A little over a decade ago, my wife and I had at least some small chance of becoming rich beyond belief. We were among the first investors in a technology startup that had the potential to be as revolutionary and widely adopted as the iPhone or iPad, and with even greater revenue. Unfortunately, the company’s digital-wallet concept was ahead of its time and the founders, despite diligent efforts, lacked the muscle to make it a reality. They ultimately sold their patents for just a few million dollars and, instead of getting rich, my wife and I simply recouped some of our losses.
I remember when I first saw a Boeing 757: While boarding one in 1983. I was struck by the highly cambered wings; the tall landing gear; the nose, which recalled a Lockheed Constellation; and the pair of big, high-ratio bypass engines, which seemed to produce a gentle hum as opposed to a whine. This was elegance and efficiency in motion mated to a comfortable cabin with plenty of headroom. It was also a welcome change from the 727s that made up my typical airline diet—those ubiquitous, sooty, loud, fuel-guzzling trijets that seemed to be everywhere.
Business jet finance has settled into a predictable—and more sustainable—groove after the mad scramble of 2007 and the deafening silence of 2009. Here are eight realities of today’s market that you need to understand:
The last thing you’d ever call NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray is a late bloomer. The Joplin, Missouri native began racing at age eight, won his first national go-kart title in 1986 at age 10 and added the World Karting Championship in 1991 at age 15.
A century ago, Nebraska’s greatest novelist, Willa Cather, gave voice to the raw nature and overwhelming scale of the state’s landscape. No one who has ever read her books, O Pioneer! (1913) or My Ántonia (1918), would mistake them for golf writing.
Hindsight is 20/20—and in the fractional-share business, foresight may at best be about 20/1,000. In a market like today’s and with a rapidly evolving product like fractional, even the most seasoned insiders seem to lack a clear sense of what’s next.
“I have an obligation to get you to your destination. You have an obligation to pay. What else is there? We don't need 24 pages of legalese.”