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Riverfront November 29, 2021
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Looking Into 2022: An Interview with Global Fixed Income Co-CIO Kevin Nicholson

Written by RiverFront Investment Group.  Reprinted with permission from RiverFront Investment Group.  Redistribution is prohibited.

Closer to Home November 22, 2021
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It is cold, muddy, and the cities are in ruins.  It is France, November 1918, and over a million Americans are about to miss Thanksgiving, being far away from home.

The First World War has ended, Germany having signed an armistice only a few weeks before.  The rebuilding, however, has just begun.  It will be a long time before the Americans – doughboys, as they are popularly known – sail back across the Atlantic.  Many are wounded and most are sick; either homesick or from disease.

Back in the states, people are rationing food.  The government asks them to cut back on sugar (none on fruits or in desserts, less on cereals and in coffee) and refrain from eating turkey and cranberry sauce.  Thanksgiving dinner will be as “home grown as possible,” with each family expected to grow their own food.

“Everybody is expected to remember that other nations are subsisting on tight belt rations,” declares one newspaper.1  Since our Allies know only scorched fields and devastated economies, their ability to feed themselves – much less our troops – is limited.  “Only by moderation in use of food on our part can this condition be bettered.” 

After all, everyone knows someone “over there.”

In the trenches and the hospitals, the doughboys write letters to their loved ones.  They are anxious for news, stories, and written kisses, anything to feel closer to home.  Anything to make home closer to them.

Then, the flyers arrive.

Five-hundred-thousand soldiers receive a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s legendary proclamation: that all Americans, including those sojourning in foreign lands, should give thanks “with one heart and one voice” for their blessings.  Lincoln’s words strike a chord.  Auxiliary organizations set up Thanksgiving Day celebrations for the benefits of the troops.  The Y.M.C.A. arranges football games between rival units.  Those soldiers who were professional actors, comedians, and singers before the war stage plays and dances.  Technicians erect movie screens; carpenters lay down dance floors.  And all the turkey, cranberries, cider and pumpkin pie willingly forfeited back home arrives via the Red Cross.  The sick and the wounded, the bent and broken – each gets a Thanksgiving feast.

Perhaps it is not quite like mother would have made it.  But it is close.

Then, an announcement comes down the lines.  All over France, families are inviting American soldiers into their houses.  This family can host three men.  This family can host five.  And on and on and on.  What little they have to share – and for most, it is little indeed – is shared gladly.  Commanders publish official lists of those soldiers who most desire a meal around an actual table, in an actual dining room.  In response, local French communities take the lists and send out personalized invitations.

All so these strangers can feel closer to home.

In France, there is no such holiday as Thanksgiving.  This year, the French celebrate it anyway. And on both sides of the Atlantic, people unite with one heart and one voice, just as Lincoln wanted.

That was Thanksgiving, over 100 years ago. 

Isn’t it astounding to see how, even after such a long and horrible conflict, people still found so much to be thankful for? Even more astounding is how people relished the opportunity to give thanks.  They saved and skimped and shared.  They opened their doors to strangers.

They worked just to make Thanksgiving possible.

Now, over a century later, we think about all we have to be thankful for.  It’s an enormous list.  Unlike those doughboys, we are not wounded, hungry, or homesick.  Unlike their families, we do not have to ration food or go without.  And unlike the French, we do not see a ruined, smoking skyline whenever we step outside our doors.

Yes, we have so much to be thankful for.

We are thankful for this country.  We are thankful for all people in our lives who have ever shown us kindness.  We are thankful for the convenience of this modern world we live in.

And we are thankful for a chance to express our gratitude every Thanksgiving.

This year, let us do as President Lincoln asked and give thanks with one heart and one voice.  Let us remember how far we’ve come since that day in 1918.

Let’s have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Barbara B. Hudock CIMA®, CPM®
Chief Executive Officer
Founding Partner

Michael J. Hudock, Jr., CPM®
President and Founding Partner
Wealth Consultant

Sources:

“Turkey, Football, Shows on A.E.F’s Thanksgiving Day,” The Stars and Stripes, November 22, 1918.  http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/Thanksgiving_in_WW1_France-pdf

“Sugar Conservation,” U.S. Food Administration, 1917-1919, U.S. National Archives

Frederic J. Haskin, “Thanksgiving Dinner of Home Grown Food Advocated by Hoover,” The Wyoming State Tribune, November 23, 1918.  https://blog.genealogybank.com/rationing-thanksgiving-dinner-during-world-war-i.html

Riverfront November 22, 2021
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Looking Into 2022: An Interview with Global Equity CIO Adam Grossman

Written by RiverFront Investment Group.  Reprinted with permission from RiverFront Investment Group.  Redistribution is prohibited.

Riverfront November 15, 2021
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Inflation’s Return is Not Surprising

Written by RiverFront Investment Group.  Reprinted with permission from RiverFront Investment Group.  Redistribution is prohibited.

