And the Winner is… America From the Deep Woods

And the Winner is… America

Reprinted from JimWoodsInvesting.com
By Jim Woods

In the fantastically entertaining, although mostly unrealistic, modern film classic, “Wall Street,” the unforgettably unctuous villain Gordon Gekko famously made a speech where he proclaims, “Greed is good.”

gordon-gekko-greed-is-good-jim-woods-investing
20thCentFox/Everett Collection

Today, I’ve decided to channel my inner Gekko and make a similar proclamation regarding midterm election results, and it is… “Gridlock is good.” Yes, gridlock in Washington is back, and that means that the real winner this morning is America.

I say that because through my libertarian-tinted glasses, the less that “gets done” in Washington, the better. Stated differently, the fewer new laws that rob Americans of their liberty and their property, the better off everyone will be.

With the Democrats soon to be in control of the House of Representatives, and the Republicans still firmly in control of the Senate and the White House, we have a potent prescription for gridlock of the sort that freedom-loving Americans should embrace.

What gridlock means in today’s context is no threat to the Trump tax cuts.

Unfortunately, it means no further tax cuts are likely, but further tax reform isn’t what most experts thought was on the agenda anyway.

Gridlock also likely means no big spending legislation over the next two years. The one caveat here comes if Democrat and Republican leaders get together with President Trump to pass some big-government infrastructure spending bill. A huge infrastructure spending bill means a lot of debt, and likely a lot of inefficient use of our tax dollars.

For Wall Street, at least historically, gridlock has been a very good thing. An article today at MarketWatch cited some eye-opening statistics from Bank of America showing that since 1928, stocks in the S&P 500 have produced an annual average return of 12% in years when a Republican president held office and Congress was split.

That research also showed that in the year following a midterm election that resulted in a Republican president and a split Congress, returns for the S&P 500 have averaged more than 20%.

The data here shows the historical validity of my “Gridlock is good” thesis, but the reason why I think markets are in a good position going forward this year is because now markets can get back to focusing on what really matters — i.e. fundamental drivers of equity prices such as corporate earnings growth, economic growth and monetary policy.

So far, corporate earnings growth continues to be strong, and that’s despite the relatively high number of high-profile earnings and outlook disappointments we saw in Q3.

Moreover, broad macroeconomic data continues to be strong (GDP growth, employment data, sentiment surveys) despite a few points of weakness (housing, building permits).

As for monetary policy, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) just happened to begin its two-day policy meeting today. And while no change in interest rates is expected this month, what the markets want to see is if there will be any alteration to the “hawkish” rhetoric we’ve been hearing for the past couple of months.

Recall that one of the reasons for the equity market volatility in October was the hawkish comments from Fed Chair Powell, when he said that rates were likely a “long way” from neutral, implying a lot more rate hikes to come. If the Fed fails to mention the recent volatility in stocks in tomorrow’s FOMC statement, markets will perceive that failure as the Fed remaining very hawkish.

Finally, there is one more seasonal trend that deserves mention here that isn’t even correlated to the “Gridlock is good” thesis, but that nevertheless happens to be true an amazing 100% of the time.

This indicator was brought to my attention by Tom Essaye of the Sevens Report, who cited research showing that since 1946, there have been 18 midterm elections. And, in the 12 months following each of those elections, the stock market has rallied sharply. In fact, Tom shows that fully 100% of the time, stocks have been higher 12 months after a midterm election by an average of 17%.

Additionally, the average gain from the lows of the year during the midterm (so today that means about 2,530 in the S&P 500) was 32%. And as Tom points out, “Those two numbers equal 3,223 in the S&P 500 (a 17% gain from Tuesday’s close) and 3,340 (a 32% move from the 2,530 2018 low). So, not only is gridlock good — but for markets, the 12 months after the midterm also happen to be very good, 100% of the time!

I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like America is the real winner today.


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Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.

FBI Counterterrorism Expert John Iannerelli Shoots the Breeze with the Renaissance Man

Personal preparedness is a Renaissance Man's obligation to himself and those he loves to protect and keep them safe.

