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From The President’s Desk

I'VE BEEN WRITING ARTICLES FOR OUR newsletter since 2001, with the express purpose of educating our client's about any and all issues related to financial and estate planning. My self-proclaimed style of writing is "where real life meets financial planning" and coined the phrase due to the thousands of people I've met in my professional life who have been kind enough to bring me into their family and confidence. The world of finance may be fascinating to me, but to most, it's dry and boring: and I wouldn't blame you if you felt that way. It's a mumble jumble of numbers and statistics, and if boiled down, only means something if it means something to you. I believe that everything in life brings us a lesson if we are astute enough to realize it, sometimes good, and sometimes bad. While there are lessons to be learned from both our successes and our failures, I find the failures to hold the most educational value. If one removes ego and judgment out of the equation, the lessons staring us in the face are of enormous value.

Life: we all may live it, but do we all experience it? Each and every day, I ask myself "who am I going to help today." It drives me, and brings me back every day with the enthusiasm and energy that I am told I exude pretty much every day. In my book, "Tales from the Chestnut Tree" (available on Amazon- OK- call it a shameless plug!) I tell stories of people I've met through the years, and the lessons that came out of our meeting. It's where my style of writing has come from, listening to others and finding solutions together to countless situations. In the last year or so, I've evolved our newsletter from a general learning tool to specific topics: last Fall was kids, the Winter our 25th anniversary issue, and the Summer Edition, our Sizzling Seniors Issue. This quarter, for our Fall publication, I am dedicating it all to life and how it pertains to the financial issues we face every day. As opposed to taking day-to-day conversations for fodder for my articles, I've been searching far and wide for quotes from people who have touched our lives in various ways celebrities, politicians, and in general, people in the public eye from all over the world. I found this search most fascinating, and each and every quote had me sit back and ponder the thought provoking words of wisdom from people far smarter and experienced in life than I. My goal, as usual, is to use their quote and take it one step further and relate it to a financial lesson.

I recently saw former President Clinton on a talk show, and he was recounting stories from his past while in office, mostly how they affected him and helped him to formulate the kind of man he is today. His dedication to humanity is stunning, the work he is doing since leaving office astounding- all, for the benefit of humanity. His outlook of family values is tops on his list, and he went into his view on family values, including aging parents. He pointed out that family values also includes how your parents die and the effect of the family left behind, which he shared was part of his reason for designing the Family Leave Act with one of the benefits that adult children can take a temporary leave from their job to take care of aging parents without the fear of losing their jobs. It was a fascinating interview of a most fascinating human being.

I find people in general amazing, interesting, individual and most of all for the most part wanting to do the best for themselves, and more, for their children and parents. My job is not to lead, but to walk along with you on your journey wherever it shall lead you... I'm an observer, an advisor and a
companion. We're in this trip together.

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