Joan's Blog

12/22/2010 @ 1:49 am

As we approach any new year and in this case 2011, we greet our friends and neighbors with the above wishes for their future success.  It is not an accident that the first of the three is a wish for their good health.  The longer we live, the more we come to know the importance of good health.  It is not an accident that our site: is identified as the site for fiscal and physical fitness. 

9/8/2010 @ 5:07 pm
“lemming [ˈlɛmɪŋ]
1. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Animals) any of various volelike rodents of the genus Lemmus and related genera, of northern and arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America: family Cricetidae. The Scandinavian variety, Lemmus lemmus, migrates periodically when its population reaches a peak
2. a member of any large group following an unthinking course towards mass destruction”
8/27/2010 @ 11:53 am
One of the more trying aspects of the current economic malaise is the subtle way it has stripped too many of us of our pride and sense of accomplishment with how we have conducted our lives. The 90% of Americans who still have jobs don’t remotely understand the degree to which those who are out of work have been made to feel helpless. If you are a striver who has done well in life until now, you are quite ill equipped to deal with your present situation. It’s likely you have been caught up by global events more than you have underperformed at your job and you don’t deserve to have lost your income stream.  It’s clear to me that those still working cannot imagine your anguish.
5/1/2010 @ 11:41 am

You call it: Heads or tails? Do you want to lose fat or weight? Should you focus your thoughts on losing pounds or losing fat?

What happens when you lose pounds? When you lose weight, you lose more than just fat. You lose water and more importantly you lose muscle, too. Losing muscle is the fastest way to slow down your metabolism which works counter to your goal of losing weight. Muscle loss is not the best approach for those who want to have a flat tummy. For that you need to build up your core muscles.

4/9/2010 @ 12:00 pm
So here we all sit with our diminished “fortunes” and estates to leave for our children. Congress spent last week grilling the very men we were led to believe were our “Financial Wizards” with solutions to all our problems. There they were before the once complicit Finance Committee investigating the Great Recession trying to discern what went wrong. There was Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman to several presidents of both parties.  This is not the same Mr. Greenspan who for years imbued us with conviction that he had his finger on the pulse of the economy even as he muttered gibberish in his Congressional testimony. This is not the same man CNBC assigned a theme song of “Mr.
3/21/2010 @ 9:38 am

When Barack Obama was running for President, he promised change and the end of back room deals. He won in a landslide. Now more than a year since he took office, nothing much has changed in the eye of the public. The back room deal-making and the pork amendments the Democratic leadership has shamelessly heaped onto the Health Care Reform bill to ensure its passage look just like business as usual. Why should we believe our “leaders” when they tell us this new healthcare proposal will be better for us? Or save money in the long term?

3/14/2010 @ 11:45 am
This week marks the one year anniversary of that dreadful day in March 2009 when the Dow hit 6470. The only real difference between then and now is the “Recession of Fear.” It is not clear that things are a lot better now than they were then other than we don’t think the banks are going down for the final count. For most of us, it’s still hard to get credit, a mortgage or a loan. Unemployment seems frightfully high. Consumers are mostly keeping their wallets shut. The big change is that fear has definitely receded. However, fear of stocks remains very high.
3/7/2010 @ 12:05 pm

Money is important, but your health is by far your most valuable asset. The benefits of exercise are obvious and well known. If you don’t maintain your body and your health you’ll be left feeling tired, sick, depressed or stressed. Oh, you say, I don’t want to make the effort. It’s boring. It’s hard work. I don’t have the time.

2/3/2010 @ 11:54 pm

Study this chart carefully. It holds the key to your investment future. Interest rates peaked at 19.1% in January 1981. If you bought thirty year Treasury Bonds then and put them into your safe deposit box, you have earned 18 or 19% a year in interest payments on your original investment and beaten the very best hedge funds. In the meanwhile, your bonds also increased in value. It was a golden scenario and yet most of us were completely averse to buying bonds in 1981. Interest rates had been rising for years and everyone who had owned bonds had lost money. Only 20% of investors were bond bulls then. Most people wouldn’t go near them with a ten foot pole. Does that sound like your approach to stocks today?

