“We Are Wall Street”: The Top 1% Are Mad as Hell and Fighting Back!


Like a scene out of Atlas Shrugged…

Wall Streeters recently struck back by dropping leaflets on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Here’s what the leaflets said:

“We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, it’s not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back some whatever, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 4am and work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t’ demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team to $5k extra a summer, thank you very much. So now that we’re going to be making $8k a year without upside, Joe Main street is going to have his revenge right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but its really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom. We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Main street our food supply…will he? And will they?”

PS – When you are ready to stop complaining and ready to start thinking like a billionaire… follow this link to reserve your copy of “The Billionaire Mindset”

Fall Back(story): Sunday Morning Coming Down

No Comments

Today is one of my favorite days of the year! The extra hour presses the “reset” button for a life lived at full throttle.

Wanted to share one of my favorite “Sunday” songs and the back-story. Kris Kristoffersen wrote this song and tried to give it to Johnny Cash in the studio where Kris was working as a janitor. Cash tossed it in the trash without even saying hello to Kris. At the time Kris was in the Tennessee Air National Guard flying helicopters. So out of frustration he took the song aboard a TANG chopper and flew it into Johnny Cash’s back yard refusing to leave until John listened to the song, Johnny finally agreed, the rest is history.


A Different Take on the Richest 1%

1 Comment

My inbox has been bombed with e-mails from folks outraged by the wealth disparity between the richest 1% and the balance of America. A few bullet points:

  1. The Top 1 Percent of Americans Owns 40 Percent of the Nation’s Wealth
  2. The Top 1 Percent of Americans Take Home 24 Percent of National Income
  3. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Own Half of the Country’s Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds
  4. The Top 1 Percent Of Americans Have Only 5 Percent of the Nation’s Personal Debt
  5. The Top 1 Percent are Taking In More of the Nation’s Income Than at Any Other Time Since the 1920s

I wondered what it would take to be in the “Richest 1%” certainly these are the  “jet owners” our President has vilified. When you do the research it takes an annual family income over $200,000 to qualify for the richest 1%. As someone who has spent his professional career “playing Monopoly” with multi-millionaires and deca-millionaires in the commercial real estate investment, development and finance industry the admission standards to be included in the top 1% seem appallingly low and describes nearly everyone I’ve ever dealt with over my business career.

The “Occupy Wall Street” folks want to take the wealth of the Richest 1% and redistribute it to “the people”. If that were allowed to happen I can guarantee that within 5 or 10 years the folks that had their wealth stolen from them will get it back. How will they do this? Because they have mastered intellectual, personal and financial discipline.


Who is the prototypical member of the Richest 1% You may be surprises to learn what the typical American millionaire can tell you about himself?(*)

* I am a fifty-seven-year-old male, married with three children. About 70 percent of us earn 80 percent or more of our household’s income.

* About one in five of us is retired. About two-thirds of us who are working are self-employed. Interestingly, self-employed people make up less than 20 percent of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires. Also, three out of four of us who are self-employed consider ourselves to be entrepreneurs. Most of the others are self-employed professionals, such as doctors and accountants.

* Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dullnormal. We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors.

* About half of our wives do not work outside the home. The number-one occupation for those wives who do work is teacher.

* Our household’s total annual realized (taxable) income is $131,000 (median, or 50th percentile), while our average income is $247,000. Note that those of us who have incomes in the $500,000 to $999,999 category (8 percent) and the $1 million or more category (5 percent) skew the average upward.

* We have an average household net worth of $3.7 million. Of course, some of our cohorts have accumulated much more. Nearly 6 percent have a net worth of over $10 million. Again, these people skew our average upward. The typical (median, or 50th percentile) millionaire household has a net worth of $1.6 million.

* On average, our total annual realized income is less than 7 percent of our wealth. In other words, we live on less than 7 percent of our wealth.

* Most of us (97 percent) are homeowners. We live in homes currently valued at an average of $320,000. About half of us have occupied the same home for more than twenty years. Thus, we have enjoyed significant increases in the value of our homes.

* Most of us have never felt at a disadvantage because we did not receive any inheritance. About 80 percent of us are first-generation affluent.

* We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority of us drive the current-model-year automobile. Only a minority ever lease our motor vehicles.

* Most of our wives are planners and meticulous budgeters. In fact, only 18 percent of us disagreed with the statement “Charity begins at home.” Most of us will tell you that our wives are a lot more conservative with money than we are.

* We have a “go-to-hell fund.” In other words, we have accumulated enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years. Thus, those of us with a net worth of $1.6 million could live comfortably for more than twelve years. Actually, we could live longer than that, since we save at least 15 percent of our earned income.