The Greatest Reward November 9, 2021
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Happy Veterans Day!

As you know, Veterans Day is a chance to honor those who have served our country.  Of course, we always hope that when soldiers return home from defending our country, they are rewarded for their heroism.  Sometimes, it may be in the form of a ticker tape parade.  Sometimes it may be a medal ceremony.  Sometimes it may be a plaque hung in their honor at their old high school.  It can come in many forms, but recently, I read about one soldier – Air Force pilot Royce King – who received the greatest reward of all.  You see, Royce got to watch his wife walk down the aisle in her wedding dress.

He just had to wait 77 years to do it.

The year was 1944.  World War II was still raging across several continents when Royce King was told he would be stationed overseas for the Air Force.  Royce had always wanted to fly and had no qualms about serving his country.  But there was just one problem: He and his fiancé, Frankie, were due to be married.  Because the young couple had already been engaged for six months, they didn’t want to delay their marriage until after the war.  After all, no one knew how long it would last – or if Royce would come home at all.

Unfortunately, Royce was given only two days to say his goodbyes.  That simply wasn’t enough time to stage their dream wedding, so Frankie and Royce had to improvise.  They quickly booked a local church, but there was no photographer.  No elaborate meal for all their friends and family.  No grand wedding cake.  Not even a dress – Frankie wore a tailored suit instead of a white gown.1

But it was enough.  Because what they did have was each other.

The next day, Royce shipped out.  For a year, he flew a C-47 over the Himalayas.  Luckily, he returned home in one piece, and though they didn’t get a dream wedding or idyllic honeymoon, he and Frankie spent over seven happy decades with each other.

Yet, while Royce and Frankie were content, their children – and the staff of St. Croix Hospice, who care for the elderly lovebirds – were not.  So, they took matters into their own hands.

On September 24, 2021, staffers helped the 98-year-old Royce into his old Air Force uniform.  They placed a handkerchief over his eyes and led him into the backyard to stand under a white arch.  In the background, another staffer played hits from the 1940s on his guitar and saxophone.  Then, Royce’s daughter, Sue, stepped up and said, “Are you ready to see your bride?”

They removed the blindfold.  For the first time, the pilot, the veteran, the hero, was able to see his beloved Frankie in a beautiful white dress.

As Sue later described it, “He gazed at her and just beamed.  They both did.”2

The rest of that afternoon, husband and wife kissed under the arch, danced to the tunes of their youth, and posed in front of a photographer.  For the staff of St. Croix Hospice, it was a chance to give back to a hero.  For Royce and Frankie’s families, it was a chance to finally be able to peruse photos of a beautiful wedding.

And for one old soldier, it was a reward long delayed…but a reward well-worth the wait.

***

As you know, veterans give up so much in defense of our country.  Their time, their talents, and sometimes their lives.  But they also give up many of life’s richest experiences.  High school graduations and first dates and Saturday nights spent with friends.  Opportunities to be best men or bride’s maids.  Birthday parties and funerals.  Their child’s birth.  Their child’s first steps.

The chance to see the person they love walk down the aisle.

Our job, as citizens, is to honor and reward our veterans as much as we can.  The staff of St. Croix Hospice did that.  We hope we can all find opportunities to honor them in our own way, too.  So, this Veterans Day, let’s all strive to remember the veterans in our communities.  Let’s all strive to make their futures as rich as the future they have given us.

From everyone here at Hudock Capital Group, we wish you and the veterans in your life a happy Veterans Day.  And to Royce and Frankie…congratulations!

Sincerely,

Barbara B. Hudock CIMA®, CPM®
Chief Executive Officer
Founding Partner

Michael J. Hudock, Jr., CPM®
President and Founding Partner
Wealth Consultant

1 María Luisa Paúl, “After 77 years, Iowa couple gets long overdue wedding photos – with help from hospice workers,” The Washington Post, October 10, 2021.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/10/10/hospice-workers-help-couple-take-wedding-photos/

2 Caitlin O’Kane, “Couple gets wedding photo redo 77 years later,” CBS News, October 14, 2021.  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bride-wedding-day-hospice-77-years-later/

Riverfront November 8, 2021
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Clues From a Strong Third Quarter

Written by RiverFront Investment Group.  Reprinted with permission from RiverFront Investment Group.  Redistribution is prohibited.

Riverfront November 1, 2021
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Big Dollar Energy: Get Used to Higher Energy Prices

Written by RiverFront Investment Group.  Reprinted with permission from RiverFront Investment Group.  Redistribution is prohibited.

Riverfront October 25, 2021
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Playing the Hand That You Are Dealt

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Riverfront October 18, 2021
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International Investigating: Why We Believe Active Management Works

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Riverfront October 11, 2021
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Of Mice and Men…and Markets

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Riverfront September 20, 2021
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The Three Tactical Rules Remain Bullish, but Proceed with Caution

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Riverfront September 13, 2021
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We Continue to See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

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