Gratitude in 2021

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This video was recorded on Dec. 8, 2021.

David Gardner: What do you have to be grateful for? Well pull up a chair, and stay a while. Let’s be grateful together this week. Let’s reflect on our world at the end of another year. Let’s rejoice in the good things that we have. Only on this week’s Rule Breaker Investing.

Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing, a delight to have you join me during, what is for me anyway, I bet for you too, one of the busier months of the year. Thank you for sparing some time to suffer Fools gladly. This the 8th of December, well that’s when this podcast comes out, typically around 4 p.m. Eastern every week, week in, and week out, thanks to my producer, Rick Engdahl. Speaking of thanks, that is the theme of this week’s podcast. Near the end of this year, I wanted to think together from a position of gratefulness and gratitude and the power of that. I started this annual series last year after having a talk with my son, Gabe. Gabe is a well-read young lad at the age of 25. One of the books he had on the shelf a couple of years back was Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. It’s by Robert Emmons, the book originally came out I believe in 2007. I still haven’t read it, but my son, Gabe did read it. While I was talking about it with him, he said the thesis of the book is the general research on just how a bit of gratitude every day is one of the few things that can increase our baseline level of happiness.

Now, maybe you dear listener, have a practice of gratitude. Maybe you say a prayer each morning, or have a meditation. Gratitude can take many different forms. Maybe you have a systematic, regular process, and if you do, well, that’s more systematic probably than I have. But as it turns out, as Robert Emmons shows through his studies, there’s a lot of positive psychology in this, by the way, for positive psychology fans, as the inside of his book, flap says, and I quote, “Did you know that there is a crucial component of happiness that is often overlooked?” In fact, I’m just going to read from the dust cover and keep going here. I quote “In the pages of this eminently readable book, Robert Emmons, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology draws on the first major study of the subject of gratitude of wanting what we have, and shows that a systematic cultivation of this underexamined emotion can measurably change people’s lives.”

It goes on, “Readers will discover how one, people who regularly practice grateful thinking can increase their set point for happiness by as much as 25 percent.” That’s your baseline level of happiness, so as much as 25 percent. Two, it continues, “Such increases can be sustained over a period of months. Challenging the previously held notion that are set points for happiness are frozen at birth.” Three, “Keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks, can result in better sleep and more energy.” It closes, “Emmons also reaches beyond science to bolster the case for gratitude by weaving in the writings of philosophers, novelists, and theologians, like no other book has before.” Thanks. Well, that’s the title of the book again. Thanks, inspires readers to embrace gratitude and all the benefits it can bring into our lives. Well, before I get started with my eight gratitudes this year, I want to give a couple of more quotes and I want to thank, speaking of thanking my son, Gabe, again, for sharing it out and one quote, this comes from the intro of the book. Quote, “It is gratitude that enables us to receive, and it is gratitude that motivates us to repay by returning the goodness that we have been given. In short, it is gratitude that enables us to be fully human.”

Finally, the great 20th century humanitarian physician, theologian, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, called gratitude the secret to life. In one particular sermon, he summarized his position by stating, and I quote, “The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this, knows what it means to live. He has penetrated the whole mystery of life, giving thanks for everything.” Well, everything sounds like too long a podcast this week, but I do have eight things queued up to give thanks for. Before I start with the first one, let’s just think of the opposite briefly. The opposite of gratitude and that would be ingratitude. For me it sounds a lot like complaining. Complaining about everything. I hope you don’t have anybody like this in your life. If I ever did, I don’t have one now I’m happy to say, but people whose first instinct is to complain, well, whenever I have in mind those feverish, selfish little clods of ailments and grievances, I have to go back, speaking of quotes, to another of my favorite quotations previously covered on a great quotes Rule Breaker Investing podcast. That would be the George Bernard Shaw, “From man and superman on living a great life.”

Let’s do it one more time here. “This is the true joy in life. The being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. The being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments, and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community. As long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a splendid torch, which I’ve got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” Thank you, George Bernard Shaw for that beautiful contrast between feverish clods of ailments and grievances complaining the world won’t develop itself to make you happy to the exact opposite, and that is gratefulness, in Schweitzer’s words, for everything.

Well, for my first gratitude, well, done it. I do this every year. I want to thank you. Yes you. Whoever you are, wherever you are, and you are many places, and you are all different. But I’m speaking to you right now. You, a Rule Breaker, a brother, or a sister in arms. By the way, I always go with military analogies, well, that actually going to pop back up a little bit later, but a community, that I can say with Bernard Shaw that my life belongs to. Thank you, for being there. Not just of course, to my Rule Breaker Investing podcast listeners, although most of all to you, but I want to thank all Motley Fool members and really all Fools everywhere. People who are not yet members today, but who are awakened to the beauties of questioning conventional wisdom, which is at the heart of foolishness. So for all Fools everywhere, for that spirit of challenge and for doing it in a fun way, which really has to be the case if you’re a Motley Fool. It’s one thing to be a Fool challenging conventional wisdom as a Fool. But, if you’re a Motley Fool, you’re bringing some humor to it, just like Shakespeare’s jesters. To every Foolish spirit everywhere, I say thank you because, arguably as much as I apparently enjoy often talking to myself from one week to the next year occasionally with friends, or special guests, I wouldn’t do it just to talk to myself. I suppose, I should therefore especially thank you. If you’re somebody who’s shared your story, if you’d shared your question, if you’ve written into our mailbag, any of the mailbags this year, or any other year, thank you. This podcast is powered a quarter of the time by you. About one week in every four, it’s mailbag. It’s your awesome stories, poems, and questions which powered this podcast.

A special thanks to you. One addendum, some of you have little rituals in, or around this podcast, and a special thanks to you. Thanks to you ShahZam on Twitter @Shazam for listening to us each week as a couple and for sharing how much it’s meant to you to share this with your wife, each with different perspectives knitted together to make better decisions together. Thanks to you, Harley Carol also a Twitter friend, and longtime Motley Fool member, for listening as a family. Thanks to my daughter Kate. She is probably the only member of my extended family who listens almost every week, maybe every week. Thank you dear Kate for listening in as well. I’m mentioning mailbag here at the end of gratitude No. 1, it reminds me to mention that our mailbag will be recorded early this month. Mailbag will air on Dec. 29, Wednesday, Dec. 29 as normal, but we’ll actually be recording it on Monday, Dec. 20, nine days before.

That means, get in your mailbag items are ahead of time. You can write to me right now or after this week’s podcast. The email addresses is rbi@fool.com. Gratitude No. 2. This one’s a quick one, a throw away, but I’m happy for it. I want to thank all of the podcast distributors. All of the places that any of us finds podcasts. Podcasts have become such an important medium today. In particular, as a longtime Apple user myself, I want to thank Apple and iTunes for finally, not just showing the last 100 or so podcasts, but actually all past podcast, on my iMac where I spend a lot of time, I realized kids with their phones these days. Everybody is using mobile, but I’m still most of my time probably, doing work on my desktop workstation. The podcast app in macOS, for years this is what I’ve used to access my or your, or anyone else’s podcast. It was at some point somebody flipped a switch over at Apple in 2021, and enabled all of the past podcasts of any podcast to be accessed. Before that magical day, it only showed the last 100. which means if you do a weekly podcast, it’s only the last two years or so. Older ones were dropping below the folder, dropping away altogether. You’d have to google it to find what I was saying in 2016 or ’18, but now, mercifully, happily, oh frabjous day callooh callay, it is now possible on that podcast app, go all the way back to the very first one.

That’s been very helpful when I go back and collect what stocks I was picking, and past samplers, etc. to be able to just access all of the podcast in that one place. A small gratitude, gratitude No. 2, but of course more broadly, whether you access us through Spotify, or Google Play, or Apple, etc. Thank you to the aggregators.

