The turkey is eaten. The endless football games are over. Thanksgiving 2016 is in the books.

However, the season of giving thanks has just begun.

Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all the others.”

As we pondered our blessings, we considered the many things for which we are grateful.

The normal “taken-for-granted” things come to mind. Of course, good health is one. Our families are on this list.

The success in business is often overlooked. Being grateful for all those who contributed to a prosperous year.

No business can succeed without customers. The common thread among my clients is the desire for financial tranquility. We appreciate them all. Without them, we would be incredibly bored – and unemployed.

We are extremely grateful for our country and our economic way of life. Granted, it bounces from the highs to the lows, but that’s part of the magic. No one is artificially controlling capitalism.

We are thankful for some of the economic “lows.”

“Low” mortgage rates come to mind. It sure helps when buying a house or a car. It helps when borrowing to expand a business or hire new employees. It helps when paying a personal debt.

We are grateful for “low” inflation.

It often is taken for granted, but let me tell you when it isn’t low, it is a monster that plays financial havoc. Low inflation gives stability to fixed-income retirees. It allows businesses to plan for the future.

“Low” unemployment is another.

We are grateful for those with jobs. It affords a boost to self-esteem. