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First Quarter 2021 360-Degree Commentary - by David Smith

In my 30-plus years in the investment business, I have seen a lot. This past year certainly was not boring, but it has left many folks wondering about the future of our country and our economic state as a nation. The All Season Portfolio which is the Wealth Protector, and the Wealth Builder are in place and we are pleased with them...there is not a lot I need to add to those here in my commentary. On an individual family perspective, any mortgages you have that are secured by property you should review and see if refinancing it makes sense for your situation.

And this concludes our formal presentation on finances.

Let’s move on to what’s going on in our country right now, which for many is very disturbing and unsettling. I have had conversations with many individuals who are concerned about where we are headed, even some individuals who fought in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan...their response to the current state of our country is, “Why did I even fight? What was it for?” You don’t need me to tell you that it looks like a very dark hour; we all can feel the unrest.

In my latest All-Season Portfolio Annual Report, I quoted Winston Churchhill: “[T]his is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is . . . the end of the beginning.” It was not the end then and it is not the end now. However, we need to learn how to thrive in the times we live in and that involves learning how to effectively defend our faith, principles, and economic system.

Learning to defend our faith, our principles, and our economic system with confidence:

  • Our Faith: Many kind folks who have a strong faith in God were raised believing that being “nice” was important, not upsetting people was important, and that if they heard and obeyed God, everyone would be happy with them and like them . That is a trap. It just isn’t true - it certainly wasn't true for Jesus, and it isn’t going to be true for us. We must become emboldened to defend our faith and many of us haven’t been taught to do that.

  • Our Principles: our principles and value system have been under attack for some time. If you believe in God, in marriage being between a man and a woman, if you believe in states’ rights and gun rights, you have been vilified. Even within three months of Obama being inaugurated, Homeland Security put out a profile on Bible-believing white men (heterosexual, married, pro states’ rights, pro gun rights) saying that this group was a legitimate threat. Again, many of us haven't learned how to defend our position with zeal, and we haven’t given ourselves permission to. That has to change; we cannot be worried about “being nice” when we need to be focused on standing up for our principles.

  • Our Economic System: There are still big things ahead for America, and we cannot let cycles distract us from that truth. There are cycles to everything, as hard as it can be to see when we are in the middle of an unpleasant social and economic climate. President Truman once said, “The only thing new in this world is the history you don’t know.” We are relearning some things from the past that we should not have forgotten. Something we must keep in mind is that just as forests need periodic fires and river plains need periodic floods, economies (and societies) periodically require the clearing out of what is dysfunctional before rebirth and growth comes. While this isn’t enjoyable, it is a vital part of the natural economic cycle - yet many individuals lose all rational thought when seasons of clearing come. It has happened before and it will happen again.

The Japanese Admiral Yamamoto said after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” We have to resolve to live boldly; the time for being passive is long gone, if it ever existed to begin with.

The greatest days of America are ahead of us...and because of our faith in God and the destiny that lies before us, the best is truly yet to come. But life is a contact sport and we have to be willing to fight for and defend our ideas...and be forceful where “nice” people have not been forceful in the past. The passivity of nice people must be in the past.

I can feel the fear in so many people right now, but you know what? I am not afraid. I choose not to be afraid; we have gone through hard times and we will emerge stronger than before from our current circumstances.

Great Reads For the Year Ahead:

Informative Videos/Uplifting Songs

If you're looking for educational videos to grow your knowledge base, Ray Dalio’s The Economic Machineis a great half-hour watch.

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