1/31/2010 @ 11:52 pm

When I started my investment firm, Gramercy Capital Management Corp. in 1986 the thought of working at home was not something I ever considered.   In the 20 years I had worked on Wall Street I had worked in large companies and small but never at home. My children were young and I wanted to get out of the house to work. But the internet has changed everything and opened new options for service businesses that must be seriously considered. 

1/31/2010 @ 11:50 pm

This horoscope appeared in the paper the very week my life was upended in April 2009:

Wednesday, April 15th 2009: Life is full of situations that support or challenge you, Scorpio. However, one thing seems to be true for everyone: Your attitude can dictate the way you feel. Even when things feel stagnant in your life, stay positive. A surprise piece of news is headed your way, and whatever it is, it'll give you a lift.

1/31/2010 @ 3:02 pm

My big trip in 2008 was one I had dreamed about for about 40 years, a 13 day rubber raft trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. When I decided to go in early 2008, I knew I was in no shape to undertake such a difficult trip. I enrolled at the JCC and promptly got myself a trainer. I lost weight and more than a dress size over the first few months of the year as I was working hard to build up my legs for climbing and hiking in the Canyon. I recently reread my journal that I kept on the trip. I am sorry now that I didn’t write more than I did.

1/31/2010 @ 2:33 pm

Now that I’ve arrived in senior citizen land I’m finding a vast array of emotions go with that territory. To celebrate turning 65, I embarked on a journey that I had waited a lifetime to take. When I was 24, I took a side trip to the Grand Canyon on my way to California for business. I flew to Phoenix, rented a car and drove to the Canyon. While there I picked up a copy of Arizona Highways, a magazine published by the State of Arizona. In it were descriptions of rafting trips down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. I kept that magazine for 40 years because I knew that someday I would return.

1/31/2010 @ 1:43 pm

Case 1: The Lawyer

Flashback to 1969, It’s early in my career as a media and entertainment analyst. The Times Mirror Company had recently gone public and I had decided to write a report about the company. since nobody on Wall Street was following it as yet. I spent three months and a few visits to California in writing the biggest institutional report on the company published to that date. In the process, I met Martin Levin who ran the $200 million Times Mirror book group including a collection of a dozen book publishers with names you may remember such as New American Library, New English Library, Harry Abrams Art books and Southwestern Publishing which sold bibles door to door. Adjusted for forty years of inflation, just add another zero and that would be equivalent to managing a $2 billion business today. In the process, Levin and I became fast friends.
1/30/2010 @ 8:03 pm

When times are tough we often find ourselves trapped in a work environment which we would rather escape. We have bills to pay, debts to dispose of and we are just grateful for a paycheck coming in even though we hate what we do. It can also disrupt your health. In January, I gave a talk to the Financial Women’s Assn. of N.J. at the Harborside Financial Center in Jersey City. It’s prime real estate right along the Hudson River with beautiful views of the downtown NY skyline and the harbor. A big financial firm was the kind host of the event and provided a room and AV equipment. The floor where the room was located was huge and just about empty. It had been a call center for the firm’s customers until all the jobs were shipped to Manila.

1/30/2010 @ 5:49 pm

Of Course Your Retirement Funds Are Dented?
Three years ago stocks were it! The Dow was at an all time high. It was all about E-trading, hanging out in on-line chat rooms, stock tips at the water cooler, bragging about your winners. Everybody was feeling rich and thinking about early retirement. Not now! Perhaps you have had to postpone your retirement or totally rebuild your life. Maybe you did retire and now find you must return to work.