John Iannarelli, Retired FBI Special Agent Executive engages Jim with thought-provoking conversation at FreedomFest about the importance of being prepared, the value of achievement, and how to spot a terrorist.

Welcome to the Way the Renaissance Man podcast. This is a show about ideas, personal empowerment, and celebrating the rational life. Our goal is to help each other discover the tools needed to better focus our minds, integrate our thoughts with actions, and live the lives we really want with your host Jim Woods.

Who's On:

Today's Guest from our FreedomFest interviews is an FBI Special Agent Executive (Ret.), author of the book “How To Spot A Terrorist: Before It's Too Late” and FOX News contributor John Iannarelli. John retired from the FBI after more than 20 years of service, during which time he was a member of the FBI SWAT Team and participated in the investigations of the Oklahoma City Bombing, the 9/11 attack, and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting.

Among his many FBI assignments, John previously served in Washington, D.C. as the FBI National Spokesperson and later on the Executive Staff of the FBI’s Cyber Division. He was a Squad Supervisor before becoming the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Division, the number two position overseeing all Criminal, Cyber and Counter Intelligence investigations throughout Arizona.

During his FBI tenure, John was also the recipient of the FBI Director’s Distinguished Service Award, for which he was selected from the ranks of the Bureau’s 35,000 employees.

What's Discussed:

What preparedness for unlikely scenarios and insurance have in common

What the FBI looks for as suspicious activity before a catastrophic event like terrorism

What it was like at Ground Zero during the Las Vegas shooting rampage

What steps John took to fulfill his childhood dream

What John means when he says, “I've never learned anything by doing it right.”

And much more…

Learn More with Links:

John Iannarelli's Website: johniannarelli.com/

Jim Woods Resources:

 

Now, we want to hear from you! Would like to share your opinion or make a comment on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast? If so, then please leave your comment or questions in the space provided below and share this article with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your comments or question could be chosen as our featured
Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.

Tags: John Iannarelli, FBI, Special Agent, terrorism, cyber security, cybersecurity, investing, inflation, market crash, foreign currencies, precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rare coins, jim woods, successful investing, renaissance man

How You Park Your Car is How You Approach Life

By Heather Wagenhals

How a Renaissance Man does anything is how a Renaissance Man does everything.

This includes how one parks his car. For a Renaissance Man, even this seemingly mundane task reflects his approach to life.

How You Park Your Car is How You Approach Life By Heather Wagenhals for Way of the Renaissance Man Jim Woods

A Renaissance Man considers every action, especially those repetitive actions that become habits and eventual behaviors and decides for himself if they add or subtract value. I have observed through my own behavior that how one parks their vehicle tends to reflect how they manage their lives. Let me explain.

For some, parking styles evoke strong feelings. Family friend, racing legend and arguably the greatest NASCAR engine builder of all-time, the late Robert Yates, had very strong opinions on how one parks.

Robert viewed any employee of his who parked backward as someone, “too itching to get out of work.” So, any employee he observed parking backward at his shop he would summarily fire and help them out the door.

A Renaissance Man’s view is different. He parks “tail-in,” and for specific reasons.

First, backing in to a parking space is safer, and the chief reason why is because when you leave that space you’re already entering the flow of traffic going forward. If you consider this approach as a wider metaphor for life, that means you’re always “going forward”—and that is a key principle in cultivating a successful life.

Let’s explore the opposite view here to illustrate the importance of forward motion to one’s approach to life. If you are going into the flow of traffic backward, you will necessarily creep into it, and usually with some heightened level of trepidation. And when you back up out of a parking space and into traffic, you also have less time available to execute any maneuvers before that traffic arrives. Invariably, you have blind spots. You will constantly be looking from side to side, relying on secondhand information from mirrors or passengers telling you what they see and what obstacles are in your path.

 

This is the approach I consider “backing into your life.” And, with this approach, your chances of being blindsided are far greater than if you were looking forward. Moreover, your judgment is necessarily impaired by limited information.

