LIFESTYLE ADVOCACY FAMILY FINANCE LAFF is a publication of DuPontWealth Solutions andThe Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel, blending original and curated content, and is intended to educate the general public about investing, finance, estate planning, personal injury, and small-business issues. It is not intended to be legal or financial advice. Every situation is different. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed as long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety.
RISING FROM TRAGEDY
WHAT 9/11 TAUGHT ME I was getting ready for work when the towers fell. I only just caught it on TV — had I left a few minutes earlier, I may have made it all the way to the office utterly unaware of the peace that had been shattered. But I saw the news that September morning, and it stopped me in my tracks. Even then, I knew this tragedy would fundamentally change the world; I just didn’t know how. And now we find ourselves facing yet another moment of great uncertainty. The spread of COVID-19 has, in many ways, felt like a slow-motion 9/11. Everything didn’t come crashing down at once, but once things started falling, boy did they fall. The stock market plunged to painful depths at a breakneck pace. Travel came to a halt, “social distancing” went from what chaperone’s try to enforce at a school dance to common practice. And, of course, we had the arrival of a previously unknown fifth horseman of the apocalypse, the Tiger King. I want to believe that things will be looking brighter when this newsletter reaches your doorstep in May, but at this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to when we’ll begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Make no mistake; there will be light. If 9/11 taught us anything, it’s that people have an incredible capacity to come together and rebuild even after the most shocking tragedies. In the months and years after that heinous act of terrorism, our nation was more unified than it had been in decades. People realized the values that really mattered in this world, and life adjusted for the better. But, of course, things never went “back to normal.” These days, it’s hard to imagine a trip to the airport not involving an arduous ordeal at the security checkpoint, but before 9/11, TSA didn’t exist. Neither did the Department of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, and a whole slew of other parts of our reality we now see as “the new normal.” And now, even as I write this in what appears to be the turning point of this outbreak, I am certain we’re going to be entering into a new, new normal. We’re certainly going to be in a recession, one that is a wholly different animal than what we faced in the late 2000s. For starters, this market crash has a death toll tied to it, and it won’t be something solved through legislation alone. So long as this virus continues to create fear, markets will remain firmly in bear territory. In many ways, the fate
of our economic health is in the hands of the medical professionals already working tirelessly to defend our physical health.
This has been an important reminder that, as much as the financial industrial complex would like us all to belive that the markets are mathematical and predictable, the economy can’t be reduced to equations. Ultimately, people drive the economy, not the other way around. It’s at times like these that I’m grateful I pursue safe money options for my clients. It’s a decision that has greatly softened the impact of what could have been a fiscal catastrophe for families. Now my efforts are set on what comes after this crisis. As I mentioned, I have no doubt there will be silver linings to this tragedy. We have once again been reminded of what truly matters in this world: our health, our loved ones, and our connection with our community. The world will be changed by this outbreak, but together we can work to make sure it’s a change for the better.
Here’s to brighter days ahead,
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Why May Is the Best Month to Start BIRD-WATCHING FOR BEGINNERS
Bird-watching is like a lifelong scavenger hunt that you can play anywhere on Earth. The activity provides a mixture of science, travel, and beauty, and it’s a chance to get outside for feathered adventures and quiet reflection. The month of May is a great time of year to go birding because rising temperatures prompt spring migration. So if you’re eager to begin bird-watching, there’s no better time than now. Here are some tips to get started. EDUCATE YOURSELF Thousands of species of birds span all corners of the globe. That’s why finding them is an exciting prospect — there’s no end to the hunt! Start by researching birds that are native to your location. Purchase a field guide with pictures of each bird and maps of their range and use it to figure out where different birds live. From there, it’s easy to pick your first spotting goal. You can even get yourself extra excited by watching a few bird documentaries. GEAR UP One of the best things about birding is that you don’t need a lot of equipment to do it. As long as you’ve got your field guide and comfortable walking shoes, the only other thing you’ll need is a pair of binoculars. And they don’t have to be fancy. As long as they can zoom in on faraway trees and perches, they’ll work for now. You can always upgrade later.
Your very first birding excursion is important because you don’t want to be overwhelmed or underwhelmed. So use your field guide to home in on a single bird and go find it. It may be local, or you can plan a trip to a specific bird’s natural habitat. Stay focused and don’t get distracted by other species. The thrill that comes with spotting your first bird will keep you coming back to find the rest. Bird-watching is a wonderful hobby because it’s easy to get started and can last a lifetime. As long as you can walk, drive, or look out a window, you can be a birder. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and find some birds!
MAY 21 Tackling the cost of long-term care
JUNE 25 Special Guest Appearance
Carl D’Antonio is a clever and manipulative man, of that Greg DuPont is certain. He and Mike go after him, grim in their determination to get to him before he gets to Julia. But Carl has a solid head start, it’s not a long drive, and he has another surprise in store for them all. Nonetheless, Greg believes that justice patiently awaits those who deserve it, and as strange case of Arturo de Modelo draws to a close, he and Mike are ready to deliver it. Check out the entire Chapter, catch up on prior chapters, and perhaps learn a few things at www. DandBlaw.com or http://bit.ly/PilotMysteryCh12.
