The Cost of Liberty

Memorial Day is certainly a mixture of emotions as folks gather to be thankful for the freedoms enjoyed in the US. But those emotions of joy are merged with the sorrow of loss that many families have had to suffer because they or their loved ones have lost family and friends who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

One could only hope that those who gave their lives for the freedoms enjoyed today know how prosperous our nation is because of the freedoms they fought for.  Think of the opportunity we Americans have as a free nation to build upon the dreams written in the preamble of the US Constitution: to have domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, and the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity (generations to come).1

Liberty allows Prosperity

The personal, civil, and political liberties protected for each individual2 allows each citizen to take personal savings and build upon it in business, investments, and other means of gaining prosperity.  This is the dream that has allowed many to build and pass on wealth.

Gaining the knowledge of the facts of how financial instruments are best suited for building wealth is vital.  Since the mid 1970’s, there has been a major shift in how savings has been interpreted and taught to the general working public.  Since the establishment of ERISA (Employment Retirement Income Security Act)3, employees have been encouraged to put their savings in various qualified investment plans such as the 401k, 403B, etc.  

Wealth a Product of Liberty

This shift has created for many a false promise for wealth building.  This has been largely caused because the facts of how these plans work have not been completely disclosed or understood.  The idea of deferring taxes and investing in various stock market products is very appealing.  Sadly, because of the volatility of market swings, strict penalties, fees, service charges, and future tax consequences, many employees are now suffering a wealth loss, not gain.  Jack Bogel discusses much of this in his book Don’t Count on It.4

Compare the facts, not projections, of different financial instruments.  Once the facts are known and understood, one can then make sound decisions.  Wealth building needs solid foundations.  There are financial instruments still available that allow savings to be secure with guarantees and growth.  With that protection, one can then pursue other avenues of growing their money for wealth building, a product of  liberty that the US Constitution protects.

1. https://usconstitution.net/xconst_preamble.html

2. http://thelawdictionary.org/constitutional-liberty-or-freedom/

3. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/erisa.asp

4. Bogle, John C. (2010-10-26). Don't Count on It!: Reflections on Investment Illusions, Capitalism, "Mutual" Funds, Indexing, Entrepreneurship, Idealism, and Heroes . Wiley. Kindle Edition.

Kind regards

Darrell Cook