Cooper ad execs and the honchos from Lucky Strike. 

The good old days were over. The FTC was on a rampage, forbidding big tobacco from advertising their product as healthful. It was clear to the Lucky guys that the mass media’s propaganda had manipulated and misled the public into believing their product was linked to…”certain fatal diseases.”

Their competitor could no longer say “More Doctor’s Smoke Camels,” but neither could Lucky Strike, and while that may have leveled the playing field, the principal problem remained: How do we sell more cigarettes than the other guys?

Through thick clouds of smoke, they coughed and complained about their new reality. The problem seemed insurmountable, and it was apparent the ad men walked into this pivotal client meeting without a campaign. 

Awkward silence and paper shuffling punctuated the coughing fits. Ambitious and eager to advance, Pete, the inexperienced Sterling account man offered an idea so lame that it caused the men from Lucky to rise from the table and turn their backs on the ad team.

They marched to the door, clearly thinking about hiring a new agency, one that still knew how to sell a pack of smokes.

And then, it happened. A thunderbolt of inspiration. As the tobacco boys were about to leave, Don, the ace creative director resuscitated the conversation, positioning himself to toss a Hail Mary from deep in their end of the field.

The campaign that would infect a million lungs was born.

Don Draper: This is the greatest advertising opportunity since the invention of cereal. We have six identical companies making six identical products. We can say anything we want. How do you make your cigarettes?

Lee Garner, Jr.: I don’t know.

Lee Garner, Sr.: Shame on you. We breed insect-repellent tobacco seeds, plant ’em in the North Carolina sunshine, grow it, cut it, cure it, toast it.

Don: There you go. There you go. Lucky Strike. It’s Toasted.

Lee Garner, Jr.: But everybody else’s tobacco is toasted.

Don: No, everybody else’s tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strike’s is toasted.

ESG is like cigarettes were in the 1950’s, a cancerous product marketed to have you believe its a healthy and virtuous alternative to dangerous, world-destroying capitalist strategies like, you know, the ones that have continually advanced civilization.

The difference is, there are no current government officials or agencies able or willing to stop the ESG charade, and in fact, many are 100% on board, because the ESG grifters have been empowered to force policy around social issues that the federal government legally cannot.

ESG is about money. Theirs, not yours, to be clear. You will be along for their profitable ride, and you may even make a few bucks, but sound investing isn’t the point. The point of ESG is about using your hard-earned money to advance somebody else’s social agenda.  Those somebodies are called “stakeholders”.

ESG takes money from workaday shareholders, and through their transformative magic they transfer it to stakeholders. This is called wealth transfer. This should be called a crime.

Will ESG Reform Capitalism or Destroy it?

You see, capitalism works. It’s always worked. Millions upon millions of workaday American’s lives have been enriched by straight up capitalism. Why? Because they had the guts to put skin in the game. Their skin.

Shareholders have skin in the game. Stakeholders do not.

“Stakeholder” is a made up concept designed to separate you from your money.

Companies exist to benefit their shareholders, people who despite having no guarantees, still took the risk to capitalize the enterprises and industries that have industrialized and improved our planet. Shareholders have earned the right to increase their wealth by participating in risk taking and the capital formation process. Stakeholders have not.

If you have been conned into believing that companies can become more valuable and profitable by adhering to the strict limitations of ESG standards, increase value to the shareholders, and raise their own “social goodness” scores in the bargain, I’ve got this bridge I want you to see.

But Klaus Schwab, the World Economic Forum, Larry Fink, Blackrock, State Street and Vanguard, and too many others, are all working together to advance “the greater good” by forcing ESG on an unsuspecting public. ESG is designed to infiltrate and control your existence, and you will pay a steep price if your own social goodness score remains too low.

ESG is no more about advancing the greater good than giving free cigarettes to ten year olds.  It’s not about saving the world from the so-called ravages of climate change, and it exploits issues like race, gender and inclusion, using them as effective manipulations to achieve their real goal: the money.

Social issues, both real and imagined, have been reduced to sales blurbs, and many people will buy the lies in order to escape the shame and name calling if they don’t. You will be well to remember the sticks and stones philosophy.

ESG may possibly be one of the worst and most dangerous ideas to come from the global elites. It has become fashionable in recent decades for elites and other social warriors to label the industries they want to villainize as Big, like Big Oil or Big Auto or Big Meat. You will be well to remember ESG as Big Fraud.

ESG promoters are wolves in sheep’s clothing, and I apologize to the wolves for saying so. They are the bag men who will collect your hard earned money, launder it in their sea of sanctimonious platitudes, throw the stakeholders a few bones and laugh all the way to the banks they control.

ESG is not about having money do good. 