David Gardner: Gratitude No. 3. Gratitude goes out to the Edelman organization, edelman.com. Edelman for 21 years has been scoring trust worldwide in the institutions that we all lean on, and this gratitude really extends through Edelman to the thing that I love most in the world and it’s such a major focus of Rule Breaker Investing, and that’s business. Business darn it. The world of business, and one of the things that Edelman has tracked over the course of time, is well across 33,000 plus respondents in 28 countries for a couple of decades now, Edelman asks, could you adjust out there? Your government? The media, NGOs, or business? Part of what Edelman has done is, they have the data from every year so they can watch trends develop over the course of time, and in 2021 Edelman revealed that it is business worldwide that more of us trust than any of the other institutions. In fact, business is more trusted than government in 18 of those 27 countries.

Edelman, in its report, you can certainly google this, just google Edelman Trust barometer 2021. You can see the full PDF, dozens of pages report. I’m looking at page number 7, and I’m seeing an x-axis and a y-axis, and the x-axis, the lateral one, goes from less competent to more competent and it’s bisected by the vertical y-axis, which is ethical at the top, and unethical at the bottom. If you’re following me here in the lower-left corner, you have institutions that are less competent and unethical whereas the exact opposite in the upper right quarter, which is what all consultants always positioned as the win in the upper right quadrant, you have institutions that are both ethical and competent, and business is sitting by itself as the world’s most ethical, and now considered most competent institution. I’m sorry to say, this comes from all of us, so we won’t call out any specific government.

But, I’m sorry to say that NGOs, the media, and government, none of them pass the 50% mark in terms of being competent. We might love some NGOs, we might have a favorite newspaper, we might really like our local, or state government, but worldwide, the Edelman Trust barometer holds out NGOs, media, and government as not sufficiently competent to be called competent by enough of us. What I’m really trying to do here is not cast aspersions, but specifically to express my gratitude for the world of business. A lot of you know that I’m on the board of Conscious Capitalism, and I want to remind all of us that Conscious Capitalism celebrates businesses that elevate humanity. Not every business is great and not every person is even good in this world today. But, finding out who is really good. What are the good things where you as a shareholder can do well as you do good? That’s a lot of the stock-picking that I’ve done over the years.

As I’ve said many a time, I say it again to you, make your portfolio reflect your best vision for our future, and if you have a good vision for our future, and you’re looking out for good people and good win-win situations, well, those are the businesses that typically are elevating humanity and what the Edelman Trust barometer shows us is that worldwide, more of us believe that business is being done ethically, and with competence than anything else happening at a large scale in our world today. To me, that’s a profoundly important insight, and it’s the first year where we’ve all generally agreed with that, and I’m going to credit in part Conscious Capitalism for the influence it’s having creating more and more trust among more of us, whether a buyer, or a seller on opposite sides of the transaction or even competing against another company trying to do the same thing you are but if you’re doing so ethically, and you’re both serving the world where you’re both adding value, it’s not zero sum. One other insight that is particularly interesting to me, Edelman found that if you ask the average Earthling today, what is the most trusted institution?

They’ll say business. But, if you then ask them about the specific business they work for, 77 percent of us trust that even more than business writ large. In other words, it is our business employers, that most of us are pointing to today, and saying, that’s a good thing and that makes sense. Because, you’re working for them while some people are disaffected, or don’t like their employer and that’s sad, I’m really glad to note that a lot of us think that we’re doing good work for the company that we’re working for, and I’m going to agree with a lot of you because I’m invested in the very companies that you work for and we’re creating a lot of wins together as investors, as business people and fellow livers of life. Gratitude No. 3 for business and how it elevates humanity and how it is doing so increasingly, with every passing day today. Nobody is perfect and nothing is getting better all the time continuously but in fits and starts, we’re going the right direction, and it takes decades of data to remind us of that global big picture, which probably isn’t going to be on the front page of your newspaper anytime soon or anybody’s clickbait headline.

But, it’s a reminder of that protopia that Kevin Kelly, the founder of Wired Magazine, came on this podcast, and talked about some years ago, that we’re living in a protopia which means things are getting a little bit infinitesimally better everyday, not noticeable necessarily on a day-to-day basis and sometimes things get a lot worse. That’s true too. But quietly over time, look at the progress we are making. Gratitude No. 3.