 

In contrast, when entering the flow of traffic moving forward, a Renaissance Man has the full view of his surroundings right in front of him. And though the terrain further down the road may still be unknown, going forward allows you to clearly watch the territory unfold as you proceed down your chosen path.

What's behind you doesn't matter and almost becomes irrelevant, because you've already dealt with it when you originally backed into your parking spot.

In life, this approach means you’re tackling your “issues,” i.e. your past, and you’ve proactively chosen to make it a known quantity. And, even if dealing with this past is really hard, your decision to confront life’s dragons on your terms gives you the upper hand.

By choosing to embrace the initial awkward or uncomfortable tasks in order to get a better view of the future, a Renaissance Man increases his ability to observe reality and to cleanly apply his full powers of critical thinking and reasoning to determine the best course of action.

Finally, by choosing the opposite and parking head-in, which also forces you to back into the flow of traffic, you put yourself at a disadvantage physiologically. Your primitive brain is going to feel vulnerable with your back exposed while entering into “danger.” Yet when you enter into danger from a tail-in position, you know that you’ve already “covered your back,” and that you are in a much better position to confront reality with eyes forward and with a greater degree of confidence—regardless of how scary the unknown may be.

When you park like a Renaissance Man, you are prepared to handle anything because you’re able to see reality with eyes wide open. And let’s face it, your decisions are only as good as the quality of information you have to make those decisions.

So, the next time you pull into a parking lot, remember that seemingly little decisions in life—i.e. how you park your car—really do have a wider context. Because how a Renaissance Man does anything is how a Renaissance Man does everything.

 

Heather Wagenhals is a best-selling author, FOX News Contributor, Founder and Host of the Web TV Series, “Unlock Your Wealth Today” and has been featured in numerous publications, radio and television. Heather notes with pride for the last 30 years, she has parked “tail-in.”

 


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Fakebook or Facebook: a debate featuring Financial Survival Network’s Kerry Lutz on the Virtue of Stupidity

Part of becoming a Renaissance Man requires having a healthy dose of skepticism.

 

Financial Survival Network’s Kerry Lutz visits with Jim during FreedomFest as they discuss a number of topics including the value of skepticism on today's episode.

 

Welcome to the Way the Renaissance Man podcast. This is a show about ideas, personal empowerment, and celebrating the rational life. Our goal is to help each other discover the tools needed to better focus our minds, integrate our thoughts with actions, and live the lives we really want with your host Jim Woods.

Who's On:

Today's guest from our FreedomFest interviews is Kerry Lutz, author of “Viral Podcasting: How To Earn A 6 Figure Income From Your Podcast,” and founder and host of the Financial Survival Network.

Kerry Lutz has been a student of Austrian Economics since 1977. After graduating from The New York Law School, he became an attorney and lifelong serial entrepreneur. His diverse career has included running a legal printing company, practicing commercial law and litigation and founding a successful distressed asset investment company.

After the 2008 financial collapse and the continued global economic deterioration, Kerry realized people needed a reliable source for accurate information. The ability to perceive economic reality, as well as to separate truth from governmental inspired economic fantasy will be essential for economic survival and prosperity in the years ahead.

In 2010, Kerry gave up most of his other interests to pursue his long held desire of becoming a radio show host. Thus the Financial Survival Network was born. Its mission is helping you to prosper and thrive in the New Economy. He has done hundreds of interviews with such financial luminaries as Peter Schiff, Harry S. Dent, Martin Armstrong, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber and Peter Grandich. He continually releases new segments and interviews on iTunes and YouTube. His new Triple Lutz Report was an instant hit and continues to increase audience share. As he says, “The Financial Survival Network, It’s All About What’s Next!

 What's Discussed:

  •  The differences of opinion Jim and Kerry have about Facebook, what they agree on and why that’s a good thing.
  • Why Kerry believes stupidity has become an exalted state of being.
  •  What Yossarian, the character from the book “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller has to do with shaping Kerry’s political views?
  • Why Jim feels that book was influential in American history.
  • What does Kerry mean when he says, “it’s important to not let the father of the wish be the father of the thought” and the lesson he learned.
  • What Jim identifies as one of the biggest challenges in today’s fake news era and what we must do specifically to overcome that challenge.

