Anonymous Distributor

I came across the following prayer that should bring a smile to your face. I think I’m going to try it and see if it works! “Dear God, My prayer for 2012 is for a fat bank account and a thin body. Please don’t mix these up like you did last year. AMEN!”


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In one of the many personal finance blogs I read regularly, I came across an insightful but very depressing summary of what has become of our dream of retirement, and I saved it to share with you. It sums up my feelings very well.


“Remember the way retirement was supposed to work? That model depended in many cases on an employer who paid you a pension and took care of your medical bills in exchange for 30 or more years of loyalty. That model depended on a system of affordable housing that would increase in value, little by little, year after year. That model depended on a banking and investment system that believed in a fair profit but managed to keep the most greedy and immoral members of its community under check or quickly disposed of. That model depended on a government that worked, compromised as needed, and understood that we are all in this together. To create a nation of a few haves and a whole bunch of have-nots was in no one’s long-term interest.


“That model has been either severely damaged, if not shattered. Certainly, there will be an increasingly large percentage of our citizens who have no real expectation of a standard retirement lifestyle. The financial meltdown has destroyed too many nest eggs and shredded too many financial plans. Working as long as possible will be essential, or even desired, by many.”


Welcome to the new “normal.”


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I usually don’t comment about product introductions, but this announcement in a recent Reuters article by John D. Stoll caught my eye. A new line of premium Craftsman lawn mowers, retailing between $3,000 and $6,500, will be introduced in January 2012 at the Detroit Auto Show. Yep, that’s right…the Detroit Auto Show. The hope is that launching the new Craftsman CTX lineup at the Detroit Auto Show will greatly increase visibility for the brand as it aims to move up-market to better take on rivals like Deere & Co., Cub Cadet and Toro Co.


Craftsman spokesperson Kris Malkoski “sees the event as a significant debut of high-end products by a brand that has largely been associated with lower-priced mowers.” The new tractors’ 8-mile-per-hour top speed is at the top of the mower industry, she added. Other features of the CTX lineup include press-button adjustments for blade height and attachments that quickly convert the mower into a hauler, aerator, sweeper or snowplow. The CTX line will be built in New York and Georgia by Briggs & Stratton and sold in Sears’ stores nationwide, starting in February.


OK, let’s review the facts again. The Craftsman CTX lineup will be introduced at the Detroit Auto Show. It will retail at more than double the price of a standard mid-range riding mower. It will have lots of bells and whistles, which apparently includes push-button electronic controls for adjustments. I suspect it will have lots of “wow factor” and attract lots of attention. It better, at those prices. But at the end of the day, no matter how many bells and whistles it has, it still just cuts grass. At those price points, it will be interesting to see how well they do in the marketplace.


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The next time you get ready to give up and stop working to make your business successful, think about the following story:


A man walking down a narrow, twisting road spotted a guru sitting on the grass in meditation. He approached the guru and asked, “Excuse me, master, is this the road to success?”


The old man nodded silently and pointed in the direction the traveler was headed. The traveler thanked the guru and went on his way.


An hour later, the traveler returned, bleeding, exhausted, and angry.


“Why did you tell me that was the road to success?” he asked the guru. “I walked that way, and right away I fell into a ditch so deep it took me almost an hour to climb out. Why did you tell me to go that way? Was that some kind of joke?”


The guru stared at him. After a long pause, he spoke. “That is the road to success. It lies just beyond the ditch.”


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Contact the Anonymous Distributor at anonymous.distributor@gmail.com or read his blog at www.anonymousdistributor.blogspot.com.

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