How to Navigate Tectonic Shifts in Life and Finance

This week I return to the video series discussing key aspects of my book. The focus this week is on Shift Happens. By shift I mean Tectonic Shifts which are powerful forces that when unleashed can alter the trajectory of a business, industry, or one’s life. In the video, transcription below, I discuss what happened to my son when he was two years old and how CWS took advantage of the tectonic shift that took place within housing in the aftermath of the Great Recession. I hope you enjoy it.

[Transcript] Hi, I’m Gary Carmell, author of The Philosophical Investor Transforming Wisdom into Wealth.

In my book, The Philosophical Investor Transforming Wisdom into Wealth, one of the most important themes is “shift happens”. What do I mean by Shift? What I’m referring to are tectonic shifts. These are extraordinarily powerful events or a buildup of forces that when they erupt can permanently alter the trajectory of a life, of a business, or an industry.

My Personal Tectonic Shifts

From a very personal perspective, I experienced a tectonic shift on May 23,1995 when my two-year-old son, Jacob had a very rare reaction to the chicken pox that manifested itself in a massive stroke and it was an event that rocked our world and has changed it forever.

We didn’t know if Jacob would make it. It was very touch and go. Eventually he came through and today he’s 21 years old, he’s a graduate of college and he’s starting to go into a graduate program and it taught us a lot that these tectonic shifts are statistically improbable but often times, inevitable if you live long enough. It’s how do we react to them how do we respond to them?

This was a very personal experience but tectonic shifts, as I mentioned, can go beyond just the individual life in the alteration of the trajectory to a business or industry.

CWS is a real estate investment management firm focusing on apartment communities providing flexible housing choices for renters.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession in 2008, 2009, 2010 home ownership was in a disastrous state. Foreclosures were occurring by the millions, fraudulent loans were going bad and the government was beginning to regulate mortgage lenders very aggressively. People didn’t have the credit or the desire to buy homes in such uncertain circumstances. And there we were seeing this tectonic shift from home ownership to renting. By being present to the opportunity, analyzing it we’re able to take advantage of it in such a way that we could monetize it. When I say monetize it, we not only were able to generate significant financial rewards for our investors but we gained vital experience from that, from which we are going to be able to apply it to events in the future and that’s one of the important things that shift happens. So how do we react to it? We can bury our heads in the sand. We can be ill-prepared financially, emotionally, physically or we can say this is what happened. I have to buckle down. I have to take action. How am I going to learn from this and how am I going to make the most of it.

To read my latest thinking and to learn more about my book please go to

Over to you:

How do you react to Tectonic Shifts? What’s been your biggest challenge and your heartfelt victory?

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