ESG is about its hucksters making good money

The Heritage Foundation: Explaining the ESG Pushback



Your Average Joe Economics: Yeah, it’s a recession, so get in gear and build a financial fortress.

REVISED JUL 28 2022: Yes, Biden Administration, we are in a recession. We are negative GDP for two consecutive quarters. That’s called the “definition of recession,” no matter how you try to spin your way out of it.

There’s a lot of talk about recession these days.

As of today, June 30, 2022, we are probably in a recession, based on the technical definition, which is two consecutive quarters where GDP growth is negative.

  • 1Q22 Gross Domestic Product was just revised downward. It did not grow at all. Instead, it declined at a 1.6% annualized rate. 
  • 2Q22 GDP number will be out very shortly, and its not looking very promising.

More importantly, it feels like we are in a recession.

With inflation at a forty year high (and still rising), mortgage rates on the rise, regular gas over $5 a gallon, homes selling at record highs, car prices through the roof, and food prices skyrocketing, it’s no wonder that a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs survey finds that 85% of Americans believe we are on the wrong track. 

Yeah, you don’t have to wait for the numbers to feel like we are in a recession.

Nobody likes recessions, since they bring wage declines, unemployment, stock market corrections and a feeling of malaise and worry. Right, not pretty. Stuff happens, and so do recessions. But like spring follows winter, recessions are eventually followed by another phase of the CYCLE called recovery. That’s why its called a business CYCLE.

Business CYCLE phases include boom, slowdown, recession and recovery.

Boom times are marked by expansion of GDP. The workforce is growing, production is high, sales are soaring and paychecks are getting bigger.

But all good things come to their natural end, and soon we will slow down and then peak, and inflation (rising prices, weaker dollar) creeps in like a thief. GDP slows, sales drop off, demand wanes and pretty soon, we are in a recession, a period of economic decline that lasts at least two successive quarters. This can have long-lasting effect on wages, the stock market, and the population as a whole.

If things worsen from there, then we face a full on depression. Depression is to recession what a migraine is to a headache. If you are “analogy challenged,” a depression is a really, really bad recession. The Great Depression was the worst economic decline in the modern, industrialized world. A real character builder. It started with the 1929 stock market crash and lasted for ten years. Millions of people were wiped out. Depressions are not a frequent part of the CYCLE. Thank God.

How can we prevent recessions?

We don’t control the weather, we can’t prevent snow, and it’s the same with recessions.

However, even though recessions are part of the normal business CYCLE, the effects can be minimized. At times like this, our country’s leadership must exercise intelligent fiscal, monetary and energy policies for us to have a chance to make it to the other side unscathed. Today, 85% of American’s don’t believe that our current fiscal, monetary and energy policies forecast a bright future.


But now is not the time to panic. Instead, take the time to prepare.

They say that in a recession, “cash is king.” No, it’s queen. Having a PLAN is king, just as you should for every phase of the CYCLE.

But to prepare for the recession phase, here are two handfuls of tips:

  1. Tune up your financial plan to anticipate and prepare for all phases of the business CYCLE. Financial planning is an all weather process, and must include short- and long-term solutions, including how to deal with eventual economic downturns. You should always have a plan, but if you don’t, getting a plan together now is the smart move.
  2. Reduce risk in your portfolio. No, don’t dump everything. Look at your holdings and see where you can trim off some market risk. Allocating away from growth stocks and toward dividend stocks is one way to stay invested and reduce risk. Remember, you don’t go broke taking profits, so when markets are at historic highs, take them! And what if the market goes higher after you sell? Who cares? We aren’t fortune tellers, take the profit, and live to reinvest another day.
  3. Reduce your return expectations. Interest rates will probably go down, so returns on cash accounts will suck. That’s okay. You will not lose principal, and you will be protecting liquid assets that can be reinvested into the market at lower prices after its eventual correction. It’s about winning by not losing.
  4. Increase cash in the bank. Cash means covering emergencies. Cash means capitalizing on opportunities that will appear as the markets decline. Be in a good cash position. Sure, the rates will suck, but cash is queen in a recession.
  5. Short term treasury bond rates suck, but they are safe. Consider short maturities if you don’t need all that cash laying around.
  6. Consider hard assets. Precious metals like gold and silver tend to do well in recessionary times. They can provide a good hedge to the rest of your financial assets in declining markets. Gold and silver coins, rounds and bars are easy to buy, easy to store, and easy to sell.
  7. Cut dumb spending. You will live without Starbucks. As God as my witness, you will live! Better: McDonald’s, any size for a buck. Best: travel mug. Get it? Every dumb spend has a series of smart alternative solutions. Cut dumb spending habits before a recession. Make a habit of your new smart habits in all phases of the CYCLE.
  8. Cut dumb debt. That means credit cards. Revolving credit is dumb. Khakis on credit is a dumb idea.
  9. Reduce or eliminate leveraged debt like a mortgage which helps you finance an appreciating asset, like your home. Khakis don’t appreciate in value. Target adjustable rate loans for refinancing, whose rates seem to climb even when rates are falling. How do they do that? Refinance old leveraged debt (mortgages and credit lines) to new lower fixed-rate debt.
  10. Work more hours, save more money. Get some differential OT coming your way, or start a side hustle. Employers get very choosy in a recession, so unless you are continually “employee of the month,” or playing squash with the boss, watch your backside. Trade your TV time for a side hustle, and be your own boss.

