January 9, 2015

Warm Thoughts, Cold Start

Warm Thoughts, Cold Start

Welcome back to the grindstone everybody and a belated Happy New Year to all.

Yesterday was my first day back in the office since Christmas. The Weiners celebrated the holidays on Long Island and then headed down to sunny and warm South Florida, where I was able to mix some good fun and business until we returned to frigid New York City late Wednesday. I’m happy to report that this year’s holiday weather in Florida was about as good as it gets for the end of December. Every day was between 79 and 84 degrees and partially sunny. When I left my apartment Thursday morning in New York the thermometer said 9 – a minor swing of 75 degrees from my day before. And this morning I woke up to the first meaningful snowfall of the season in New York City. Welcome back indeed.

In addition to our annual holiday trip south, the end of December marked another milestone for my family. Our oldest son, Isaac, graduated from Marist College and has now joined the ranks of college graduates lucky enough to have found full-time employment. Isaac has spent every summer since high school working for an automotive dealership selling used cars. During his summers at work he fell in love with the car business and really developed a passion for it. His passion probably dates back to his days as a small boy when he and I would spend many a Saturday driving from car store to car store on Long Island, checking out the newest and shiniest models in the showroom. For Isaac, it was like going to the amusement park. So it seems only natural that he would take an interest from his childhood and set out to make a career of it.

Isaac didn’t make the trip south with us this year; for the first time he wasn’t part of our holiday vacation. Instead, he stayed home, setting up his new apartment and enjoying what was left of life as he knew it. As of January 5th he joined the ranks of those of us who work for a living, pay rent and utility bills, and buy groceries (albeit with a little help from Dad.) I’m very proud to see him graduate and find employment in a field he has a passion for, and look forward to watching his career progression. Too many kids come out of school knowing they have to work, with no solid prospects or no idea what they actually want to do. I feel fortunate to have a child that had the courage, drive and luck to follow his dreams.

I don’t know about everyone else, but here at Marcum we return from the holidays and walk straight into the busiest season of our year. Between now and the end of April, we really buckle down, coming up for air only occasionally. This column is a welcome relief valve for me personally, letting me shift gears for a moment and recharge.

Our current arctic weather snap notwithstanding, this season is always something of a test. Winter may be Nature’s joke on us, but maybe it’s also a practical reminder that we need to be prepared for all contingencies. You never know if or when a mild and rainy December is going to turn into the frigid and icy January we are now enduring. We have to lay in the snow boots, shovels and ice scrapers, just in case, and more often than not, they come in very handy.

That’s a lesson we take to heart in our business. We never know in advance if our busy season will be mild or extreme, but we are confident in our knowledge and experience to manage situations of any severity. Our top-notch team is prepared to handle whatever may come our way, and we rise to the challenge every time to ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Here’s hoping for a smooth and relatively uneventful busy season. Stay warm everybody, and may you have a healthy and prosperous 2015.