* We have more than six and one-half times the level of wealth of our nonmillionaire neighbors, but, in our neighborhood, these nonmillionaires outnumber us better than three to one. Could it be that they have chosen to trade wealth for acquiring high-status material possessions?

* As a group, we are fairly well educated. Only about one in five are not college graduates. Many of us hold advanced degrees. Eighteen percent have master’s degrees, 8 percent law degrees, 6 percent medical degrees, and 6 percent Ph.D.s.

* Only 17 percent of us or our spouses ever attended a private elementary or private high school. But 55 percent of our children are currently attending or have attended private schools.

* As a group, we believe that education is extremely important for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We spend heavily for the educations of our offspring.

* About two-thirds of us work between forty-five and fifty-five hours per week.

* We are fastidious investors. On average, we invest nearly 20 percent of our household realized income each year. Most of us invest at least 15 percent. Seventy-nine percent of us have at least one account with a brokerage company. But we make our own investment decisions.

* We hold nearly 20 percent of our household’s wealth in transaction securities such as publicly traded stocks and mutual funds. But we rarely sell our equity investments. We hold even more in our pension plans. On average, 21 percent of our household’s wealth is in our private businesses.

* As a group, we feel that our daughters are financially handicapped in comparison to our sons. Men seem to make much more money even within the same occupational categories. That is why most of us would not hesitate to share some of our wealth with our daughters. Our sons, and men in general, have the deck of economic cards stacked in their favor. They should not need subsidies from their parents.

* What would be the ideal occupations for our sons and daughters? There are about 3.5 millionaire households like ours. Our numbers are growing much faster than the general population. Our kids should consider providing affluent people with some valuable service. Overall, our most trusted financial advisors are our accountants. Our attorneys are also very important. So we recommend accounting and law to our children. Tax advisors and estate-planning experts will be in big demand over the next fifteen years.

* I am a tightwad. That’s one of the main reasons I completed a long questionnaire for a crispy $1 bill. Why else would I spend two or three hours being personally interviewed by these authors? They paid me $100, $200, or $250. Oh, they made me another offer–to donate in my name the money I earned for my interview to my favorite charity. But I told them, “I am my favorite charity.”

If you would like to know more about Millionaires and Billionaires – follow this link to reserve a complementary copy of my white paper titled “The Billionaire Mindset: Zen and the Art of Business”.

[1] Source Material for this article from The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D

Visit this link for the complete article on wealth disparity by Dr. G. William Domhoff





MLB Playoffs: My Annual Team Payroll Analysis

No Comments

With Fall in the air and my hometown Tampa Bay Rays in the playoffs for the 3rd out of 4 years my thoughts turn to…. my 4th annual playoff payroll analysis. Maybe I have a screw loose (my wife will attest to this), but I think it is amazing to compare and contrast how well a team does on the field with how well their front office does managing the payroll and delivering RESULTS!

Full disclosure… I make a living as a “money guy” comparing and contrasting one investment vehicle with another and allocating capital accordingly. I spent my day comparing risk and reward, so my mind can’t help be fascinated by the astonishing payroll differences * in professional baseball as opposed to other team sports that have embraced a salary cap. Baseball does not have a level playing field. Large market teams like the New York Yankees use the rest of the league as their farm system. When the Yankees need a new pitcher they sign the hottest free agent in the league. Doesn’t this just seem wrong?

The best thing about the playoffs is that every year there are 2 or 3 small market teams that make it to the final dance. Like Polyester and Spandex Clad Davids they have slain the great Goliath to enter the playoffs where every team starts 0-0 and any one of 8 teams can win the World Series.

Of the 30 MLB Teams Tampa Bay Rays rank 29th in payroll… only the Kansas City Royals spend less on their players than the Rays. How about that for efficiency? Since the team was purchased by a former partner at Goldman Sachs the front office has done an incredible, virtually perfect job at getting maximum efficiency for the lowest possible payroll. To make it into the Playoffs as the Wild Card Team the Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox with an astonishing $162 million payroll. Hard work, a great farm system, exemplary scouting, team spirit & passion defeats a payroll 3.95x larger. That is a team you gotta love.