So, in summary, we are either in, or headed into a recession. The facts and clues are too persistent and too many to deny. But armed with this intelligence, talk with your advisor or planner and take the necessary steps to build a fortress around your finances.



Retirement is a big decision. Actually, it’s a series of decisions that travels the timeline of your adult life, from your first job to your last breath! It’s a big question: DoRead More…

What can a Money Coach do for me?

Clients hire money coaches for a number of reasons, and, surprisingly, its not just about their coach’s skill with money!

Most people in the US need help with money, because or educational system failed to realize that “money skills” are something every student from K to 12, and in four years (or more) of higher education, should have a firm grasp on.

And while a professional money coach will bring hands-on experience and broad skills to the table, it is the less tangible skills that people often need to harness in order to make real headway with their personal finances.

Your reason to seek out a coach is unique to you, so to get you thinking beyond the dollars and cents of it all, here is an incomplete list of reasons that people hire a coach (listed alphabetically so as not to imply the relative importance of one reason over another).

  1. Accountability. The one thing that separates coaching from any other financial relationship is the two way street of accountability. In order for any coaching engagement to be a success, coaches must follow through. And so must clients.
  2. Biases. We all have inherent biases that can manifest in potentially damaging behaviors. Many clients have been been unable to overcome the biases and behaviors that have held them back from financial success. An experienced coach can plug that drain so their client can make smarter, informed decisions about their overall financial wellness. Money Coaching is on the cutting edge of changing investor behavior and establishing life-long money skills.
  3. Celebration. A win for the client is a win for the coach, and you will celebrate your victories as a team!
  4. Challenge. Changing any habit is hard, and a good coach will challenge their client to face their hardest problems, and partner with them until the correct solution reveals itself.
  5. Change. An experienced and informed coach’s support will help clients initiate critical change.
  6. Confidentiality. Unless you are attending a group coaching experience, your business is your business. Nobody has the right to know what you discuss with your coach. Private clients are just that! 
  7. Discovery. Coaches help clients discover intelligent alternatives and approaches that they had not considered or didn’t even know were available.
  8. Effectiveness. Clients can’t be effective as an investor or money steward if they don’t have a personal paradigm or a detailed plan built around their personal goals.
  9. Focus. The money coach will help clients tune into the problems that must be solved, and tune out the rest of the noise. A laser focus on only the issues that matter means turning away the million and one bits of financial pornography that assault our senses daily. 
  10. Goals will never be realized unless and until they are visualized. One of the most important roles a coach plays is helping their clients visualize and define realistic goals and then craft a plan to attain them.
  11. Honesty. Your friends and family may be reluctant to help you because they don’t know how. Also, they don’t want to put in their two cents and put the relationship on the line. An honest assessment from an unaffiliated, unrelated and trusted third party is what clients demand from a coach.Truth without baggage!
  12. Logic. A coach can help clients replace emotion with logic, the secret to effective long-term wealth creation.                 
  13. Mistakes. You want a coach to help you avoid costly mistakes, and most experienced financial coaches have made those same mistakes. It’s called “earning your stripes the hard way,” and hard knocks are the best teachers of all. If you work with an adviser, coach or planner that hasn’t made mistakes, fire them!
  14. Objectivity. You will benefit from unvarnished, non-judgmental and objective discussions with an outside observer. 
  15. Observation. Through close observation, active listening, and asking powerful questions, financial coaches can help clients craft an intelligent plan, complete with detailed action steps.
  16. Obstacles. All goals face obstacles. Spotting potential obstacles and barriers before they appear, and crafting a plan to overcome them by anticipating changes or shifts in your life and the world in which we live.
  17. Partnership. Coaches are not dictators. Rather, they are collaborators, partnering with clients to find answers and create positive change. 
  18. Potential. An experienced coach will know how to help their clients uncover their hidden potential, which will lead to fulfilling their dreams. 
  19. Perspective. Coaches learn to look at everything from a broader perspective and in longer time frames.
  20. Resources. Clients are able to benefit from the network of allied resources that their coach has developed over decades in the field. 
  21. Simplicity. One of the goals that seems to surface often is the client’s desire to take complexity out of the financial picture. Complexity causes stress; simplicity invites peace.
  22. Success. Success comes in many forms. Making more money, feeling peace of mind regarding your future, finding more time to do the things you want to do because you have the resources. You defines your own success; the engaged money coach helps you achieve it. 
  23. Strategy. Without a strategic foundation, it’s unlikely anyone will build the wealth or the life they want.  
  24. Tactics. Experienced coaches carry a full “bag of tricks” with them to share with clients. You will learn proven techniques for solving problems as varied as fixing a broken portfolio to creating meaningful lifetime financial wellness.

