WHO IS THE ONE PERSON YOU MOST WANT TO INVITE TO DINNER?

THE ONE PERSON YOU WANT TO INVITE TO DINNER

I was talking to my good friend Shawn, and among several topics, only a few crazy, we discussed who we most want to have dinner with.  Shawn, selected Michelle Obama, as he finds her to be authentic.  When it was my turn, I hesitated but stuck to a predictable choice – Warren Buffett.  After all I write this investment blog and I greatly admire the man.   No offense to our past and current First Ladies!  I have read much about Warren Buffett, listened to countless interviews, attended his Annual Shareholders Meetings, etc. 

BEST BOOK ON BUFFETT I READ:

   

But  I quickly changed my mind and selected Jeff Bezos.  Bezos, a “GOAT” {Greatest of All Times} CEO happens to be the richest man on this planet!  What an opportunity!  I would take days to develop the absolute best questions and pick that YUGEEEEE brain!  

Ok, you know what’s coming – Yep- I changed my mind AGAIN!    What about Elon Musk, strange tweets and all?   This man created a new car company – Tesla, a Space Exploration Company – Space X; Tunneling Company – The Boring Company, An Artificial Intelligence (AI)  Company, Solar Power Company (later acquired by Tesla)  and the list will  likely keep going!  

Just before going to sleep I picked my BEST and final answer.

WARREN BUFFETT CONFIRMS MY DECISION.  

The next morning, an article about my first pick, Warren Buffett, confirmed I made the right choice that night.   In 1998, an MBA student asked Mr. Buffett: “What would you do to live a happier life — if you could live all over again? ”  Before I give you his answer, take a moment and think about that question.  What would you do if the genie (played by Will Smith) gave you that one and only do over? 

Here is Buffett’s answer: “He told the audience to imagine a barrel with roughly 5.8 billions of balls — one for everybody in the world. {The 5.8 billion balls represents the approximate world’s population when Warren was a baby investor!}   Each ball will determine important factors (e.g., your birthplace, IQ level, gender, ethnicity, skills, parents) in your “new life.”  “If you could put your ball back into the barrel, and they took out 100 balls at random — and you had to  pick one of those, would you put your ball back in?” he asked.  In addition to not knowing which ball you’ll get, there’s another catch: “Of those 100 balls, five of them will be American. So if you want to be in this country, you’ll only have five balls to choose from,” Buffett explained. “Half of them will be women and half men. Half of them will be below average in intelligence and half above average in intelligence.”  He asked the students again: Do you still want to risk taking a second shot at life?  “Most of you won’t want to put your ball back,” he said. “So what you’re really saying is, ’I’m the luckiest 1% of the world right now, sitting in this room — the top 1% of the world.”  

Would you give up your life today and throw your ball in that YUGEEEEE globe that now contains over seven billion individual balls/people?  

I AGREED WITH WARREN AND KEEP MY BALL 

I kept my ball because I was born to the Greatest of All Times “GOAT” parents. My Mom and Dad grew up during the horrible Jim Crow era,  when blacks were second, maybe third class citizens.  If you are interested in learning more about the history and origination of the Jim Crow Culture and abuses, I recommend a book I read last year. 

Ulysses Grant

   

AN IMPORTANT FACTOR – MY PARENTS

MY PARENTS – WILLIAM AND ANNIE POWERS

Both Mom and Dad attended a one room school for their first 12 years.  But somehow against the odds went off to college at a time when blacks were not expected to, much less a black girl!  Mom and Dad graduated from North Carolina’s Shaw University, and became  teachers. Mom actually taught me one year.  And Dad was my Principal for two years.  {Childhood Rule #1: NEVER miss-behave when one or both of your parents are teachers in your school. Sooner or later you need to sit without unbearable pain!} 

Today, my well deserved and believe me numerous  punishments may be called child abuse!  I deserved every spanking and time out.  By the way, my Mom’s timeouts lasted days or weeks, not this whimsy – “Now little darling you go sit on that ergonomic office chair and only use your $1,000 Iphone for the next seven LONG minutes.”  And you wonder why Johnny is living in your basement at 37 years of age?

TURBULENT TIMES

I grew up in turbulent times, but did not realize just how turbulent until I got older.  I attended a segregated {NOT EQUAL} school in NC until the 6th grade.  My doctor’s entrance had two doors – one labeled “Whites Only” and the other “Negroes Only” and of course two separate and NOT EQUAL waiting rooms. 

