The Last Days of 2018: Key Insights and Inspiration

You’re getting ready for the holidays, as I am. So, my gifts for you today aim to enrich your life over the next few days/week as we fully wrap up 2018. Don’t even think about that stock market too much – it has the potential to depress the best of us because it continues to be a roller coaster. Remember, keep staying the course and looking for opportunities.


Read all the way through as you won’t want to miss all the goodies – I can’t wait to hear your thoughts :).  


First, I want to highlight a Charisse Says member accomplishment – This one comes from Bobby C., who just finished her last meeting with her investment club, which has ran strong for the last 20 years. She and her fellow investment club members have decided to dissolve the club for a myriad of reasons, notwithstanding the reality that many of its members have died off (yes, I know very sad and the reality of life). She says, “It was a great time for learning, growing, and investing.” Congrats to you, Bobby, for gathering monthly for 20 years and investing in the stock market! And, kudos to you for making good money too! For the rest of us, I’ve talked incessantly about investing with others, and thus, think about whether an investment club is right for you.  You might be as lucky as Bobby to have staying power.

Before the year is out, here are my 3 “Must-Read” articles/videos from the last two weeks. You won’t want to miss these:

·      Meet the People Trying to Put a Friendlier Face on Annuities – I get so many questions about annuities. I am not a huge fan of the annuity industry given that insurance companies try and make things so complex. That said, I see the necessity of them. Ron Lieber, one of my favorite money columnists, offers some great alternative platforms for investing in annuities. I will be checking out these platforms over the next few months, so if you’ve used any of them, let me know and we can bring our findings back to the Charisse Says communities. 

·      Make The Most of Your Failed Bitcoin Gamble: Sell Now – Yup, I’ve talked a lot about bitcoin, previously explaining how bitcoin works, its volatility, and it propensity to eventually fall. If you haven’t followed the cryptocurrency lately, it has busted:


In short, according to the Wall Street Journal, cryptocurrencies have certain tax benefits under the IRS code, and you can take advantage before the year-ends. Remember, I’ve also discussed other smart tax moves before the end of 2018.


·      Anuncio Ruavieja 2018 – Tenemos que vernos más. This is a viral video by Leo Burnett Madrid’s holiday campaign for Ruavieja (which makes liquor) is fantastic. It's in Spanish with English subtitles, so don't be alarmed. The campaign, 'Tenemos Que Vernos Mas' (translated to: We Have To See Each Other More), reminds us that life is short. So, how will you spend the holidays with your loved ones? You’ve done the job of working and buying gifts, but to what end? I will continue to harp on my belief that the pursuit of wealth has to have meaning for you. And, so don’t miss out on the ones closest to you.


And, I want to leave you with my favorite book this year  (drum roll please….):


Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World: If you haven’t read this book by Anand Giridharadas, it’s a must to put on your list. If you have read it, leave a comment below. Anand “takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can--except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it.” This book challenges the reader to re-think about their position in changing the world. Yes, that’s you. I also had the honor of co-hosting a book dinner featuring Anand, with the Chief Engagement Officer at the Obama Foundation. Anand was even better in person…

[Anand is the guy in the middle; that guy on the right is my hubby. If you haven’t figured it out, that’s me to the left.]

[Anand is the guy in the middle; that guy on the right is my hubby. If you haven’t figured it out, that’s me to the left.]


Here are my top 5 takeaways:

·      It’s not just about the redistribution of resources, but it’s about the redistribution of power.

·      “Never underestimate the power of the text,” and using the text (e.g. Anand’s book, articles, written pieces) to move your organization/individuals forward.

·      The fallacy with “Win Win” is that one side always wins more than the other – allows for the continuation of inequity.

·      Let’s prioritize “joy” in the work that we do. Yes, the work is hard, but we must have some joy in it.

·      Let’s begin to critique the systems and structures that uphold certain power dynamics, albeit in our own organizations or own lives.



I will spend time over the next few weeks reflecting on my own money decisions this past year (both successes and failures – yup, it’s OK to fail so that we can learn), and how we should step into 2019 together. If you have themes across the intersection of - wealth, investing, power – let me know as we’ll tackle together next year. Of course, also PLEASE send me your successes and failures.


And with that, I’ve really enjoyed journeying with you in 2018. Merry Christmas, and Happy Kwanza! And, for my Jewish members, I hope you enjoyed the Hanukah season. Make sure you are present with your family and friends.


I’m out - I will see you in 2019.