08-AUGUST 21-2020

                                                                                    Good morning.
Future looks shinyWhen in doubt, go back to what has always worked for you.  That has to be what the investor class is telling itself as the market has been struggling to maintain any continuity.  I call this a grifter market because it’s so difficult to be long or short.  After spinning its wheels and failing to find leadership in recent weeks, it appears that Thursday investors went back to the only thing that has consistently worked in 2020, buying the top five largest companies in the S&P 500.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

The Dollar And Your Privacy Are Both In Jeopardy
Any time the federal government creates or gets involved in a major system, the results are almost always bad or ineffective.
They’ve meddled with Social Security, jeopardized retirement savings, even messed up a very important registration website for the Affordable Care Act.
Now the Fed is taking on the payment system at the root of everything.  Once anything like Fedcoin gets implemented, it could replace the dollar … Americans will be a short step away from a cashless society.
Robert Wenzel offered a strong warning about the current “update” from Brainard’s speech in a recent blog post: The update is not good news for privacy advocates who don’t want to see all their money transactions tracked by the government…  There is little doubt that such a digital Fed money will have the capability to track all transactions.
Wenzel’s warning means that wherever you shop, whatever you spend your “Fedcoin” on, even if you travel and spend money — in all those situations you could be tracked.  Any cash flow between services or products could also be controlled by the government.
In other words, this “update” from the Fed seems to indicate their sincere interest in changing the way money changes hands in the future.
How far in the future remains to be seen, but it sure seems like the U.S. is closer to the first major overhaul of the monetary system (and your private life) in decades.
Whoever Has the Gold and Silver Makes the Rules
Cash could be a thing of the past in the future.  Who knows how something like Fedcoin could mess with your retirement?
It’s a good idea to consider other options to protect your retirement with a tangible asset that can’t be converted into digital form.
Precious metals like gold and silver continue to hold value and have for thousands of years.  And because they are physical assets, you can’t be tracked as you could if Fedcoin moves even closer to becoming reality.
Gold’s Tailwinds Remain Poised to Push Prices Higher in 2020
The recent dip aside, the yellow metal continues to have many advantages in its favor.

Gold  slipped (-0.2%) to $1,942.96 this week, while Silver closed up (+1.3%) to $26.89

August 21, 2019

Ron Ashkenas, co-author of the “Harvard Business Review Leader’s Handbook,” explains that there are three fundamental concerns that cause people to be less than completely truthful.

T R U T HFirst, the impact of truth on yourself.  “It’s human nature to want people to think well of us, particularly those who have influence over our lives and careers,” he wrote.  “At the same time, we all make mistakes, so we create justifications and excuses — many of which are at best half-truths.”

Next, the impact of truth on others.  “One way to gain others’ approval is to avoid pointing out things that may damage their self-image,” he continued.

Finally, the impact of truth on business success.  “To be successful almost every organization needs to sell — be it a product, a service, a story or a promise.  But much of that selling is done without truthful disclosure of what it will take to fulfill the sale,” he maintained.  “The wiser course in many cases is to limit the truth and figure out how to ‘deliver’ later.”

While his first two points are recognizable to most of us, I find his third concern very troubling.  As a lifelong salesman and businessman, I cringe to think that a sale based on partial truth would be okay in any forum.

MackayMitchell Envelope CompanyI certainly wouldn’t appreciate a supplier promising me a product without knowing exactly what I would be receiving, and I absolutely do not want a reputation that I didn’t deliver what I promised and then some.

But I understand that some businesses operate that way, and do so at their own peril.  Customers find out quickly that promises made and kept are worth their weight in gold.  A tarnished reputation is mighty difficult to polish.

I constantly preach that trust is the most important word in business.  Of course, the most important part of establishing trust is being truthful — all the time, even when the truth is painful.

If we are not upfront with our customers at MackayMitchell Envelope Company as soon as a problem arises, whether it’s a supplier issue, equipment breakdown or a mistake with an order, we deserve to lose that customer.  And I really, really hate to lose a customer.  I’d rather lose money than lose a customer.

The good news is if we can find a way to fix a problem — and we usually do — our customers appreciate our honesty and efforts to turn lemons into lemonade.  But that only happens when we tell the truth.

“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”

And that my friends, is a Mackay’s Moral.  😉

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