Everyone needs job.

Long ago, one could get a job with a company and, 40 years later, retire from that same company. Those days are long over, and most of us will have numerous employers before our working lives end. So long as you are the one deciding when to quit, that’s cool. As we all learned during the financial crisis, though, a lot of companies in times of trouble do the deciding for you, and you wind up unemployed through no fault of your own.

That isn’t going to change any time soon, but here’s some advice on how to know when it’s time to jump before you get pushed:

The first clue that you probably need to leave is when top management announces major changes.Think about it: If things were going well, there’d be no reason for change. Business is a conservative environment; you don’t fix things that aren’t broken. Risk is acceptable only to the extent that the rewards justify it. If the rewards are shrinking, you are forced to change. “Adapt or die” is code for update the resume.

Are you part of the team to implement “Project X,” which has been delayed twice and has a new project manager and the budget has been redefined? This is change that isn’t being implemented well.

Do you walk past the conference room and the corner offices and see the big wigs in closed-door meetings all day? Their time is valuable, or at least expensive, and every minute they are together, they aren’t running their own fiefdom in the firm. So whatever it is they are discussing is serious. And when serious things go well, those meetings are short, and they leave the doors open. Long meetings with the door shut means review your LinkedIn profile.

Another hint is to check out the conditions in the accounting department. Are the bean counters working late? Sometimes this is perfectly normal, like right before a regularly scheduled audit. But if the last audit was a few months ago and these guys are burning the midnight oil, it might be a sign that there is more money going out than there is coming in.

Related to that, for those of you who get reimbursed for expenses (travel or whatever), do you get your expenses paid easily and quickly, or is it like pulling teeth weeks, even months, after the fact? If they aren’t paying you, and you’re part of the team, what outside suppliers aren’t getting paid? Probably most of them. And why? Because there isn’t enough cash to take care of everyone.

Did you just get a promotion without a raise attached? Does this promotion give you greater responsibility, or as the bullshitters in H.R. call it, “scope for professional growth?” Without more money, they are trying to get more out of you for free. Let’s try a thought experiment. What would happen if you go to the grocery store and get a loaf of bread and a pound of butter, and offer only to pay for the bread? Even if you call the free butter “a unique professional opportunity,” you aren’t leaving with the stuff. If they don’t want to pay you more for extra work, there could be trouble across the company.

Ever been at a company that has a hiring freeze? Someone leaves the company, and the desk sits unoccupied for months or permanently. It could be that the company has outgrown the need for a person in that role, but more likely, not filling that seat saves some cash. And if you’ve been given some of that person’s duties (without a raise), then you should see if that interview suit still fits.

To get rid of a lot of people at once, management sometimes likes to redraw the organizational chart. Have you had four different supervisors this year? Has your department changed names three times? Are you on a different floor or on the opposite side of the building just because? Beware of employees playing musical chairs.

How’s morale? It’s quite possible for you to be totally miserable, but everyone else is thrilled to pieces to get to work every morning. Or are you the happiest camper in the company despite crying yourself to sleep every night? Bad morale is hard to fix. Better to leave.

When you get to work, do you know what you are supposed to do? Or have they moved the goalposts so many times you have no idea where to begin? You have a function within the organization that contributes to the success of the whole, and if you don’t know what that function is and how it fits into the overall operation, maybe no one else does either.

If you’ve been in the company a couple of years, how many new faces are there? If the answer is “a lot,” that means many people have left. High turnover is never a good sign. You probably ought to join the exodus.

Some people think that quitting a job means that they have failed somehow. Rats abandoning a sinking ship, and that kind of thing. That’s the wrong way to look at it. You’re just firing your employer for failure to perform. If they can do it to you, you ought to be allowed to do the same.



Benjamin Wey on Leadership Lessons – Not Live A Life Like a Coward

Benjamin Wey is a financier, an investigative journalist, a leader and the CEO of New York Global Group (“NYGG”), a leading private equity investment firm.

I run across all kinds of things in my professional life that I may not know much about. My expertise lies in how money works, but a lot of the time, I am providing that for people who need money to build bridges or factories, launch high-tech businesses or new farming products. I am driven because I don’t try to know it all. I get advice from people I trust who know these things. Often, I have to pay a pretty penny for that knowledge.

So, it never ceases to amaze me, Benjamin Wey that how many people I meet casually or who are part of my non-professional life have opinions they believe they have to share with me. People who have never been to China (where I was born and raised) want to advise me on how to do business there. People with a negative credit rating want to suggest ways to make my business thrive. People who don’t have to suffer the consequences always know exactly what I should do.