 

And much more…

 

Learn More with Links:

 

Kerry Lutz's Website: http://financialsurvivalnetwork.com/

 

Jim's Websites:

WayOfTheRenaissanceMan.com

Jim Woods Investing

FreedomFest:

FreedomFest.com

Now, we want to hear from you! Would like to share your opinion or make a comment on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast? If so, then please leave your comment or questions in the space provided below and share this article with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your comments or question could be chosen as our featured Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.

Tags: Kerry Lutz, financial news, financial survival network, financial survival network podcast, viral podcasting book, investing, inflation, market crash, foreign currencies, precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rare coins, jim woods, successful investing, renaissance man

 

From The Deep Woods: The Real Question Is What Took So Long

Stocks got downright ugly on Wednesday. So much so that going into the final half hour, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had plunged some 720 points, or more than 2.7%.

What makes the day’s sell-off more uncomfortable and potentially worrisome going forward is that it comes after more than a week of strong selling, and one that’s shaved off more than 4% of the Dow’s value over the past five trading sessions.

From The Deep Woods: The Real Question Is What Took So Long Stock Chart
Chart courtesy of stockcharts.com

And it’s not just the Dow. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite are similarly lower, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ leading the charge into the red and down nearly 7% over the past week.

And speaking of tech, that sector is down some 3.5% today, as the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) now has plunged precipitously below support at the short-term 50-day moving average.

From The Deep Woods: The Real Question Is What Took So Long Stock Chart
Chart courtesy of stockcharts.com

So, what’s the main culprit causing investors to de-risk in droves here?

Well, the first cause is the one grabbing most of the financial news headlines, and it’s the sharp and sudden rise in Treasury bond yields. The yield on the benchmark 10-Year U.S. Treasury Bond now is at 3.22%, a level not seen in about seven years.

Then we have a Federal Reserve that has stayed committed to raising interest rates. Recent comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, in which he said that the Fed could go “past neutral” and that he thought rates were “a long way from neutral at this point,” raised concerns that monetary policy would become too strict, and that this could be a chokepoint for the economy.

Another reason for the market tumble was Monday’s earnings warning from bellwether chemical firm PPG Industries (PPG). The makers of specialty paints and coatings warned that earnings would be weaker in both Q3 and Q4. More importantly, the company cited every worry that keeps market analysts like me up at night, such as higher input costs and reduced international demand for its products weighing on its bottom line.

Rising interest rates are one thing, but markets can handle that if the reason for rising rates is a stronger U.S. economy, strong jobs growth and a robust U.S. dollar.

Yet if corporate earnings from industrial bellwethers are about to come in substantially softer than expectations, then that means that one of the key pillars that’s buttressed this rally for the past year and a half now is under threat.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll see the actual third-quarter numbers coming from many of Wall Street’s biggest names. If the collective corporate outlooks are timid, weaker than expected or just too cautious, then that will be a reason for more risk-off trading in this market.

That means you should expect to see some of the froth come off the highest-valuation sectors, i.e., technology, semiconductors, biotech and other growth sectors. That also means we expect to see flight-to-safety sectors such as utilities, consumer staples and value stocks outperform. That’s largely the rotation we saw today, and if this continues, it will change the complexion that’s colored the 2018 market.

Finally, I had a friend call me mid-morning (when the Dow was “only” down 500 points) and ask me why this sell-off was taking place.

My answer was that the real question he should be asking was why it took so long for a pullback to finally occur.

Markets don’t keep making record highs forever.

I know it may seem like that if you suffer from recency bias in the 2018 market, but remember that volatility, fear and accelerated selling are all part of the normal ebb and flow of markets.

Does it feel bad to be long stocks on a day like today?

