Archive for October, 2011
I have received some “complaints” about the lack of blogs lately, so to those of you who missed them I apologise .
I have been around but frankly I have just been exhausted. One of the things I have learned about human nature is that no matter how much you try to shift peoples mindsets to help them succeed it is a slow and sometimes fruitless exercise. And I have been suffering on the receiving end of that lately!
Since a former associate of mine turned out to be a criminal and took financial advantage of myself and some of my clients I have had an ongoing barrage of misguided angst directed at me from those who seem unable to get their heads together and pursue the actual culprit. Even though the claims are spurious and a complete waste of time on their part some people seem to have unending energy trying to tie me into an unrelated ratbags behaviour.
So I have been super busy “wasting” my time getting rafts of documents and various other things to supply to various registrars etc. And when you are already over busy it just steals the time I would normally have to be writing blogs.
So the lesson here is manifold and may be useful for you also.
1. Pick your fights carefully. There is no point pursuing a party when your chances of success are absolutely zero. And to assist with Number One make sure you
2. Get good legal advice. A cursory glance by any decent lawyer can instantly tell you whether a matter is worth investing any energy in. I have let countless people off of debts or obligations because as soon as you see how their affairs are structured you know it will come to nothing so don’t waste your money.
3. Value yourself. Do you really want to invest a whole lot of negative energy over a dubious claim for a tiny amount of money?? If you “love yourself” why bother. The Bible has a lot to say about this in terms of mental health, it is better to be wronged than to screw yourself up over stuff. (NOTE: I am not saying gross acts of injustice should be ignored but this comes back to Number One again doesn’t it?)
4. Try to dial down your emotions and think rationally about things. I had some people who I classed as friends who went very weird overnight when my previous business relationship blew up on them. I hadn’t been involved and certainly hadn’t done anything to these people myself. In fact in many, many cases I had known these people for years and assisted them with education, deals and advice, often for free over an extended period. So I was in that sense a “known” quantity.
Yet they found it very easy to believe the most ridiculous lies of others about me and attack me for no reason what so ever. i saw their emotional flame get turned up and their intelligence levels drop to almost zero. From my side I never gave up on the relationships and continued to try and resurrect them where I could. I am extremely happy to say that basically all those people that I cared about are back in relationship with me and many have apologised for their behaviour at the time. And the rest have shown themselves to have never been my friends, even though I thought they were. But my point is that our emotional selves can do huge damage if given free reign and it can be very difficult to back out of some of the things that we say in that moment.
5. Lastly a sad lesson I have learned is this: Do not expect justice to be done, especially in lower courts or dispute tribunals. The disputes process in NZ is unbelievably biased and flawed at every turn. The referees can make any ruling they like. It does not have to follow legal precedent or even legal process. And it is 250% biased toward whichever party is an individual as opposed to a company. I have seen the most ridiculous rulings handed down and there is little right of reply or any recourse. Right now we are fighting an unbelievably petty case that has absolutely no impact on us regardless of the final outcome, other than wasting our time and theirs, but we are so angry at the ridiculous nature of the claim and the referees behaviour that we will get it corrected purely for the sake of my own company’s reputation. But to have to go through appeals and then escalate to counter suits in the courts is going to cost the plaintiff a fortune, all over loose change owed from an unrelated person. We had the same cases in formal court all tossed out because they were clearly directed at the wrong person. Our lawyers just shake their heads at the incompetence of the tribunal decision but there you go , it will happen to you if you are a company and the defendant. So be warned!!
So in spite of it all, Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean!!
This is the most ridiculous and funniest piece of Ozzie nonsense I have ever seen. How this got published is beyond me but it is certifiably hilarious!! I have quoted it word for word, don’t drink and read, you’ll spray everywhere
The All Blacks need to dump the throat-slitting gesture at the end of the Kapa O Pango haka as it reminds people the “Maoris (sic) once engaged in unspeakable conduct”, according to an Australian commentator.
In an opinion piece about simple gestures meaning a lot in the ultra-competitive world of sports, Sheehan says that “just before kick-off the All Blacks will perform the greatest ritual in world sport, the haka”.
However, he warns the team and its management might want to consider what exactly they are symbolising.
“If some of the All Blacks persist in ending this latest version of the haka with a throat-slitting motion, they will be using a very big stage to remind people the Maoris once engaged in unspeakable conduct, which we don’t discuss any more.