1/30/2010 @ 5:22 pm

If you thought the investment research scandal during the tech bubble was the only corrupt corner of Wall Street, think again. Either through investment plans at work or through funds purchased directly, most individuals now own portfolios of mutual funds much as people owned stock portfolios decades ago. Mutual funds are a very big business and that always invites opportunity for chicanery. Some years ago when former Governor Eliot Spitzer was still Attorney General of New York, he uncovered widespread abuses in the mutual fund industry that the SEC had just ignored. What first seemed to be a molehill had turned into a mountain of abuses.

1/30/2010 @ 5:18 pm

Recently, I was exchanging emails with the man who gave me my start as an investment analyst three decades ago. That firm Equity Research Associates, was a vibrant, sassy upstart that was known for first-rate, highly original, forward-thinking research. I learned from him that investment success is about figuring out what’s going to happen next not what happened last week or last month. Success demands that you figure out trends before they are well observed. There are huge rewards for being early to the party and gigantic penalties for being the last one to leave.

1/30/2010 @ 5:11 pm

The site for fiscal and physical fitness.

1/18/2010 @ 5:33 pm

We’re Americans. We were raised to shop ‘til we drop. Remember when we would buy a new car every year. We got over that idea a long time ago. We see things, we want them, we buy them. Or we used to. Recent circumstances in the economy have shown us, however, that a revised point of view is needed. Americans have shut their wallets and left their credit cards home for the last year. November 2009 was the 14th straight drop in credit card borrowings, the worst decline since 1943. So collectively we are getting the message and taking action.

1/4/2010 @ 10:37 pm

Agreement between User and

1/4/2010 @ 10:26 pm

Revised and posted as of: January 4, 2009 is committed to safeguarding your privacy online. Please read the following statement to understand how your personal information will be treated as you make full use of the website. The website is owned and operated by Joan Lappin.

If you have any questions regarding our privacy statement, please first contact us by e-mail at


Our primary goal in collecting user information is to enhance your experience on our website. We use aggregated (gathered up data across all user accounts) information to develop content targeted to users' interests and to better the website user experience. is committed to your privacy and other than as provided herein or after receiving your specific consent, will not share any personal information with any third party at any time, unless required by law.

What this Privacy Policy Covers

This privacy policy covers the website Other sites linked to from this website have their own privacy statements which can be viewed on those sites.

Please be aware that sponsors, advertisers and partners or affiliates with co-branded modules or sections on may collect personally identifiable information about you while on our website. The information practices of those parties are not covered by this privacy statement. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies only to information collected by this website. users should also be aware that, when you voluntarily disclose personal information in chat areas or bulletin boards, that information may be collected by others and may result in unsolicited messages from others. We are not responsible for the personally identifiable information you choose to submit in these forums.

Gathering of Information

Voluntary Submission does not collect personally identifying information about any individual website user except when knowingly provided by such individual. For example, we may ask you for information, such as your e-mail address or full name, when you register to become a member of In the event you order something from, we may request additional personal information, such as your address, telephone number and credit card information, in order to complete the purchase. We also supplement the data you provide to us with data from data append services. You always have the option not to provide the information we request. If you choose not to provide the information we request, you can still visit most of the website, but you may be unable to access certain options and services. When you register or become a member of or provide information to in any other manner, you agree to provide only true, accurate, current and complete information.


A cookie is a small data file that is written to your computer's hard drive by your web browser. A cookie file can contain information, such as a user identification code, that a website will use to track the pages and number of times you have visited. uses cookies to track web and advertising analytics throughout and its affiliate websites and to remember your custom preferences and membership status so that you don't have to login each time you visit the website. The data read from these cookies may be linked to personally identifying (PII) and non-personally identifying (non-PII) information.

Business partners of, vendors providing hosting and other services for, third party analytics providers, as well as advertisers who contract directly with a third-party service to serve their advertisements on our website may set their own unique cookies through your browser. We do not have access to these cookies or any information that they may contain. If you would like more information about this practice and about your option not to accept cookies placed by these companies, please click here.

Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually change your browser settings to display a warning before accepting a cookie, choose to accept cookies only from certain websites or to refuse all cookies. However, if you choose to disable the receipt of cookies from our website, you may not be able to use certain features of the site. To learn more about the use of cookies in online advertising including how to manage or delete them click here.

Web Beacons

We may use web beacons (invisible images often referred to as pixel tags or clear GIFs) on our sites in order to recognize users, assess traffic patterns, identify preferred content and measure site engagement. We also include web beacons in our e-mail messages, including newsletters, in order to count how many e-mail messages have been opened. also uses a reputable third party to collect information, including through the use of web beacons, browser cookies and other tracking technologies. This data is collected in the aggregate, but may include or be associated with other non-PII or PII that users have voluntarily submitted.

Log Files servers log information about a site user's IP address, browser type and the current URL the user is requesting. This information is always provided by each and every user's browser. These log files are stored in a secure location and used --in an aggregated, anonymous manner--in our internal analysis of traffic patterns within our website. This information is automatically logged by most websites.

Use of Information

Our primary goal in collecting user information is to enhance your experience on our website.

To Target Content and Advertising

To develop and provide content and advertising to you that is targeted to your interests, we use the analytics collected by the systems described above to determine which areas of our website you prefer based upon the frequency of your visits and engagement with those areas. We may also make reasonable geographic and demographic assumptions based on your presented IP address to target relevant content and advertising.

To Provide Interactive Communications From

To enhance your experience we may provide you with interactive communications, such as our electronic newsletters, to the e-mail address that you provide to us. Such interactive communications are provided only to those users who have expressly provided us with their permission to receive them as part of their user profile.

From time to time we may provide e-mails highlighting new features, promotions or contests on the website to those users who have expressly provided us with their permission to send such communications as part of their user profile.

To Provide Communications From Third Parties

We respect the privacy of our users and shall not disclose or distribute our user list to any third party, nor shall we permit anyone else to do so. However, we do make available for rental our list of those registrants who have expressly provided us with their permission to receive third party offers as part of their user profile. In those cases, your e-mail address will be transferred to the third party.

Control of Your Information

Registered users may change the information stored in their member profile such as e-mail address, zip code, country, title and industry, and they may elect to stop receiving newsletters or marketing material from or on behalf of external third party business partners. Users may choose to stop receiving such communications at any time by visiting their member profile page, or by following instructions at the end of any such e-mail received.

Sharing of Information

When you are on an area of and are asked for personal information, you are sharing that information with as well as business partners and vendors providing hosting and other services for

We use third parties to provide credit card processing, e-mail service providers and hosting services on our site. When you sign up for such services, we will share your personally identifiable information as necessary for the third party to provide that service. These third parties are prohibited from using your personally identifiable information for any other purpose. If you do not want your information to be shared, you can choose not to allow the transfer of your information by not using that particular service.

In addition, if you provide any personally identifiable information via an advertiser promotion, please be aware you are directly providing your personally identifiable information to that advertiser.

From time-to-time we may provide you the opportunity to participate in contests or surveys on our site. If you participate, we will request certain personally identifiable information from you, such as your name and e-mail. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and you therefore have a choice whether or not to disclose this information. We use this personally identifiable information to notify contest winners and award prizes.

We may use a third party service provider to conduct these surveys or contests; that company will be prohibited from using our users’ personally identifiable information for any other purpose. We will not share the personally identifiable information you provide through a contest or survey with other third parties unless we give you prior notice and choice.

We also have features that allow you to send an e-mail to yourself and/or others about an item on our site. If you choose to use our e-mail referral service, you will be required to provide the e-mail address or addresses that will be used in the notification. Upon form submission an e-mail will be generated to your recipient(s) inviting them to visit the URL you have recommended. We do not store this information other than for the sole purpose of sending this one-time e-mail.

