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90 Working Principles of Finance and Business


The following are working principles that I try to apply to my business and personal life. They are not in any particular order. To the extent I am successful in following them, I am nearly always better for it. They do not guarantee quantity, but they do promise greater quality of life. As the proverb says, "Better is a little with peace than wealth with strife".  


Please feel free to use these principles with my permission within your family, business or organization. My only restrictions are that proper acknowledgment of authorship and copyright (as provided below) be clearly referenced, and you may not publish or broadcast them in anything for which anyone receives compensation or with any profit motive without my express written permission.

Principles of Attitude

1. Be thankful - it brings perspective

2. Trust in more than yourself

3. Honor God

4. Be a giver not a taker - Remember the poor - It is better to give...

5. People are more important than money (If we love things and use people, we have it backwards. We are to love people and use things.)

6. Be careful of uncontrolled appetites

7. Seek knowledge

8. Seek wisdom

9. Prayer helps order thoughts

10. Treat others as you would have them treat you

11. None of us is perfect (Give each other grace)

12. Avoid envy and coveting (They are poison to your soul)

13. Place integrity and faithfulness before wealth

14. Do not be afraid or timid

15. Hard work can produce value while sloth and laziness destroy

16. Be of one mind with your spouse (If you are married, avoid financial conflicts) 

Principles of General Application

17. In an abundance of counselors there is safety (Don't go alone: Seek guidance from competent and trustworthy advisors

18. Complexity is best when It results in simplicity

19. Simplicity is best when it avoids stupidity

20. Beware the Hyperbolists - too many fall for exaggerated or false promises

21. Place First Things First - Pay attention to priorities

22. Do not be conformed -- Following the crowd can be dangerous

23. Take care of your family

24. Seek Quality and Excellence

25. Choose people and institutions carefully

26. Don't make promises lightly and keep those you make

27. Only a moving ship can be steered

28. Create a Legacy 

Principles of Financial Control and Planning

29. Keep control (of yourself and your money)

30. "Whatever you make, spend less" (Live within your means)

31. Plan and budget with care and intelligence

32. All budgets fail so build failure into your budget - Maintain a "Murphy's Law" fund

33. The Rate of Discipline is more important than the Rate of Return

34. The Lottery is a tax on the stupid - Don't waste your money (The odds of winning astronomically poor)

35. Minimize your tax burden - Arrange your affairs (legally) so as to pay as little tax as possible. 

Principles of Debt

36. Consumer Debt is a negative investment: Avoid debilitating debt like the plague

37. Do not cosign for the debt of others (including family)

38. Pay what you owe - it is a moral obligation

39. Debt can be productively used as leverage, but take care 

Principles of Investing

40. Companies are the economy

41. Be an Owner (of Intrinsically Valuable Assets)

42. Make what you have grow for greater use

43. Conservative assumptions make success more likely

44. Do your homework

45. Look for opportunities in things you know

46. Make a plan and stick to it (unless it proves to be a flawed plan)

47. Invest early (in your life) and often

48. Find and employ excellent, honest advisors and managers

49. The higher the return desired, the greater the risk assumed

50. Identify and quantify potential risks and rewards before investing

51. Do not risk more than you can safely lose

52. You can't win them all - Assume some investments will not work out and don't worry about it.

53. Use losses to offset gains - a good selling discipline can save you a lot of money

54. Don't fear losses or allow them to cause you to deviate from a sound plan

55. Diversify but don't homogenize

56. Buy Low: Depressed markets usually indicate a "Sale" is on

57. Sell High: Big run-ups usually result in corrections

58. Identify "bubbles" - they often are faddish and nearly always precede a crash

59. Avoid spending your principal - only spend from profits

60. Save and invest on a regular, planned basis

61. Avoid "get rich quick" schemes

62. Pay attention and review your portfolio(s) regularly 

Principles of Risk Management

63. There is No Such Thing as "Risk Free"

64. Consider The Risks Before the Rewards

65. If It Looks Too Good To Be True, Guess What?

66. Diversification Spreads Out Risk

67.Insurance is an Investment for the Unknown 

Principles of Business

68. Define your purpose (If your business doesn't enhance life for you and others, then you are in the wrong business)

69. Set specific goals and actions to achieve your purpose

70. Create an Advisory Board

71. Fellowship and network with other business owners/managers

72. Do what you are best suited to do and avoid doing what you are not well suited to do. (Know your gifts and abilities and try to stay within them)

73. Treat employees as you would like to be treated. Find ways to motivate them for success.

74. Delegate wisely

75. Define who you can serve best and pursue them

76. Determine what makes you and your business different and special

77. Promote your business honestly and creatively - get the word out

78. Pay attention to your flocks, for they are where your food will come from. The customer is Number 1.

79. Do not over-promise

80. Exceed customers' expectations

81. Do not fear and be willing to take measured risks

82. Persevere in the almost certain tough times that you will confront

83. Control cash flow

84. Insure your risks

85. Respect the rules

86. Integrity and Honesty are above all considerations

87. Do no harm (to people or the creation)

88. Make people better off for having done business with you 

Final Principles

89. Leave an inheritance to your children's children

90. Pass These Principles On


Just so you know, most of these can be found, in one form or another, in the Bible.  If you haven't been reading it lately, try it, you might like it.


Copyright 1999, 2013 J. André Weisbrod. 604 McKnight Park Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.

412-367-9076 All rights reserved


All rights reserved.  No publication or dissemination of the contents, either electronically, via internet or physical printing is permitted without written consent of STAAR Financial Advisors.  Subscribers and clients may copy or print for their own use.  Quotes and links may be used according to accepted convention as long as proper attribution and credits are made.


This site is not intended as an individual advisory service.  The information provided herein is not intended to be specific advice as to whether you should engage in a particular trading strategy or buy, sell, or hold any financial product.   Individual Advisory and Private and Institutional Asset Management Services are provided separately.   Every individual and every organization may have unique financial situations and objectives and any specific actions are the responsibility of the investor.  We recommend that you consult with your own financial experts prior to investing and that you carefully read any prospectuses and related materials carefully before investing.  It is especially important to evaluate risks before making any investment.  Should you wish to employ STAAR Financial Advisors, Inc. as a personal adviser for your specific investment and financial planning needs, call 1-800-332-7738, PIN # 3370 or 412-367-9076 or inquire on line by CLICKING HERE.

J. André Weisbrod is founder of STAAR Financial Advisors Inc. and the STAAR Investment Trust headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. He has been named a 5-star Wealth Manager in Pittsburgh Magazine and is among the longest tenured fund managers with over 20 years managing the same funds. He is also co-founder of the Strategic Assets Fund 1, LP, a private equity fund for accredited investors. He is an author and speaker and has been interviewed, quoted or had articles published in a variety of media including Investors Business Daily,, The Wall Street Journal, Business News Network, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, USA Today, KDKA TV and Reuters TV.

Actively involved in church and community affairs, Mr. Weisbrod is committed to the well being of individuals, families and businesses. Avocations include competitive masters swimming, scuba diving, painting and photography, acting and music.