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3 Things 12-19

Thing One The Votes Are All Counted Now Now that it’s all over, including the counting (the election that is), it’s time for us all to turn our focus inward. History and our own experiences both tell us that politicians, no matter the party, aren’t as interested in, or capable of, making our lives as good as they would have us believe. The hard reality is that no matter who you voted for, it’s up to you to look out for you in the long run. Life is short and it’s hard at times, but the people who compile and analyze data on the state America’s retirement planning tell us that it’s longer than many of us plan. Thankfully, they also tell us it can be much simpler than we make it, as it relates to financial well-being. Are you adequately prepared to retire? Do you have the proper insurance coverage on your life, property and, business? If the answer to either of those is no or I don’t know, we should talk. It’s time to stop procrastinating.

Thing Two A Long Term, All-Weather Investing Endorsement Here’s a quote from an August 2020 Wall Street Journal article: “Stock ownership is increasingly concentrated among a sliver of the population. The top 10% of Americans, by wealth, owned 87% of all stock outstanding in the first quarter, according to data from the Federal Reserve. That share has grown over the past decade, from 82.4% in 2009. The stock market has surged over that period, with the S&P 500 more than quadrupling from its low during the financial crisis in March 2009.” To elaborate on that final point, we'll add that if you had invested $1,000 in the S&P 500 in March of 2009 (when the stock market was off the rails and in a ditch), it would be worth right around $5,000 today, including dividends. Specifically, the return (before dividends) on the $1,000 investment from the beginning of March, 2009 through December 16, 2022 would have been 418%. Adding the dividends over that 13 years and 9 months would have increased the return by another 79% ($795) for a total return of 497%. The bottom line? Anybody who was invested in the market, as represented by the S&P 500 index, got richer - not just rich people. Share this quick math and straightforward story with anybody who’s sincerely interested in accumulating wealth. Let them know that there’s nothing they can do about what they’ve missed out on in the last 13 years but they don’t have to keep missing out. And tell them you know someone who can help.

Thing Three Just A Thought “You may delay, but time will not.” Benjamin Franklin

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