As Necessary to Provide Services to You

We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as handling the processing and delivery of newsletter mailings, processing transactions, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the information they need to deliver the service. In some instances these companies may collect information directly from you (such as for credit card processing for the purchase of investment newsletters). In these cases, you will be notified of the involvement of the external service provider. In all cases, these companies are subject to agreements that require them to maintain the confidentiality of your information and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

In The Event of Sale or Bankruptcy

The ownership of may change at some point in the future. Should that occur, we want this site to be able to maintain a relationship with you. In the event of a sale, merger, public offering, bankruptcy or other change in control of your information may be shared with the person or business that owns or controls this site. Opting out of receiving information from third parties will not affect our right to transfer your information to a new owner, but your choices will continue to be respected regarding the use of your information. You will be notified as described below in “How will I know if the Privacy Policy is changed.”

As Required By Law may disclose your personal information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to conform to the edicts of the law or comply with a judicial proceeding, court order or legal process served on or to protect and defend the rights or property of


Your information is stored on's servers located in the United States. We use industry standard procedural and technical safeguards to protect your personal information against loss or theft as well as unauthorized access and disclosure to protect your privacy, including encryption, "firewalls" and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). We treat data as an asset that must be protected against loss and unauthorized access. We employ many different security techniques to protect such data from unauthorized access by users inside and outside the company. However, "perfect security" does not exist on the Internet.

Privacy of Children

Kids under 13: Do not send any information about yourself to us--including information such as your name, address, or e-mail address. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under 13. In the event that we learn we have collected any personal information from a child under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information from our database as quickly as possible.

How to Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding our privacy statement, please feel free to contact us by e-mail at We read every message submitted and try to reply promptly to every one. Our mailing address is ???.

How Will I Know if the Privacy Policy Is Changed?

This statement may change from time to time, so please check back periodically. Any material changes to our privacy policy will be posted to this statement, the home page, and other places we deem appropriate.

1/2/2010 @ 9:54 pm

Change is hard but change can be refreshing. It's never easy to go outside our comfort zone of what we know. But there is no other way to get to a better and happier life if we don't like the one we have now. If you must start over now, allow yourself the luxury of considering something new or perhaps something old.

Maybe when you were younger you wanted to pursue a career that wasn't then possible but you never lost your dream. Maybe that job required law school, medical school or some other credential you had neither time nor money to pursue. Maybe you wanted to do something before you were 21 and parental permission was required and your parents refused. Perhaps you have turned a long held hobby into a successful business. Attached is an article about 3 people who fit one or the other of these descriptions. Each circled back after age 55 to do something they always wanted to do. The world is full of older people who have carved out a new and successful second or third career doing something they truly love and always wanted to do.

Please share your story with's community of readers. If you can condense your story into 200 words we would love to read it. We will select up to 3 submissions each week from people who have gone in a new direction after their life hit a speed bump and they were enabled by circumstance to try something new. It could be a case of "I hate my job. Anything would be better than this." Please tell us your story of success and become a role model for others and come back to see if yours is one of the ones we select to inspire others.

1/2/2010 @ 9:13 pm

Joan Lappin’s Wall Street career has spanned 45 years with many notable successes. She started in the research training program at Merrill Lynch and ended the 14 year analyst chapter of her career with 8 years at the Dreyfus Corporation. She earned an MBA at New York University in financial accounting by going at night and getting her employers to pay for it along the way, far better than a student loan. She became a Chartered Financial Analyst, the hardest of the Wall Street certifications to attain.

1/2/2010 @ 7:50 pm

Many over 50 are asking ourselves: “What happened here?” Just as we thought we had accumulated sufficient assets to sustain us in our old age, our nest eggs vanished even as our life expectancy lengthened. Folks don’t advertise their plight but believe me, they aren’t doing any better than you are. Talk privately with your friends and they, too, are hurting and dismayed. You may be behind on a credit card bill and they may be late with their mortgage. You may be worried about paying for prescription drugs and they may be worried about car payments so they can still get to work.