JULY 18 Summertime Blues
Join us at noon on Facebook Live or catch the podcast at ThirdThursday30.com.
MARCH TO 1 MILLION UPDATE Current count for the March to 1 Million: 344,612
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DIVIDING THE FAMILY PIE
Imagine you’re sitting down with your family for dessert, and there’s a single pie on the table to share. Your first instinct might be to cut it into equal slices. That seems like the fair thing to do, right? But what if one of your kids pipes up to say they didn’t each lunch and they’re starving, or your spouse leans in to tell you they’re full and would rather give up their slice? Would that change the way you cut the pie? Odds are, you’d want to take your family’s needs, desires, and circumstances into consideration if you were sharing dessert. So why wouldn’t you do the same when it comes to portioning out your assets in your estate plan? We’ve seen firsthand how tempting it can be for a parent to simply divide their assets into equal parts and portion out the exact same amount of money, stock, or property to each beneficiary. However, in cases like these, equality doesn’t always necessarily equate to fairness. A more practical approach to division of assets might be recognizing and compensating for differences in the abilities and needs of your children, even at the risk of producing some conflict. Through your estate plan, you have a chance to provide a measure of fairness that your children may not have found in their lives. Here are a few things to consider when you’re deciding how to divvy up your assets:
The income and net worth of each child
• The worth of gifts you’ve given each child previously • How your children’s respective investments have fared
Of course, you’re not obligated to take any of these things into account, and it’s equally within your power to prioritize one child or beneficiary over another. That said, it would probably be to your benefit to imagine yourself at the dinner table and to take the time to ask, “How hungry are you?” Your children’s reactions to a sit-down conversation about what they want, need, and expect from your estate just might surprise you.
If you’d like more professional guidance on estate planning, don’t hesitate to reach out to DuPont Wealth Solutions. We’re always happy to help!
• The disparity in age between your children (thus, the expenses still ahead of them)
STICKY AND SWEET PORK ‘RIBS’
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
2 heads garlic, cloves separated
• • • •
1/2 cup chili oil
1/3 cup oyster sauce
• • • • •
3 thumbs ginger, chopped
1/3 cup toasted sesame oil 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder, flattened
1 cup hoisin sauce 3/4 cup fish sauce
2/3 cup honey
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup rice wine
1 tbsp molasses
1. In a blender, purée garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, honey, rice wine, chili oil, oyster sauce, and toasted sesame oil until smooth. 2. Reserve and chill 1 1/2 cups for later use. 3. In a bag, add the remaining mixture and pork shoulder. Marinate for at least 8 hours. 4. Using a convection plate on the grill, cook pork until the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 140–145 F. 5. In a large saucepan, simmer brown sugar, molasses, and reserved marinade for 6–8 minutes. 6. Baste the pork with the brown sugar glaze for 2 minutes before serving.
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9/11 and COVID-19 PAGE 1
Bird-Watching for Beginners Pilot Series Synopsis PAGE 2
Fair vs. Equal: Tips for Dividing Your Assets Sticky and Sweet Pork ‘Ribs’ PAGE 3
Have You Heard of the Interrobang? PAGE 4
PUNCTUATION’S PROBLEM CHILD WHY THE INTERROBANG FIZZLED OUT
It’s a punctuation mark that’s over 50 years old, but you may not have heard of it before. It’s an odd-looking squiggle that denotes a common inflection, but many experts argue it has no place on paper. In an age when thoughts are limited to 280 characters, wouldn’t a single punctuation mark that does the job of two be valuable? Some say yes, others say no thank you. So what is this mystery punctuation mark? It’s the interrobang!
There are a few explanations for why the interrobang never took off, but the most prominent one says that as writing styles changed, there was less use of rhetorical questions in writing, especially formal writing. Because the interrobang was originally intended to denote rhetorical questions, it faded from use. Today, using the two punctuation marks that make up the interrobang is still popular, especially in nonformal writing like social media copy. Any variation of “!?” denotes a sense of excitement, urgency, or disbelief in the form of a
In 1962, advertising agent Martin K. Speckter believed ads would look better if rhetorical questions were
conveyed using a single mark. He merged the question mark, also called an interrogative point, with the exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers as a “bang,” and the interrobang was born. In the first few years of its existence, the interrobang made some mild headway, appearing in some dictionaries and even on some typewriters in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. And while it was used in magazine and newspaper articles for several years, it wasn’t meant to last.
question, rhetorical or not. But the reason people don’t use the interrobang to serve the same purpose is simple: It’s not a key on keyboards. There are still certain fonts that are equipped to display the nonstandard mark, but if you want to use it, you have to go digging for it. It’s just much quicker to write two punctuation marks than search for a single one.
But who knows what the future will bring? Language is in an ever-changing state, and the interrobang may rise again. Or will it!?
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