Growing up there were numerous restaurants we were not allowed to enter.  The Klan (I had no clue what those funny looking people were at the time)  held a rally 3 miles from our home.  Yet with that adversity, and racism (a word thrown out 1,000 times daily now)  I will keep my ball. 

Like Warren Buffett, I consider myself a blessed man, a one per-center.  I was born in the U. S. and despite any obstacles or racism I faced, I was informed by my parents – I could and more importantly WOULD become anything I WORKED hard enough to achieve.  Mom and Dad were  my personal teachers, tutors, coaches, cheerleaders and EVERYTHING else I possibly needed.  Even if I did not realize the need.  They molded me not in their image but to become the best possible me!   

I went to Sunday School and Church EVERY Sunday where I learned right from wrong.  I did NOT say I practiced what I learned, but the exposure and lessons did make me a better person. {Childhood Rule #2: When you are the Church Usher at the back doors, do not believe you can get away with reading a comic book (Spider-Man if you must know) while the minister is talking and talking and talking!}.

I learned to read before I enter K-grade and developed a life long love for books.  My “GOAT” parents taught me to believe in myself and to understand my skin color was a fact NOT an obstacle.  Mom never ever lied to me, she held me when I was in pain or afraid, gave me unconditional love and taught me so many great life lessons.  And boy did she spank me when I was bad! 

She showed me how to love my parents by modeling her love for her Mom and Dad. I saw and felt her loss and pain when she buried both parents.  As I one day was tearfully forced to do.  She taught me you ALWAYS love your family as she demonstrated a strong unconditional love for her three brothers, her husband, her two boys, her family and friends   

The most important lesson my parents taught me – how to be a parent!  I learned patience, forgiveness, listening, (just shut up sometimes!) assumption of innocence, unconditional love – by their actions.  And on an August 5th, the greatest joy of my life, my daughter, Amanda arrived.  I was still learning how to be a Dad from Mom as Dad had departed by that time.  

So if I could somehow throw my ball in that lottery, or keep my place, I would chose to be born in a little town, Rose Hill, NC,  {Home of the world’s largest frying pan- I am not kidding!} the son of William and Annie Powers and the brother of William Jr.  Surrounded by my grandparents, uncles and cousins.  A family committed to helping me to become the best me. I was and remain blessed. 

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WHO DID I CHOOSE FOR MY DINNER? MY MOM OF COURSE!

ANNIE AND AMANDA POWERS

Before falling a sleep that night I realized with 100% certainty my final answer.  I most want to have dinner with Mom.  Of all the great people on this planet, my Mom holds the most important spot in my heart and in my very being.  I would ask that Genie to let me have one more dinner with Mom.  I have so many things to tell her since last we talked.  So many more things to ask her.  But most of all, over that long dinner, I want to tell her I am still working on being the absolute best me, but know I am still a work in progress. I love you Mom.  Give Dad a big huge for me and my love!

CONCLUSION

You may be asking what does this blog have to do with finance and investments? 

We have one life, which contains the good, bad and the ugly.  Accept your life, your weaknesses and your strengths.  Do not waste your time wanting to change things beyond your control.  We cannot change the color of our skin or who our parents are.  You can control your outcome by focusing every single day on being the best you possible.  My life has meaning because Mom and Dad told me – I belong in our family and I am loved and blessed!  

When you achieve your objective, plan to exceed it the next day and the days after that.  That is how people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Ben Carson, Matin Luther King, William Powers, Annie Powers, Nathaniel Boney, my brother and so many others achieved greatness.  They accepted who they are, believed they were blessed and achieved their life’s purpose.  You can to!  

If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to DO something you’ve never done. Go for it today! 

“I’ve learned…. That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.” Andy Rooney

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Thank you to my followers and readers, for your likes and comments.  All comments, recommendations and feedback are welcomed and utilized to improve this blog.

DISCLAIMER

I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger, with a NC State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.  

I started my first business at ~13 years of age. I am a successful investor in equities and real estate and happy to share my personal finance and investment lessons learned with you. However, I am NOT a licensed financial advisor.  Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog, as recommendations for your personal situation.  For individual finance advice please seek your own licensed CPA or financial advisors.  “

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Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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