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An exclusive monthly news report for private company CEO's
March 15, 2006
Sign of the Times
Did You Know
Ask the Expert
Market Stats
Helpful Links
Quote of the Month:

When asked by Howard Cosell?to respond to comments?made that he was not the same boxer he was 10 years earlier, Muhammad Ali replied, "Howard, I talked to your wife the other day, and she says you're not the same man you were TWO years ago."
Sign of the Times

A monthly market commentary

“The 2006 Oscar Award Winners Revealed...”

Well, I had the Rose Bowl (USC vs Texas) wired...right? So why not the Oscars....

Okay, after some serious research including dinners with several of the nominees, we have our first annual?Bay Pacific Group Oscar Award Winners:

Best Picture.........CRASH??

Best Actor...........Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)

Best Actress........Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line)

Best Director.......Steven Spielbeg (Munich)

Best Supporting Actor.....Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man)

Best Supporting Actress..Rachel Weisz ( The Constant Gardener)

Best Documentary.....March of the Penguins

Okay, now that we have that out of the way, just a brief comment on the Winter Olympics. Although the U.S. had the best showing ever for total medals, the high expectations going in (Bode Miller:?Zero for Five) were not achieved. And, get this, when "Desperate Housewives" and "American Idol" have higher TV ratings than our Winter Olympics, something is wrong somewhere. Americans in general are tired of the prima donnas--and Bode Miller is the poster boy as of late.

On the market in?general, the smart money sees the national housing inventory getting larger and larger and is slowly but surely moving that money into other areas--sure to benefit the overall M&A market and eventually the equity market. The anecdotal evidence out there?seems to point to a renewed interest in individual stocks. It's been some time. Is 2006 going to be the year the stock market comes back in vogue? Too early to tell, but it certainly bears watching.?????????????????????????????????????



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Did You Know

“What It Takes To Be No. 1”

Football season may be behind us, but I recently came across a speech considered by many to be the greatest sports speech of all time. It's written by Vince Lombardi, former head coach of the Green Bay Packers. It's an?amazing speech. I can visualize Lombardi in the locker room room with his players...Here are some excerpts, as timely today as when it was written 40 years ago.

Winning is?not a sometime thing, it's an all time thing.

You don't win once in?a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that's first place.

There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers.

Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization, an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win. To beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds harsh or cruel. I don't think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there. To compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game.

The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules-but to win. And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline.

The speech was never copyrighted.

Am I going to hear from some of our ladies on this one? I sense some mail already coming my direction...



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Ask the Expert

“Is Buying a Boat a Good Idea?”

The answer is no--unless you enjoy financial pain. Very little debate on that. There was a very recent article in the Wall Street Journal online written by a woman?who was married to a guy who?had bought his dream boat--a 28 foot power boat--after years of owning?a?17 foot vessel.?Delighted at first, his initial joy slowly turned to a chagrined outlook as the expenses in maintaining this boat took on an exponential?cash burn rate. A tank of fuel was suddenly $300. Slip fees went way up. Insurance went that same direction. Suddenly, he had new friends that loved going out on his boat while he shouldered all the responsibility on the water. Enough of that, he decided to sell the boat.

Those of you that have spent enough time with me know that I enjoy power boating and sailing--it's just great being out on the water in a number of different ways. In a perfect world, I'd probably own 4-5 boats. Just think of all the stories I could tell which leads me to an amusing twist on boat ownership. I happen to have a group of friends and we all own boats---probably 15-20 of us. We get together from time to time for lunches, a dinner occasionally--it's pretty much a guy thing--and the humor is slanted that same way. Without question, the number one topic?always on the burner is who has the latest and greatest horror story about how much money was just left at the boatyard for repairs/maintenance/upkeep. I can assure you that every boatyard in the San Francisco Bay Area is thoroughly trashed at these get togethers for their exhorbitant rates, poor service, and somtimes haughty attitudes. No boatyard escapes our wrath. No boatyard cares about that. The settling of a $15,000 boat yard bill is usually accompanied by a "free t-shirt" and a "Come back soon. Your boat needs more work". We have a friend who recently?left with a $30,000+ bill--engine problems. We asked him if he got "2 free t-shirts".

What I have come to realize is that as much as we all love to complain about our boat problems, we secretly love to hear even more?about others boat problems----the worse and more expensive the better--particularly so we can go home to our loved ones and proclaim that we are not the only idiots in town. I doubt any of us are going to sell our boats any time soon other than to buy another one!



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Market Stats

“Record Year of Mergers Expected in 2006”

No big surprise here. Analysts attribute the increase in deals in part to heightened activism among investors such as hedge funds that are pushing companies to sell off unprofitable business units. Another important factor is the long-held belief that buying a competitor is the fastest way to expand a company. It is much easier to buy something than build it from scratch. The bottom line is?whether or not a company wants to be a major player TODAY or wait 10 years to build it---if it can even be built.

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Helpful Links

“America's Greatest 100 Golf Courses

Okay, so we're goofing off a bit. Let's get serious and take a tour of the 100?greatest golf courses?America has to offer....courtesy of Golf Digest....Is your favorite on it?

http://www.golfdigest.com/courses/americasgreatest/



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