Honoring Memorial DaySubmitted by Collaborative Financial Solutions on May 20th, 2019
As we near the upcoming holiday at the end of May, I found myself thinking about the true meaning of Memorial Day and what it means to us today. One thing I’ve always known as a veteran myself is that Memorial Day is more than a day off; it is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving our great nation.
A couple years ago, I was in Normandy, France at the American Cemetery where I visited Omaha Beach and was overwhelmed with the feeling of how those young men must have felt. I got Goosebumps as I looked out across the vista of endless crosses, distinguishing the 9,387 American soldiers (41 were brothers, 1557 were never found) who lost their lives during the D-Day landings. A reminder of how expensive our freedom really is.
I had time to reflect on my own military values and principles. After serving for 8 years (4 Active, 2 Active Reserve, and 2 Inactive reserve), I have a sense of appreciation for the freedoms we have as citizens. Soldiers give their lives to allow us as a people, and as an individual, to be free in so many different ways. As a military veteran and a seasoned veteran financial advisor, I was reminded that I have a lot of freedom in what I can recommend for clients. *Sustainable, socially conscious, “green”, or ethical investing is an important part of my portfolio, because of my faith and trust in our foundation of freedom.
Today many investors support defense contractors without realizing it. These defense companies most likely reside in your portfolios and 401(k)’s. For some discerning clients, I choose to create portfolios that are screened to exclude these companies. If you are concerned about what positions you own, you might want to consider other investment options. When you rollover your old 401(k) into an you earn the freedom and flexibility to engage with corporations that value environmental social governance and socially responsible investing*.
So, on this Memorial Day when you see the F16’s overhead or a tank on the evening news, think about where your money goes and what kinds of companies it supports. A reminder that freedom is not free and there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, and the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” from a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953
*The return may be lower than if the adviser made decisions based solely on investment considerations