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Independence is a great word.

It feels lucky to have been born in the United States. We are an independent country with independent folks. There’s nowhere on the planet I would rather be from or live. 

I reflect on this great and good fortune, especially when I read about people who live in other parts of the world and how hard the struggle is in many of those places. 

And most of us in the financial planning profession are independent, even though we give up some of that freedom when we affiliate with broker-dealers. In many ways, I guess, broker-dealers are a form of self-protection, even though BDs may be quite frustrating at times.       

Independence is one of the things that makes financial advisor practice buy-sell arrangements difficult; another hard thing is giving up the relationship one has with customers, certainly not an easy thing to think about ending or even transitioning.

Independence was the name of my ship in the U.S. Navy. It was 1,072 feet long, the biggest aircraft carrier in the Navy and maybe the largest ship in the world at the time. I’m a plank owner and was one of the first crew members assigned — I even lived close to the ship while it was being completed, in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I went on its builder and sea trials, and I edited and named the ship’s first newspaper. I am still proud of the fact that I named the paper The Declaration. I still have my copy of the first edition, autographed by Admiral Arleigh “31 Knot” Burke, then the chief of Naval Operations and, years before, a WWII star destroyer commander. Last I heard, the USS Independence was in mothballs on the West coast. Me? I’m still at it and still pretty independent.        

Have a great two weeks and a wonderful Independence Day, filled with family, fun and maybe a few fireworks. Also, think about the great word independence, okay?

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