December Update 2009

To our friends and clients –

Go see the movie The Blind Side. Let us know what you think. We walked away with two things from this true story 1) It doesn’t matter where you have been – it’s where you are going that is most important and 2) Sandra Bullock is HOT!

Relationships Matter – the last couple of months we have been fairly busy with new requests and booking new business. As observers, we always try to step back to see what the themes are, we have been seeing deals fall out of banks here recently because of an over-correction to the credit crisis and ‘relationship’ is why they are choosing our company. Lack of common sense decision making that accompanies a good relationship makes Entrepreneurs nervous, especially when it comes to their main funding source and when a trauma happens, fear causes some organizations to over-react. The Point is – if you don’t really know your clients and work very hard to build a real relationship, they will leave.

Tiger’s problems continue to escalate. While we all know that Tiger will never have another poor day in his life – we hate to see his pristine brand tarnished. Sad. How much do you think he cost himself over the next five years?

The whole Tiger saga points out a very valuable lesson in business, the worm always turns, so work hard, stay humble and never read your own press clippings or believe your own BS.

In Travis County and the contiguous counties, there are over 15000 Hispanic owned businesses. This is the fastest growing demographic in Texas and a segment of the business community with significant purchasing power. If you are a B2B firm what are you doing to embrace this community? You could start by checking out If you are not trying to learn how to take advantage of this emerging demographic you are missing the boat.

Culture, culture, culture is one of the priorities for Far West Capital. We know from our experience that if you take care of your people, they will take care of the customers, which is all that really matters. Southwest Airlines comes to mind. We heard CEO, Brett Hurt, talk this month about what he has been able to accomplish at Bazaarvoice, and Culture was the theme of his talk. One example of how he walks the walk, at his company with 400+ employees, there is no vacation policy, basically he says, “We trust you to do the right thing…” How freaking cool is that?

The Dallas Cowboys are worth $1.6B, the most valuable NFL franchise. We have heard that the new stadium is unbelievable, but that the hot dogs cost $13.00. Is that right? Better be a damn good hot dog.

Last year only one team lost money, the Detroit Lions and 8 teams lost value. Pretty sad to see what is going on in Detroit, not only is their team losing money, housing values are crumbling, and GM’s woes continue, we recently read from our friend that the Pontiac Silverdome sold for $583,000 after being built 30 years ago for $56 million. That is some serious deterioration.

By the way, if you are in the mortgage business and you don’t know, do yourself a favor and get to know this first class organization. It will put money in your pocket. Plus they could win a Pulitzer if they gave them out for newsletters.

Retail Sales Growth over the last 6 months have been very impressive. Looks like a V shape to us.

TARP repayment = a dang good sign for the economy. We believe the next inflection point will be when credit and lending become clearly more available. Generally, we are hopeful this occurs in 2010, but we’re not holding our breath. If we have some clarity out of Washington and CRE defaults don’t hit us with any major surprises, we may spring much faster than people expect.

Back to email, everyone is so dang polite, realize it is completely unnecessary to respond to people with “thanks” or “ok” and the worst email party foul is the abuse of the Reply All function that just makes people have to delete extra stuff and wastes time. Whew, we are glad we got that off our chest.

When we sit down with a prospect to determine financing needs, the absolute best piece of information to analyze is a 12 month projected Statement of Cash Flows; this is often a much overlooked piece of information. We actually see very few companies prepare this and it is always the first analytical tool we suggest. It answers most of the relevant questions for both parties.

How much is your health worth? If you are like us and focusing on your goals for 2010 this time of year, don’t overlook your exercise/health program. If it is not a priority, you are shortchanging yourself. Money can’t buy good health, don’t fail in your lifestyle investment.

We saw a good investment disclosure notice last week… “Don’t be a dummy – read the prospectus”. We sure like simple.

Speaking of investment advice, gold is headed for a reversal from here. We make this announcement with conviction – saw a guy on the highway yesterday in Austin that read… WE BUY GOLD!

How about those undefeated Saints? Who cannot be cheering for these guys? We hope they go all the way and win the Super Bowl. Anybody remember 1980 when the Saints went 1-15? Fans put bags over their heads to hide the grief of a losing season, thus the name “Bag Heads” came out.

One more football quickie… last week the 75th Heisman was awarded to Alabama’s Mark Ingram. Have you heard of Davey O’Brien? He has the distinction of being the smallest winner at 5-5 and 140 pounds. He was at QB at TCU in 1938.

All our best –

Cole Harmonson | 512-527-1111 | co**@fa********.com
Don Stricklin | 512-527-1113 | do*@fa********.com
Brian Center | 512-527-1114 |br***@fa********.com
Mary Rettig | 817-490-5052 |ma**@fa********.com
Jennifer Royal | 512-527-1115 |je******@fa********.com

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.