Pearls of Wisdom

Q4 | December 2023

stack of old newspapers, pile of old newspapers

Topic: Pearls of Wisdom

Kathleen Peace CFA, CFP

December 14, 2023

Image used with permission: iStock/hanohiki


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Pearls of Wisdom

Q4 | December 2023

Reading is one of the principal occupations in our profession. As we digest a wide range of material, interesting ideas and surprising facts – some serious and some light-hearted – rise to the surface. We attempt to share a few of those with you in this issue of Nexus Notes.

Failing Well

Want to thrive? First, learn to fail. Most of us try hard to avoid failure – and tend to be embarrassed if things go wrong. But embracing our failures can be a crucial part of our personal growth. When Sara Blakely, the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire, was a child, her father would routinely ask her: “How did you fail today?” He ‘high-fived’ her when she didn’t make the cheerleading squad, and again when she lost her campaign for class president. Sara was trying things not with the expectation of success, but rather, ‘for the experience and the stories and the people’ she met. Want to try more things and learn from your missteps? Dr. Amy Edmondson, a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School, recommends that we: 1) Put our failures into context – no catastrophizing! 2) Learn how to pivot: don’t wallow, but rather, move on or change direction. 3) Share your failures: humility and honesty are the ‘two essential ingredients’ of the ‘fail well’ mind set. New York Times, September 15, 2023.

Linking Happiness to Wisdom

Marcus Aurelius said that “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” Does this mean that we must avoid low-quality thoughts to be happy? A jump back into the archives of The Atlantic suggests this is indeed the case but with a twist: Our well-being is correlated with our ability for ‘wise and pragmatic reasoning’ that help us to navigate the ‘important challenges in social life.’

As reflected above(1), the older we become, the stronger the correlation: Wise seniors have higher well-being than their ‘unwise’ peers. As such, for the young among us, cultivating wisdom – and in particular, wisdom that leads to wise action – is a worthy long-term investment. Think of it as a virtuous circle: Acting wisely reduces conflict in your life, which fosters a sense of well-being, which makes it easier to act wisely, and so forth. Perhaps our stoic Roman Emperor was on to something.   The Atlantic, August 9, 2012.

Take it Down a Notch

Are you giving it your all? Maybe that’s too much. To be at our best, we would do well to dial it back a bit. The trick is to try for 85%, in other words, the ‘Magic Number for Productivity.’ At first blush, this notion is anathema to those of us raised on the age-old doctrine of relentless effort and hard work. But quite often, aiming for perfection in our work, health and personal development can backfire and burn us out. The recently increased ability to compare ourselves to others, fueled by social media and the like, can make achieving 100% an unrealistic and exhausting pursuit. In embracing our 85%, we may come to realize that sometimes doing a little less not only conserves energy but also fosters growth & resilience, and a more sustainable path to efficiency and productivity in all aspects of our lives. The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2023.

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CRM2
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With changing securities regulations coming into effect, investment firms are now required to provide individual investors with specific additional in

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Charitable Giving Made Easier

Topic:
Foundations & Endowments
Excerpt:
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The Case for Openness – An Open and Shut Case?

Topic:
Human Interest
Excerpt:
From time immemorial, mankind has been open. Open to new ideas, open to trade, and open to migration – the three critical ingredients for progress.

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Au Revoir

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Inside Nexus
Excerpt:
As you may be aware, my time at Nexus is coming to a close. Over the last number of months, I have been working closely with others at the firm to

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Say “No” to Absolute Safety

Topic:
Investments
Excerpt:
My colleague Harsh Narsinghani and I were recently discussing how many of our clients were unnerved by geopolitical and economic worries and how it

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“Work, Work, Work, Work, Work, Work”

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Pearls of Wisdom
Excerpt:
This has been a busy year. I’ve had lots happening on the home front (a wedding!) and lots going on at the office (too long to list!) Managing work

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Capital Gains, Charitable Acts, and the New Alternative Minimum Tax

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Tax Planning
Excerpt:
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The Case for An Annual Family Roundtable

Topic:
Wealth Planning
Excerpt:
Not long after I joined Nexus, Bill Berghuis imparted some good advice that has stuck with me

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Charitable Giving Made Easier

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Excerpt:
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Worth 1,000 Words

Topic:
Human Interest
Excerpt:
A little humour makes the world a better place.

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Where Have All the Boutiques Gone?

Topic:
Inside Nexus
Excerpt:
Many small, once independently managed, firms have fallen into the clutches of larger organizations such as banks, institutional money managers and

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From Vineyards to Portfolios: Cultivating Long-Term Wealth

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Investments
Excerpt:
My wife and I have been stymied so far this summer in getting to the Niagara region for our annual weekend of cycling through the vineyards and

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Pearls of Wisdom

Topic:
Pearls of Wisdom
Excerpt:
Reading is one of the principal occupations in our profession. As we digest a wide range of material, interesting ideas and surprising facts – some

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Capital Gains, Charitable Acts, and the New Alternative Minimum Tax

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Excerpt:
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From The Editor: No Time Like the Present

Topic:
Wealth Planning
Excerpt:
I recently heard one of my favourite quotes about planning. It can come in various versions, but to paraphrase, ‘The best time to start planning was