Support our Veterans!

When you live every day in a free society, there is a tendency to take those freedoms for granted.  The truth is that the freedoms we enjoy have come at a great cost and sacrifice by the legions of men and women who serve, and have served, in our armed forces.

As a financial advisor, I am well aware of how this hard-earned freedom has created an environment for free markets which, in turn, have positively impacted the personal finances of all Americans.  While the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan may be winding down, the fight to protect the freedoms we enjoy will continue.  It’s important we all support the active members of our armed forces, as well as our veterans, and each of us has the ability to do so.

Here are a couple of ideas:

Support the Alabama Veteran’s Memorial Foundation and meet a TV star!  To celebrate Veteran’s Day, on November 8, the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park has planned a special day of activities, highlighted by Noah Galloway as the keynote speaker.  As you may recall, Noah was a finalist on the hit TV show, “Dancing with the Stars”.  Noah lost his arm and leg during a combat tour of duty in Iraq and to watch him dance and lift his dancing partner (with one arm!) was simply amazing!  Even more amazing is his positive spirit and love for our country.  Noah was also the Men’s Health 2014 Ultimate Fitness Challenge Winner.  Also attending the ceremony will be Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions providing opening remarks for the day’s festivities.  This park (located off interstate 459 at the Liberty Park exit in Birmingham) is one of the premier Veteran’s memorials in the country.  Go there and be inspired!  For more details, visit

Magnify your success- Hire a Veteran.  As a financial columnist, I’m always looking for ways to create greater financial success for our readers.  Having owned my own business for more than thirty years, and having worked with many successful business owners, I can attest to the importance of surrounding yourself with highly talented people.  Our Chief Operating Officer, Greg Weyandt, CPA, offers these key traits he looks for in a potential employee:

  • Discipline– When you’re dealing with other people’s money and personal finances, it’s vitally important that you have a disciplined mind…focusing on ‘dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s’ while remaining focused on the key goals and objectives of each client. This need for discipline is present in all successful companies.
  • Leadership– You want to hire people who are ‘self-starters’ and who take pride in their work.  You outline a project’s goals and objectives and they can run with it and have the good sense to ask for help when needed.
  • Teamwork– Successful companies rely on people working together in a cohesive manner towards common objectives.
  • Performance under pressure– No matter what the business, you’ll eventually find yourself in a pressure situation.  It’s at just that point that you will need all of your people to dig in and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Use mistakes as a learning opportunity.
  • Integrity– Perhaps the most important quality any person can possess is integrity.  Integrity is doing the harder ‘right’ over the easier ‘wrong’.

When you think of someone who has successfully navigated military service, I think you’ll find they embody this list of traits.  As an extra financial incentive, a federal tax credit (Work Opportunity Tax Credit- WOTC) is available to employers for hiring certain targeted groups of Veterans.

On a personal note, we hired a veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in South Korea, and he certainly has exceeded all expectations.  Our veterans are people of tremendous fortitude, who love our country and sacrificed greatly for the many freedoms we enjoy every day.  Their past, current and future sacrifices are intricately and inevitably linked to the financial future of all Americans.  Take time this Veteran’s Day to think of how you can best show your support for their commitment and sacrifice.