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Financial Planning Week resonates with relevancy this year

For the past six years, the Financial Planning Association (FPA) has held Financial Planning Week, aimed at educating individuals on sound investment strategies and goals. While the information offered is always valuable, this year’s event is highly anticipated by many due to the current economic situation and a shaky Wall Street.

This year, Financial Planning Week will be held October 6-12, and the Mississippi chapter of FPA is doing its part to help make the week an informative one. On October 7, it will host a presentation by Robert T. Slee, CBA, at the Country Club of Jackson. Never shy about making a prediction or giving his opinion, FPA Mississippi is expecting Slee’s “In Search of the Midas Touch: Finding Your Path to Financial Independence” to be both informative and entertaining.

It will represent an encore for Slee, who spoke at last year’s event and wowed the audience, said Rita Parker, CFP, RPC of A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. in Jackson.

“We added a time for coffee with Slee this year because when he got through with his presentation last year, everyone wanted to talk to him,” she said.

Hard times coming

Slee is a much-requested speaker due to his personality and experience. He is president of the private investment banking firm Robertson & Foley based in Charlotte, N.C., part of the National Business Valuation Group, LLC. He is the author of the book “Private Capital Markets: Valuation, Capitalization, and Transfer of Private Business Interests” as well as numerous articles such as “A secret your banker may not be telling you,” “Borrowing more effectively” and “So you want to buy a business.”

Slee said his talk this year will be much the same as last year’s presentation. In 2007, he warned attendees that a meltdown was coming, probably this fall at the latest, Obviously, Slee was right.

Slee admits at least the first part of his three-and-a-half-hour presentation will offer little fun. He said he will spend the first minutes documenting just how dire the situation is, and how widespread the damage will be.

Slee said Americans turned a blind eye to the growing problems that have led to the current financial uncertainties. He foresees “at least another three to four years of this economic calamity, especially as it relates to Main Street companies.”

In one of his articles, Slee wrote that the old 80/20 rule has become passé. It was formulated more than a century ago when Italian economist Vilfredo Paredo noted that 20% of Italians owned 80% of the country’s wealth. He said, now, it takes only 5% of the population to generate 90% of the effects in many important areas, especially productivity and income generation — a new 90/5 Rule.

“With the 90/5 rule, extreme events will shape the world,” he wrote. “Extreme events and exceptional people will in large part determine our future.”

Not all bad news

Not all of what Slee will say is negative. While he believes a large number of businesses will not survive the current economic meltdown, those companies that start immediately “re-conceptualizing” their business stand a chance to not only weather the storm, but also be in a position to take advantage of tremendous opportunities.

Slee promises to give attendees plenty of information they can use to protect and even grow their business. And, he promises also to offer that information in an entertaining way.

“I’ll spend the last three hours of my presentation talking about what companies need to do now,” he said. He added with a laugh, “When you’re giving a three-and-a-half-hour presentation, you better be entertaining.”

The event will kick off at the Country Club of Jackson with the “coffee hour” from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Slee’s presentation will run from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Lunch will be served.

There are still seats available. To reserve a place, call (601) 981-9834.

Contact MBJ staff writer Wally Northway at wally.northway@msbusiness.com.

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