Happy Baby, Happy Investor

One of the few childhood pictures of me shows a happy baby. My sister says I’ve always been a happy baby. Optimism has been a lifelong trait, for sure.

I can’t know what delighted me all those decades ago, when the photo was taken. But when I survey my finances these days, I still feel the same way the baby in the photo looks.

I like what I own—percentages of ownership in a couple dozen companies. Iconic names, dominating their sectors. Some companies that are working to sort out the future of their industries, which are in flux. A few enterprises in lines of work that did not exist when I was young. The largest player in a fragmented, but consolidating, industry. Producers of vital materials for the age we are in.

These diverse firms have one thing in common: our research team believes their shares of ownership may be more valuable in the future than they are today. No guarantees, of course.

What I own is only part of it. How I own is another key. With a large fraction in a Roth IRA, gains are free of tax as they compound, when they are taken out and spent in my real life, or when left to people or causes I love. All the income tax freight was paid in advance for all time, on those smaller balances I converted to Roth—not the compounding tax-free wealth I now own.

And really, all of that is the proverbial cherry on top. The greatest source of my joy arises not from what I own nor how I own it: the knowledge that my resources exceed my needs, that’s the big thing. It was not that way when we started out, was it? Now, I have enough.

A dear friend once related to me what Grandma always told her: “I have enough, and enough is as good as a feast.” I love this thought.

Oh, my holdings go up and down too, just like yours. Sometimes a company we own messes up. But we know how this works, don’t we? We believe our principles and persistence will get us through, and knowing that is another source of joy.

Clients, if you would like to talk about what you own, how you own it, or what makes for enough, email us or call.

Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss.

A Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Qualified withdrawals of earnings from the account are tax-free. Withdrawals of earnings prior to age 59½ or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax. Limitations and restrictions may apply.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.

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