The Bledsoe Firm - June 2019

The Bledsoe Firm | 949.363.5551 June | 2019

T he A ge of W arren B uffett

The old Berkshire Hathaway textile mill.

No one reads like Warren Buffett.

By the mid-1950s, Warren decide to step out on his own. He moved to Omaha and opened up a firm, Buffett Associates, Ltd. A number of people invested in the firm, and it wasn’t long before it took off. Within a year, Warren had established several partnerships all while working out of his home.

After college, he developed a reading habit few people try to match. Buffett read through the entire “Moody’s Manual” — which is 10,000 pages. Making it through the gigantic work is accomplishment enough, but he read it twice. Buffett is constantly reading to this day, a habit he picked up from his youth. According to him, he spends about 80 percent of his day reading, so his face is always buried in a book or a newspaper. One of his mantras is, “If you want to be successful, you have to read.” In the 1950s, Buffett read for information. Following the path of his mentor, Ben Graham, he was on the lookout for undervalued stocks and companies, because these represented opportunities. One such opportunity came in the form of a life insurance company that sold policies all over the Midwest to farmers and rural residents. This company appeared to be insolvent, but Warren saw an opportunity and went to the farmers and their families. He bought their policies and stock in the company, and the company was effectively turned around.

But Buffett had his methods, and he didn’t like to be questioned. He told his partners and investors, “You turn money over to me, I invest, and you let me do my thing.” He didn’t want investors to know exactly how the money was being invested. While that sounds nerve-wracking, it makes sense. Most people are tempted to constantly check on their investments, but as prices fluctuate day to day, it’s tempting to sell and get out, which almost always results in money lost. So, Warren said he would keep investors updated, but if they didn’t like his methods, they could take their money and go. Very few people opted out, and he reinvested every cent from every fee he charged investors. At 27, Buffett moved out of the small apartment and bought a five-bedroom home in Omaha for $31,500. But he continued to run his investment business out of one of the bedrooms for several more years. In 1962, Buffett assumed control of textile maker Berkshire Hathaway. He went to work buying shares of the company from its owner — who he eventually fired. In fact, Buffett did some major housecleaning when he got into Berkshire, and upper management didn’t stand a chance. Over the next two decades, Buffett transformed Berkshire. He moved the business away from textiles into insurance and investing. While he had already done well financially leading up to taking control of Berkshire, it was during the ‘60s and ‘70s that At this time, he still did everything out of his home, which was a small apartment where he, his wife, Suzy, and their two kids lived.

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Setting some time aside to be with family is important, but it can be difficult when everyone is always on their cellphones. Constant cellphone use has become a global problem, and the habit is hard to break because we rely on mobile devices heavily for work, school, and keeping in contact with friends and family. Luckily, there are plenty of apps that can reduce how often you’re on your phone and minimize distractions. SIEMPO After you install Siempo on your phone, it will ask which apps are likely to distract you. Once you select them, the app will move those apps away from the home screen and place the important ones, such as the messaging, contacts, email, and calendar apps, on the first screen. You can also designate times for specific apps to be used throughout the day. STAY FOCUSED Stay Focused is like Siempo, but there are some significant differences. You can set times to access certain apps and put the most distracting ones on lock. Stay Focused also has a “strict mode” that prevents you from uninstalling it, so be sure to think carefully before activating the lockdown because you won’t have access to those specific apps until the timer runs out. FOREST In the time that Forest takes control of your device for a set time limit, the app starts growing a tree. Once the tree is fully grown, your time is up, and it joins the other trees that were grown during other breaks. If you pick up your phone and try to access an app, Forest will send you a notification asking you if you want to kill your baby tree by giving up. Who says guilt isn’t a good motivator? BESIDES APPS Aside from using these apps, silencing your phone and putting it in another room, leaving it in your car if you’re out at dinner, or keeping it in your purse or back pocket during a social event can also reduce your screen time. Having your phone out of sight and out of reach will keep the temptation of pulling it out at bay.

ENJOY YOUR FAMILY TIME By Taking a Break From Your Phone

Spending time with your family is crucial, and with these apps and tips, you’ll enjoy each other’s company without too many screen distractions.

Some of the biggest disputes during a divorce involve finances and money. Former spouses argue over income, marital property, homes, bank accounts, alimony, and child support. These issues move money to the forefront of many conversations about divorce, but rarely do they involve the financial mistakes you are likely to make during a divorce. It’s not uncommon for opposing parties to make irresponsible financial decisions and set themselves up for disaster. Here are two mistakes we have seen and help clients avoid. 2 Money Mistakes to Avoid During Divorce Many spouses assume the total assets and liabilities of a marriage are apparent and known before the start of a divorce. One implication that won’t appear on the balance sheet or list of investments is the impact of taxes on your divorce settlement. You could owe the federal and state governments a substantial amount after your divorce is final, thus lowering your share of those assets. Rather than ignore the tax implications, you can work with a knowledgeable accountant and your lawyer to determine the value of assets, investments, and other marital property on an after-tax basis, and present those numbers to your former spouse. This will give you a better understanding of what you will receive in the divorce and throw some bargaining power in your favor. Ignoring How Taxes Will Impact Your Divorce

Providing an Incorrect Calculation of Your Expenses

When determining alimony, also called spousal support, the judge or mediator will consider the impact on both spouses’ quality of life. It is the preference

of the court that the couple is able to maintain the same quality of life they had while married. Income, investments, and expenses all have an impact on what is a fair amount for spousal support. A common mistake is underestimating or guessing the amount of monthly and regular expenses. It is far easier to find and determine income, but calculating exact expenses takes work and effort. When this work results in an accurate and fair calculation for spousal support, the time is well worth it. Also, our divorce lawyers speak with many people who forgot to plan for inflation in their expense estimates, and that is another financial mistake you should avoid. Ultimately, you should strive to present a strict and accurate budget of your monthly expenses.

