Silent Night

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Silent Night is arguably the most popular Christmas Carol ever. It has been performed by pretty much every genre of artist, from Brad Paisley to Nick Lowe to Andy Williams to Elvis. Bing Crosby’s version is the third best-selling single of all time. The song has been translated into more than 140 languages, and is a perennial favorite all across the globe.

Joseph Mohr, a young priest from Mariapfarr, Austria, wrote the lyrics to Silent Night  in 1816. Father Mohr traveled to Oberndorf, Austria in 1818 where he met Frantz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist. He asked Gruber to compose a melody for his “Stille Nacht”. Together, they performed the carol on Christmas Eve 1818 at Saint Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf. The rendition was very simple, a single guitar and soloist.

Wishing you all a most wonderful Christmas and Happy Holiday season, here is “Silent Night”…

Silent night, Holy night

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin, mother and child

Holy infant, tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night

Son of God,

love’s pure light

Radiant beams from thy holy face

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord at thy birth

Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Silent night, Holy night

Shepherds quake, at the sight

Glories stream from heaven above

Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah.

Christ the Savior is born,

Christ the Savior is born.

The Top 5 Traits To Look For In A Financial Advisor

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Looking for a good fit financial advisor? Want to start off the new year on a sounder financial footing?

First and foremost, look inside you. What do you want, really want, from a financial advisor? How do you think one will help you? Are you more of a do-it-yourselfer, okay with a website or 800 number or do you want an ongoing personal relationship with someone that will walk with you through many of the financial decisions you face?

If you are married, how do you and your spouse deal with money decisions? Are you both pretty much on the same page? Or not? Do you have an extraordinary situation, such as infirm parents to care for? Or a special needs child? Are you emotional with money? Most of us are, so be honest with yourself.

The key to understanding the value any advisor brings to your life is to first as best you can understand you, your situation and objectives. Once you are clear on them, then: Read More

Simpler is Better

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Simpler is better…

William lived in a small woodland village outside of  Surrey, England during the late 13th century. He was a Franciscan Friar. Friars are an order of the Catholic Church, and a Franciscan, founded in the early 1200s by Saint Francis of Assisi, was one of what is called the four “great orders of mendicant friars”. As such, William lived in service to his community rather than cloistered away like a monk. He was a theologian and logician, a thinker and a theorist. Mostly, William thought about people, the church and life around him.

He is perhaps best known for a principle that bears his last name, Ockham (sometimes spelled Occam). Ockham’s Razor is an idea I have incorporated into my life: “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate,” or “Entities need not be multiplied beyond necessity”. In plainer English, when you have two courses of action to solve a problem you should prioritize your energies first on the simpler of the two. I have reduced his Razor a bit more…simpler is better.

How many of us needlessly complicate our own lives? Does the complexity and accompanying clutter we incorporate into our lives, the physical, financial and emotional flotsam we accumulate and carry enhance our time on earth or improve daily living? Wouldn’t you like to simplify your life? Well, you can… Read More

Razzle Dazzle Financial Services

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In the early days of World War I, before the United States got involved, German U-boats were torpedoing and sinking British and American merchant ships at a rate of about 50 a week. The toll was huge. The U-boats were raining hell in the north Atlantic, silently sliding softly beneath the waves, stalking their prey.

In response, marine artist Norman Wilkinson came up with an idea, a very clever countermeasure. He devised something completely new, something different, something very unexpected. His concept was called Dazzle Camo. It literally made ships jump out visibly at U-boat commanders and gunners with blatant and dramatic hull paintings. The ingenious beauty of his design made the ships much, much harder to target, much harder to accurately figure out which way they were headed and at what speed. In Wilkinson’s own words, dazzle was designed “not for low visibility, but in such a way as to break up her form and thus confuse a submarine officer as to the course on which she was heading.” It was all about disruption and confusion. And it worked.

Think about those two words for a moment, disruption and confusion. Read More