Gratitude No. 4. I am going to express gratitude right now for the power of a candle. The power of candles. Thomas Jefferson’s great line about the power of ideas, and I quote, “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” I’ve always loved that line, and it is so true. Gratitude No. 4 is thanking you for your great idea and you’re welcome for any good idea I’ve given you. The power of ideas.

We light each other’s candles. No one is diminished as I share my great idea with you, or you share your great idea with me. There’s incredible power in sharing. One of my favorite aphorisms. I’m reminded of this every few years. I never keep it top of mind, but isn’t this a great one, speaking of sharing? “A burden shared is halved, a joy shared is doubled.” At the heart of this podcast, every week, every month, and every year now for seven-plus years, is that I light you, and you light me back. In a lot of ways, it’s the story of the Motley Fool’s business. We come up with what we hope is a good stock market recommendation, we light your candle, you light ours back by paying us for it, and then as that stock does well, good news enough of them do well, some spectacularly well enough that we all win together and how many times did somebody bring me a great stock that I got to share with others? I can think of Matt Argersinger when he first suggested Boston Beer for Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

Almost all of my Motley Fool’s Stock Advisor picks were just my own, but one month, Matt was like, “Hey, what about Boston Beer?” Man, has Boston Beer been a big-time winner. Matt in some ways was using the framework that I probably had taught him through our Analyst Development program. A lot of us have learned frameworks, or ideas from others but then those people fill up our vessel with their good thought, their good idea, coming out of our own framework, we’re lighting each other’s candles. Before I move on to gratitude No. 5, just two quick ones I want to share back, both coming to me from Twitter, [inaudible 00:19:53] , and […] my apologies if I’m not getting the pronunciation of your name right, but I sure can pronounce the tweet that you sent me accurately.

David Gardner: A couple of months back on this podcasts we were talking about, when somebody says, thank you, how most appropriately to answer them. We had a deep dive on that, and did some mailbag items around that as well. But, you dropped me a great note. You were talking about the discussion this podcast prompted with you, and your 10-year-old daughter in response to thank you and whether, “no problem” is an appropriate response or not. But, having listened to the podcast, you said your 10 year old daughter told you that no problem is actually an appropriate answer to, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, no problem. Now, that’s a great point. I love her conclusion, and the process, talking it out with her dad that got her there. I feel like I lit your candle and you lit mine back. You dropped me a nice additional note just saying, “This podcast always sparks interesting discussions among you, and your daughter.”

Talk about me sharing an idea, and then getting it back in even better form. Ryan Tretter, @tretter86 on Twitter, you’re familiar with my frequent comparison of investing to being in a boat. We’ve talked a lot about this before. I feel like a lot of people invest with a rowboat as they look backward. Jack Bogle talks about the rowboat syndrome. I’ve always loved that analogy. I’ve said a lot of people do better than look backward with their money. They look forward in a canoe. I like to canoe more than a rowboat, but the problem with the canoe is, you have to paddle a lot, and it can get pretty exhausting. You’re looking in the right direction, but I feel like you’re working too hard. My analogy there has always been you’re trading. That’s what a lot of people who trade do, they work really hard. But, I don’t think they do as well, sadly, and ultimately as those in a sail boat, because the power of the wind, that’s the 8, 9, 10 percent annualized returns of the S&P 500 at your back. That’s the power of the wind, and you can sit there, and let it feel your sails and carry you forward. We have a pretty good habit of beating those averages by finding better companies that sail our boat faster and stronger. Ryan, on Nov. 5, I should retweet this out again. I already did retweet it out.

But, you shared a beautiful image that you said comes to mind whenever you hear me talk about investing like you’re on a sail boat. In your mind, you wrote each sale represents a company in your well diversified portfolio, pushing the ship forward, and you show a classic four mastered, tall ship with dozens of sails. I just love that image because, if each of those little sails. I think there are four jibs on that boat, but then there are five small rectangular sails on the first mass behind that, and then maybe three, or four mass more behind that. That really is a beautiful image of the power of a diversified portfolio. Ryan, again, I lit your candle you lit mine back. Thank you. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine, as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson.

