Health, Happiness and Prosperity

When I started Online Investors Advantage (which later became Investools and was recently acquired by TD Ameritrade) I was on a quest to teach the average person how to invest their own money in stocks and options. In 1997 Ross Jardine had taught me how to use stock search and analytical tools available on a web site called Wall Street City to trade my own stock portfolios. (It’s when we merged with Telescan, the owner of Wall Street City, that we changed our name to Investools.) Because of the experience I had, Ross and I decided to start a company so we could teach others too. This company grew to become the largest stock education company in the world… beyond what we imagined when we started it out of my home office. Too bad we sold out too soon. 😦

But we did well enough that no one is going to feel sorry for us. I could hunker down with my family and live out the rest of my life without having to work. And as much as I enjoy hanging out with my family and spending time at our cabin, the thought is tempting. However, I feel driven to learn, live and test the principles of health, happiness and prosperity… and then to share what I’ve learned with others.

Two key principles of prosperity that I have learned and shared are Personal Business Ownership, and Personal Investing. With both of these you control your financial destiny. Both are key to achieving financial freedom. But for me it hasn’t just been about financial success. For me it needs to be a harmony of good health, happiness and financial prosperity. Sacrificing health and happiness are not worth the cost of fiancial success. I’ve met many people who are very wealthy… and very unhealthy and very unhappy.

One of the reasons I left Investools early is because it was having a negative impact on both my health and my happiness. Once it became a public company and was run by a former Wall Street banker CEO and controlled by a board of Wall Street veterans, the company was no longer in sync with my values and my vision. The number one objective of the company had become to “increase shareholder wealth” — which was at odds with our original objective of providing the most value to our customers as we could. In fairness, the number one objective of just about every publicly owned company is to “increase shareholder wealth.” Unfortunately the need to meet quarterly earning estimates drives public companies, and what’s in the best interest of hitting these numbers is many times at odds at what’s in the best interest in providing value to their customers.

While at OIA/Investools I gained weight, my hair turned gray and thinned out on top, and I got cancer. I’m fortunate to say that I’ve been cancer-free for 8 years now; and that I’ve lost weight. My hair is still gray and thin, however. My wife likes the “distinguished” look so I won’t color it and I want take drugs for thinning hair because I don’t like taking drugs.

But during this experience I gained a personal conviction of how important good health is; and so I started learning the principles of good health. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, I didn’t drink a lot of sugared or artificially sweetened drinks, and although I’m a self-proclained sugar addict, I try to avoid cookies, candy, cakes, doughnuts, ice cream and all the sugar and flour concoctions that are so bad for us.

I’ve become a student of organic whole-foods, whole-food concentrates and natural vs synthetic vitamins. What I’ve been learning is frankly shocking. When I started OIA, I was on a crusade to educate the average person that they were better off controlling their own investing than to put themselves at the mercy of the professional brokers. I am now on a health crusade to educate people that we’re being duped by the food industry, the nutritional supplement industry and the drug industry. Big money, big corporations and powerful lobbyists influence most of what we eat. And unfortunately most of what we eat is not only not providing the nutrition our bodies need, most of what we eat is doing harm to us.

There is a growing awareness to this fact that is creating a move accross this country to expose this sham in the food and drug industries. I am part of that move. To get some insight into what I’m talking about, go to www.foodincmovie.com

My crusade now is to educate people about health, and that like investing, you need to take control and responsibility of your own health. The big food producers and the drug industries are not looking out for your best interest. These are publicly owned companies whose number one objective is to “increase shareholder wealth” even if it’s not in the best interest of their customers’ well being — which is you.

Stay tuned… I will be sharing more about my “health crusade now!

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