“I’ll simply allude to this by quoting the journal of Captain James Cook: ‘There was not a man aboard Endeavour who, in the event of the ship’s breaking up, would not have preferred to drown rather than be left to the mercy of the Maoris’.”
Sheehan says it is a week when an “entire nation (New Zealand)” has an “immense emotional stake” in the outcome of the final match against France.
“Too much invested, in fact. Thankfully Australia’s hopes and passions are spread across multiple sports. We have already moved on from the World Cup. New Zealand must live and die with its All Blacks.
“Had the Wallabies won the game, and were now playing for a record third World Cup championship on Sunday, it would have caused a psychic scar across New Zealand. Not just a passing funk but a real resentment that would have lasted years.
Sheehan expected the All Blacks to dominate Sunday’s final but New Zealanders should remember two things: “About 96 per cent of the world does not care about rugby; and the violence suggested by throat-slitting gestures has no place in sport or sportsmanship, especially in the national colours.”
Haka expert Kahu Ropata said Sheehan’s comments were shallow and showed his lack of understanding.
“The haka, in terms of it being an art form, is different compared to haka as preparation for going to war,” he said.
Ropata said people needed to consider how the haka was now being used compared with the past.
“It is for a totally different reason and different purpose than it was back 100 years ago.”
Ropata said the gesture was about signalling a challenge and “leaving everything that you have out on the field”.
He said people should read into why Kapa O Pango was being used by the All Blacks before isolating gestures.
KAPA O PANGO
Kapa O Pango was first performed by the All Blacks in 2005 and has provoked complaints on and off since due to the throat-slitting action.
The gesture was dropped for a period in 2006 and then withdrawn in 2007. A modified version of the gesture – with the right arm being drawn from the left hip over the right shoulder – was performed in 2008.
However, since then the All Blacks have at times reverted to the original action.
I spent a fascinating morning at the Manukau District Court yesterday. I have a massive place in my heart for Polynesians so I actually love any opportunity to be around them, but it was so sad to hear their stories and watch their dysfunction.
So many of them obviously live large parts of their lives at court, they seem to know everybody and how the system works. I know from my own life that many of these people think that police/couts/jail are simply a hazard that becomes somehow “normal”.
And considering the cost to the country and the unnecessary nature of so much of their activity it is sad to see. There were scores of people for example being pursued for defaults on hire purchase and other instant credit debt. If only they could be taught how to balance a budget they need not be there. But sadly in PI communities things like weddings/pastors and feasts take precedence over bills and fees so their values, whilst laudable on the one hand, destroy them on the other.
I guess we all are like this in some ways aren’t we. We find money for the things that are important, we find time for things we value and we find energy to do things we hold in high enough esteem.
It was sad to see their faces as they left court with their fines and judgments all so “happy” as they read documents they don;t really understand and knowing they don;t know the impact on their families and children.
I just wish there was a way to make common sense, especially financially, more common in lower socio economic communities!
Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
I am hardly a political animal but I am delighted to see the long promised referendum on MMP finally happening. MMP would be right up there in terms of the “worst thing to happen to NZ politically”, as it has served to allow all sorts of ridiculous legislation and minority strong arming to unravel our otherwise robust and working system.
In reality we are now back to first past the post, as we had for generations pre MMP, and I hope an pray enough of us exercise our right to see things return to that. I can’t think of one single good thing to have come from MMP. We have a more cumbersome and expensive government that would be hamstrung were it not for the fact that one of the major parties always eventually ends up popular enough to go it alone. In other words we follow a first past the post system we just like to kid our selves that MMP makes a real difference.
I hope you will take the time to vote this out and let’s get a strong, small, efficient government system that can guide us through the next ten years of hard work till we see this recession truly behind us.
We don’t want the losers deciding who gets the gold!!
Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
I am not really a rugby fan. As a kiwi it is impossible to not understand the game and want us to win but fundamentally it has little impact on my life.
Having said that it does provide some fascinating lessons about life and success if we scratch beneath the surface.
England recently had issues with their captain being a breast magnet in some pub and the Irish have continually said they are here for a good time.
So it is interesting to see them both lose this week. Maybe women and good times have a consequence when it comes to execution and professionalism?
Contrast this with Australia, who, like New Zealand take their footy pretty seriously. I don’t think anybody who watched their game could say that South Africa didn’t deserve to win in terms of their overall game, however they lost regardless of that. Australia hate to lose and the continual booing they tolerate at every game seems to pump up their killer instinct and they get the result they are paid to achieve.