You better believe it does! I know I’ll be reaching for the Advil later today. Yet when my headache subsides, and the markets are closed, I’ll also be digging through the detritus, looking for great companies selling at a discount compared to where they were just a week ago today.

I recommend you do the same.

***

On days like today, wouldn’t it be nice to know you had a plan in place to tell you if it’s time to sell stocks? That’s what subscribers of to my Successful Investing advisory service have, and it’s why I think they’ll be sleeping a lot better tonight than investors who are just rolling the dice. To find out more, check out Successful Investing today!

**************************************************************

Now, we want to hear from you! Would like to share your opinion or make a comment on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast? If so, then please leave your comment or questions in the space provided below and share this article with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your comments or question could be chosen as our featured Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.

West Point Academy, the Renaissance Man Ethos, and a Circuitous Route to Precious Metals Featuring Richard Checkan

There are many different paths to becoming a Renaissance Man.

The only criteria is to be someone who wants to learn, who wants to be well-rounded and wants to have fun in life.

Precious metals dealer Richard Checkan drops by to share with Jim the virtue of Renaissance Man training and his circuitous route to becoming a precious metals dealer on today's episode.

Welcome to the Way the Renaissance Man podcast. This is a show about ideas, personal empowerment, and celebrating the rational life. Our goal is to help each other discover the tools needed to better focus our minds, integrate our thoughts with actions, and live the lives we really want with your host Jim Woods.

Who's On:

Today's Guest from our FreedomFest interviews  is Richard Checkan, precious metals dealer, West Point graduate and former U.S, Army officer.

Rich graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1987, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer. He then served tours of duty at Fort Benning, Georgia, Schofield Barraks, Hawaii, and on the Demilitarized Zone in the Republic of South Korea. He held various leadership and staff positions at every level from platoon through battalion sized organizations. While at West Point, he played varsity soccer. He left military service in 1993 at the rank of Captain.

As the President and COO of ASI, Asset Strategies International, Rich has knowledge of every facet of ASI’s operations. He has been an integral part of ASI’s maturation from a precious metals and foreign exchange dealer to a full service tangible and rare tangible asset provider—to include rare U.S., world, and ancient coins. Rich oversees the operations, administrative, sales, and marketing departments, as well as serving as ASI’s Compliance Officer.

What's Discussed:

What kind of training enables a person to succeed with confidence?

What was it like attending West Point Academy?

Does circumstance dictate reality?

What is within your control as a human being?

How did military training fuel Richard and Jim's ability to succeed?

Richard's unique path to his current career including door-to-door sales.

Agility, malleability, adaptability play into what principles for life?

Where does Richard look for signs of character?

And much more…

 Learn More with Links:

Richard Checkan's Website: https://assetstrategies.com/

Jim's Website: WayOfTheRenaissanceMan.com

Jim's Investing: JimWoodsInvesting

FreedomFest: FreedomFest.com

Now, we want to hear from you! Would like to share your opinion or make a comment on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast? If so, then please leave your comment or questions in the space provided below and share this article with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your comments or question could be chosen as our featured Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.

Tags: Richard Checkan, Asset Strategies International, foreign currencies, precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rare coins, jim woods, successful investing, renaissance man

Why Doing Less Allows You to Achieve More

Want to achieve more in life?

 

For most of us, the answer is yes. Yet, also for most of us, the idea of achieving more comes with the corollary notion that we are going to have to do a lot more, put in more hours, work harder and generally take on more and more tasks and responsibilities.

Yet what if doing less could allow you to achieve more?

Now, when I say, “doing less,” I am not talking about slacking off and just letting fate’s wind sail you across life’s lake. What I am referring to here is taking on fewer overall tasks, and really concentrating on getting the critical things in life right.

Another way to describe this principle in action is to hone your focus on the most-important tasks at hand, and thereby become a “master of selectivity.” You see, it is by concentrating your efforts on the most important priorities needed to achieve your goals, and letting go of extraneous and often distracting tasks, that you can enhance your performance in business, and in life.

