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An Investor's Thanksgiving Reminder

By Dian Vujovich

Thanksgiving happens to be one of my favorite holidays. It’s a day that requires no special affiliation with respect to religion, race, gender, income level or socio-economic status. It’s a kind of one-size-fits-all holiday that suites everyone who has a heart and has found within themselves the ability to see—and look– beyond the obvious.  Sometimes we need a little reminding of that last point. So with all investors in mind, here is my Thanksgiving reminder.


If you are able to read this or anything in written form, whether it be a statement from your broker, financial advisor, bank, hedge fund,  or any financial institution you do business with, be thankful. Very thankful. Not everyone can read.  A National Center for Education Statistics found that 40 to 44 million adults in the U.S.  have literacy competency skills. Another source reports that 1 in 7 adults are not able to understand the simplest written instructions and Job Corp data shows that 70 million U.S. adults do not read well enough to get an entry-level job.


If you can add, subtract, multiply and divide, be grateful. Be very grateful. According to the Department of Education’s Nations Assessment of Adult Literacy, only 1 in 5  adults can accurately calculate the interest on their mortgage. Only 42 percent are able to pick two items on a menu, add up those costs and then calculate a tip.


If you have saved for retirement, have a pension, IRA, 401(k), etc., or accumulated any kind of golden nest egg count your blessings 10-fold. Research from LIMRA revealed that 1 in 3 women have no formal retirement plans. And a Harris Interactive study conducted for CouponCabin.com earlier this year found that 39 percent of U.S. adults don’t have any type of financial investments like 401 (k)s, IRAs, mutual funds or stocks.


As for the stuff that counts a zillion times more than money, if you have close friends, a reliable family, know the importance of companionship, laughter, an optimistic outlook and that love isn’t as tricky an emotion to deal with as a country western song would lead you to believe, be thankful. Very very very thankful.


May you and yours enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving Day.

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