Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 31-August 4

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: July 31-August 4

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, July 31-August 4 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Better Index Investing: Constructing Smart Beta Portfolios

If we see strategic beta as an alternative to traditional index investing, it is worth bearing in mind why investors choose index funds in the first place. — Yazann Romahi

2. How I Learned That Diversification Is the Only Investing Game to Play

Fifty years ago I scraped together $100 that I earned moving lawns and invested in my first stocks. I had heard a person could make a lot of money owning stocks. — Rick Kahler

3. 5 Ways Client Engagement Will Be Different in The Future

We’ve identified the five ways in which client engagement is changing and in ways that will impact you, your clients and your business in future. — Julie Littlechild

4. Cryptocurrencies: The Bitcoin Bubble is in Full Bloom

Cryptocurrencies – digital currencies based on encryption – are in the midst of a bubble, but that should not overshadow the genuinely transformative change that is taking place within the financial services industry. — Chris Skinner

5. Top 10 Roadblocks to Retirement Planning

The success of a retirement plan is based on nurturing the right habits, and having the right structures in place. What are the biggest things holding people back from achieving this? — Chip Coughlin

6. NAIC Sees Life Insurance as a Viable Solution to Long-Term Care Costs

Of all the problems in our complex health care system, long-term care funding may be one of the most complicated to fix. — Chris Orestis

7. What is Holding Back Your Organization?

The truth is that we don’t tell the truth where we work. It is very rare to find any profit or non-profit organization where people tell each other the truth. And the higher you go in an organization, the rarer it becomes. — Jim Haudan

8. How to Get a Prospect in 8 Seconds

You will gain or lose potential clients in just 8 seconds….well, actually it is a lot less than that.  The clock is ticking…and a lot faster than many realise. — Tony Vidler

9. Ask Your Prospects If They're Spending as Much Time Planning for Retirement as Their Last Vacation

If investors pay a travel planner to plan their vacations, why don’t they pay Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) to plan for their retirement? — Ted Parker

10. The Greatest Financial Challenge Most People Will Face in This Generation

Making your money last throughout your lifetime used to be so easy: retire at 65, buy bonds and live off your pension and social security. No sweat. You weren’t expecting to live much past 70 or so anyway. — Larry Stein

11. Are The Dollar and the Market at a Tipping Point?

One of the key drivers of the easing of U.S. financial conditions this year, is the weak U.S. dollar (USD). The FOMC met again this week and the results reinforced the Fed’s recent dovish overtones. On this news, the dollar sold off and equites moved higher. — John Derrick

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

Written by: Jon Sabes

When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward. 

However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:

  • He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
  • He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
  • When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
  • While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
  • In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.

Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (, is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.

Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.

Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.

His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”

When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”

On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.

“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”

That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing.  Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.

Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”

When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it.  He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.

I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.

GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
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GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio