Winter Polar Bear

In Search of Winter

Laurie Dubchansky Personal Finance

Through my involvement with the UC Irvine Merage School of Business, I was asked to speak to a group of Orange County Sheriffs about the value of saving and investing. I am proud to work with a business school that serves to educate the community. However, this time, to help educate those who constantly serve us and maintain our community safety, felt especially good. With 30 participants in attendance, I shared some healthy financial literacy and the whys of investing. They want more! I am thrilled.

It’s been a busy month, with a few days on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to see polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. We traveled to the very northern part of Canada to see these beautiful animals in the wild. We were successful! With 26 people in our tour group, we rode on arctic crawlers, see photo below. The only challenge was leaving the warm and toasty crawler to take pictures outdoors! One day, the weather was 6 degrees, but “felt like” -17 degrees. As a Californian, I hadn’t paid too much attention to the “feels like” on my weather app, but I do now!

Winter Crawler

Some great takeaways from the Schwab IMPACT conference in Chicago in mid-November. Although I attended many smaller sessions on financial planning topics, the daily keynote speakers were exceptional. The first morning, we heard an amazing gentleman, Mick Ebeling, describe his current business: Not Impossible Labs. He finds a problem which he deems “absurd”, then he imagines the solution and implements it. He developed tools to help ALS patients communicate. We also saw video of prosthetics he developed for children in war-torn Sudan. The next day, Michael Lewis, the author of many great books, talk about the importance of storytelling, and how he spends time getting to know his subjects. He’s quite an engaging speaker! Day 3: David Cameron – the former Prime Minister of Great Britain! He has a way with words! I could listen for days. And the final day: Theo Epstein, the President of the beloved Cubs baseball team. He spoke about building a team and the impact of character. In recruiting, he told of his focus on both character and statistics. Also, he gave us a preview of ways baseball might consider speeding up the game!

I reconnected with a friend from a UCLA Personal Financial Planning class, now working in Chicago, only to find out he’s moving back to California. How exciting for me and his family!

One evening in Chicago, I had dinner with Briana Crane, on the Development staff at Feeding America, based in Chicago. Feeding America supports over 200 regional food banks in our country. Regional food banks provide food to many of the community based programs, non-profit organizations and churches in our communities. Those organizations distribute food to those who need it. There are still resources needed. If you have any interest, I recommend connecting with your regional food bank. There is work to be done!

I am thankful for so much. I work with clients to help them improve their financial lives. I helped educate 30 members of the OC Sheriff’s Department. I had a real vacation with my husband to a beautiful location to see precious animals. Thank you to Charles Schwab and Co., for a very enlightening conference.

I hope your Thanksgiving was special in some way. I hope you spent some time relaxing, maybe even with family and friends. By the time you see this, I will be in recovery mode from an expanded household during this very fun holiday week. All the hugs, storytelling, dining and laughing make it all worthwhile.