Speaking from personal experience. Benjamin Wey is a Wall Street financier and investigative journalist. I have been to more than 50 countries and have advised many projects. By this logic, if we just let the cab drivers and barbers in New York run the world, we’d have heaven on earth. The old espionage saying applies, “Those who know don’t talk and those who talk don’t know.”

It all sounds simple. In reality however, its takes confidence, courage and a lot of gust to adhere to one’s beliefs and not bend to pressure.

What is really hard to deal with is their damned sincerity. They want to help. They really do. They have my best interests at heart. They’re just hopelessly ignorant about the business situations that puzzle or trouble me, and I really don’t need to be distracted or second-guessed by someone who isn’t even in the game. There are people I will gladly pay for their wisdom, and these other people are not on that list.

There is a special place in hell for the would-be gurus out there who dress up completely obvious points as some kind of wisdom. Fortune-cookie advice is hardly worth cracking open the cookie (and by the way, fortune cookies are an American invention.) “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” No kidding? A day ago, yesterday was and a day from now, tomorrow will be. That’s how time works!

“Be the change you want to see in the world” is just as useless or unproductive. Why would I want to be the change I don’t want to see? What if I like the status quo? “Be the sameness that you desire” doesn’t really resonate, does it?

A dear friend of mine, one of the most enlightening CEOs of public companies recently taught me a new phrase: YOLO, which stands for “You Only Live Once” . It rings a lot of truth. Take charge, stand up for your own principles, supported by resources and perseverance. In the end, a courageous or a visionary leader does not live life like a coward.

It reminds me of the Chevy Chase bit in the movie “Caddyshack,” when the country club’s best golfer advises a kid to “be the ball.” The kid promptly screws up the shot and is told “You’re not being the ball.” What the hell does that even mean? But there they are on late-night TV telling me to do this or that, not even knowing who the hell I am.

I think a moratorium is in order for any statement that starts with “If I were you …” You aren’t me, and I’m happy about that.

If I wanted your opinion, I’d ask for it. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves a basic question: Can we ever live a life that is fearless?

Benjamin Wey‘s life principles:

1) “Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.” – Abraham Lincoln
2) “No publicity is bad publicity.” – Donald Trump
3) “Facts are stubborn things.” – Ronald Reagan

Yes, I am Benjamin Wey and I stand by these messages. Leadership training is a real and daily learning experience.

China Expert BENJAMIN WEY — Top 3 Cultural Lessons on Doing Business in China


China expert Benjamin Wey has almost two decades of experience dealing with China.

Europeans and Americans have been trying to figure out how to do business in China quite literally for centuries. Some have been fairly successful, but the Middle Kingdom remains a land of commercial mystery to most outsiders. The reason is fairly simple — almost everything about China is different. A great many business people get caught up in the minutiae of Chinese business culture and forget that we are all human beings trying our best to succeed. In that regard, everything about doing business in China is exactly the same.


Meet Benjamin Wey, a proud American financier and a bridge to China

I was born in China and grew up speaking Chinese. I came to America to study business at Oklahoma Baptist University on full scholarships. After earning a second master’s degree in business from Columbia University in New York, and as Craig Ferguson says, I am American on purpose. I am very proud of my Chinese culture, and I chose to become an American citizen. My company has an office in New York and a co-branded office in Beijing. I speak English at work in New York and Chinese or English after work depending on the people around me. In short, I have a foot in both camps.

It took me years to reach this point, and most business people may not have the time or inclination to make that kind of commitment. That gives me an advantage when I do business in China and in the U.S., but anyone can do it. The secret is to do your best with the details but stay focused on the big picture. China expert Benjamin Wey:

Benjamin Wey, Financier, Journalist, CEO, New York Global Group

Benjamin Wey, Financier, Journalist, CEO, New York Global Group

Benjamin Wey on China cultural lesson No. 1: Be patient and be humble 

One of the things that people starting to do business in China always complain about is how long things can take. You don’t fly into Beijing of Shanghai on Monday and leave with signed deal and a check on Friday. But think about it. If you fly from Los Angeles to Miami on Monday, are you likely to get a contract and a check on Friday? Probably not. There’s something in finance called “due diligence.” Basically, that means you check out the other guy to make sure he’s on the up and up. Why? Well, so you don’t get screwed. The Chinese don’t want to get taken any more than you do. They may not have a formal due diligence program or process, but they want to check you out. That’s what the banquets and all that social stuff is about.

Look at it another way: If you play golf with one supplier and just have a professional relationship with another, and all other things are equal, who gets the contract? The fact is that every businessperson on the planet wants to do business with people they can trust, and if you happen to be on friendly terms, so much the better.

