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APPLYING PRACTICAL INSIGHT TO
COMPLEX FINANCIAL CONCEPTS

Karen Firestone has spent over thirty years honing skills applied to
the investment world, while at the same time navigating a path through the work/familyscape. She considers many issues from an unusual angle, including stock market movement, factors facing professional women today, and how to think in simple terms about some complex financial structures. Karen shares her observations in posts that also appear in the Harvard Business Review and Huffington Post. As the CEO of Aureus Asset Management, a former fund manager at Fidelity Investments, and the mother of four grown children, Karen has a rare perspective into which she injects humor and some irreverence.

A Small Firm’s Response to Higher Health Care Costs

female doctor consulting with patient

There are many reasons I love May – the flowers and leaves emerge, including those on the tree right outside my office window in downtown Boston; it’s light enough to play golf until 8PM;  and we banish our heavy wools to make room for light-weight clothes.  However, here’s what I hate about May – my…

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My Cabby from Next Door

A young woman or businesswoman hailing a yellow taxi cab while talking on her cell phone in a modern city

I got into a cab this week to go to the airport, at the cab stand near my office.  The driver was an anomaly – an elderly white man with long hair and a sharp Boston accent.  Generally, cab drivers in downtown Boston are from Haiti or North Africa, with whom I practice my French,…

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THE JOY OF RUNNING IN THE DARK

Running-in-the-Dark-541x300

This morning, I did something that I have done at least once and often four or five times a week for nearly 30 years; I went out running in the dark.  This has been a particularly challenging winter with tons of snow, and, more important, lingering ice on the street, but I have my secret…

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Making the Gradual Retirement of a Co-Founder Work

Passing-the-Baton-541x300

Most people look forward to retirement. They can’t wait to play more golf with their pals, travel, hang out with the grandchildren, perhaps spend more time on non-profits, and generally pursue a more relaxed lifestyle. But some of us don’t really want to retire. Like my partner, with whom I co-founded our finance services company….

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Would You Play Golf on a Weekday Afternoon?

Weekday-Golf

Last summer, I was invited by a few friends to meet at 4 o’clock on a weekday to play a few holes of golf on a sunny afternoon.   As I got out of my car, a guy I know waved and said, “Hey, great to see you, but don’t you still work?”  (Yes.) Over on the driving…

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Why the Market Keeps Going Up and Why It Might Matter to You

Stock-Chart

I work in the stock market, although I have never written a “market” piece in this venue. So why now? Because the broad indices have steadily climbed higher for almost five years and, until recently, no one outside of those of us trading stocks all day, seemed to notice. Now I have to be careful…

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When He Retires and She Still Works, What Happens?

Woman-Works

My generation – the Baby Boomers – are beginning to retire, particularly the very successful ones who can afford to retire earlier.  They have stayed at work late, risen early, traveled more than they wanted when their children were young, survived under different bosses, ascended through the ranks, and attained ever increasing responsibilities.  Now, many…

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Reciprocal Mentoring With Millennials

Portrait of three businesspeople sitting near laptop and discussing working ideas in the office

This is not a forum for true confessions, but I have nowhere else to turn.  After months of anxious observation, I am finally admitting that I have never witnessed, over my long career, such a wide ability gap favoring the youngest people in the office relative to the senior members of my company in an…

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Why Else We Love Gravity

The astronaut  in outer space

The Wall Street Journal points out today how popular the movie “Gravity” is with audiences of both genders, and all ages and nationalities.  The movie plays to viewers attracted to special effects, suspense, personal endurance, and our spine tingling fascination walking in space.  All of that is true but I would add one further explanation. …

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Is It Ever OK to Break Into Your Colleague’s Computer?

sherlock holmes silhouette in studio on white background

Rick was looking for Kelly, one of the analysts who supported his consulting team. Kelly’s hours were a mystery, and Rick was confused and annoyed. He tried to check her calendar online, but, after struggling to locate it, he solicited help from an IT specialist. They found all sorts of surprising weekday appointments at the…

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