S. Willey, Personal Advisor

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By Ken Begley

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Mark Twain


Good grief, look how things seem to be falling apart for the old US of A right now.  It’s enough to get you down some.  What do you do in a time like this so you don’t lose hope?  Well, I don’t know about you, but I always like to call up my trusted personal advisor, Mr. S. Willey.  “Slick” to his friends.

Mr. Willey “was” my New York City financial advisor for 30 years.  Yep, for 30 years he took my money, studied the markets, carefully diversified it, positioned it for growth, watched out for my safety, and did his due diligence to further my financial goals in life.  

That is to say, he lost it all.

Oh well, don’t you worry about Mr. Willey getting discouraged.  Why, just yesterday he told me that if I came to him with a million dollars tomorrow, he would invest that for me until it was all gone, as well.

It brought a tear to my eyes for more reasons than one.

Let me share some sage personal advice Mr. Willey gave me yesterday if you’re getting down about the outlook on our world.

Ring, ring ring!!!

“Mr. S. Willey, Financial and Personal Advisors, Inc.  How may I help you?”

“This is Ken Begley.  I’d like to speak to Mr. Willey.”

“One moment while I connect you.”

“This is Mr. Willey.  Can I help you?”

“Hey Mr. Willey, this is Ken Begley.  How’s your new business in personal advising going?”

“Ken, Ken. Things are going better than I ever imagined.  You would not believe the amount of people looking for some help in their personal lives right now.  Why, this is a wide-open field for a man with my 60 years of experience.”

“I’ll bet it is, Mr. Willey.  But what exactly is the main function of a “personal advisor” anyway?”

“Lot’s of things, lot’s of things.  Why, right now I’ve got a whole pile of clients from the banking, politics and stock brokerage industry. Their images need to be touched up a tad after the little dusting their reputations have received in the past year or two.”

“Little dusting?!?!?  Why, that pack of crooks ought to be made to climb up on top of all the billions they stole in phony bonuses, unbelievable salaries, and under the table kickbacks and jump off.  If the lack of oxygen from climbing so high up into the atmosphere didn’t kill them, then the fall back to Earth would.”

“Ken, now that is a bit harsh.  Do you know how long it would take for them to climb up that high?  It would constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” and the Supreme Court would never go for it.”

“I guess you’re right, Mr. Willey, but I sure am mad!”

“Besides Ken, look what you gained out of what has happened!”


“Experience. Why, young man, you will never be that stupid again to trust a pack of smooth- talking shysters. That’s something only your great grandparents had coming out of the Great Depression.  Yes sir, they may have all your money, but you’ve got the experience now, and that’s something they can’t take away from you.  Principly because it doesn’t have any spending value.”

“I hadn’t thought about it like that, Mr. Willey.  Thanks, I think.  Anyway, I’m thinking of using your personal advising business.  Can you give me a good example of how it works?”

“Sure, Ken.  Why, just the other day I had this big banker come in here all distraught.  He was worried about his reputation due to the shenanigans of a distant relative of his a genealogist dug up.  He was worried that it might look bad on him if someone found out.”

“First, I assured him that his reputation was already ‘shot to the bad place’ full of holes by what’s been going on lately, and not a 100 years ago.  Then, out loud I said, tell me your story.”

“It seems his great-great uncle was a cowboy out west named Blake Drake.  Old Blake was a horse thief in Utah in the early 1880’s until he was caught around 1882. They threw him into the state penitentiary for four years.  He didn’t repent when he got out.  Instead, he graduated to robbing trains for the next couple of years.  The railroad got tired of it and paid the Pinkerton Detective Agency to track him down.  He was brought to justice in 1887.  He had a fair trial and good hanging in 1888.”

“That is pretty bad.  How did you fix it?”

“Simple, Ken, I just rewrote Blake’s history like this:

Blake Drake was a famous cowboy in the Utah Territory.  His business empire grew to include acquisitions of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Utah railroad.  Beginning in 1882, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.  He was a key player in a vital investigation run by the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency in 1887.  Blake passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.”

“That is good, Mr. Willey!  By the way, how much did old Blake get away with over the years anyway?”

“About $5,000.”

“That’s all?  Why, that’s nothing compared to what these CEO‘s and politicians have been doing lately.  Why is that?”

“Because a smart man with a pencil can steal more than one with a gun any day of the week.”

“I guess you’re right, Mr. Willey. I guess you’re right.”