12/20/13 – Gratitudes for the Season

Posted by Brad McMillan, CFA, CAIA, MAI

Find me on:

This entry was posted on Dec 20, 2013 8:30:11 AM

and tagged Commentary

Leave a comment

As I wind down into the Christmas week, I wanted to reflect on some of the things I’m grateful for.

Family Day

Yesterday was a personal family holiday, marking the day five years ago when we formally became Jackson’s parents at the giving and receiving ceremony in Da Nang, Vietnam. We don’t really do much to celebrate it—what with Christmas and everything else going on—but we do make a point of sitting down and reflecting on how lucky we all have been. As I was snuggling with Jackson last night, I told him that I couldn’t ask for a better son, and he replied that he couldn’t ask for a better home. Pretty good for a five-year-old, and it’s my responsibility to make sure he always feels that way.

Cold Medicine

On a less elevated level, I am profoundly grateful for cold medicine. Since we brought Jackson home, the little petri dish, I’ve suffered from brutal colds every year around Thanksgiving. This year was no exception, as you may remember if you saw the most recent Market Thoughts video. Every year, I discover new cold medicines and more effective ways to use them. We don’t fully appreciate just how much better these medicines, to say nothing of aspirin or similar drugs, make our lives.

My Snow Blower

Living in New England, you know you will get dumped on. Years ago, I had to dig out the exterior stairs and deck of a second-floor apartment I lived in for more than a decade. One of the happiest days of my life was when I bought a condo and could look out the window to see someone else clearing the snow. Unfortunately, that went away when we bought a house, but the snow blower is almost as good. Not only does it help me clear my own property, it also lets me help my neighbors, particularly a wonderful older couple across the street. It makes my life easier, and it allows me to be a good neighbor. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Kittens

We lost our last cat, Putter, in February. Last weekend, we were adopted by two new kittens, Rooney (sorry, John!) and Charlie. It has been such a joy to watch them play and chase each other around. It’s been an even bigger joy to watch Jackson play gently with them, showing in a new way what a great little boy he is. Charlie is actually the spitting image of Putter, which is comforting, while Rooney is a black and white long-haired fuzzball. I will admit I’m not wild about them running up my leg and back as I sit at my desk, but it’s worth it.

Healthy, Happy Grandparents

Nora and I are older parents, so we’re amazingly fortunate that our own parents are all alive and healthy. I’m so glad Jackson has the chance to know, and love, his grandparents directly. Everyone’s coming to stay with us for Christmas, to spend time together and share the special joy that small children exude this time of year. Family in the abstract is wonderful, but it’s this kind of intergenerational together time that I hope Jackson will remember for the rest of his life.

My Job

Last but not least, I get to do interesting work with good people. Commonwealth remains a remarkable place, and the opportunity I have to work with our advisors and my colleagues—one of the nicest groups of people on the planet—is something I find myself grateful for on a daily basis. The ability to spend my days thinking about how best to help our advisors and their clients is a rare gift.

I could go on for pages, but these are some of the more timely items. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope next week and this holiday season are filled with family, joy, and things to be grateful for. My family and I are incredibly blessed, and we plan to spend next week celebrating that.

Happy holidays!

Upcoming Appearances

Tune in to Bloomberg Radio's Bloomberg Businessweek on Friday, February 28, at 3:45 P.M. ET to hear Brad talk about the market. Stream the show live at https://www.bloombergradio.com/, listen through SiriusXM 119, or download Bloomberg's app, Bloomberg Radio+.

Tune into Yahoo Finance's The Final Round on Thursday, March 12, between 2:50 and 4:00 P.M. ET to hear Brad talk about the market. Exact interview time will be updated once confirmed. Watch at finance.yahoo.com

Subscribe via E-mail

New call-to-action
Crash-Test Investing
Commonwealth Independent Advisor

Hot Topics

Have a Question?

New Call-to-action

Conversations

Archives

see all

Subscribe

Disclosure

The information on this website is intended for informational/educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice, a solicitation, or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or investment product. Please contact your financial professional for more information specific to your situation.

Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.

The S&P 500 Index is a broad-based measurement of changes in stock market conditions based on the average performance of 500 widely held common stocks. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly into an index.

The MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australasia, Far East) is a free float‐adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets, excluding the U.S. and Canada. The MSCI EAFE Index consists of 21 developed market country indices.  

Third party links are provided to you as a courtesy. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these websites. Information on such sites, including third party links contained within, should not be construed as an endorsement or adoption by Commonwealth of any kind. You should consult with a financial advisor regarding your specific situation.

Member FINRASIPC

Please review our Terms of Use

Commonwealth Financial Network®