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A Gym-Goer’s Confession

As an avid runner and exercise aficionado, I regularly count on my workouts to keep me balanced and energized. There is something so therapeutic about tying up my shoes, flipping on my iPod and sweating it out. But for one month a year, my gym is the last place I want to be. Every January, hordes of well-intentioned New Year’s "resolutioners" pack into the gym at all hours of the night, stealing equipment from the regulars, only to stop going entirely by the end of the month.
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Life and Death

For the past 12 years, a group of eight male friends and I have been getting together weekly. During this period, one of us died at the age of 52 and another began battling cancer. The experiences of these two friends inspired us to start discussing the topic we had always avoided. Recently, we spent a day discussing and answering the following questions:
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No Pain, No Gain

We all know that it requires some pain (I prefer to call it "discomfort") to achieve a desired goal, whether it's training for a marathon, preparing for difficult exams, or mastering a musical instrument or dance sequence. In anything challenging, there comes a time when your mind tells you to bail out—quit—to end the discomfort.
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Yoga 2.0

Last July, Yoga Journal asked me to do a demo of the highlights of the first four series of ashtanga yoga at their conference (video below). I agreed, and then as soon as the demo ended, they sat me down for an impromptu and somewhat out-of-breath interview.
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Sympathy for the Apple

My colleagues cringe every time I update them on the price of an individual stock (no, not Apple) that I bought last year. Why? Is it because they don’t like the company? No, I’m quite confident most of my colleagues like their product. Are they jealous that it’s performed well? Haters gonna hate. Is it because they think I’m taking a dangerous risk? That can’t be it – they all know it’s a tiny portion of my overall investment portfolio. So what then?
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Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today we met Hov Neang and Seng Chan Mony for the first time, the two Khmer children we’ve been sponsoring for 6.5 years. They both send me emails a couple times a month. Mony likes to create Powerpoints and says he’s going to go into business. I asked if he would want to work for another company or have his own company, and he said “my own company.”
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Note from Our CIO: Lessons Learned in 2012

Hello and happy 2013 from the Abacus Investment Committee (IC). The IC certainly had a busy 2012. We revised our bond fund mix to capture better yields with only a modest increase in credit risk and interest rate risk; we added master limited partnerships (MLPs, which are energy infrastructure companies) to most client portfolios; we designed and launched our new “income portfolios,” which put more emphasis on generating income than capital gains; and we have made available to our accredited clients two new private investment options for which we conducted extensive due diligence and placed in portfolios where appropriate. Our IC is excited to be meeting in the next few weeks to discuss key themes for 2013 and set our priorities, initiatives and agenda for the next 12 months.
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