The Blatt Watch by Peter Blatt: Comparing Acts of God & Acts of Government Malice to Investment Habits

From the desk of Peter Blatt

There are two main themes running through the news this month. The first theme is terrible tornado’s destroying different parts of our country. I call these events acts of God. The second types of events are malfeasance by our Government. The best example is the IRS black listing legitimate charities. I call these acts of Governmental restrictions. The main problem with these types of acts is that the US Government does not allow for a fair and non-partial playing field for all taxpayers.

I was talking to two different clients today and I realized that our conversations mirrored these two themes.

The first conversation, Acts of God. My new client in his early 70s has retired and finds himself without a lot of investments. He had invested his savings in stocks in 2008 and also overspent his excess monies. He came to me today and said, “I want to hire you so that I will never have to face another 2008. I don’t want my money to just disappear because the economy collapses.” Prior to coming to this decision, he had fully blamed himself for his losses. I told him, the investment world was down and had collapsed for several reasons outside of his control. He should be mindful of the past, but stop blaming himself. He cannot control the “tornado” of the stock market; but, he can create a way of persevering his assets. He could build a storm shelter is in the form of conservative income or guaranteed investments.

The second conversation, Acts of Government. A different client called me today with bad news, he said that he was being sued. He is in the medical profession (I changed this fact to make it impossible to identify this client) and a patient’s family is suing him for over $5 million. We talked for about 20 minutes on the phone and he hung up somewhat happier. Because of our past planning we had protected his assets from creditors. After a quick review, we both determined that even if he loses the lawsuit he is protected.  He is able to protect himself from a system that is biased against him and his business by pre-planning. The system is not broken, but just works against a select few.

How to plan and pre-plan is the most important part of investing.

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Until next time,

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Peter Blatt

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