As we close the book on 2023, it is important to reflect on the year’s considerable challenges. We began the year with a continuation of 2022’s economic uncertainty, soaring inflation, rising interest rates, as well as war, dysfunctional government, societal divisiveness, and climate volatility. Throughout 2023, not a single issue on this list has meaningfully abated, while adding another conflict in the Middle East and the growing threat of artificial intelligence.
It is my hope that we can navigate today’s group of challenges by drawing on the “wisdom of the elders.” In the last month, we have witnessed the passing of Rosalynn Carter and Charlie Munger, each of whom were lesser known or appreciated than their more famous partners. They each carved out areas where their dedication and wisdom created impressive legacies and lessons.
Rosalynn Carter, often recognized as the steadfast partner of former President Jimmy Carter, was a beacon of advocacy and grace. Her journey as First Lady was marked by a deep commitment to mental health, a cause she championed with unwavering dedication. Beyond the confines of the White House, she worked tirelessly to destigmatize mental illness and improve mental health care. Her efforts led to the passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980, a significant legislative achievement in mental health care reform.
Her advocacy did not wane with time. Carter co-founded The Carter Center with her husband in 1982, focusing on public policy and human rights issues, including mental health. She led the center’s Mental Health Task Force, an initiative that has been instrumental in promoting mental health awareness globally. Her words, “There is nothing more important than making life better for other people,” encapsulate her life’s work. Rosalynn Carter’s legacy is a powerful reminder of the impact one individual can have in championing a cause with passion and persistence.
Charlie Munger, often in the shadow of his business partner Warren Buffett, is a paragon of overcoming personal adversity and achieving professional excellence. His early life was marked by significant challenges, including the heart-wrenching loss of his young son and a difficult divorce. However, Munger’s resilience in the face of personal tragedy is as remarkable as his professional acumen. He rebuilt his life and career, eventually becoming the vice chair of Berkshire Hathaway and a celebrated figure in the investment world.
Munger’s investment philosophy, emphasizing patience, discipline, and rational decision-making, has been a guiding light for many in the financial sector. His famous adage, “The big money is not in the buying and the selling, but in the waiting,” reflects his approach to investment and life. Munger’s journey from personal hardship to professional triumph is a testament to his mental fortitude and unwavering commitment to his principles. His life story offers invaluable lessons in resilience, patience, and the power of a clear, rational approach to both life’s challenges and opportunities.
As we bid farewell to 2023, let us agree to carry forward the wisdom of two of America’s best. Let us work harder and build personal relationships (especially with those who do not share our beliefs). Let us be more informed, patient, and compassionate. Let us do our part to navigate and mitigate not just our personal challenges, but the challenges facing society as a whole.
And let us not forget to remain grateful for what is going well in our lives. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead Hard Assets Alliance, a mission-driven business that helps investors find peace of mind in their financial lives. The trust and loyalty of our clients, who have chosen us for their investments, is something that I zealously cherish and protect.
I am also grateful and proud to report that as of this writing, virtually 100% of our customers who have bought and held precious metals with Hard Assets Alliance are “in the black”. This is not just a testament to our business model but also to the foresight and wisdom of our clients who understand the value of strategic investing in these turbulent times – and “waiting”. Thank you for being a part of our journey.
Happy New Year and wishing you all a prosperous 2024,
CEO, Hard Asset Alliance