Chill in the air, leaves turning and falling, spooky specters on Halloween, and time changes, all part of the coming week. A great time of year for soups and sweaters, gathering and good times and perhaps a good book by the fire. What are you reading this Fall? I just completed ‘Killing the Witches’ by Bill O’Reilly which takes a look at the role of religion in our countries history through the time of the Salem Witch Trials. I enjoy historical novels while Nani prefers murder mystery.
Speaking of mysteries, what is going on with the Stock Market? It is easy to have a jittery outlook on what is happening until you take the long term perspective. Though we climbed a mountain during the Summer, we have descended back to levels of late Spring. Of course this outlook varies depending what season of life you are in. People starting their careers see another opportunity to continue to buy through their 401(k) as the market rises and falls. People in their retirement years are much more cautious about the short term and think more deeply about where we are headed. If we go back 5 years, the S&P 500 in December of 2018 was hovering around 2400, which means there has been a 73% increase to todays’ level around 4150. All this to say that it is easy to get caught in the day to day drama that the news media create and lose the long term perspective. Stay the course.
We believe that rocky waves will be the forecast for the next several months. Internationally, we have two wars going on with close allies. Politically, we are moving to create a candidate pool to choose our next President. It is one thing to see the diversity on the Republican Bench but Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy has entered the race as an Independent and now Democrat Dean Phillips has entered the race.
As the year winds down, we are focused on a few things internally: required minimum distribution and tax harvesting. We are also working on new initiatives for 2024 like a podcast. Our goal is to get you the information you need in a timely and effective manner and in a media world swamped with other messages. Externally, we are focused on family time during the holidays. We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the day after and on Christmas Day. In addition we will be short staffed as we each take a bit of a break at year end. Plan accordingly.
Thanks to each of you for helping our family grow and thrive. Whether it is about planning, investments or insurance, we appreciate that you have placed your trust in our advice. All the best in this Holiday Season.
Turkey, Stuffing, Green Bean casserole, sweet potatoes, gravy, mashed potatoes. The Classics, or the Hits... if you will. Most of which tend to make an appearance on your table during Thanksgiving. In our Finance world, the table has a different look. Our turkey is the S&P 500 index, our stuffing is our Large Cap Growth Funds, the Mashed Potatoes are the base of bond funds selected to safely rest the turkey and gravy on. To put it simply, the plate gets full of all the different pieces of the turkey day plate puzzle. Each with a job and flavor to create balance, and if you’re lucky a full belly nap after the turkey settles. We chose to bring stuffing this year. I am from the south and if you used anything other than cornbread for your stuffing, grandma may hit you with a wooden spoon. I also spent a long time in the Northeast of the United States, with the apple orchards of Vermont, Connecticut, and upstate New York around us frequently brought Mulled Cider. Of which both recipes I developed are here. These are deeply personal, and I truly hope you enjoy them.
4 cups water
2 chicken breasts
1 Bay Leaf
half cup celery small diced
half cup carrot small diced
1 cup onion small diced
2 Sprigs Thyme, picked and chopped
1 Sprig Sage, picked and chopped
1 Sprig Marjoram, picked and chopped
4 cups corn bread
Salt and Pepper, to taste.
- Simmer Water, Chicken, Bay Leaf, Salt and Pepper for 25 minutes. Let chicken cool in broth. Shred once it’s cooled enough to handle.
- Preheat Oven to 350 F.
- Crumble your Precooked Corn Bread with your hands and place with the rest of your ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add shredded chicken to the large mixing bowl with 2-4 cups of the broth you created in step 1. Mix one cup at a time with your hands until Mixture is homogenous and tacky but not soaking wet.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick, placed into the center, comes out clean.
1 Gallon Apple Cider, look for a sweeter locally grown variety
2 Star Anise
3 All Spice Berries
2 Juniper Berries
1 Lemon Halved, (do not squeeze the juice out!)
- In a stock pot on medium high heat, dry toast all your spices until fragrant, Don’t Burn!
- Add your Cider and halved lemon and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Strain and serve warm.
- Add Whiskey, Bourbon, or Apple Brandy if preferred.
I know it’s simple but sometimes simple is best during the cluttered and busy holidays. You’re juggling arriving guests and managing the oven space, as well as making sure every glass is filled with cider or cheer!