I’ll be cheering for the Rays! How about you


American League: New York Yankees $ 203 million Detroit Tigers $ 106 million Texas Rangers $ 92 million Tampa Bay Rays $ 41 million

National League: Philadelphia Phillies $ 173 million St. Louis Cardinals $ 105 million Milwaukee Brewers $ 85 million Arizona Diamondbacks $ 54 million

* Payroll statistics from USA Today

Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla Explains Twitter

No Comments

The older I get the more I realize that I probably learned more from Schoolhouse Rock than any of my teachers. One of my favorite episodes was always the one that explains pronouns by telling the story of Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla. Here is the two minute clip:

I bring this up to explain the use of hashtags on Twitter. If you don’t already know about Twitter please take a look at my one-page white paper: “Is Twitter a Waste of Time or Brilliant?“. I believe Twitter is a brilliant way to share information with like-minded people. When you make use of tools such as TweetDeck you tame the fire hose of information into a manageable, nourishing stream of refreshment. The best way to do this is by using hashtags. I often write about commercial real estate (hashtag: #CRE) or commercial mortgage backed securities (hashtag: #CMBS) or the defending American League East Champion Tampa Bay Rays (hashtag: #Rays). As Rufus might say:

You see, a #hashtag was made to take the place of a noun,
‘Cause saying all those nouns over and over
Can really wear you down!

Categories: Personal Brand Tags: Tags: ,

Can your business create 50+ jobs in Florida if you had access to capital?


What is the biggest limitation to growing your business? Is it access to capital? If it is…. I’m working with a socially conscious investor that will back startups, leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations & growth plans for businesses that are creating jobs in Florida (sorry, not interested in any other states or countries at this point). We are looking to allocate capital to experienced entrepreneurs that have the ability to create jobs in the Sunshine State.

The ideal business sells/manufactures/distributes/produces or is a service that folks:

  • Want
  • Need
  • Can’t live without

It should also:

  • Offer unlimited opportunities at entrepreneurial scale not just opportunities for multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations
  • Be logical / repeatable / scalable / cookie-cutterable
  • Have physical / financial / intellectual barriers to entry
  • Be an industry you are proud to tell your mother or your kids about
  • Be managed by an entrepreneur with a spotless reputation for quality, integrity and character
  • Have the ability to create 50+ jobs per year

If we are not already connected on LinkedIn, please send me a connection request  and let’s begin a dialogue.

Categories: Florida Tags: Tags: , ,

Are You GREEN Enough?

No Comments

I am moderating a panel at the upcoming Crittenden Commercial Real Estate Conference and I need panelists… are you GREEN enough for it?

I recently ran across this quote and it changed my life:

“You put yourself out on a board. A lot of waves come in, but only about one wave in ten is a big motherin’ wave that will give you a great ride. That’s the only wave I want to catch.”
– Billionaire Terry Matthews of March Networks

As I surveyed the wreckage of the commercial real estate landscape where I’d spent the last 26 years of my career I doubted that hacking loans to real estate speculators was the “next great wave”. As I thought more deeply about the image of the “big motherin’ wave” one thought that kept flooding into my mind… the multi-trillion dollar GREEN WAVE sweeping through the energy and real estate industries. Over the next 30 years nearly EVERY electric plant put in place before 1990 will need to be replaced.

Over the last two years I’ve redirected my energy and intellectual curiosity to finding a way to make money in the multi-trillion dollar greening of the world’s energy supply. Over the last 6 months I’ve “cracked the code” by aligning myself with providers of debt and equity capital to the renewable energy world. I found a source of capital that is building a fleet of power production facilities via joint venture relationships with local “boots on the ground” project developers. Our investor is seeking “shovel ready” with all permits/interconnect agreements/PPAs in place. They will buy the project or provide 100% funding to the joint venture with very attractive compensation to the project developer capable of taking the pre-development risk. We are working on solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, hybrid, waste-to-energy projects worldwide. It is the coolest thing I have ever done in my career. I can look my 3 young daughters in the eye and tell them that I am doing my part to make our planet a better place for them and their children.

This brings me to the panel discussion. Catching The Multi-Trillion Dollar Green Wave will be presented at The Crittenden Commercial Real Estate Finance Conference September 18-20, 2011 in South Beach (Miami), FL.

Bullet Points for discussion:

  • Green is the new Red, White & Blue
  • Out of the box ideas for real estate investors, developers and brokers
  • Trillions of dollars MUST be invested over the next 30 years to replace nearly every power generating facility worldwide that has been put in place after 1990 – Why? And how?
  • Opportunities to make money by building or retrofitting existing buildings to LEED standards

The panel will run one hour. I will be moderating the panel and discussing opportunities to adapt the real estate developer’s skill set into renewable energy. Transportation fuels like oil & gas get all the ink in the press, but the elephant in the room no one is talking about is how much energy is WASTED in buildings. Buildings (residential, commercial & industrial) use nearly 70% of all the energy that runs through our global infrastructure. Need panelist(s) prepared to talk about building/retrofitting to LEED standards.

Do you have a story to tell about your shift to GREEN? If so please drop me a note and share with me why you would make a GREAT panelist.

voice/text: 727-537-0330
e-mail: dave@bisonfinancial.com

Categories: Renewable Energy

Beer Breakfast 2011 is this Saturday… Madness or Genius?


