…and 600 others was held at the Hartford Downtown Marriott yesterday and focused on the Econo-ME. Kristin Andree graciously extended the invitation to me and two other colleagues whom I was thrilled to meet: Dena Castricone, President of CABO and Trisha Gallagher of The Gallagher Group.

It felt good to dress up and hang out with another industry at an upscale venue. It broadens my perspective. The room was filled with men in suits, as this event was sponsored by Northwestern Mutual. John Schlifske, the Chairman and CEO, shared the dais with Steve Forbes and pitched the benefits of investing with Northwestern Mutual. “I paid for your lunch, so I get to do this,” he said tongue in cheek.

I thought I’d be out of my league in terms of the info being imparted, but I felt comfortable and intrigued. Here were a few of the notes I jotted down:

“Black Swan” (not the movie) – A term for something that happens in nature, but only rarely, like what’s going on now in Japan, for instance.

He said that we are experiencing the slowest recovery in the history of our country.

“Fear and greed ruin most people’s portfolios.”

He also recommended listening to your financial adviser as you would your personal trainer. They know what’s best for you, unlike your brother-in-law or friendly neighbor with a hot tip on the market.

“Don’t let your inbox dominate you. Be strategic rather than tactical.” (Or what I call being pro-active versus reactive.)

Here’s the last one which I need to chew on a bit: “Emotions are your enemy.”

Who wants to discuss that one?

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