• MOST DISPUTES – BUSINESS OR PERSONAL – MASK A PREDOMINANTLY EMOTIONAL ELEMENT which underlies the stated issues; in most cases, ‘hidden agenda’ matters are the primary obstacle which precludes sensible resolution.  Non-binding Informal Mediation is a process of coaxing parties to focus on “surfacing the agenda” to ensure that each party listens and clearly hears the other’s core issue(s), which then facilitates negotiation and compromise on what-it-takes-to-move-forward. DCG have consistently proven this process to resolve personal interrelationship dimensions of disagreements between business associates, conflicts among executive teams or Boards, prenuptial or divorcing spouse agreements, and dysfunctional family disputes including succession & estate matters. Sessions are conducted in neutral and relaxed settings which minimize stress and promptly lead to optimally effective and cost-efficient resolution. Before disputes become enmeshed in the legal/litigation process, talk to Dennis about this proven strategy. 
  • THERE’S AN “UNSOPHISTICATED BELIEF THAT ALL VOTES ARE EQUAL” AND IMPORTANT.  But are they? And would higher voting turnouts really be desirable? Only 9% of Americans are “informed voters” according to a recent Rasmussen poll, with 83% saying their “fellow countrymen don’t know enough about policy issues.” Reality is that votes are mostly cast through “unreflective habit (e.g. partisan loyalty)” or based on response to commercials, various outlets for gossip, or a candidate’s name & presumed ethnic or religious connection – effectively resulting in “corruption of the system” since their choice, other than by fluke, does not represent their interests. “Just because you can vote doesn’t mean you should.”  [THE WEEK – Jun 6, 14]
  • WHERE IS THIS ECONOMY HEADED?  While DCG services include asset portfolio allocation and wealth management strategy, we are neither economists nor Investment Advisors and don’t have any more of a clue than you do about the timing of market changes or which sectors (much less, which investments) will outperform others. We do know that the basic direction has been consistently based on Federal Reserve’s strategy of ‘propping up’ the economy through Quantitative Easing (QE) – increasing money supply (through purchase of long-term federal bonds at low interest), which increases bank reserves & liquidity, so consumers then (theoretically) buy and hold more assets, which (theoretically) increases productivity and employment. The correlated impact on investable assets is that, with reduced interest rates, bond prices stay higher and the U.S. dollar exchange rate lower. As the economy is purportedly stabilizing, the Fed has begun to ‘roll back’ QE purchase levels which will unquestionably result in rising interest rates and inflation, but the degree and timing of these critical factors are the big unknown, and the reason that most entrepreneurs and small businesses are not yet confident of ‘Recovery.’
  • A NEW POWDERED MEAL REPLACEMENT, mixed with water and oil, “may be the end of food… The balanced formula of essential nutrients (including protein, carbs, fats, vitamins & minerals) tastes like unsweetened cake batter and costs as little as $1 per meal.” Soylent – named in deference to the 1973 sci-fi cult film Soylent Green (a miracle food made from human flesh), the product may actually serve as a ‘miracle food’ for the estimated 840 million people around the globe who are “chronically hungry… while also halting daily energy drops, hunger pangs, and snack cravings” for the rest of us.   [THE WEEK – May 30, 14]
  •  ‘PATENT TROLLING’ CAN BE A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM for many entrepreneurial websites, conducted by entities (generally shell companies owned by other shell companies) which don’t manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question… but rather “acquire patents for vague ideas and send out mass letters” threatening to sue unless they get paid licensing fees.  Trolling is less of a problem in Europe where losers pay attorney fees, but can be an insurmountable hurdle for American companies.  Examples include a patent claiming it covers every podcast download; others claim to cover every email which involves a ‘news release,’ or sending ‘links on texts with news items.’ Millennial startups beware. [TIME – June 9, 14]
  • THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:  For an interesting personal perspective, take this JUNG TYPOLOGY TEST, based on Carl Jung’s and Briggs Myers’ typological approach to personality:  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/Jtypes2.asp