×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 45

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 44

moneyreportIn 1919 Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the noted Supreme Court Justice, wrote in a seminal case regarding the freedom of expression under the Constitution, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.”

While Holmes reconsidered his opinion in later years, with these words he articulated a canon of public morals; that there is nothing protected and no inherent right to speak falsely or maliciously, causing a public panic or disarray.

Read more...

joya1It would be easy to allow oneself to become depressed, realizing that there are so many things that could use fixing in this world, complain about injustice or one’s own misfortune. Instead I remember a proverb one of my mentors taught me growing up. “It is better to light a fire than complain about the darkness”.

Focusing on the negative is not going to make anything better, but in order to find the daily strength to look at the bright side of life and do our part to turn things positive, we need a source of inner power and positive energy.

 

Read more...

marc freyImagine standing on a plantation full of oak and pine trees, dotted with swamps, about 60 years ago — when our island was served by a drawbridge and a two-way road connector to Interstate 95 — and having the guts to imagine a planned community complete with roadways, bike paths, golf courses, tennis centers, marinas, playgrounds, shopping areas and a multitude of villas and homes.

It took BIG thinking to accomplish what we take for granted today.

Read more...

moneyreportThe big cruise lines have seen some rough water in recent months.

Despite an admirable safety record, and extremely high ratings by consumers in terms of vacation value for dollar spent, the well documented troubles on the Carnival Triumph this year, and more recently, a fire on Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas, have brought about unwelcome and negative media focus. The images we saw of passengers sleeping on bare mattresses, in hot muddy ship corridors, without bathrooms or food, easily the vacation nightmare of a lifetime, will take a while to fade away, and have kept many potential guests and investors on shore. In addition, a weak European economy has cut into sales, in a market that represents over 21% of cruise destinations. However, over the long- term neither investors nor passengers may be put off.

Read more...

moneyreportDespite the current uncertainty about the future of Social Security, it remains, along with pensions and investments, an essential component of retirement income for men and women, married, single or divorced. Understanding Social Security rules, in order to work through complex choices about how and when to take benefits, can seem daunting. Many of these decisions have a lifetime impact, and cannot be undone. These can be even more critical given the financial uncertainty resulting from divorce.

Read more...

marc-blogFor once I resort to numbers instead of words to tell a story. Each of these numbers stands symbolically for something much larger and hopefully gets you to think about what it means or could mean. Send me your favorite number   by e-mailing me and I will make sure it gets posted.  

Read more...

moneyreportQE, or quantitative easing, is the controversial monetary policy that some have credited for helping us survive the economic meltdown. Others, however, blame QE for running up our debt to unsustainable levels and making damaging inflation a near certainty. It has been stopped and restarted a number of times, has been subjected to much debate within both the Fed and in Congress, and is now in its third (some say fourth) iteration. Here is a brief primer on this much debated strategy.

Read more...

192I vividly remember a time when you needed a specialized little laptop computer, that could only display five text lines at one time and needed to be hooked up to a physical telephone, to transfer a text message via the Internet to another registered user. All domain names and e-mail addresses could have been published into one very, very small phone book. This was 30 years ago, when Internet users were considered an insider society, one built on an unwritten ethic: Trust.

Thirty years later the Internet has permeated all facets of our lives. The Internet is literally everywhere we go, on the phone, at work, at home, in the car. Billions of people transfer trillions of packets of data on a daily basis to the point that a new addiction has been created: The addiction to constant connection to everything, at all times, at all costs.

Read more...

Financially illiterate? It sounds grim. For a generation without the safety net of corporate pensions, and tasked with making critical investment decisions for themselves and their families, insufficient financial education can lead to poor financial and investment choices. These bad choices have implications that last a lifetime. The national scope of this problem led the U.S. Senate to recognize the importance of financial literacy for all Americans and pass Resolution 316, officially designating this month as National Financial Literacy Month.

Read more...

marcfrey150In the 350 years of recorded history on our island, life on Hilton Head has taken on many forms. But through centuries of change, one constant thread has been the island’s ability to reinvent itself.

Read more...

marcfrey150If an innocent person has been  stabbed and lies bleeding in the street, we know who the bad and the good are. But how do we judge the passersby who could have saved a life but decided not to take action for fear of getting entangled in the case? Is an indifferent person bad by choosing to be silent or passive?

Good and bad have been part of mankind’s struggle since the beginning. We know that more good than bad exists; yet the wish for global peace, and the hope for societies that universally take care of everybody remains an elusive goal. Part of the reason is that there are too many “indifferent” individuals; people that are fully aware of what is going on, but for various reasons choose not to take action or speak up or change their behavior. As a matter of fact, it seems that those committing immoral acts and those actively involved in doing good seem to be in the minority, and that there is a large but passive moral majority, the indifferent. The “silent moral majority” as I like to call them.

Read more...

marcfrey150Skip this column if all your stars are aligned and you are in perfect harmony with yourself and the world. All others may read on.

Somewhere along in 2012, I started to feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of information raining down on me, the fast pace of change, the vastly different interpretations on how it affects mankind, and my own efforts to keep up with it all. If you have ever experienced the feeling of being exhausted and confused because your mind is racing at 150 miles an hour, processing loads of information and asking yourself dozens of questions, you know what I’m talking about.

So, I decided that there has to be a better way, and thus reminded myself that the word intelligence comes from the Latin word “intelligere” which means to see through things. We all know the Johnny Nash hit song “I can see clearly now,” and that is the feeling we would like to enjoy more often in our lives. So how do we get there?

Read more...

marcfrey150Stop ringing the bells! I was just about to write another cheesy note, full of clichés like, “This is the time to count our blessings and give to somebody that needs it more than ourselves.” While I encourage you to do that, the very smart readers of Last Call already know that, and are not looking for me to state the obvious.

So I was wondering what makes readers come back to this page, and why it solicits spontaneous reader comments from all walks of life. Maybe it’s because I write from the heart, maybe because I try to cut through the noise and try to put issues into perspective or provoke my readers to think about a topic in new terms. Whatever it is, I feel grateful for the opportunity and the feedback I receive.

Read more...