Gratitude No. 5. Well, I of course want to thank my brother Tom, because it has been a spectacular 29 years. I’ve often called it a [inaudible 00:23:29] that we’ve had together. But, I’m thinking in particular of the last couple of years, and the leadership that Tom and his leadership team has shown, not just for all of our employees, but the world at large. We’ve done some grand things like give a million dollars away to New York City, and it’s time of darkest COVID need. We’ve done some small things like, well, keep picking stocks. What we do every day, every week. But in particular, having the guts to shut down our offices early.

Once Tom started to figure out that COVID was for real. He figured it out well in advance of many other people, and all of our employees I know are eternally grateful for that. We’ve often said, well Tom says it, we were the first to close and we might be the last to reopen. We won’t be reopening until at least March of next year. But at least one brother, I won’t speak for Tom, is getting a little antsy, getting excited to think we could be back to full HQ as early as this coming March. Just a few months, hence. Tom, thank you for all that you’ve done for so many people from your great stock picks in our services to your wonderful leadership of our company, and being maybe the most generous person I know and a very loving brother. Gratitude to Tom. I also want to thank Tom for one small other things, a particular interest to Rule Breaker Investing listeners, and that would be for ending ads on full podcasts. I did the first ad read several years ago and I was proud of that at the time.

It was probably Rocket Mortgage, it was great. Somebody actually wanted to pay to get me to read something about them on this podcast, and that’s spread across all Motley Fool podcasts. We did that for several years, and we did make a little bit of money, but it wasn’t that important to our top or bottom line. Tom made the call to get rid of ads altogether off of our podcast. So for the last year or two, you haven’t heard me do a single ad. I have to admit having listened to some others podcasts, I’m sometimes alarmed by the number of ads I’m happy to listen to for some amazing podcasts. Not to take away from the quality of the podcasts, but when you interrupt yourself every ten minutes for an ad read, it’s a little distracting anyway. I realized for some people that really does pay their bills, but I’m grateful to be working for a company where that doesn’t pay our bills, and we’re able to just give you ourselves without the ad at the start and or in the middle.

In fact, a little bit of nostalgia. I’m going to ask Rick, my producer, to play briefly the very first ad I ever read on this podcast, just a portion. This episode of Rule Breaker Investing is brought to you by Rocket Mortgage, by Quicken Loans. Rocket Mortgage brings the mortgage process into the 21st century with a fast, easy, and completely online process. Check out Rocket Mortgage today at quickenloans.com. There you are. A little bit of entrepreneurial pride swelling my breasts that day. Then the very last ad ever read on this podcast which I believe was May of 2020, and I think it might have been molecule, but we should play a little bit of that with Rick. Maybe a little sad music. This episode of Rule Breaker Investing is brought to you by Molekule. Molekule’s re imagining the future clean air, starting with the air purifier. For ten percent off your first air purifier. Visit M-O-L-E-K-U-L-E.com, and enter the promo code. Gratitude number 6. I’m not quite sure how to phrase this one. I think I want to say something like being grateful for beauty.

Which by the way, that’s what aesthetes are. It puts me in mind of a quick story I want to share. After college, I didn’t seek out a job right away, I traveled, read, and wrote. I was able to do that in part because I’d had a full scholarship going through the University of North Carolina. I’ve been able to save money, and also my dad had invested for me, so I had some extra money. I didn’t have to go right out and get a job. For the better part of a year and a half or two, I didn’t have a job. I traveled, I read, and I wrote, and I didn’t have a lot to show for myself. I got a few things published, but nothing really big. Meanwhile, all of my smart, talented friends from college are off having gotten their first promotion or they’re now into law school, they’re in med school. They’re doing productive things, especially my Morehead-Cain scholars friends. I had a full scholarship that’s called the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at the University of North Carolina. And so there was an alumni kind of notes. That publication that your school sends you once a year with alumni notes, where everybody said what they were doing. Knowing that I had very little to show for myself, nothing really to brag about, the job I listed for myself was I said I was an aesthet. A-E-S-T-H-E-T.

