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Whom You Align Yourself With…

While partnering with others has its benefits, it also has real drawbacks

And the corollary is, be careful who you let align with you.

In this day and age there is constant discussion and effort a bout partnerships, high performance teams, the team approach, and alliances. The rationale is one can accelerate or maintain one’s position more effectively by teaming up with others.

While partnering with others has its benefits (at least in certain cases), it also has real draw backs. There is an old saying a bout a chain being “only as strong as its weakest link”. Anyone seeking a partnership of any kind needs to keep this wisdom in mind, especially regarding economic or investment decisions. This seems particularly relevant as it pertains to the European state of affairs.

Over the decades, the French strategy has been to tie Germany into a network of relationships and commitments to keep its future inextrica bly linked to Europe's.1

Germany is a very productive economy operated, for the most part, on conservative savings, de bt, tax, and investment principles. France is a far more li beral economy, with reduced work weeks, higher taxes, more government mandates, and all that comes with this. What the quote a bove postulates is the French have made su bstantive attempts to keep Germany tethered to France economically so the French can benefit from the German’s efforts. Moreover, this partnership, has allowed France to benefit with far fewer reciprocal benefits to Germany. Some will call this a “free lunch” while others will recall an instruction a bout “do not be unequally yoked.”

This is instructive, not just for anticipating what will happen to the collective European Currency, but also as it pertains to many other decisions we make (some of them major).

Purchasing a condominium su bjects the purchaser to whims and foi bles of all the other residents in the complex. If the group decides to build a pool, then the expense and hassle is born by all the residents.

When someone gets married…

When one starts a business with a partner…or esta blishes a strategic alliance or partnership between businesses…

When one invests in a private placement hedge fund, the results can be altered meaningfully by one or two investors wanting to exit at just the wrong time. This frequently forces the sale of investments at exactly the wrong time creating tremendous losses of capital.

Each of these matters calls for due diligence before entering an alliance or partnership. My book Financial Advisor Due Diligence provides the information you need to perform this vital function on those whom you are using to manage your money.


1. 4/19/2012 More Thoughts on the Importance of the French Elections, Marc Chandler

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More Stories By Dana Barfield

Dana is the president of The Barfield Group, which has provided industry leading Financial Advice, Investment Services, and helped people Plan for Retirement for more than 20 years. He is a frequent speaker and writer for a variety of industry, regional, and national publications on business ownership and wealth building related topics.

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