The reasons clients hire a money coach may be virtually unlimited, and may often can be quite surprising. For instance, a self-sufficient, hard-driving executive may actually need someone else to steer the personal finance ship, based on his or her own inherent biases or behaviors. Sounds odd, but it happens every day.

Most money coaches like helping people and they like solving problems. That’s a really winning combo of motivations, and the varied nature of the engagements and the diversity of the problems to be solved are two of the main drivers that lure many coaches into the field. 

Money coaching. A new and unusual concept to many people, but don’t you owe it to yourself to take the next step?

Advanced Wealth Protection.

My Clients Crave Principal Protection

Meaningful conversations with good clients are the highlight of any money coach’s day. These conversations are like snowflakes, no two are alike, and are as different as the clients themselves, each with their unique goals, relationship and family situations, level of knowledge, level of wealth, specific goals, and the list goes on.

We work with a more elderly clientele, and have noticed a common theme, regardless of their differences: virtually all of them want protection.

Older clients want to protect their lives, their health, their family and their money.

The days of risk and growth are long gone, having surrendered to the days of safety and income. Cryptocurrency is for the young, risk has become a four letter word, and the paychecks are over, so when it comes to money, you cannot afford to lose it.

Wealth preservation and the need for a solid, tax-friendly income generation plan are the most relevant solutions, and many times a protected growth strategy that eliminates risk of loss while maintaining growth of assets are required solutions. Creating lasting legacies through a formalized insurance and estate plan are necessary to complete the picture.

In working with any financial professional, they must be conversant on the strategies and instruments that will satisfy their elder client’s need to have safe income and capital preservation. 

A money coach’s role, on part, is to help their clients identify and eliminate their destructive money behaviors, elevate their financial literacy and hold them accountable to achieving their greatest goals in life.

Never. Lose. Money.


What is a Money Coach?

Money coaches are not investment brokers, but they could be!

Money coaches are not financial planners, but they could be!

Money coaches are not necessarily already in the financial services business, but they could be!

So what the heck is a money coach?

Before we seek a definition, let’s first contemplate the human condition for a moment, and consider what people really want in terms of a happy life.  

We know that money doesn’t equal happiness, but when we think about money, we generally want to know a few things: how can I make more, how can I keep from losing it, how can I be a better investor, and how can I best manage my life, financial and otherwise, so that my family and I can live a healthy, worry-free life.

Face it, living life means learning how to deal with risk. Catastrophes and mistakes have a price tag. Everybody’s price tag is different. Most of us don’t sit around worrying about things like stock picking and market volatility. We think about what hazards might come our way that could make our lives more volatile. The health and safety of our spouses and children, losing our jobs, getting a serious illness, dying too soon, and yes, even living too long, all of it, costs money.

On top of all those things, add in the need to plan for a secure retirement, a plan to send the kids to college, a plan to insure the risks of getting sick, dying too soon and living too long, bulging credit card debt, not having enough cash to deal with an emergency, living within a budget…whew! Now that’s a pretty full plate.

And if that were not enough to make us cry uncle, we’re often fighting a war. With ourselves. That’s right, we all have the potential to be our own worst enemy. Low financial literacy, bad habits and wonky behavior will kill even the best laid plans. 

So, most people aren’t looking for a better stockbroker; they’re looking for help and guidance to better deal with both the risks and opportunities ahead, which means getting a better handle on their emotions, their behaviors, their money biases, their knowledge and their skill.

A money coach is less a teacher and mentor, and more a guide, helping his or her client find the answers within, and helping them move toward reaching their most significant goals in life, and then holding them accountable to achieving them.

That’s what a money coach is.

Never. Lose. Money.

Even a dummy can make money. Timeless words from Warren Buffett..

“I want to be in businesses so good even a dummy can make money.” – Warren Buffet, 1988

Mr. B followed four basic tenets when deciding to buy a company:

  1. Business Tenets-Basic characteristics of the business itself,
  2. Management Tenets-Important qualities that senior management must display,
  3. Financial Tenets-The financial decisions the company must maintain, and
  4. Value Tenets-Interrelated guidelines about purchase price.

Want to know more? Then don’t be a dummy…buy this book.