David Gardner: TE. It was really tongue in cheek. An aesthete is an appreciator of beauty. But, I later heard back from a few of my friends that they didn’t think it was very cool that I’ve done that. In fact, one of my British Morehead friends thought it was a little arrogant of me to say that I wasn’t a aesthete, which we’re certainly not the intention. It was more an excuse. Anyway, so the word is aesthete means something extra to me, but maybe I’m just going to be grateful for beauty here, but beauty in a particular form, and that’s peace. Peace on earth, goodwill to men. Thinking in particular of peace from war time. A lot of us are in a state of peace hearing me right now wherever you are, but not everybody is. Not everybody is in a secure place listening to this podcast. Literally, the country in which you are may not be at peace, but even if it is, maybe in some senses, your life, or your household, or your relationships are not at peace.

This wish is for you to find that peace. One of my favorite stories about peace goes back, do you know this one, to Christmas 1914. When I first heard a song about this, I was wondering, is that just fictional, or was it really true that on the western front, in the first world war, around Christmas 1914, a brief truce occurred in which French, German, and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings, and talk. Now I’m reading from the Christmas truce entry on Wikipedia, which says, “In some areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies, and prisoner swaps while several meetings ended in carol singing. Men played games of football, ” that is, of course, soccer “with one another, creating one of the most memorable images of the truce.” If you want to see a really beautiful video that a lot of others have seen about 2.7 million times on YouTube at this point. Just Google Christmas 1915, Celtic Thunder.

That’s the Irish singing group and their performance of the song Christmas 1915, which tells the beautiful but sad story of that moment. The Christmas truce, the actual year was 1914. The song is Christmas 1915. Sadly, by Christmas 1916, hostilities were such that this was not even considered anymore, but what a beautiful image. In the cold of winter, right around Christmas day, that people who were literally trying to kill each other a few days before, were playing games together, even if briefly. Gratitude Number 6 is for peace and especially the peacemakers. I’ve talked quite a bit over the last few years about how I don’t like politics very much when it pits, in this case, American against American. You’ll never hear me say things like red or blue. That’s not how I think about our country or you and me, and I realized about a third of my listeners are not US citizens. You are from another country altogether. I want you to know one of the most important things we can do as human beings is to take down the barriers that so often we build up around ourselves, knock those walls over, and connect with your fellow humans. Whatever he, she, they look like, whatever they espouse, it’s tragic to me sometimes how we build up walls around ourselves.

Part of growing up and I think part of wisdom and part of love is to realize we need to tear those down. We need a little bit more Christmas 1915 in our lives every day. Gratitude Number 6 is for peace. In fact, I want to thank my Washington DC friends, Odell and Janice Sanchez for sending around the Christmas 1915 YouTube video each year to their friends and family. Huge plug for you, your friends, and your family if you have three minutes and 45 seconds or so, to take a look and share this holiday season. Gratitude Number 7 is for Rick Engdahl, my Producer. Rick Engdahl, as my daughters pointed out, for several years, every single time I said my Producer, Rick Engdahl, without effort just saying Rick, in recent months, listening to my daughter, Kate, I’m starting to go, yeah, he’s just Rick. I think the reason I always said my Producer, Rick Engdahl, is because I don’t do credits at the end. I didn’t want to take for granted that you knew who Rick was. Every single time I mentioned Rick, I would always say my Producer, Rick Engdahl, in lieu of credits now.