Read More: Chinese reverse mergers are not toxic: Stanford University study

Benjamin Wey on China cultural lesson No. 2: Learn from the Chinese history

The last century or so of Chinese history has been chaotic. The Emperor was overthrown and a republic declared. Japan invaded and was defeated. The Nationalists and Communists fought a civil war that the Communists won. Since 1949, China has had the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution as well as an opening to the world with capitalist features. It wasn’t the kind of history that lets a commercial code evolve over time. If America’s contract and property laws were as changeable and flexible as Chinese laws, wouldn’t you want to be able to trust your business associates? Actually, you would need to be able to trust them. In a way, personal trust is going to let you sleep better at night than any number of signed deals.

So during those banquets or coffee and cigarette breaks, talk about the same things you would discuss with someone in your own country in such a circumstance — even if you need an interpreter. Traffic, weather, your hotel, the plane ride all make for good small talk. And for God’s sake, try to be pleasant even if you have had a bad experience. After all, you wouldn’t want a visitor running your city or country down. Don’t try to show off your knowledge of the politics of Tibet and Taiwan any more than you would discuss U.S. party politics with a complete stranger whose account you want. If you find a common interest, that is huge. Work that angle.

Benjamin Wey on China cultural lesson No. 3: Pay attention to details

A little local knowledge is never a bad thing. “Hello,” “goodbye” and “thank you” in any language usually is enough to show you respect the other party. Your interpreter can handle the rest, but try. When in Rome …

And that applies to all the little details, like how to present your business card. Watch what they do, and mimic it. You can’t go too far wrong that way. Why? Because at a very human level, even if you get it not-quite-right, you are trying, and that means you respect them. And you can’t trust someone who doesn’t respect you.

Yes, everything about China is different, but at a very basic level, we all want the same things: success, respect and happiness. In that regard, China and Oklahoma have a lot in common.

Investors have been making a mad dash to cash

This has been the scariest week in stock market history, at least by one significant measure. Though the market’s certainly seen larger downturns, and in fact is on pace to end the week in positive territory, it’s never witnessed investors flee for the exits in the manner they did since the first correction in four years briefly but violently came raining down on Wall Street. Read More:

Benjamin Wey, CEO of New York Global Group, recommends this article.

Dow, Nasdaq close out of correction as stocks extend rebound


U.S. stocks closed more than 2 percent higher in a second straight day of recovery from a recent plunge, with sentiment helped by a rebound in oil and continued signs of strength in the U.S. economy. The major averages ended near session highs after briefly more than halving gains in choppy trade leading into the close. Read More:

Benjamin Wey, CEO of New York Global Group, recommends this article.

Citigroup affiliates to pay $180M to settle hedge fund fraud charges


The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday that two Citigroup affiliates agreed to pay almost $180 million as part of a settlement on charges that they defrauded investors. The SEC alleged its investigation found that Citigroup Global Markets (CGMI) and Citigroup Alternative Investments (CAI) “made false and misleading representations to investors” regarding two hedge funds that later “crumbled and eventually collapsed during the financial crisis.” Read More:


The junk bond market ‘is having a coronary’: David Rosenberg


The biggest trouble sign for stocks may be bonds. High-yield bonds, specifically, often are seen as an effective proxy for movements in the equity market. If that’s the case, trends in junk are pointing to a rocky road ahead. Average yields for low-rated companies have jumped to 7.3 percent and spreads between such debt and comparable duration Treasurys have widened dramatically, according to David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff. History suggests that fallout in stocks is not far behind. Read More:

Benjamin Wey, CEO of New York Global Group, recommends this article.

No contest: Why Rubio is clear winner of debate


There are two clear takeaways from the raucous GOP presidential debate. Marco Rubio won it and Donald Trump lost it. Who knows if poll numbers will immediately bear this out. But it’s what happened. Rubio was polished, optimistic, strong on issues, from immigration to education to the economy, and never once reached out in thirst for an off-screen water bottle. Trump was belligerent, borderline incomprehensible on issues and straight-up condescending and misogynistic when pressed by Fox’s Megyn Kelly on his past repulsive comments about women.

Read more:

BENJAMIN WEY, CEO of New York Global Group, says Rubio represented well for himself and campaign.

Why a Biden Candidacy Is Looking More Viable


At the start of the year when Vice President Joe Biden said he wouldn’t decide whether to enter the presidential race until the summer, the timetable didn’t seem to make sense.

If he wanted to take on the colossus in the Democratic field, Hillary Clinton, wouldn’t he have to jump in early and start making his case to the party that he’s the better bet?

Now Mr. Biden’s timing is looking pretty smart. By waiting, he’s gotten a chance to take Mrs. Clinton’s measure and see whether her candidacy, now nearly four months old, would take flight.

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