Dave Sather's Money Matters: Investing In freedom
Often when people ask me how I am doing, my response is that "I am far better than I deserve."
Sometimes that gets a chuckle. However, for a variety of reasons, this is a true statement.
I don't live in a mansion or drive a solid gold Rolls Royce. There are no private jets and my house has foundation problems like many others.
Rather, I am thankful to have tap water I can drink and a toilet that flushes. I have access to health care, significant educational and training opportunities, and can practice any religion I want to.
I don't "have" to go to work, rather, I get the "opportunity" to go to work. And, if I don't like my job - I have the flexibility to change. Oh, and let's not forget the ability to speak my mind (I've been told I do this quite frequently).
It has always been this way for modern Americans - but not for others. By merely being born in this free, capitalist country, we live a life that is easily better than 95 percent of the people in the world. That is hard to fathom - especially since I had nothing to do with the elite status that all American's share. Unfortunately, these freedoms are so commonplace in our country that we often take them for granted.
Obviously, if this level of comfort is so unique in the world - someone made an investment of tremendous sacrifice quite some time ago.
Our founding fathers essentially committed treason to get the ball rolling. If they failed, they would die. In the finance world, this would be considered the mother of all "risk on" trades. The biggest risk I face at work is getting a paper cut - that kind of pales in comparison.
Since the Declaration of Independence was signed, millions of Americans have stood tall to give us the life we have today. Many of these protectors were shot at, disabled or killed many years before I was even a twinkle in my parent's eyes. There have been, and will continue to be, easier ways to make a living.
As such, we as a nation owe an incredible debt of gratitude to these people. They fight for our country, our people and our freedoms. They understand that freedom is not free and freedom is an investment unlike any other. It is a commitment that has been repeatedly made throughout the years so future generations will have a better life.
And to ensure that it remains, this sacrifice will continue to be made going forward.
As we celebrate the anniversary of our nation's birth, remember to thank those who have served to make our nation great, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.
Dave Sather is a Victoria certified financial planner and owner of Sather Financial Group. His column, Money Matters, publishes every other Wednesday.