This idea of mastering selectivity and prioritizing tasks was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article titled, “How to Succeed in Business? Do Less,” by Morten Hansen, former management consultant and now professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley.

In the article, Hansen explained how his strategy for success at his “dream job” at Boston Consulting Group was to work exorbitant hours, a practice which he said often resulted in 90-hour work weeks. Yet despite all his time and hard work, there was one colleague he had that put in far fewer hours, yet always had better solutions to problems than he did. Moreover, this co-worker put in a normal 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. day, never stayed late and never worked nights or weekends.

So, was this outperforming co-worker just that much smarter and talented than Hansen (as well as the rest of his colleagues)?

What Hansen discovered later in his academic research is it’s not a case of “talent” or “natural ability” or the willingness to “work hard” that can result in successful outcomes. Rather, what researchers have found that’s even more important to success is the ability to master selectivity.

“Whenever they [top performers] could, they carefully selected which priorities, tasks, meetings, customers, ideas or steps to undertake and which to let go,” wrote Hansen. “They then applied intense, targeted effort on those few priorities in order to excel.”

Hansen’s research also found that just a select few critical work practices related to such selectivity accounted for as much as two-thirds of the variation in performance among the subjects in a 2011 research study. “Talent, effort and luck undoubtedly mattered as well, but not nearly as much,” wrote Hansen.

So, how did the best performers in his study do this?

According to Hansen, “Rather than simply piling on more hours, tasks or assignments, they cut back.” Hansen then likened this ability to cut back and focus on what really makes the most difference, to the scientific principle known as Occam’s razor. Named after philosopher and theologian William of Ockham, this principle stipulates that the best explanation in matters of philosophy, science and other areas is usually the simplest.

“At work, this principle means that we should seek the simplest solutions—that is, the fewest steps in a process, fewest meetings, fewest metrics, fewest goals and so on, while retaining what is truly necessary to do a great job,” wrote Hansen. “I usually put it this way: As few as you can, as many as you must.”

I like to apply this principle to my own life via something called the “minimum effective dose.” What this means is you want to concentrate on doing the things that have the most impact on your results, and that have the fewest extraneous elements and/or time commitments.

For example, in the realm of fitness, I engage in what’s known as high-intensity training, or HIT, to get the best strength and conditioning results in the briefest period of time, and in the safest, most-efficient manner.

When investing and selecting top performing companies for my newsletter advisory services, I concentrate on finding stocks with the strongest earnings, strongest relative share price performance, and stocks that are in the strongest industry groups. By focusing on these key components and filtering out much of the “noise” of extraneous data, I am better able to make good investment choices.

Finally, the principle of focusing more on less, i.e. focusing your effort on the most-critical elements of a task or objective rather than becoming sidetracked by the superfluous, is something we can all apply to nearly every part of our lives.

So, if you want to achieve success in any walk of life, focus on the critical elements—and then get them right. Once you do that, you’ll often find the rest tends to fall into place.

 

Originally published on JimWoodsInvesting.com

 

Now, we want to hear from you! Would like to share your opinion or make a comment on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast? If so, then please leave your comment or questions in the space provided below and share this article with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your comments or question could be chosen as our featured
Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.

Discovering the Virtue of Happiness Featuring Dr. Joel Wade

Defining, understanding and experiencing happiness requires thought and effort.

Mastering Happiness and The Virtue of Happiness author Dr. Joel Wade helps you get clear on happiness and how to pursue it on today's episode.

Welcome to the Way the Renaissance Man podcast. This is a show about ideas, personal empowerment, and celebrating the rational life. Our goal is to help each other discover the tools needed to better focus our minds, integrate our thoughts with actions, and live the lives we really want with your host Jim Woods.

Who's On:

Today's Guest from our FreedomFest interviews is Dr. Joel Wade, MFT, Life Coach, podcast host, and author of Mastering Happiness and his lastest book, The Virtue of Happiness.