The All Blacks also showed that they can grind their way to victory over Argentina on the weekend. Again the score borad did the Pumas no justice, they played out of their skin, but we have learned to make the last 10 minutes the most important because the opponents exhaustion is what creates holes.
So in life I think we need a combination of killer instinct and grind ability to achieve our goals. We have to decide we will have them and we have to do whatever it takes to achieve them.
So back to the cup, we had the best game of the tournament with South Africa playing Australia, the next best game is going to be Australia and NZ. And there I suspect we will see why we have never, ever beaten OZ in a world cup. And that is because killer instinct is more critical than grinding ability, and the Ozzies have it in spades.
The final will be a yawn given that Australia will win it .
And before all the hate mail starts it is just a game and I am entitled to my opinion, even if it is unpatriotic, ungodly and possibly……………………………..
Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
Some stats out today showing the recent mortgagee sales trends.
Realestate.co.nz tracks mortgagee sales featured on its site. It says this week 311 were listed, compared with 307 at the same time last year.
However, chief executive Alastair Helm said the rise in listings towards the end of last year was significant.
“The peak in November at 385 coincided with a time at which there were comments in the media of banks starting to release mortgagee properties on to the market.”
There had been a sense that market activity levels at the time could handle more mortgagee sales without destabilising prices, he said.
Overall, the number of listings had been steadily declining from the initial peak in late 2008. Mortgagee listings would continue in the range of 200 to 250 a week for much of this year, Helm said.
Mortgagee properties tended not to stay on the market for long.”
Having spent 3 years working with banks for myself and others I know how hard it can be to solve the problem and how long it can take for a bank to take action.
I have avoided mortgagee sales at the last minute myself after 2 years of trying to negotiate so the spike in mortgagees early on in the piece were mostly developers, hugely leverage investors or people who were already in serious trouble.
What we are seeing now is people who hoped they would come right or were in a position where they could wait out a short term recession and then hope to catch up through increased profitability in their business or extra work. Sadly the recession is not even half way through yet so the light is not on at the end of the tunnel for many of us yet and we will see elevated mortgagee sales until the banks clear out their backlog. I remember one banker a year ago shaking his head and saying they had over 12,000 homes on their books alone that would go to mortgagee but they would roll them out slowly as they were all in one geographic area.
So if you are struggling you are not alone, and if you are investing the bargains are going to to keep on coming for a while yet!
Lastly, if you are in trouble, I have found in the main the banks have worked hard with me and my clients to avoid tipping one over but you must communicate with them early and then regularly. As interest rates are staying so low there may be a way to save you if you at least have some regular income and you are not completely underwater. So take a deep breath and pick up the phone to your bank if you need help. They are human beings too and if you give thema clear picture and some possible solutions they will help!
Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
I remember at the beginning of the so called “GFC” there was enormous debate and ringing of hands over whether this was a recession or a depression. Nobody wanted to allow anybody else to call it a depression because that would be negative news, harder to stomach and technically “untrue”.
So in the end everybody agreed that this was only a recession and we all smiled. Oh it’s only a recession, we’ll be through this in no time and this has happened before, just relax.
At the time I said there were 2 ways to get through this for any nation, option 1 was to allow the economy to find its floor quickly so that the pain ended quickly and then rebuild on a genuine floor.
Or pretend things weren’t too bad and hope for a soft landing by propping things up until a real recovery occurred.
Well it’s now 2011 and things are getting worse, again, because we still haven’t recognised the need to find the floor. As I said yesterday we now have given China power over the world by looking to them for assistance with recovery by falling over ourselves to become trading partners and taking every dollar they would spend with us.
Most economies are now in much worse shape than they were 4 years ago because they have huge interest costs to pay on top of the principal they owed in 2007. An fact many countries are now hoping for a miracle to service their INTEREST, forget trying to pay the principal .
I bring this to your attention solely to highlight the fact that sometimes reality is a good thing. We needed to recognise in 07 that we were up to our earlobes in bovine eschatology and governments could have embarked on an austere economic reform system to dig themselves out of this and rebuild on a solid foundation. Ignoring that has cost us all years of pain.
Now the upside of this, (every cloud…….), is that interest rates and house values are going ot remain subdued probably for many years to come.
So we have the perfect cash flow storm courtesy of our fear of the word “depression”. This is wonderful news for anybody able to get going with investing and we will see more people retire off the back of this fiasco than any time previously I believe because the opportunities are unprecedented.
Get Going and Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus