I love Thanksgiving because, among other things, it is our one national holiday that gives us a reason to be purposely grateful. So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2019, these are the things that fill me with gratitude:
- I am grateful to God for so many things, including allowing me to be an American. When people tell me they wish they could win the lottery, I tell them that they did win the lottery the day they were born in America. Amidst all the political strife, I still believe we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. The values our founders set in motion 243 years ago are worth fighting for.
- I am grateful that my marriage with Janet continues to be wonderful. She sure takes great care of me! She is the glue that holds our business and family together. She serves as Atchley Financial Group's Chief Operating Officer and as the matriarch of our family. Thank you, Janet!
- Janet and I are grateful that our children and grandchildren are all doing well with life. I think Janet and I did a pretty good job raising Aaron and Aimee, and they made great choices in choosing Jenna and Michael as their spouses. Further, our four grandchildren are fortunate to have the parents they have. As you can imagine, we serve many families who are not so fortunate. We have many clients who did their level best as parents, and some of their kids have just not done well with life. I believe that our family is just luckier than many others.
- All of us at Atchley Financial Group are so grateful for all the client families who have chosen to work with us. We have a number of clients who have been with us for less than a year, and some who have loyally trusted us for more than thirty years. I am beyond grateful for many of those clients who trusted me in the late 1980s. Janet and I started our business on a shoestring in 1986 and struggled mightily to survive. Those clients who kept us afloat in the late 1980s will always have a special place in my heart. You know who you are. Thank you.
- Janet and I are so grateful for Michael and Aimee for their great financial planning abilities and for the strong relationships they have built with you. When Janet and I are out of the office, we don't worry about our clients because Michael and Aimee are there. Earlier this year, Aimee became a Registered Principal for AFG, so she can act in my place when I'm out of the office. She cursed me while she studied for that awful test, but she passed it the first time (unlike her stepfather). Mike places almost all trades for our clients, and he has an almost spotless record for accuracy and timeliness.
- Janet, Aimee, Michael, and I are so grateful for Allison Smith. Allison has been with us for over ten years. She started as a teenager taking care of our grandchildren and has grown into an indispensable employee. She specializes in marketing, graphic arts, and she also works with clients on a variety of projects. She started with AFG just after the Dow Jones had plummeted to 6547 in March 2009, so she insists that she turned the market around when she joined us. Thank for repairing the market, Allison!
- Janet, Aimee, Michael, Allison, and I are grateful for our Client Relations Supervisor, Chelsey Fuhrman (pronounced Foreman). In her short time with us, she has become a perfect fit for our firm. We could not have found a better person to make sure that you get money when you need it and to make sure that forms authorizing changes to your financial plan and investments happen on time and with accuracy. Chelsey oversees paperwork flying back and forth to clients in more than twenty states. Parents are grateful when their children get along well with each other, and that also applies to the workplace. Janet and I are so grateful that Aimee, Allison, Michael, and Chelsey get along so well. They work as a team, and they are quite fond of each other.
- Last, but not least, all of us at Atchley Financial Group are so grateful for the sacrifices our veterans have made to keep us free. Janet, Allison, and I work together each year to create a Veterans Day program for our Rotary Club. Janet and I each tell the stories of two veterans from our club and two from the community. Our four honorees this year included our club's two women veterans, a World War II veteran, and a Korean War and Cold War Air Force bombardier. Thank you to all of you who served in our military, and to your spouses for keeping the home fires burning.
I implore you to spend a few moments this Thanksgiving season listing the things for which you are grateful. I believe that we must be grateful to be happy, and happy people make the world a better place.