Dr. Wade first started working with clients in 1980. For many years he worked primarily as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Los Gatos, California. Additionally, he worked as a teacher of graduate students and therapists over the years. As a Life Coach, Dr. Wade finds that he can bring all of the best of what he's learned to his clients, without some of the drawbacks that the framework of psychotherapy can bring.

Looking back he reflects that his life’s work has been finding what it means to live well, to really and truly live well. Not according to somebody else’s ideals, not in the manner of a cookie cutter of superficial advice, but what it means for a given person to make the most of his or her gifts and limitations, and to create and embody a truly wonderful life. Dr. Wade's work today as a Life Coach is to help his clients to reach for their goals in the service of creating a truly wonderful life, given the realities of their life as it is.

What's Discussed:

Is happiness a goal or something more?

What makes a happy life?

What role does true grit hold for us?

What are the main ingredients of courage and how can we build it?

One simple trick to focus and embolden courage.

 Learn More with Links:

Dr. Wade's Website: http://www.drjoelwade.com

Dr. Wade's Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/happypodcast

Jim's Website: WayOfTheRenaissanceMan.com

   JimWoodsInvesting.com

FreedomFest: FreedomFest.com

Tags:

Dr Joel Wade, happiness, psychology, water polo, the virtue of happiness, mastering happiness, best-selling author, life coach, jim woods, successful investing, renaissance man

 

Now, we want to hear from you! Would like to share your opinion or make a comment on the Way of the Renaissance Man podcast? If so, then please leave your comment or questions in the space provided below and share this article with your friends and family on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your comments or question could be chosen as our featured
Ask the Renaissance Man Anything on a future episode.

Jim Woods: In Defense of Elon Musk

“Quick, check out the Joe Rogan Podcast on YouTube. Elon Musk is smoking a pot!”

That’s the frantic text I got from an investor friend of mine who knows I’m a fan of both podcaster, comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan and Tesla Motors (TSLA), SpaceX and The Boring Company founder and CEO Elon Musk.

Of course, what that friend didn’t know is that I already was watching the live-streamed YouTube broadcast on Sept. 6, and I saw the now-infamous incident where Rogan and Musk passed each other a “blunt,” i.e. a combination of rolled up tobacco and marijuana, and then proceeded to smoke it.

Now, when I saw this incident, the first thing I thought about is how much fire Musk was about to come under from the investing public. Why? Well, because this “bizarre” behavior as many have characterized it, seems to fit into a wider pattern of Musk’s recent penchant for controversy.

In August, the Tesla chief sent out a tweet that said he was considering taking the electric car and battery technology company private.

That tweet caused TSLA shares to tumble, and now there’s a Department of Justice investigation and a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into the incident for possible criminal and civil legal action.

Interestingly, the Musk pot incident, along with the eminently memorable screenshot of tobacco and pot smoke wafting around Elon’s head as he spoke with Rogan, caused an even bigger decline in TSLA shares.

The stock sank about 6% the day after the incident, which was Tesla’s worst day of trading since 2016. Musk also lost two key Tesla executives, who both decided it was a good day to tender their respective resignations.

Now, with all of this controversy, bizarre behavior and potential criminal and/or civil cloud surrounding the eccentric billionaire, why would anyone want to write an article titled, “In Defense of Elon Musk”?

Well, first, it is the purpose of this publication to take you, the reader, on a mission to peel back the surface layer on issues and dig into the deeper meanings associated with these types of situations.

Second, I also admit that I have a love and admiration for men of genius… and to be certain, Elon Musk is a true genius.

During the growth spurt of the internet and e-commerce in the late 1990s, Musk and his partners, including fellow eccentric billionaire and early investor in Facebook (FB) Peter Thiel, figured out how to make electronic payments palatable and easily adoptable to both end users and merchants. The result was online payment giant PayPal (PYPL).

After selling PayPal to eBay (EBAY) in 2002 for a cool $1.5 billion, Musk turned his entrepreneurial focus on transportation. He set out to create an all-electric car that not only didn’t pollute the environment the way fossil fuel vehicles did, but that also surpassed the finest luxury automobiles on the market in terms of ride, feel and driving experience.

