Risk Taking (7/6/05)

Dear Zelda,

I just graduated from law school and I'm writing for some non-legal advice and a little Zelda Wisdom. (Incidentally I received 5 Zelda graduation cards all saying, "What do I want out of graduation?...OUT!" My friends must connect with your wisdom too.) My problem is that I now have my law degree but I don't really want to practice law. The money is great, but my interest is not. What I'd like to do is go back to school for a business degree. It means more student loans and more postponement of rewards. Should I just work for a law firm for a while to help pay down my debt and then go back for a business degree or should I bite the bullet and go for the MBA now? My girlfriend is a little tired of "take out" and I think she'd prefer me to get a job.

Legally Blind

Dear Legally Blind,
If you stop at a JD when your heart is really set on an MBA, I'm sorry to say that you won't pass the bar. No, my friend, instead of passing the bar you'll enter it. Then you'll ask the bartender to pour you a frothy pint so you can cry big tears of regret in your beer!

I've learned never to plug my ears when my heart is trying to be heard. All the money in the world won't make things better if you're unhappy as a legal eagle. You'd be a bird brain not to do what you really want. As for your student debt, consider it an investment in a satisfying future.

And the next time your girlfriend complains about take-out food, tell her you know someone who would never turn up her nose at it. You don't have to mention that the lady in question is a dog (whose nose is always turned up anyway!).

Zelda

Dear Zelda,

I'm worried! After losing a big chunk of my retirement account in the
market during the dotcom bust, I don't know where to invest my money.
I'm afraid of taking too much risk with what little I have left. What do I do?

Worried

Dear Worried,
I'm glad you asked. I happen to know a thing or two about bull markets and bear markets. My favorite, for obvious reason, is the bull market. Wouldn't it be lovely if they renamed it the bulldog market?

You've probably heard that the three most important factors for buying real estate are “location, location and location.” Well, the three most important things for successful investing are “diversify, diversify, diversify.” To put it another way: bones, biscuits and kibble.

Okay, to you ?stocks, bonds and certificates of deposit? might make more sense. But what it all boils down to is, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Spread your investment dollars over a variety of stocks and bonds and maybe a bit of real estate and a CD or two. That way, it's almost certain that some things will be up when others are down. Your prudent diversification will protect you from the kind of loss your finances suffered earlier.

I may be smart but I'm not a professional financial advisor. Ask for recommendations from friends to get yourself a good one. A professional will help you set up a portfolio that makes cents – and oodles of dollars!

Zelda

Dear Zelda,

So you are the Queen of Canines! I am a wannabe Zelda. I live with a family in Dumas, Arkansas. How can I get out of Arkansas and into the fast track of New York and L.A.? I'm a gorgeous Shar Pei. My name is Lola and I know I can become a “Queen” if given the opportunity. Tell me how you did it. Can I hope to hit the big time?

Lola...the Queen in Waiting

Dear Lola,

You flatter me. I'm really not the Queen of Canines. But I'm definitely the Queen of Me.

In my opinion, anybody can be the Queen of whatever their hearts desire. If you want to go Big Time, set your sights and tell the world to get ready. If you've got greatness inside you, you'll find ample opportunity to unleash it on the world. A great photographer and a plugged in PR person are de rigueur.

Once you have your professional photos you need to send them to the creative directors at advertising agencies. A good creative director will recognize your Big Time bow wow!

And by the way, I don't live in New York or L.A. and I didn't have to turn my back on my family to get where I am now. Bloom where you're planted, Queen Lola. With your beauty and your regal attitude, the eyes of the world will be upon you soon enough. Just remember to be nice to everybody on your way up.

Zeld