While I’m not going to start doing credits anytime soon, I hope you know how grateful I am for Rick Engdahl, and I hope you, dear listener, are grateful for Rick because in addition to the great humor he brings and the hard work that he puts in every week to make this podcast happen, you should also know that he works much harder than you would think because I stop and restart constantly as I tape this podcast. In fact, I got in the habit of perfection, if you will, through years of doing an NPR radio show, where you really could produce something while nearly perfect, much different, let’s say from live coast-to-coast AM radio, which Tom and I did for many years before that. Rick constantly edits me when I stop in the middle and go up, 3, 2, 1, go, and I start right again. I’d say Rick constantly edits me when I stop in the middle of 3, 2,1, go. Rick constantly edits me when I stop in the middle, but you never hear me say 3, 2,1, go because he edits that. It creates a much more seamless podcast for you week in and week out. Rick puts in a lot of extra effort you probably don’t know about.

There are few things I’d like you to know about Rick through the eyes of his friends, Alison Southwick, long time host of Motley Fool Answers. He likes craft beer, guitars, and Star Wars. Chris Hill, our longtime colleague, I know he’s a big fan of music. He enjoys playing guitar. Heather Horton, our colleague, fellow Producer, he loves photography and music. He plays the guitar and I think a few other instruments, and Steve Broido, another longtime leader in our media group. He loves music. He loves guitars and guitar related stuff, so you’re hearing a lot of redundancy from Rick’s friends those who surround him, knowing what he truly loves. Rick, thank you very much. I appreciate you for all that you do. I want you to know, dear listener, that a couple of months ago, Chris Hill, Slacked internally this message. I’m reading it without Chris’s permission, but I’m pretty sure he would give me permission. He said, “Listen to an episode of blank from NPR.” We’re not going to name the podcast because we don’t want to make anybody look bad.

But Chris said, “Listen to an episode of blank from NPR. During the closing credits, listeners were made aware of the fact that the episode, which is less than 10 minutes long, was worked on by one host, one reporter, one Senior Producer, two Producers, one Fact Checker, and one Editor. Chris wrote, “Just a helpful bit of context for anyone unaware of what resource allocation looks like elsewhere.” Rick, wears most of the hats most that I just read you, and you can see we’re always scrapping it here at the Motley Fool in the Rule Breaker Investing podcast. Rick, thank you for all that you do for me and all of our listeners week in and week out. Finally, gratitude Number 8 and anybody who remembers last year’s show. This is going to sound pretty familiar, but I, myself don’t really remember last year. I hope these comes across as just as fresh and genuine as one year ago. Finally, gratitude Number 8. Now I don’t want to say best for last because every one of our first seven gratitudes is heartfelt, and then they’ll compete with each other.

Being grateful for everything along with Schweitzer, I think that’s the right approach. But finally, although she’s too modest to ever want or need me to say anything in public, which is why I so infrequently mention her, but how can I not close out by thanking my wife? We’re a private family. I was raised to be a private person. We raised our kids the same, but I can’t do a gratitude podcast thinking about this year or frankly, any other of the past 31 years, the length of our marriage so far or the five years, we dated beforehand without saying thank you to my dearest friend, my wife Margaret. We met as fellow Morehead-Cain scholars at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I still remember her that first weekend, freshman year thinking she laughs at my jokes. The one who laughed at my jokes began dating me, sophomore year. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” Thirty plus years and three grown children later, Margaret is and always will be the greatest joy of my life here on Earth and the person here for whom I have the most gratitude.

Now that Morehead-Cain Scholarship, which I mentioned earlier this week has given for leadership, that’s what the Morehead-Cain awards. Without being a particularly public persona, Margaret got better grades than me in college. She went on to run the boards of our schools. She is overseeing the multi-million dollar mission, giving budgets at our church. She volunteers in hundreds of ways and never asks for credit. She surrounds all of us with beauty every day, both her own and the gardens at home that she creates, especially with her award winning flower designs and growing a family together to making sacrifices, too innumerable for me to count, support, nurture, love. Especially in 2021 that began to take the form of The Motley Fool Foundation, where Margaret serves with me on the Board. What more can I say? The list goes on and on, but of course, there wouldn’t ever be time to say it. Anyway, this is all I pretty much ever would say here on my podcast. Thank you, Margaret. She is my everything.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. David Gardner owns Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool owns and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, Spotify Technology, and Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends Boston Beer and recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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