Recently I returned to the church of my childhood, Our Lady of Victory. I went alone, entered the familiar space and found the row of pews where my father, brother and I sat almost every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. (although we were usually a bit late after a long night of Saturday Night Live). As I sat in the pew and allowed the memories of our past to swirl over me, I though much of my father, who has been gone for well over 10 years. But I though mostly of my brother, and I could picture him seated up in his chair as a young altar boy. I could see him holding the tall candles, and the expression on his face as he tried to be perfectly still, and as he tried to speak and walk in perfect unison with Monsignor Fleming, who led the early Sunday morning mass. My big brother has always watched over me, and as I remembered him in our Catholic church, I thought of how hard he tried to do everything exactly right. Not just right, but exactly right.
My brother and I are different in many ways, but one thing we share is a common desire to work hard, do the right thing, and make good within our respective communities. Most share that purpose, which is why I have a passion for helping people in the pursuit of their dreams. I am not a spiritual advisor by any means, but I help with fundamental financial decisions which allow individuals, families and corporations to pursue their dreams. We all have our strengths and areas for improvement, but many of us share a common value to try to make things around us a bit better. Not just for ourselves, but for our communities and beyond. We are trying to live right. That desire, I believe, is what causes us to see our investment decisions with rose-colored glasses. There we stand, quivering inside just like my brother, in front of the entire congregation and universe, just trying to put our best foot forward.
That desire to just do right colors our vision and, suddenly, the stories we tell our friends involve stocks that double in value within a ridiculously short time period. We tend to leave out the stories of other investments that lost money big time because we took a hot tip or chose to believe we could make a quick and easy buck. That same quivering desire has left baby boomers unprepared for retirement, pensions underfunded, and marriages and families divided due to critical differences of opinion around finances.
Take heart! Over the years I have gathered information and practical experience to help people improve their financial and investment decisions. I have met people from all walks of life and learned something new from each and every one of them. This practical guide will give you just enough science and discipline to improve your current situation, but leaves enough room for art, creativity and flexibility to make it fun! My brother ended up doing just fine, and because of his effort to do things just right, his learning experience and efforts as a young altar boy continue to pay dividends today. Invest right, live right!
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