EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

There was mention of an article several years ago in The Wall Street Journal that Americans have fewer close friends. Intrigued at the time, I “Googled” and found a few press reports about the article.

According to an article in American Sociological Review, in 1985, the average American had three people in whom to confide matters that were important to them. In 2004, that number dropped to two, and one in four had no close confidants at all.

As far as close friends go, I hope that all of you know that you have over 40,000 people to choose from. Any member of The FENG who doesn’t yet have at least 20 people in whom they could confide important matters just isn’t doing enough networking.

Networking as you know has as its purpose the creation of meaningful relationships. I would be the first to admit that it does take time to make friends, especially ones in keeping with the meaning of this scholarly article. So, when are you going to get started?

Like the farmer who has plowed the earth, planted seeds, watered as appropriate, and perhaps even provided sunlight, the ball is now in the court of the plants. Although I am not really sure who is the farmer and who are the plants, let alone if any of us are in this analogy the earth, planted seeds or water, I can tell you that all the elements are there for you to have a good time.

I would hope that anyone in The FENG who has given it a go is well on their way to winning the “Who has the most friends” contest. And if you can’t win this contest, I would hope you were on your way to at least an honorable mention.

Where do you start? By using our Member Directory Search feature, of course!

It actually isn’t important where you start or when you start, only that you do. My personal favorite is to look up old friends. Yes, anyone who is anyone (and a financial person) is probably a member of our august body. And if they aren’t and you can track them down, please do ask them to join if they are senior level financial folks. The reason you start with old friends with whom you might have lost touch is that they are the easiest to win over and reconnect with. Having known you at one time, they will be thrilled that you took the time to track them down. They might even remind you of other old mutual friends you can call.

No one in The FENG has any need to be lonely. We are all one big happy family. (Okay, all of us aren’t happy all the time, but 99% isn’t bad.)

What I want to be sure of is that if the American Sociological Review decides to do a study of The FENG in 10 years that they will be astounded with their findings.

If you can’t go out and make a few new friends for any other reason, than do it for this purpose. We are trying to get in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most interconnected networking group in the WHOLE world. LinkedIn has nothing on us. Neither does Facebook.

I hope you will work with me on this goal.

Regards, Matt

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