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Private jets have always been recognized as great business tools that help multiply the productivity of entrepreneurs and managers. But these days it seems that people are discovering how an airplane’s value extends to more personal areas where we live.

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In some circles being among the “1%” is a dubious distinction at best. But being in a business that serves primarily “one percenters” I can better attest to their uncommon virtues rather than to a penchant for conspicuous consumption as perceived by the 99%.

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In recent years much has been made about the relative benefits afforded by new generation aircraft versus existing pre-owned models. That argument, championed primarily by sellers of fractional jet programs, promotes the notion that “newer aircraft are far superior to pre-owned jets and provide increased safety and reliability."

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The practice of using independent third-party auditors to rate a company's performance dates back to 1909 when a financial analyst named John Moody first assigned letter grades to railroad bonds. This innovation made it easier for investors to evaluate a rail company's debt and launched an industry that has become a powerful force in modern capitalism.

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A few days ago, we celebrated the end of a very eventful decade and the beginning of another one equally so. Lessons learned from looking backward would have to include the importance of remaining guarded with the next "new thing"; a most notable example would be the over-hyped advent of the Very Light Jets (VLJ's). Most early adopters who bought into the vision of airborne taxi's by the thousands bringing private jet travel to the masses are smarting from the experience.

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