June 27, 2010

Lessons Learned From Joel Bruckenstein and Gravity Investments

One attractive aspect of our business is its dynamic nature. Change is the norm and to remain static is akin to dying on the vine. Therefore, it's important to stay abreast of new developments. One of the most rapidly changing areas is the field of technology.

To elaborate, I had the pleasure of meeting Joel Bruckenstein during a dinner last February. I recall much of what Joel said, but one of his most profound comments was that we should be willing to pay for technology if it will increase our productivity. In short, if it saves us time--since time is money--we should invest. On the other hand, during the period you are building your business, special attention must be given to expenses. If you increase expenses too rapidly, you face the possibility of operating in the red.

There are basically two ways to "launch" a new venture. One is to pay for it as you go. The other is to use 'seed' capital and run a deficit until such time as your income exceeds expenses. Then you repay the debt. I chose the former over the latter. In other words, I wouldn't accept a new subscription or purchase a new item until I had the either the cash flow or the capital to pay for it. That's not necessarily the best way, but in many respects it is the safest. In any event, many of the tech tools I used in the beginning stages of my Road to Independence have, or are, being replaced as I learn about better offerings.

One such offering is from Gravity Investments. This is possibly the most exciting new tool I have seen in my 25 years in the industry. Although I have alluded to it in the past, I'd like to dispense with the mystery and discuss it.

What Gravity has done is amazing. It's simple and elegant, yet profound. Picture it this way. You have a holographic globe with only the lines of latitude and longitude. In the very center of this globe is a dot which represents cash. Every investment you hold extends out from the center, at varying lengths and angles. Each angle represents an investments relationship with another. If all lines led to the same place, you have a non-diversified portfolio. If only one hemisphere has lines extending to it, then you are not well diversified. Gravity has created a three dimensional analysis for a portfolio. Simply amazing!

I'll write more about this later.

Thanks for reading.

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