Mike Hartley
Top Reads Through December 20, 2013
2009 MTH Color 3R
Michael T. Hartley, CFP

Following are links to seven more timely articles I have selected to share that appeared in various media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fortune, Inc. and others .  They are focused on information about trends, tools, and techniques you can use in your investment advisory practice.  This week’s articles include an excellent piece focused on Nobel Prize in Economics recipient Eugene Fama that traces the history of modern portfolio theory.  Business Insider also contributed a a sobering article about big lottery winners that lost everything over time.  It provides a look into the ways unexpected and unprepared-for wealth can become a disaster for families.

All of these articles appeared in our Flipboard e-magazine, DKE Daily Knowledge Engine.  I

What can you learn from Mr. Efficient Markets now?

It had all the appearance of a market anomaly. For 25 years the world’s leading academics in the field kept predicting that Eugene Fama was certain to win the Nobel Prize in economics. If this year wasn’t Fama’s year, the talk always went, it would come soon. In an efficient market like the one Fama champions for stocks — where what most people expect to happen is the best forecast of what will happen — Fama would have won long ago. It didn’t happen.

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20 Lottery Winners Who Blew It All

As one of the largest jackpots in U.S. lottery history climbs to $550 million and potentially beyond, we’re reminded that winning the lottery will not solve all problems.

In fact many people’s lives became notably worse after they got super rich, and they managed to lose it all quite quickly.

2 Tips for Handling Difficult Customers

John Butman knows what it’s like to deal with divas.

As the founder and principal of Idea Platforms, a company that develops book proposals for subject experts and thought leaders, he is often in the position of advising would-be authors about how to hone their themes and messages. But when it comes to temperament, not all experts and thought leaders are created equal. Some are a pleasure to work with. Others are what you might generously call pain-in-the-ass customers.

In nearly 25 years at the helm of Idea Platforms, Butman has handled his fair share of pain-in-the-rear clients. Here are two of his tips, for two very specific types of pains:

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Your Company Is Only As Extraordinary As Your People

There is nothing more powerful than employees’ passion and initiative to make customers happy to spark long-lasting word of mouth about your brand. Your company is truly only as great as the people who embody the mission of your organization, those who go above and beyond to see the company succeed and to make your customers happy.

The brands that understand this fundamental principle empower their employees. The brands that understand this simple truth trust their employees to be the best spokespeople, the voice of the brand, they can be. Brands like that don’t need huge marketing budget because they have an army of employees and customers telling their story, thus sparking the word of mouth that is way more powerful than any ad.

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When You Criticize Someone, You Make It Harder for that Person to Change

by Daniel Goleman  |   12:00 PM December 19, 2013

“If everything worked out perfectly in your life, what would you be doing in ten years?”

Such a question opens us up to fresh possibilities, to reflect on what matters most to us, and even what deep values might guide us through life. This approach gives managers a tool for coaching their teams to get better results.

Contrast that mind-opening query with a conversation about what’s wrong with you, and what you need to do to fix yourself.  That line of thinking shuts us down, puts us on the defensive, and narrows our possibilities to rescue operations. Managers should keep this in mind, particularly during performance reviews.

That question about your perfect life in ten years comes from Richard Boyatzis, a professor at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western, and an old friend and colleague.  His recent research on the best approach to coaching has used brain imaging to analyze how coaching affects the brain differently when you focus on dreams instead of failings. These findings have great implications for how to best help someone – or yourself — improve.

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9 Branding Rules to Live By


In an effort to succeed in this challenging economy, small business owners must effectively manage their brands. Remember, for many of them, there is little difference between your personal brand and the brand of their business. This is especially true of the launch phase, when the old adage rings true: “People do business with people they know, like, and trust!” People also tend to do business with and purchase from brands they respect, that are consistent with their values, and make good on their promises. Ideally your business has the makings of an iconic brand, with clear positioning and a strong promise. To make sure your business evolves on this path, focus on the nine Cs of Branding to stay at customers’ top of mind.

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How To Incorporate Charity Into Your Business Model

Are you looking for a different way to add charitable giving to your business? Maybe you don’t want to just make a one-time donation to an organization or just match what your employees are giving. Maybe you’d rather take on a cause and make it part of your business. But where to begin? Below are a few tips to help you get started.

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