Month: December 2015

Tell Me More than a Story

Tell Me More than a Story

Last year, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga released “Cheek to Cheek,” their album of jazz duets. Bennett’s controlled, classy (always a coat and tie) appearance matched with Lady Gaga’s ever-changing and audacious persona would seem to be a formula for failure, but it worked beautifully. Bennett later remarked that the key to a good duet is contrast along with quality material and voices th ...[Read More]

This is War

This is War

“I want to declare a war,” I said half-seriously, “on all the organizations, ministries and financial planners encouraging people not to trust their children.”

Not Throwing Away My Shot!

Not Throwing Away My Shot!

My father had a life removed from us we knew little about until we were grown. It was only a few years before he died that I understood why. We talked about it on a series of trips we took as father and son when he was losing his health, and we knew it was just a matter of time before he could not travel at all. It was on our first of these trips that he told me about New York City and the Waldorf ...[Read More]

Take It to the Limit

Take It to the Limit

William Barstow was an enterprising partner and friend of Thomas Edison, as well as an inventor and highly successful entrepreneur in his own right. One night in 1931, Barstow and his wife, Francoise, sat around their table as usual, discussing new ideas. They had been wrestling awhile with how to structure a substantial gift that would allow them to make donations without setting up a trust or a ...[Read More]

The Mr. Spock Prize

The Mr. Spock Prize

My friend Randy Samelson at Counsel & Capital is funding a prize for the best annual report designed for Randy and other “left-brain” donors. I am calling it the Mr. Spock Prize, and I thought some friends might be interested in applying for the prize as well as my response to Randy’s generous initiative. Dear Randy, Thank you for sending me your proposal to sponsor a $50,000 ...[Read More]