Growing up on Gelston Avenue

Growing up on Brooklyn’s Gelston Avenue, we learned a thing or two about values, like loyalty and responsibility. Under the watchful eyes of our immigrant grandmas, we enjoyed the kind of come-home-when-the-streetlights-come-on freedom that led to all-day street stickball games and adventures in the park. When we made friends, we kept them. That’s what I love about my brother Ronnie and my friendship with the Sahadi brothers. Bobby and Charlie Sahadi developed the same work hard/play hard ethic their great uncle Abrahim Sahadi, and their father Wade Sahadi had when they first opened the now-famous Sahadi’s, a specialty foods store. We all learned from our grandparents, most of whom came from another country and made it through some really hard times. They stressed that success was always possible with a lot of work, and that education was essential. Charlie and Bobby grew up and took over Sahadi’s, and built it into a major on-line and brick and mortar business. But, they never forgot their friends and, when Ronnie needed a job, Charlie hired him. Later, Ronnie became a Lutheran pastor and established a thriving ministry in Seattle, but he never lost touch with his Brooklyn friends. I’m happy to say my friendship with the Sahadi family continues today. Even though I’ve built my own business here in Wisconsin, where I’ve lived for most of my adult life, I can taste a hummus, or an imported olive from Sahadis and it takes me right back to Brooklyn. I think of another native New Yorker, Paul Simon, and his beautiful song “Old Friends” when I think about my childhood growing up in Brooklyn. Time it was And what a time it was It was . . . A time of innocence A time of confidences This year, I plan to include a few treats from Sahadi’s in my Easter celebration. As we celebrate the new life we enjoy through Jesus’ resurrection, I… | Read More »

Seven lessons from three legendary quarterbacks

  Among our prized memorabilia here at Winch Financial is a football helmet signed by three of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game. Best of all, they’re all Packers. Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers share a historic legacy and an astounding seven NFL titles so far. In honor of those titles, here are seven lessons you can learn from these storied players as you build your own legacy. Find your passion. Nobody gets to the NFL without passion for the game. These players fought through injuries and battled some of the bitterest cold in league history. It’s tough to play in a -46 wind chill with nothing but old school cleats on your feet if you don’t have a passion for the game. Bart did it, though, in the famous Ice Bowl and Brett quarterbacked the Packers in the second coldest game in franchise history, the 2008 NFC championship game. Passion for the task at hand helps in the face of whatever adversity you might encounter in your own life. Be a team player. Though they have diverse personalities, all three quarterbacks have earned the lifelong respect of their teammates. Elite quarterbacks are students of the game. For every minute you see them on the field, they’ve spent hours studying playbooks and reviewing game film. Planning makes the execution seem effortless. Allow yourself to recover from your mistakes. These three players are among the all-time best, but all three have thrown their share of interceptions, missed open receivers and fumbled the ball on key plays. As Coach Lombardi himself said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” Don’t be afraid to take a risk, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward. Don’t be threatened by anyone else’s success. Favre offered to wait as long as necessary to share the field with Bart Starr. He didn’t have to do that. One… | Read More »

How to focus less on money and more on living a rich life

Snapple Fact #945 caught my eye during a recent Spring Break family road trip: The Inca built the largest and wealthiest empire in South America, but had no concept of money. I find this aspect of the Inca Empire both fascinating and admirable. At Winch Financial, though we work as money managers, our definition of wealth has always transcended the accumulation of finances. We encourage our clients to build a rich life through careful tending of their relationships, joyful accumulation of memories, generous sharing, community involvement, and healthy lifestyle choices. To maintain that rich life, and to extend it through generations, of course we advocate a well thought-out financial plan that is adjusted frequently to match retirement goals, risk tolerances and time lines. We’re also strong proponents of tactical investment management to protect and grow the assets you’ve earned. But we know that a fulfilling life involves so much more than money.  We encourage our clients to nurture their spiritual, creative, physical and intellectual lives as well. Want to feel rich? Take a grandchild to lunch. Volunteer at a shelter. Plan an outing. Call an old friend. Take a walk on a sunny afternoon. Say a prayer. The Incas built an empire that lasted more than a thousand years without any monetary or bartering system at all. It might be time for us to think about making money less a focus in our lives too.