On Led Zeppelin’s second album, guitarist Jimmy Page relented and included Robert Plant’s “Thank You.” Like Forest Williams’, “High and Low, Plant’s wife inspired “Thank You.” Our son, Jim and new wife, Stephanie chose “Thank You” for their first dance. A friend slowed the tempo for the piano and all three nailed it. In my wildest imagination during my somewhat misspent youth never did I dream my son and dazzling daughter-in-law’s first dance would be a smoky Led Zeppelin cover done rather well.
Over the course of wedding small talk, an autonomous attendee indicated his job included financial analysis; logically I had some follow–up inquiries. Forever etched in my mind was the pronouncement, “Bankers are so dumb.” I wonder if the industry and/or Americans learned anything from the economic crisis brought to us in large part by dumb investment bankers. The real Obama scandal is no one has gone to jail and taxpayers made certain, for the most part; bondholders were paid 100 cents on the dollar. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the House of Representatives to investigate this one. Investors should glean that while equities have had an extraordinary run since early 2009 make sure your investments have appropriate allocations given your goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Take heed from Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffet’s mentor, and make sure your portfolio has a degree of safety.
Stephanie and Jim got married at sunset on the beach at Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. The majority of St. John belongs to the U.S. Park Service, thanks to venture capitalist/ financier, Laurence Rockefeller, John D.’s grandson. The United States bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark during World War I to thwart them being used as German submarine bases. Rockefeller bought most of St. John then after developing Caneel Bay Resort donated the balance to U.S. Park Service with deed restrictions preventing the land from development. Having land free from development stirs the ire of some but just get over it. Rockefeller, ever the venture capitalist, knew tourism and land preservation went hand in hand.
Last week I talked to two German tourists who wound up their Florida foray in Walton County. What part of Florida was the best? Uhh…do you have to ask? Much of South Walton’s land belongs to the people of Florida and visitors come here because what we have they can’t find elsewhere. Some believe public recreational land brings little value but the numbers prove otherwise. In 2010, Florida’s Everglades National Park generated over 2,000 jobs and more than $140 million. The same year Florida’s 11 National Parks provided $582 million in economic benefits. More importantly, parks provide recreation opportunities for everyone not just the wealthy few. Parks also allow land to be relatively undisturbed for future generations.
Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs If Tom Smith makes Webster’s Dictionary, jovial would be an apt descriptor so I knew something was amiss. “Check out the JB if you don’t believe me,” he warned. Sure enough, a No Parking sign planted firmly on property deeded to Walton County citizens. Cheer up Tommy, on the other side it said nothing and that side, thank you Woody Guthrie, was made for you and me.
Buz Livingston, CFP has the only investment management firm in the entire world headquartered in Blue Mountain Beach Florida. He helps clients along Florida’s Emerald Coast and around the country with financial decisions. For more information, call 850-267-1068 or visit www.livingstonfinancial.net. For timely financial tweets follow @BuzLivingston.