It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Greetings from your favorite financial advisor and author. I hope it’s been a great 2023 for you. It has for me, but in different ways. As I’ve said on multiple occasions, Dad always taught me to work hard. He never taught me to play equally as hard. Retrospectively, there are several thoughts worth sharing.

The first is the new addition to the Carden family. My nephew Chase and his wife Brittany welcomed Lucas Whitfield Carden into the world a few weeks ago. He joins his sister Catherine, and we’re all excited to meet him at Mom’s house for Christmas very soon. It’s very special to my brother, and Granddad, David, as we are also excited that the Carden name will carry on, along with our dad’s legacy.

The second is the fact that I turned 65 this year. I don’t think a birthday has hit me harder that this one. Yeah, it’s a benefit in that I am now on Medicare, and almost 100% of my medical expenses have been covered. However, it has been an emotional journey thus far in that I wonder what the next decades are going to be for me. Dad lived to age 91, and Mom is a healthy 91, so I’ve got to plan for longevity. However, we’re never promised tomorrow.

Orange Theory has been a blessing for me for the last few years. It’s fun when they have a challenge like a long row for distance or a 12-minute treadmill run for distance. Every time I always win my age classification; because I’m the only one in it!

People that follow me on social media know that I’ve made it a point to travel abroad once or twice a year, and it’s easy to say that I haven’t travelled this year. But this also means I didn’t take any time off for me. It hit me around October. So I’ve made it point to take several “daycations” in the last few months. A good friend of mine calls them “mental health days” but you get the point.

To remedy this, I’m getting my travel plans in good order for 2024! Thank you, Michael Gabelman and Fun Happenings, for making these life changing trips a reality for me, and so many others! Florence, Italy I can’t wait to see you again!

To chat briefly on some investment thoughts, 2023 has been a challenging year for investors as many of you were in a double-digit deficit from 2022, and the fear of additional losses have caused many to race to cash and money markets. To me, as your “financial psychologist” it tells a story of just how much emotions affect your personal investment performance. Sitting on the sidelines caused two major problems.

First, those losses from last year went from “paper losses” to “realized losses”. Secondly, by sitting on the sidelines, you might have gotten a 4-5% return in that money market fund, but more importantly, you missed out on significant gains as the S & P 500 Index, as of this writing, has been up 23% year to date ( Let’s work together in 2024 to do our best to take the fear out of your investment planning, and the “remainder of your life” planning!

Getting in the Christmas spirit has always been a challenge for me. However, I’m doing what I can to get there. Pandora has been set on “Peaceful Christmas Reflections Radio” for a few weeks now. The CDs are loaded in the car, and the tree is up. I’ve also made it a point to say Merry Christmas more often. One of my favorite Christmas quotes comes from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

“He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! ‘Maybe Christmas’ he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

So from my home to yours, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year. It’s because of all of you that I’m able to love what I do for a living and I’m eternally grateful.

Many thanks,


**Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal.  It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

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Brian E. Carden, Insurance & Financial Advisor
Phone: 615.506.0300

Securities and Advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC, a registered investment advisor. Past market performance is not indicative of future performance or success. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.