As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to step away from the market and highlight the blessings in my life for which I am truly thankful. This year has been one for the record books. There have been a lot of trials for all of us. But at the same time, there is plenty for which I am sure we can all be thankful. Here’s mine:

  1. My wife, Dara. She is literally the glue that keeps everything together. No matter what is happening, she has it covered. Planning family trips to planning random weekends when my daughters are with us, she takes care of most of the heavy lifting. I have never met a person who gives so much of herself and truly expects nothing in return. She is an amazing wife, mother to a 14-year old son and stepmother to two little ladies.

  2. My daughters. Sonya (9 years old) and Gabby (6 years old) are the sunshine and angel in my world respectively. The wonder with which they view all things is inspiring. I often wish that I could go back and see everything for the first time the way that they do. They are two of the kindest people I know. When I look at them I see hope for all things and it is a blessing to have them in my life.

  3. My stepson. Mario (14 years old) went from being an only child to having two siblings in the blink of an eye. Not just siblings but sisters. The basement that was filled with sporting equipment and video games has been infiltrated with the likes of American Girl dolls and more sparkly items than any 14 year old boy should have to endure. But he watches over my ladies, he includes them when he is with his friends, he teaches them to play video games instead of ignoring them. In a situation where he could have become resentful, he has taken to the role of “big brother” without a hitch. I and my girls are really lucky that he is in our lives.

  4. My parents. I talk to my parents everyday. I bounce ideas off of my father whenever I have a decision to make. I don’t always take his advice but I always value his input. He spent over 40 years on Wall Street and if you ask anyone who knows him, they will tell you that he is a great guy…that’s a big compliment in this business. As for my mother, let’s just say that I am the first-born and leave it there. I am her “boy” and I always will be. But she is brutally honest and keeps me on my toes. She tells it like it is and sugarcoats nothing. Everyone needs a person like this in their lives and for me it is “mom.”

  5. My Mother and Father In-Law. Grandmom and Nonno are two of the nicest people that you will ever meet in your life. They will literally bend over backwards to help whenever and where ever they can. They are at just about everyone one of Mario’s soccer games, rain or shine. They treat my girls like they are their own grandkids and have welcomed them into their lives with open arms. They are amazing.

  6. My grandmother. I was lucky enough to make it to the age of 36 with all four of my grandparents. Then in the span of 14 months, three of them passed away. Now at 43 years old, I have my “grandma.” My mother’s mother turned 90 years old in May. She is tough as nails and also “calls them as she sees them.” If she doesn’t like you, you will know. But if she does, she is your biggest fan. She came here from Italy and most of the traditions in my family come from her.

  7. Chaikin Analytics, my coworkers and our clients. You need a reason to get up in the morning. Yes, my family fits that bill but it is also taking pride in what you do, who you do it with and who you do it for. We help our clients navigate the turbulent waters of the stock market every day. Investing can be daunting and being able to guide people on their journey gives all of us a strong sense of purpose.  

  8. Time. Yes, it has been hard dealing with quarantine and it has been hard not being able to do all of the things that we used to do on a daily basis. But on the bright side, there has been a lot of extra time. Time to spend with family, time to work on new ideas (this note being one of them), time to work out more, time to read more, time to do more market research and come up with new ways of looking at what is happening in the investment world. Like everything else, it is what you make of it.

Finally, I am thankful for all of you who take time out of your day to read what I have to say. I hope that it brings some form of value to you or, at least, makes you think about things differently than you may have been. Thank You!

I am going to take the rest of the week off. Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!