The Paradox of the Giver

As we pulled into the parking lot of the FISH Food Bank off of Burnham Drive, AJ and I noticed a few people picking up food. One was an elderly man by himself; the other was a younger woman with a little girl. You could read their faces much like the first page of a worn, secondhand book. Their faces hinted at difficult lives. 

Circling around the back, we unloaded AJ’s Jeep. This week at the office we ran a food drive and raffled off a few gift cards to local businesses. Two grateful volunteers ushered bags of food and soap into the building. Later AJ said “I think this is a great way for us to help in our community where there’s clearly a need.” 

Ice Cream and Light Bulbs

“There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great, big beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow’s just a dream away”

-- Disney’s Carousel of Progress

We were once told by our parents not to talk to strangers, don’t share personal information on the Internet, and never get into unfamiliar vehicles. Today, we summon strangers to take trips in unfamiliar vehicles by inputting personal information on the Internet. Oh, and they often come bearing food and expecting tips.

The Gratitude Mile

Tucked away discretely alongside a collection of books are cards written from his own clients. AJ, like me, finds those notes of appreciation more meaningful than nearly anything else in his business. I witness firsthand how many hours he works before someone expresses that kind of gratitude towards him.

My wife Brooke loves to run. Besides consistently hitting the pavement several times a week, she reads running articles and books. One of these books (“Let Your Mind Run” by Deena Kastor) inspired her to begin a gratitude journal this past week. She lists ten things every day that she is grateful for—and the rule is to never repeat yourself

The War Chest

We know you are likely half-inebriated with all the coronavirus news—it has shoved aside most of our priorities and taken center stage. And make no mistake: it is nothing to dismiss. Governments around the world are taking enormous steps to keep citizens healthy, support businesses, and pass legislation to stimulate their economies.

Clouds, Inflation and Sharks

Clouds float past us, light and fluffy, every day. But are they actually light? The average cumulus cloud you see on a sunny day actually weighs about 1.1 million pounds! We know it is possible, but it still seems to defy logic.

Inflation also seems to defy logic. We talk with clients about inflation all the time, yet it remains a difficult idea to keep in mind when we plan for the future. 


The "Squirreling Away" Scenario

We commonly receive questions from new clients that stem from a “squirreling away” kind of perspective on their investments. Some come to us with many accounts and investments—each with their own unique purpose. A standalone mutual fund was purchased ten years ago for a future vacation or to help with a grandchild’s education. We see investment accounts meant to “pay the bills” in retirement, and we’ve even seen clients with their own “beef jerky habit” account or “fancy tie” fund.