Guess what… he did that, too.

When Musk looked at the space program and the virtual stagnation that NASA was experiencing, he started his own rocket company, SpaceX, with the goal of making commercial space flight a reality. Ultimately, the goal of that space flight is to lead to the colonization of Mars, making us a multi-planet species.

Oh, and then for good measure, Musk decided to take on the world’s traffic and gridlock problems by starting the ironically named, The Boring Company.

In my hometown of Los Angeles, Musk already has begun the process of exploring how to create a tunnel system below the earth’s surface in an attempt to relieve the pernicious and time-crushing task of getting around one of the most congested cities in the world.

Will he do it? I’m certainly not betting against him!

Of course, my wider, deeper point here is that Elon Musk isn’t the kind of person that sees a problem and simply bemoans its existence. He’s the type of eccentric genius who sees a problem as a catalyst for solutions, and as an opportunity to reshape reality in a manner that he thinks will enhance the world and make it a better place for us all.

More importantly, he is the kind of man who takes on the responsibility of thinking deeply about these problems, and then trying to develop real-world solutions using reason, rationality, science, technology, innovation, capital — and a whole lot of creative intellectual effort.

In short, Elon Musk is the kind of genius you might find in an Ayn Rand novel.

Just like the eccentric architect Howard Roark in “The Fountainhead,” and John Galt, the mysterious inventor of the motor that can power the world, in “Atlas Shrugged,” Musk is a man operating with a vision of his own making.

Has Elon Musk made missteps in life? Of course, we all have.

Yet, what very few of us can do is take our mind, apply it to problems of societal magnitude of the sort Musk has and actually come up with — and then also monetize — the kindling of a solution to these great challenges.

So, regardless of an ill-advised tweet, or the public consumption of a legal, though still frowned upon, recreational drug, I say Elon Musk deserves not only a strong defense, but deeper praise that’s worthy of a true industrial hero.

Do not lose the forest for the trees.

Lessons From a Badass Marine Corps Fighter Pilot Ed Rush

When it comes to learning lessons in life, Ed Rush says it's better to be the hare and not the tortoise.

Welcome to the Way the Renaissance Man podcast. This is a show about ideas, personal empowerment, and celebrating the rational life. Our goal is to help each other discover the tools needed to better focus our minds, integrate our thoughts with actions, and live the lives we really want with your host Jim Woods.

Who's On:

Today's Guest from our FreedomFest interviews is Ed Rush, Five-time Best-selling Author and retired Marine Corps F/A-18 Fighter Pilot.

The rare few who have spent a significant amount of time in the cockpit of an F/A-18 fighter jet knows the value of strategy and the power of focus. Ed Rush is a professional speaker, a five-time #1 best selling author, and a successful business consultant who has effectively taken the principles that he learned flying faster than the speed of sound, and translated them into good business.

A decorated Marine Corps F/A-18 pilot. At the height of his career, he was the #1 instructor in the Marine Corps for 1-against-1 dogfighting and was instrumental in the training development for the new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

Ed has flown close to 2,000 tactical aircraft hours, with over 50 missions in combat for which he was awarded an Air Medal.

He has flown everything from small trainers to mach 2 fighters including T-34, T-2, A-4, H-1, F/A-18, F-5, and MiG-21. He also flew and beat a Russian made MiG-29 in a training mission.

The lessons Ed learned in the cockpit are instrumental and provide the content basis for much of his consulting and speaking.

A central theme in Ed's life is to do everything with speed. Listen in as Jim and Ed discuss lessons learned from their time in the military and how those translate into their everyday lives.

What's Discussed:

What habits did you take with you from the military?

What is the difference between external discipline and self-discipline?

What are some of the 21-day adventures you have taken?

What does Ed Rush do for fun?

What plan does Ed have to run for President in 2020?

Learn More with Links:

Ed's Website:

EdRush.com
Ed Rush on Twitter
Ed Rush on Facebook

Jim's Website:

WayOfTheRenaissanceMan.com

JimWoodsInvesting.com

 

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