It tolls for thee

In memoriam to my gay brothers murdered in Orlando, FL

11 June 2016

Requiescat in pace

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main….

Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by John Donne, 1624.




The Attack of the Millennials

The Attack of the Millennials: Who Has the Money and Your Future as an FA

The Millennial Generation is about to hit the financial services industry with the destructive force of a tidal wave. After the water drains away, aging financial advisers will be left wandering in a daze amidst the wreckage of Bloomberg terminals, stacks of waterlogged Wall Street Journals, and a jungle of wires ripped from landline telephones.

Could anything add to this trauma? Yes, FAs will soon lose all of their accounts to robo-advisers.

This seems the immediate future of our business from industry websites, articles in the financial press and hype from robo-advisor startups. Feeding this dystopian view of the future are alarming news reports such as this one of April 25th 2016 from the respected Pew Research Center: “Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation!” Face it, you’re a dinosaur.*

What should you do?

  1. Go immediately to the nearest retirement home and check-in?
  2. File a lawsuit against someone?
  3. Sell everything you own and move to place where the cost of living is lower  such as Peru or North Korea?

“None of the above,” says Cannon Executive Vice President and Director of Instruction, Linda Eaton. “FAs should not fear their practices are going to be destroyed by changing demographics.” Linda, who began her career in the financial services industry as a Financial Adviser with Merrill Lynch, speaks to audiences of FAs around the country and has her thumb on the pulse of our business.

The Pew Research Center defines the Millennial generation as comprising people in the US ages 18 to 34 (as of 2015) and the Baby Boom generation as comprising people in the US ages 51 to 69. ** Linda makes the obvious— yet rarely made point— that as of now, Millennials don’t have a lot of money. So who does?

“Everyone in our industry spends lots of time looking at numbers,” Linda says, “so just a brief glance at the numbers on household wealth from the US Census Bureau will tell you as an FA where the money is.”

Median household wealth by age in the United States as of 2011 according to the US Census Bureau. ***

Age range                Median household net worth

Under age 35           $6,676

35 to 44                     $35,000

44 to 54                     $84,542

55 to 64                     $143,964

64 to 69                     $194,220

“The Millennial generation is just beginning the asset accumulation phase of their lives,” Linda says, “while most Baby Boomers have already accumulated a lot of wealth. You don’t need to fear for your practice. Besides, I know a lot of Millennials. Most of them are very nice and truth be told, they aren’t much different from the rest of us.”

Finally, there is a curious fact about Millennials contained in the aforementioned study from the Pew Research Center: they don’t like being called Millennials.

“Despite the size and influence of the Millennial generation… most of those in this age cohort do not identify with the term ‘Millennial.’ Just 40% of adults ages 18 to 34 consider themselves part of the “Millennial generation,” while another 33% – mostly older Millennials – consider themselves part of the next older cohort, Generation X.”

To learn more about this topic, register for our Certified Wealth Strategist program of study.

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Cannon Financial Institute is the “gold standard” for wealth management training, development and consulting. I worked at the firm for many years and my colleagues were the most talented people I have ever worked with.  Last year the firm sought me out to write articles for them which I started doing in January of  2016. After a hiatus of nine years, I am pleased to report that my colleagues continue to be the most talented people I have ever worked with and it is a pleasure to be working with them again.  I will posting the articles I write for them on my blog after they appear on Cannon’s website.


The Most Important Weather Forecast in History

Group Captain J M Stagg, Chief Meteorological Officer with the Royal Air Force, responsible for forecasting weather conditions for D Day. CH 14235 Part of AIR MINISTRY SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION Royal Air Force official photographer

Group Captain J M Stagg, Chief Meteorological Officer with the Royal Air Force, responsible for forecasting weather conditions for D Day.
CH 14235
Part of
Royal Air Force official photographer

 “Group Capt. Stagg and his colleagues (were) under almost unimaginable pressure and conflict… with the fate of the war and perhaps the world hanging in the balance.”



“OK, let’s go.”

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, giving the final order for D-day, the assault on Nazi-occupied France, June 5, 1944

The greatest invasion force in the history of warfare stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944. It was the beginning of a campaign of liberation to eliminate Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and its commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, called it “The Great Crusade.”

Eisenhower gave the final order that put the vast operation in motion in the early morning hours of June 5, as meteorologists predicted a temporary break in the stormy weather. Hours later he wrote this note, in case the operation were to fail. In the statement, he praised the men he commanded and accepted total responsibility for the failure the next day could bring. The only apparent hint of nerves on his part is his error in dating the note “July 5” instead of June 5.

