Chance Only Favours the Prepared Mind


Ralph Crawford


February 22, 2013

February 22, 2013

We recently holidayed in Las Vegas – a fun trip we make every year or so. And it’s a trip we always enjoy. We find Las Vegas a fascinating city that attracts about 40 million visitors a year whose average stay is like ours, only three or four days. Other Las Vegas statistics are equally fascinating. How about a city with a population of around 600,000 having 350 hotels, motels and inns with 62,000 rooms offered on The Strip alone. And the gambling. It’s reported that there are about 200,000 slot machines in Vegas, that when combined with the gaming tables, their total revenue nets Clark County about $10 billion a year. Contributing to this is an average gambling budget per trip of around $500. But not us. On this past trip we returned home one thousand, six hundred and fifty seven ahead. That’s $16.57 because few people get rich playing the penny slots, particularly when your disciplined total daily gambling limit is only $20.00.

No, we don’t go to Las Vegas for the gambling because, like many other visitors, we find Las Vegas fascinating for other great reasons. There’s always the people watching, the street entertainment, the shopping, and of course the shows. However, the gambling is always an attraction – to watch. It’s an attraction by itself just to watch hundreds of people at a time sitting for hours pumping money into machines without an inkling of a guarantee there will be a pay-out. Somewhat akin to the 1:28,000,000 odds of winning Lotto Max!

In mulling over this whole aspect of Las Vegas, gambling and the chances of winning I came across a Louis Pasteur phrase: Chance only favours the prepared mind. And isn’t it the truth! And isn’t that what The Professional Advisory is all about. Dentistry, financial security, retirement isn’t a gamble but a matter of preparing your mind so your chance of coming out ahead becomes more favourable.

Take David Chong Yen’s article, Buying US Real Estate. US real estate need not be a gamble when the prepared mind pays heed to the seven things to consider to avoid tax traps. And Ron Weintraub in discussing the Disturbing Trends in the Evolution of Dental Advertising clearly favours the prepared minds of the dentists whose primary commitment is the wellbeing of their patients. In his Black Swan Ian Wexler sums up the whole aspect of the prepared mind when approaching insurance protection: “I can protect them from being blindsided from an unforeseen, random event that could devastating financial consequences”. And when addressing Your Premises Lease David Lind makes it very clear, it’s not a gamble but preparation of your mind: “Whether you are thinking of selling your practice or not, I would highly recommend that you become familiar with your lease”. David Rosenthal carefully takes readers though the intricacies of  Non-Dentist Ownership of Dental Practices and strongly suggests not to leave it up to chance but to be “well advised to retain professional advisors”. There is a Changing Tenancy Environment out there says Ian Toms and dentists shouldn’t take chances. They should prepare themselves by having existing leases scanned for toxins and set up treatment plans. Mark  McNulty makes it clear that the chance of successful Investing For Retirement favours the mind that prepares to “convert your portfolio from a growth oriented portfolio to a self funding pension fund that will provide you with retirement income”.

Yes, Las Vegas is a fascinating place to visit but its emphasis on gambling can be disturbing – particularly for the losers of which most are. Common sense – and the contributors to The Professional Advisory – tells us that success indentistry, and in life, need not be a gamble but an element of preparation. Louis Pasteur had it right: Chance only favours the prepared mind. PA

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