Self-Interest

My recent blog post, “Wall Street Muscles In,” certainly got some attention: my largest readership ever for a single post, and a record number of comments both in this space and on LinkedIn, where people from around the country (nonprofit executives and financial services folks, mostly) debated my indictment of the commercial gift fund industry.

The majority of the comments on these various sites were positive, but one individual accused me of unfairly impugning the integrity of the financial services industry. He wrote, “There is an undertone that those [financial] advisors using donor-advised funds are somehow unethical because they are wanting to hold onto money to manage. A good advisor will listen to his client/donor and find the best solution, whatever it is. If he or she is simply standing between the ‘real’ charity and the donor, of course, that’s improper, but I may have a little more faith in the advisory community than you.”

Indeed, my critic does have more faith than I in the financial advisory community. Continue reading

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Home Run

Last evening Al at Fenwayat 7:45 a bearded right-handed batter stood at home plate at Boston’s fabled Fenway Park, and he swung at ten pitches. He missed twice, hit three foul balls, clubbed four hard ground balls up the middle, and clobbered a line drive to right field that undoubtedly would have fallen for a hit in an actual game. And this modest performance was the most exciting and memorable athletic moment of his life.

The batter was not Shane Victorino or Dustin Pedroia or any of the other bearded heroes who led the Red Sox to the World Series championship a couple of weeks ago. No. It was me. Continue reading

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