Good Afternoon Legacy Wealth Alliance Family,
We made it. From all the fears, worries, and chaos that has occurred in 2020, here we are in the last quarter of the year. Recently passing Halloween, this week Thanksgiving, and next month Christmas. Makes me wonder how 2020 will be remembered when my grandchildren start taking history classes. I assume of course, that schools will be open by then, and COVID will be considered a disease like polio that finally has a cure. I look forward to the holiday season every year, cooler temperatures and being able to spend more time outside than inside. My spouse allows me to eat things that are not very healthy for me more than other times of the year. It also feels once Halloween has passed, that I am on a greased water slide. The year seems to pick up speed until after the New Year and in a blink, it is all over. If I were granted wishes, I would request a way to slow down time allowing me to complete my To-Dos, get caught up, and still have time left over to actually experience the holidays with my family. Course, I would use my first wish to have unlimited wishes, too.
There are still areas of the election, that have not been finalized. While Joe Biden and his camp have declared victory, President Trump and his team have yet to concede. Claiming to have proof that the election was “unfair”. The White House appears to have a new resident, the Democrats have maintained their control over The House, and two senate seats from the great state of Georgia are headed for a runoff on January 5th. Today, the Senate is composed of 48 Democrats and 50 Republicans. If the Republican incumbents lose in the Georgia runoff, and the Democrats win the Senate seats in Georgia, the Senate would be split at 50 / 50. Assuming all members of the Senate vote their party lines, who has the vote to break the deadlock you ask? Answer: The Vice President. The stock market, at this point, seems to be unaffected by either event. Through close of business today, the markets and corresponding indexes are setting all-time records. In a year with much uncertainty and valid concerns regarding politics, healthcare, unemployment, and the economy, who would have suspected the stock indexes would hit new records. There are still more than five weeks left until the end of the year. If 2020 has taught me anything, it is things can change direction faster than anticipated or expected.
On Thursday, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. A holiday created to set aside our concerns, worries, and all that is “not right” at home or abroad. Where global pandemics, politics, state closures, and protests give way to what should be a single focus of mind, body, and soul. A day in which we are grateful and thankful for who we are, the families and friends that we have to share our lives, and the many blessings that we have all around us, if we can stop long enough to see it. And yes, even in a year like 2020. In times of uncertainty and unrest, if all you see and feed your mind with is more doubt, unresolved issues, and the chaos that occurs daily that fills the news, it is going to be challenging if not impossible to find the joy that is all around you. Right before the election, I was feeling very uneasy, almost anxious. I could not sleep and found myself waking up at 2:30 in the morning, wide awake, while my brain focused on solving problems, that I had no control over to resolve. This went on for about two weeks. I then read an article. I think it was called “Dumb it Down Idiot, Dumb it Down”. The premise was we get too involved mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and then invest time (physically) in areas we have no control over. Allowing others, like family, friends, or the media, informing us how we she would think or feel about a particular subject, based upon their personal perspective. Tolerance and acceptance of differing views have turned into debates of “I am right, and you are wrong”. If we take the time to listen and ask questions to understand, for the most part, there is a little truth in every perspective. The challenge is, because it may be contradictory to our beliefs, we tend to attack and instead of listening, we fight for our own perspective and being right. Robbing us of two most important human needs: love and joy.
The article went on, the way to get more love and joy in your life and becoming a beacon for others to have the same, is to spend your energy focusing on all that you have to be thankful for every day. Running that list, before your feet ever hit the floor out of bed in the morning. Regardless of finances, family, fitness, or your future, break it down to the simplistic blessings that are all around you. I needed a change of mindset. Had nothing to lose, and these steps were within my control. I decided, in the interest of keeping it simple, there were two checks every morning I was going to do and if positive, I was destined to have a grateful day. The first, making sure my wife of 28 years is still in the bed next to me, and then I added, and breathing. For a fact, I was not made to live alone…. ever. She enhances my life is so many ways. She was my best friend 28 years ago when I married her and still to this day. I am ashamed, that at times, I take advantage of those contributions she makes to me, our home, and our three daughters. Our girls need her, more than they do me. (Unless of course, it has anything to do with finances.) The second check is to validate that both my right and left big toes are clear of any “toe tags” with my name, date of birth, and date of death on it. I know, for some of you, this may be too simplistic. You need something more challenging. Not me, I need all the simple I can get. What does it mean? If Amy is still in the bed next to me, it means she still loves me and is committed to our relationship and family. It also means, no matter what “breaks loose” that day, she will still be there when I get home ready to help me through it. The lack of a “toe tag” gives me another opportunity to help people and I find myself being more aware of what others need than focusing on my own agenda. A week ago, while out riding my bike, I notice another biker had a flat tire. Normally, because I have limited time to work out, I would go screaming by certain not to make any eye contact. This time though, I stopped and the only explanation I have, is because there was no toe tag on the big toes.
I encourage you during this holiday season, especially if you get to be with your family either around the table or using video conferencing, to change the conversation. With all that is wrong or uncertain, and will continue into 2021, talking about all the Ps (politics, pandemics, protests) will not make them go away. It could force you into a debate where the topic becomes less relevant and “winning” does. Instead, have a conversation and focus on the blessings and all that is around you to be grateful for. Make it a goal to get to 100 areas of gratitude. At the very least, and assuming you do it more than Thanksgiving, I think you will begin to see your perspective changing. I once read an interview with Warren Buffet, “The Oracle of Omaha”. The question was, “With all that you have and all that you could do, what is the one thing you wish you had more of?” Before I got to his answer, that required no thought on his part, my mind went through all the possibilities. One of the richest individuals on the face of the earth responded with, “Love”. As your humble financial advisor, I would add, “Joy”.
Lastly and probably most important, and in the interest of standing on a soapbox and “preaching” without “following”, I am truly blessed more than I ever deserve. I have a family that loves me, supports me, and parents that taught me I could do anything I wanted, if I was willing to put in the work. My best friend said “yes” and “I do” making me a very lucky man to have her. My oldest daughter has graduated college and lives independently and never on my sofa. She is still working on her direction and doing it her own way. All our clan is healthy, and I will have all of them around the Thanksgiving table with me on Thursday. What more could I ask for? My health is good, and my body still does things I demand of it, like Ironman triathlons. I have close friends, they help me with challenges, ensure I never take myself too seriously, and that I am balanced and do not work all the time. We have the best clients that believe in our work and give us the opportunity to serve them and help with their financial futures. I work on a team with talented, caring, and committed professionals every day who believe in our vision, our integrity, and helping others. Blessings all around me… every day that bring me love and joy. When I get going too fast, focused on the wrong things, it robs me of these essential needs. We would not be who we are, I would not be who I am, without all of you, your families, and your businesses giving us front row tickets to “The Show”. We are so appreciative and grateful to have you and look forward to many more years pursuing wealth, wisdom, and well-being together.
Enjoy the holiday and Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, and staff,
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