For more articles like this one, be sure to visit our blog at for more insight!

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his wealth skyrocketed. In those 20 years, he went from having less than a million dollars in the bank to acquiring a net worth of well over a half-billion dollars. Berkshire had become a holding company, and Buffett was buying interest in numerous businesses — all ones he read about extensively before making the jump. This was the age of Warren Buffet. And it all came back to reading to gain knowledge and understanding. That was one, if not the main, key to Buffett’s success. It’s a lesson we can all learn from and apply in our own lives. But there’s one more lesson from Warren Buffett I want to share. Next month, I will conclude our look at Buffett and his success, and I will share that final lesson.

Custody battles can be devastating. They generally happen when two parents are caught up in the emotion of the divorce. Each parent says they want what is best for their child, but the child often becomes a casualty of the battle. They end up being pulled in two very different directions, and this can do a significant amount of harm. Realistically, there is no expectation that two divorcing parents like each other. Tensions may be sky-high. But it is crucial parents truly put their child’s needs above their own — and avoid letting their child be used as a pawn. This can be accomplished through thoughtful co-parenting, and here are a few tips to accomplish just that. Relationships matter. While there may be tension between you and the other parent, it’s important to encourage a healthy relationship between your child and the other parent. This isn’t about sugarcoating anything; instead it’s more about keeping the other parent in their child’s life in positive ways. Communication is key. As part of the healthy relationship, each parent should always keep the other in the loop when it comes to appointments, activities (school or otherwise), and anything else on the child’s schedule. This is where having a shared online calendar can be hugely beneficial. The child comes first. When it comes to scheduling major life events, things can get tricky. If possible, consider scheduling major events such as the child’s birthday, graduation party, and prom, etc. in such a way that the other parent has the option to attend and share the moment with their child. Co-parenting isn’t always easy, but when it comes to the well-being of the child, it is crucial as they grow and develop. It takes effort, but your child will thank you for making an effort — even if they don’t say it out loud. Successful co-parenting can have positive effects on the child that they will carry with them in to adulthood and their future relationships. C o -P arenting and G iving M ore to Y our C hild

—John Bledsoe

Grilled Beef Ribs

Inspired by Saveur magazine

Nothing feels more paleo appropriate than digging into a giant rack of beef ribs. This largely hands-off recipe requires plenty of hands-on eating, making you feel like one of our cave dwelling ancestors.


• •

1 5-lb. rack of beef ribs

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste


1. Heat a charcoal, wood-burning, or gas grill to medium-high. Once heated, move heat source to one side or turn off half of the burners to create an indirect heat zone. 2. Season ribs with salt and pepper and char on the hotter side of the grill, turning occasionally, for 12–15 minutes. Once charred, transfer to the other side of grill and cook until the thickest part of the rib reaches 130 F, about 2 1/2–3 hours. 3. Let meat rest for 15 minutes. If desired, serve alongside grilled veggies.

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23101 Lake Center Drive • Suite 310 Lake Forest, CA 92630



Warren Buffet Makes His Millions


Take a Break From Your Smartphone

2 Money Mistakes to Avoid


How to Co-Parent Better

Grilled Beef Ribs


Roadside Attractions with Fun for All Ages

Enjoying the Journey

R oadside A ttractions W orth V isiting

The Mystery Spot; Santa Cruz, California

The United States can be a weird place, and some landmarks definitely reflect that sentiment. Along almost every highway, bizarre landmarks draw road trippers of all ages. Sometimes

Advertising itself as a “gravitational anomaly,” this wacky spot in the middle of the redwood forest showcases a series of optical illusions such as balls rolling uphill and a cabin where visitors can lean toward the ground and appear to defy gravity. It might not be aliens, like some believe, but visitors of all ages will get a kick out of the illusions messing with their perception. Plus, the nearby hiking trails through the redwoods offer a free added experience.

tourist traps aren’t worth the price of admission, but when you’re taking your summer road trip this year and your family needs a place to stop and stretch, these are three roadside attractions worth checking out.

Dinosaur Land; White Post, Virginia

The Lost Sea; Sweetwater, Tennessee

It might not be Jurassic Park, but it’s still worth a look. Nestled in the greenery of Northern Virginia, this park has over 50 life-size statues of dinosaurs of all kinds. Tours are self-guided, parking is free, and children (or adults) with dinosaur obsessions are sure to smile and point out their favorites. It’s certainly something to “rawr” home about. Whether these spots are your destinations or you’re just passing through on your summer road trip, visiting these roadside attractions and others like them will add some fun to your travels.

The Lost Sea is the largest underground lake in the U.S. Lying 140 feet beneath the surface, it’s a fun escape from the summer heat, since it’s 58 degrees year-round. Kids and adults alike can learn about the history and geology of the area on a guided tour through forest above and lake below. And afterward, you can stop by the general store, ice cream parlor, or café.

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