Gary Bettman’s DNA

            In a National Post article this week, Kelly McParland, writing about NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s mulish struggles to keep an NHL team in Phoenix, posited that “no one can be quite sure why he loves the Coyotes so much.” McParland has completely missed the point. It’s not that Bettman loves the Coyotes, it’s that he is genetically incapable of admitting that he’s ever made a mistake.

And Then There’s The Maple Leafs’ PR Department

            Just when I thought that competence and sanity had finally occupied the Maple Leafs executive suite, some incompetent thought that the public would actually believe that ticket price increases were really designed to thwart scalpers. As the old-time comic strip character Major Hoople would say, “Egad!”

The Surprising Brad Marchand

            I don’t know what the Las Vegas odds were last October that the Bruins’ Brad Marchand would win either the Art Ross (points) or Maurice Richard (goals) trophy, but they would have been pretty long; yet here he is in the hunt for both.

            If he wins either he will be the dirtiest player in the history of the league to do so.


            Did you really believe you were the first person to sit naked in that hotel room chair?

            How many umbrellas have you owned?

            Could the world function without J cloths, duct tape and WD40?

            How many surplus clothes hangers have you thrown out? How often have you wished you had one more?

            Is there another word that feels as bad as it looks as hemorrhoids?

            Is there even one girl’s name which is not a song title?

            Is an intentional walk in baseball really a cowardly act?

            When was the last time you saw a fine-tooth comb?

            Who is more responsible for the word “awesome” becoming meaningless, sportscasters or teenagers?

            Who first thought that people in restaurants need straws in glasses of water?

            Why do cashiers love to staple credit card receipts to invoices?

            I’m pretty sure he doesn’t pay for them himself, but have you ever wondered how many suits Alex Trebek has?

More Country Song Titles

            The Hurtin’s All Over (All Over Me)

            From The Bar Room To The Bedroom

            What She Doesn’t Know Won’t Hurt Her Is Driving Me Insane

Unmistakable Sounds

            Old ones: screen door slamming; clacking of a typewriter; puck hitting the boards in an empty rink; train whistles; thud of a car door closing; glass breaking; bowling ball crashing into pins;

            New ones: a cell phone falling on a hard surface; Donald Trump saying something stupid.

Financial Advisors

            Even though I’ve been retired for almost fifteen years I still get asked from time to time what a person should look for in a financial advisor. There are four main criteria to consider.

            First, the advisor must be appropriately qualified; there’s no point going to someone whose specialty is business valuations to get financial planning advice. Second, be sure the advisor deals primarily with clients like you; don’t take a modest portfolio to an advisor who deals with multi-million dollar accounts, and vice versa. Third, if you want objective advice stay away from any “financial advisor” who earns commissions from selling something; go to insurance agents when you need insurance and to mutual fund salespeople when you know for sure you want to invest in mutual funds; but don’t go to either for overall financial planning advice. And if your “financial planner” ever tries to sell you a tax shelter or a real estate deal, run for the hills. Last, but certainly not least, you should like the person. If, for whatever reason, even if it’s just a gut feeling, you don’t enjoy dealing with someone, you should move on.

           The best way to choose a financial advisor is to get a recommendation from someone whose judgement you trust, knows the nature of your portfolio, is completely familiar with the professional’s practice, and has first-hand knowledge of the professional’s competence, credentials and integrity.

            And always remember, it’s your money.

An Observation About Charity

            Once, when a client made a huge donation to a worthy cause, I complimented him on his charitable nature. “That’s not really charity,” he said. When I asked him why he didn’t consider it charity he replied, “Because I can afford it.”  I decided then that people shouldn’t be judged by how much they give, but rather by how much they have left.