JD’s Christmas "SMS" Message

What I enjoy about my friend JD is his love of life and family, his humour, his care for others, his positivity and his genuine nature. He’s one of the most fun people to be around!

Like me, he’s a former Division 1 basketball player so we share that unique bond. We were recently reminiscing about our college hoop years at a small going away gathering for yours truly. JD’s stories had everyone laughing! In addition, he loves the power of words and we both enjoy sending inspirational sms’s to our inner circles.

His Christmas sms/text message was not only touching but had me reflecting on a deeper level about the blessing of family, friends and loved ones during the holiday season. The gratefulness I have in my heart at being able to spend another positive holiday with those close to me was enhanced by his beautiful words.

JD’s sms is below:

At Christmas, a man is at his finest towards the finish of the year. He’s almost what he should be when the Christmas season’s here. Then, he’s thinking more of others then he’s thought the months before. And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for. When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Thanks JD.

Happy Holidays and Happy Gswede Sunday!

Santa visiting during the holidays!

Holiday Cards – Are they important to you?

I’m a firm believer in sending holiday and/or Christmas cards. It’s a yearly priority that has been important since I became an adult. For me, they serve a variety of purposes:

1) Most importantly, they give me a chance to send a warm holiday message to those I care about and are close to me.

2) For those people I rarely get a chance to see, it’s great to say hello and keep them abreast of how my family is doing.

3) As a networking tool, it has proved invaluable.

I’ve tried to convey the importance of sending holidays cards to those in my inner circle as I sensed that many wanted to although making the time to do it was difficult for some.  Having “no time” is a bad excuse because if something is important to you, you should find the time.

I’m as busy as anyone especially this year with travel to the USA, work, kids, moving to another city and much more. In addition, my wife has a new job. Together, we still managed to get 70 of our over 100 cards out by mid December.

I suspect that many of you reading this would like to improve upon or begin sending your holiday cards. If so, I implore you to do so. Yes, it will take some hours out of your November/December time although if you begin early, the time necessary won’t seem so cumbersome.

Cards of this nature may hold no interest for you. If that is the case, I would like you to consider this – sending at least 1 or more hand written notes/letters to those you care about during 2011. Maybe you do this already although most do not.

The art of the hand written note seems to be lost in the age of email/twitter/facebook/technology, etc. One of the gentle surprises I enjoy the most is getting a note from someone in the mail. It never fails to brighten my day.

Finally, the power of a holiday card was on full display as I was talking with a group of 10-15 executives a decade ago. As one person in the group was preparing to leave, he said “Thanks for the Christmas card George, I appreciate it”. His words came with a big smile and were loud enough for the whole room to hear! A wonderful moment.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Southern Sweden during the Holidays!

CVC (Cablevision) – A Stock for your Portfolio?

Not long ago, I wrote an article about one of my favorite stocks – SIRI (Sirius Satellite Radio). The link is below:


Not dissimilar to SIRI, I told a group of friends about CVC when it was around $22.00. In fact, I’ve been telling those close to me about this stock for years as it has several elements I like:

1) 5 million cable subscribers in the New York Metropolitan area!

2) A good management team along with a diversity of businesses.

3) A company that has shown boldness and risk.

4) A stock that has been volatile over the years which can be good for making profits.

A good friend acted on my recommendation. He purchased it in the low 20’s and today, it is in the $33-35.00 range. I’ve been doing well with CVC since the 1990’s and it has rarely disappointed.

If you want to consider CVC for your portfolio, I suggest that you do your own thorough research as my stock tastes may not be what you desire.

I’ll leave you with these parting words:

 In my view, this stock is a very good one for the long term

 For short term profits, it’s important to watch this stock closely if you want to do well

All the best with your investing and Happy Gswede Sunday!

There's no Cablevision in this part of the world - Southern Sweden by the sea.

Having a "GPS" Will Save You Time

I received a sms from a relative recently saying, “missed my turn, uurrrgh” as she arrived at least 30 minutes later than she planned to her new job.

A few years ago, numerous friends were going to meet an American couple visiting Sweden including my family. The couple was staying in a remote place outside of Stockholm. I remember saying to my wife, “I am glad we have GPS as this place would be tough to find without it”. Indeed. It took another couple 45 extra minutes to get there.

Four years ago, I was driving with a colleague to a university. We found the college easily although the campus was quite vast. We were lost trying to find the building we needed. She had been there before so being lost was a bit surprising to me. I said to her, “why don’t you have a GPS”. I don’t remember what her answer was yet it was clear that she wanted one that day.

She informed me that when she began her job (which required visiting universities) in Sweden, it took her much longer to accomplish things because of the time spent looking for universities and buildings.

What do the aforementioned 3 scenarios have in common?

1) If they had a GPS (Global Positioning System), they would have gone directly to their destination.

2) And most importantly, they wasted valuable time – something I don’t think anyone embraces.

It’s interesting to hear people defend the non-GPS way, believing that internet directions or someone giving you directions is better than GPS. When I ask them to tell me how directions on a paper that you have to pick up and look at while driving is better than having exact directions (hands free) to any place in your country (with or without sound), I have yet to get a cohesive answer.

I realize that many are comfortable with the old way of doing things although that same mindset might as well use a typewriter instead of a computer. Did I mention with paper directions, you have to spend time on a computer and then write or print the directions? Or if you dare go with directions someone is writing down for you or giving to you over the telephone, I hope you see the various pitfalls with that path. With a GPS, you simply punch in the address and drive.

If you cannot afford one or don’t travel much by car, not having one is understandable. If you are a car person, a GPS is a must if you care about getting to your destination promptly and not wasting time.

In the last 4 years, I only had one incident where it took me an extra few minutes to find a place because the street wasn’t on the GPS. Why? It was a newly built area and hadn’t been updated to GPS. 99.9% of the time, my device took me straight to my destination.

The woman I mentioned in the third paragraph, wasted more time in one day without a GPS than I did in 4 years with mine. In addition, since I have been lost in far too many cars as a passenger, I rarely travel in that manner unless I have my GPS with me. There’s another benefit, a GPS can be portable!

Can you survive without a GPS? Of course you can although the average car person without one will probably spend needless hours per month trying to find places. You can buy a good one for $100.00 (700 kronor) and the printing of directions and looking at them while driving (very dangerous) will be a thing of the past. In addtion, many mobile phones have GPS which makes it quite easy to use.

Life is complicated and challenging enough for most of us so why complicate it even further. Wasting time is something I try to avoid on a daily basis as it takes away focus, hinders the reaching of goals and lessens the fun in life.

We all have things that waste our time – some out of our control and some in our control. Going places directly and efficiently is something anyone can control.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

In this weather, a GPS will be very useful. (southern Sweden)