National Archives and Records Administration



US Army troops heading for the beaches at Normandy 6 June 1944

(photo courtesy of USA Today)




As this Coast Guard LCI noses into a French Invasion beach to debark it’s load of American troops, a Nazi mine explodes close off its port bow. Exposed to enemy fire in the beach dashes, Coast Guard Coxswain and Gun Crew felt the first fury of German shell and machine gun fire, as well as the blasts of hidden mines. From the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (RG 26).



“To go or not to go?”


 The Most Important Weather Forecast in History:

Gen. Eisenhower’s chief meteorologist, Group Capt. James Martin Stagg, made one of the most important weather forecasts of all time. Defying his colleagues, he advised Ike to postpone the invasion of Normandy by one day from June 5, 1944, to June 6, because of uncertain weather conditions….

Stagg — who was actually a geophysicist by training — and his fellow British and American meteorologists were operating without any of the technology and equipment that today’s forecasters take for granted, such as satellites, weather radar, computer modeling and instant communications.

Predicting the exact timing, track and strength of these storms put Group Capt. Stagg and his colleagues under almost unimaginable pressure and conflict… with the fate of the war and perhaps the world hanging in the balance.

Years later, during their ride to the Capitol for his inauguration, President-elect John F. Kennedy asked President Eisenhower why the Normandy invasion had been so successful.

Ike’s answer: “Because we had better meteorologists than the Germans!”


sources: USA Today and The Forecast for D-day: And the Weatherman behind Ike’s Greatest Gamble, by John Ross



D-Day 6 June 1944. A LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One) wading onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach (Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France) on the morning of June 6, 1944. American soldiers encountered the newly formed German 352nd Division when landing. During the initial landing two-thirds of the Company E became casualties.

(Photo by USCG Chief Photographer’s Mate Robert F. Sargent. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)


June 6, 1944
A paratrooper loads for take off in England in preparation to leave for invasion

Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)


15,000 French Killed by Anglo-American Bombing French Rail Junctions



WWII French General Charles De Gaulle A WWII photo portrait of General Charles de Gaulle of the Free French Forces and first president of the Fifth Republic serving from 1959 to 1969.

Office of War Information, Overseas Picture Division.

[1] The image prefix (LC-USW3) at the Library of Congress image page matches that of pictures from the OWI collection (see prefix list here. – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3b42159.

I have put this detailed photo information in because I came across this photo (before I went directly to the Library of Congress)  on a website called Maritime Quest. These people constantly slap their copyright on photographs which are in the public domain. It is outrageous that they do this and it is simply a way to get their website mentioned. Any photograph which is released to the public taken by a photographer working for the US Government is immediately in the public domain and no one can copyright one of said photographs.

_75306317_bomber (1)

Royal Air Force ground crew “bombing up” a Vickers Wellington MkIII  strategic bomber with a 4,000 pound “cookie”.

(photo courtesy of the BBC)

more information on this bomber here:

Prior to D-Day, the Allies wanted to bomb and keep bombing important French rail junctions to make movement on the railroads difficult for the Germans. Since railroad tracks are easy to repair, we had to keep bombing them over many months and bomb rail junctions all over France so as not to give away that we were going to invade in Normandy.

The Allies sought the permission of the Free French under de Gaulle to bomb these rail junctions knowing that many thousands of Frenchmen would be killed. Nonetheless, de Gaulle gave his permission. We bombed to many areas in France that it is hard to say exactly how many French civilians were killed in Allied bombing raids on just rail junctions.

I think the estimate which many historians use is 15,000 to 20,000 dead. Many more French civilians were killed in Allied bombings of German military installations in German occupied France. Nonetheless, the bombing of rail junctions was critical to the success of D-Day. It is worth noting that according to Anthony Beevor’s history of D-Day, more French civilians were killed by Allied friendly fire on D-Day than Allied soldiers.

While the efforts of the French Resistance are wildly overestimated, it is worth noting that not one train moved on the French rail network on 6 June 1944.

An excellent piece on the number of French civilians killed in Allied bombing can be found on the BBC website here. A British historian calculates 57,000 French civilians were killed by Allied bombing of France in WW Two. He makes some disparaging remarks about why we bombed certain French cities which subsequently were quickly taken by Allied troops which they could have done without having the city bombed.

I sincerely doubt the Allied combat soldiers who were in the front line moving into attack after the bombing would agree. Second, we were bombing German strong points in French cities. We weren’t bombing the French cities for the hell of it.

Interesting article on this subject from the BBC here:

It has been a taboo subject in France for 70 years but in his D-Day commemoration speech on 6 June, President Francois Hollande will pay tribute to the terrible civilian casualties suffered by the French due to Allied bombing up to and during the liberation of France.

Historians believe Allied bombardments killed almost as many French people as German bombs killed Britons during the Blitz.



RAF Bomber Command Halifax strategic bomber in flight during World War Two

(photo courtesy British MoD)