Musings: Brand Extensions = Stress multipliers

M 1.  Do you remember that tomato-based juice called V8?   It used to be a single choice – that was it, take it or leave it.   Now, however, at my local SuperMarket, there are 35 flavor and size types of V8 Juice to choose from!

What happened?   My son, Clint, who sells to the grocery business, says this is called Brand Extension, the purpose of it being to command more “facings” or space on each store’s shelves, and thereby sell more kinds of V8  Juice.

The point for us to consider here is this:  isn’t this exactly what’s happened in our own lives?

Let’s count –  How many TV channels do you have? Magazines do you read? Restaurants do you eat at?  Doctors do you have? Houses do you own? Unread books are on your Kindle? Kids events do you attend in a year? Potential colleges will you visit to pick one? Credit Cards are in your wallet? Careers have you had? States have you lived in? Friends do you have on Facebook? Uncleared emails and photos are on your smartphone?

Haven’t all of these types of add-ons ramped up your stress?  Consider how easily you can reduce the pressure by cutting everything back to where you only have one of these:  One house, Car, Partner, TV, Job, Bank, Phone number, email address, Hobby, Sport, and so on.

Carry the reduction a step further by reducing the complexity of the choices you’ve made.

Then you will have created the peace and the time, to think and live at the more satisfying level you seek.

And don’t wait for a New Year’s resolution to do this.  Begin now.

Lessons in Money

A $20 Million Loss ? !  –  One of the stories going around last year was that Tim Duncan, the now-retired Power Forward for the San Antonio Spurs pro basketball team had a Financial Adviser who lost 20 million dollars of Duncan’s money and Duncan was suing him for recovery.

Usually,  this happens through some form of a “Cocktail Party” style investment, where the”adviser” is steering money toward something that is hard to quantify but has plenty of “sex appeal” as an idea to own.  Duncan has said he had been positioned in hotels, sports merchandising and wineries – and he lost $20 million dollars!

Let me quickly give you a simple antidote to mistakenly choosing this style of investment: only,and I mean only, invest in something which has its price quoted every day in the newspaper.  Accept nothing less.

Now you can see your values every day, and should you need to have some of your money; a brokerage firm will sell a portion to get funds back to you in three days.  That is Liquidity, people.