A few years back my brother, Jared Repka, moved from Clearwater Beach to the big city… actually, the Old Northeast Section of St. Petersburg, FL. Early one Saturday morning in 2002 he was running errands along Central Avenue in Downtown St. Pete when something stopped him cold… where there were people actually sitting  at a bar at 8am drinking beer? His initial horror was soon replaced with,  ”Why aren’t I drinking beer at 8am on a Saturday morning?” and then a better more gracious thought crept into this former Catholic Schoolboy’s brain… “Why don’t I invite some friends to drink beer WITH me next Saturday morning?”

And so it began… Beer Breakfast started out as a lark on a rainy Saturday morning… just an excuse to start drinking beer with a few friends a bit earlier than normal. The head count grew slowly at first, since most people thought he was some kind of  “social deviant” for getting people together to drink beer/Bloody Mary’s/Mimosas, eat donuts and play Jenga at 9am on a perfectly good Saturday morning (especially a Saturday with no college football game).

Lighting struck was when he matched up Beer Breakfast with a really cool local sporting event, The St. Petersburg Grand Prix. This anchored our event to the St. Pete Community and to a specific date on the calendar. As soon as the Indy Racing League announces the date of the race… we know when the next Beer Breakfast will be. This helped us build the event with friends coming in from far off Buffalo, New Orleans & North Carolina to partake (this year we will have folks in town from Canada). It was the once a year event bringing family and friends together without the drama and sniping of the typical family reunion or having to relive the humiliation and degradation of high school dodgeball with the Class of ’84.

As we grew in numbers (100+ attendees each of the past 3 years) we though that this is a great event, but wouldn’t it also be a cool way to support local charities? Since we were already printing up funky collectible tee shirts for each event… we got the bright idea to sell the tee shirts and donate the money to a handpicked local charity. For the past 3 years we have been honored to support The Children’s Dream Fund with all the gracious proceeds raised to help kids with a life-threatening illness fulfill a dream.

While we continue our love and support for The Children’s Dream Fund, the incredibly tragic recent loss of three St. Petersburg police officers has given rise to an immediate need and show of support to fallen officer’s families both spiritually and economically. With the officers in our hearts and prayers we feel it our duty to lend our support by donating this years’ Beer Breakfast proceeds to their families.

This year when we bring hundreds of folks together to celebrate our 10th Annual Beer Breakfast we will lift our glasses in a setting of REVELRY-FELLOWSHIP-SANCTUARY and remember that all gave some, but some gave all and “but for the Grace of God there go I”.

Beer Breakfast isn’t just a party… it’s merriment with a mission.

There is no cover charge to join the party. In order to raise money we will be holding a silent auction with items donated by local friends and business owners, selling awesome t-shirts, 50/50 raffle, monetary donations and a percentage of bar sales from our event location host, The Mandarin Hide will help us realize our goal.

Please join us for breakfast….. beer breakfast….. from 9am to 2pm on Saturday, March 26th. If you can’t make it… please buy a tee shirt or send a donation to Sun Coast Law Enforcement Charities. So I ask… is this Madness or Genius?

Categories: Florida Tags: Tags: , , ,

Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment…


Written by a third grader, on what his grandparents do.

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.  They used to live in a big brick house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Arizona .  Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass.  They ride around on their bicycles, and wear name tags, because they don’t know who they are anymore.  They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there, but they don’t do them very well.

There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with hats on.  At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it.  He watches all day so nobody can escape.  Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts.  Nobody there cooks, they just eat out.  And, they eat the same thing every night – early birds.   Some of the people can’t get out past the man in the doll house.  The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.  My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and, says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too.   When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house.   Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.

Categories: Inspiration Tags: Tags: , , ,

Have a favorite song that tells a story?

No Comments

The weekend project in my oldest daughter’s 9th grade literature class is to find 10 songs that tell a story (narrative poem)… and then summarize ’em… very cool assignment.

Have a favorite song that tells a story? Here are five of mine:

5. Roy Orbison’s cover of “The Comedians” written by Elvis Costello
4. Pearl Jam’s cover of “Last Kiss” written by Wayne Cochran, Joe Carpenter, Randall Hoyal & Bobby McGlon
3. Johnny Cash’s cover of “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” by Kris Kristofferson which also earned the Country Music Association Award for “Song of the Year” in 1970
2. Johnny Cash’s version of “A Boy Named Sue” written by Shel Silverstein (poet, cartoonist and author of children’s books)
1. Waylon Jennings 1977 song “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” written by Bobby Emmons & Chips Moman is pure outlaw country magic

Categories: Inspiration Tags: Tags: ,