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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 18th, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox

June 18th, 2021

Free Lunch, Mud, and A Slice of Hell

A good friend once told me that one should always have three topics of conversation in mind when going to a cocktail or dinner party. Words to live by, and something that I put to good use last weekend! She hasn’t been on this distribution list (now subtitled 3 Topics For Your Next Cocktail Party’) until today, so I hope she’s reading.  And I hope you have a good party this weekend at which to roll out your new topics!



Something About…


Free Lunch

We at Ashton are looking to innovate our operations and set ourselves apart from the rest of our industry. We were inspired by hotel chain citizen M and their efforts to move into a ‘blue ocean’. Our goal is to deliver THE BEST service that our clients have ever experienced from a business partner.   To that end, I’d like to solicit your feedback as a business owner or decision maker, whether you’re an existing Ashton client or not.  Drop me a line if you’re willing to share your thoughts over lunch.  My treat, and you choose the restaurant.



Military Response

NATO has decided that military response to hacking may now be an acceptable solution.  The announcement was made earlier this week stating that on a case by case basis, a military response will be considered in regards to any hack aimed at NATO countries.




One of the leaders of hacker group Anonymous was deported from Mexico back to The States last week to face charges for an attack he helped to perpetrate, way back in 2011. He first headed north to Toronto where he lived for many years, before then heading to Mexico.  And now he’s back. 




Last week we learned that there’s an Ultimate Frisbee league.  This week, I found out about the World Surf League, which has an event starting today at Kelly Slater’s (famous surfer) Surf Ranch, a man made wave machine that looks pretty cool.  Check out the videos, and then if you want to watch surfing on real waves (in Iceland, of all places), go to Netflix for Under An Arctic Sky.  Even if you’re not a surfer (I’m not), the scenery and videography are incredible. Plus, they drive Land Rover Defenders through some serious snow! I believe the film is only about 50 minutes long, so it’s not a day-waster.


Cyber Insurance
Ransomware incidences continue to increase and the average ransom is now $54,000 (not including the costs of remediation, lost business, bad press, etc.). Cyber insurance rates are up anywhere from 10-50%, and carriers are getting much more strict about underwriting guidelines (“Don’t have multifactor authentication?  We won’t cover you.”).  Carriers are also reducing coverage limits and adding exclusions.  So what should you do?  Take every possible precaution in terms of security; endpoint protection, managed threat response, firewalls, backups, multifactor authentication, and security training. What happens when you don’t?  It’s pretty ugly. 


Meme Stocks

You might have heard of “meme stocks” (or meme assets); those stocks that have had huge swings in volume due to popularity gained from social media.  Think GameStop, Hertz, Blackberry, and AMC Theaters. The companies have all had miserable performance but seen huge (temporary) gains in share price thanks to Reddit users.    Rob McCreary opines that Redditors took their cues from moves made by the US Treasury and Federal Reserve in 2020, which were based on other policies rolled out in 2008. 



Delaware River Mud
I actually referred to this article at a dinner party (see above) this past weekend.  Not because I needed three topics, but because we were on the topic of mud and I’ve always loved the fact that Major League baseballs are rubbed up using mud from a tributary of the Delaware River.  And no place else. Anyhow, MLB is cracking down on foreign substances on baseballs starting this week, and this article from two years ago appeared in my inbox because of that.


Life U

I’ve known Matt Koch since our high school days.  He played on the hockey team and I managed it (before I fell into coaching and playing). Now, he’s a Wealth Advisor with Morgan Stanley, and coach of the University of Akron men’s hockey team. He’s developed a program called Life University (“Life U”) to help his players transition from college to the real world.  


The Life U sessions take place before Monday night practices and introduce the student athletes to ideas and to people that will help them in the real world.  It’s a really cool program, and as Matt stated “I look at all sports or extracurriculars as delivery vehicles… I’m watching these kids grow, graduate, get employed, then marry and start families. The players are absolute sponges at this age and we really can make a difference in their lives.”



Real Estate

If you’re looking to move to Colorado Springs, one of my regular readers has found just the “slice of hell” you’ve been looking for.  It seems the previous tenant left on less than friendly terms (my guess is that it was the purple paint in the kitchen) and got a fair amount of use from her black spray paint on the way out the door. Consider it an investment property…


We’ve just migrated to a new marketing automation solution, and the list of those having opted out in the past (short as it may be) didn’t translate very well.  So, if you don’t like cocktail parties (or me), there are a few buttons down below; “Submit a Thought”, “Signup”, “More About Ashton”, and then “unsubscribe”.  I hope you click one of those first three!


That’s all for this week.  I hope that all of you fathers and sons out there enjoy Father’s Day on Sunday. We’re headed to the Sleepy Rooster in Chagrin Falls for brunch with friends, and Hollie and Betsy say that it should be a nice day (not so much on Saturday). 



Have a great weekend, 


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