One of the advantages of a business guy like Willard Romney running for President is that despite the rude public dissection of his career, an ordinary member of the rank and file such as myself can learn business methods which would normally be kept in secret files. If Romney loses the election, and because he no longer has any active involvement in any of his businesses, he will most likely write a book and advertise it on Bloomberg---something like, "Business is a Fiscal Cliff---How to walk right up to the edge without going to Jail!". I'm not waiting for Romney's chapter on Retirement. I retroactively retired over the weekend.
I emailed my stock broker to retroactively withdraw the sale order for a thousand shares of Apple Computer I gave him in March, 2002, when Apple shares dropped from $25 to $23 in one day. I expect that my broker will change his records appropriately, will so inform the registrars of Apple common shares, and I look forward to seeing that $600,000 appear on my July statement. I can't wait to show the wife that statement because if she's said it once, she's said it a hundred times, "...if you just hadn't sold that Apple stock when you did, we could be retired by now." Well, now we are retired and maybe she'll shut up about Apple.
Romney not only retired retroactively, he was able to get the state of Utah, imagine that, to declare, that a $54K tax deduction he took in the year 2000 on the Romneys' Utah estate was the bureaucrats' own mistake---retroactively thinking about it, they should never have accepted such shoddily prepared tax returns because Romney was traveling to Massachusetts on occasion and stayed in his son's basement. Romney had to pay back the $54K---which doesn't seem like good business sense---but as a business guy he simply upped the retroactive price per share of Bain he sold to his partners, thus recouping the $54K---that is, the price per share which he originally could have set for his partners if he had given up control in 1999, no & no.
And Romney's book may detail the practical business strategy of having excuses at the ready---when there is a cliff crisis---a rationale like---"Actually it was my wife Ann who paid the Taxes on the Utah residence." This technique is old hat to me. Heretofore when my business chums have chided me on the sale of Apple, I told them, "My wife needed a breast reduction operation." That was precipitous.
Speaking of romance, there are many advantages of retroactive retirement in one's personal life---referring to others, of course. A man could go back and change things. He could resist putting on that extra 5 lbs every year and could be turning the heads of younger women---let's see, he would look ten years younger, but the women would be, let's see....gosh this is confusing. And speaking experimentally here, I'm going to stop taking diuretics, ace inhibitors and Cialis. Just the thought of rolling around in a hay loft with all that Apple stock is putting the spring back into my step.
I wonder what Romney would advise us in his book about keeping legal and disclosure recordings all in one file so that they might be compared as you sign off on them instead of all correlated later to one's discomfort. For example, SEC filings, regulatory testimony at the state Ballot commissions, IPO statements and signatures, and political documents like the Presidential Disclosure Form, in 2011, for his Presidential run in 2012. Though at a cursory glance these documents may seem quite distinct, executed serially---when you put them side by side, later on, they shouldn't actually conflict with one other. Come to think about it I wonder why a good business guy like Romney didn't already know such things even before he was forced to learn them via the scrutiny of a Presidential campaign.
One thing that is puzzling me is how many times I can retroactively retire in a lifetime. Plus, there is a kind of self-criticism---why didn't I myself come up with the idea of retroactive retirement? I mean, it's such a simple idea. In fact, I would not have had to completely retire. I have an MBA and I could have just semi-retired and gone into Private Equity part time. Damn!
But I want to thank Romney and his insider business revelations during the 2012 Presidential run. At least now I won't leave the planet never having known how a real business guy operates.