CNHI News Service

Opinion

February 18, 2013

Keep your friends not so close, enemies further away

—  

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

-Michael Corelone (Al Pacino) in The Godfather Part II.

 

“Tell me who your friends are, I’ll tell you who you are.”  

-Bingo Joe McNay (my father), a professional gambler and bookmaker.

--

A friend recently lost her husband at a young age. She told me that men started coming on to her at the funeral. I see it all the time.

The first thing I tell lottery winners, widows, widowers or others who come into large sums of money is to watch out for their family and especially for newfound “friends.”

The line in The Godfather II about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer works the opposite for people with sudden money. People are usually smart enough to keep their enemies at bay, but it’s often the friends who are grabbing for their wallet.

.I see hundreds of people walk into my office with lots of money only to come back broke a few years later.

Family and friends were the downfall almost every time.

My father was a professional gambler who was the ultimate creature of the streets. Dad had a mantra: “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.”

Dad saw many people brought down by the people they befriended. One of my favorite movies on that theme is Al Pacino’s movie Carlito’s Way. Al Pacino stars as a man trying to break away from his “friends” who ultimately bring him down. 

It is a struggle many face in life. The winner inside them can be brought down by friends, family and coworkers.  

The worst instincts in people come out when there is money involved.

Selecting friends is a tricky concept.

When my daughter Angela Luhys was in the dating world, she developed a concept that she called the “trailer park test.”

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