Are You Flourishing?

At the Investment U Conference in Carlsbad, Calif., last month, we had dozens of experts share their best ideas on stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies, commodities, real estate and metals.

But I had the distinct honor of introducing someone who wasn’t there to tell attendees how to optimize their portfolios. He was there to show us how to optimize the rest of our lives.

It was my good friend and Spiritual Wealth co-writer, Dr. Joel Wade. In addition to sharing his wisdom through these columns, Joel is a California-based family therapist and certified life coach who is also the author of Mastering Happiness.

He offers a vital service.

At investment conferences, I often explain that publicly traded companies are essentially teams of people. And just as every great sports franchise needs a Vince Lombardi, a Bear Bryant or a Phil Jackson to pull the best performance from its athletes, so do companies need great managers to maximize returns for shareholders. Where would Apple be without Steve Jobs, Amazon without Jeff Bezos, or Berkshire Hathaway without Warren Buffett?

In our own lives, we may find that we could use a bit of coaching as well…

We All Need Help

After all, when you’re young, life is simple. Changes are easy. If your parents start to bug you, you move out. If your girlfriend becomes a pain in the neck, you break up. If your boss is impossible to deal with, you quit.

As we get older, however, life gets more complicated. And when the road gets rough, you don’t necessarily want to divorce your spouse, disown your kids, abandon your aging parents or leave a job to which you’ve dedicated years… or decades.

Moreover, once you reach what I call “the back nine,” you start to take stock of your life and ask important questions about what you’re doing and where you’re headed. You can feel a dramatic tension between who you are and what you feel you should be.

This is where Joel shines. He has a highly unusual practice, not just helping people solve their problems but helping them create and embody an extraordinary life. This is something we all desire, consciously or unconsciously, and virtually anyone can move closer to this ideal.

Living a more satisfying life is a skill that can be developed. More often than not, it is about the attitudes you embody and the choices you make. But like any skill, it requires time, attention and dedication.

I’ve worked with Joel myself and found his advice to be highly effective. I remember calling him up one afternoon and saying, “Joel, it’s going to take me about 15 minutes to explain this situation, so let me just get it off my chest.” I then proceeded to tell him about a tough family problem that I had tried unsuccessfully to resolve for months. When I was done there was a moment of silence.

“Hmm. Yeah,” Joel said. “That’s a tough one.”

My immediate thought was, “See, I’ve stumped him too.”

But that afternoon – and again in our conversations over the next few days – he showed me a different way of looking at my situation, one I was convinced I was powerless to change.

I was wrong. I could change it. And I did. It has made a world of difference in my life. And Joel has provided me with plenty of other effective advice as well. For that, I’m extremely grateful.

That’s why today I’d like to recommend his services to you. Certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF), Joel is based in Aptos, Calif., but his clients are spread all around the country. He works with most of them by phone, an arrangement I found easy and convenient.

Making the Most of Yourself

Joel’s only goal is to make sure you are making the most of your gifts and abilities and taking the steps that make for a happier, more satisfying life.

He offers a complimentary 20-minute coaching session with prospective clients. If you’d like to explore the opportunity to work with him, feel free to sign up here.

For the record, neither The Oxford Club nor I have any financial relationship with Joel. I recommend his services only from a sincere desire to see if he can be of service to you or your organization.

And, of course, Joel will continue to share his thoughts here from time to time. After all, we both subscribe to the philosophy of eudaimonia, the classical version of human flourishing.

Carpe Diem,


P.S. There’s a small but important changing coming soon to Spiritual Wealth. It will be called Beyond Wealth beginning next week. We think this new name better reflects the subject matter that we discuss here each week. (It’s also the title of my book, which was the genesis for this letter.) The look of the newsletter will also be refreshed, but nothing else will change. However, because the name change might confuse your email filter, you’ll want to keep an eye out for it.

Alexander Green is the Investment Director of The Oxford Club. The Oxford Club Communique, whose portfolio he directs, is ranked among the top investment letters in the nation for 10-year performance by the independent Hulbert Financial Digest. Alex is the author of The New York Times bestseller "The Gone Fishin' Portfolio: Get Wise, Get Wealthy... and Get On With Your Life," "The Secret of Shelter Island: Money and What Matters," and most recently, "Beyond Wealth: The Road Map to a Rich Life." He has been featured on Oprah & Friends, CNBC, National Public Radio (NPR), Fox News and "The O'Reilly Factor," and has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance, among others. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and Winter Springs, Florida with his wife Karen and their children Hannah and David.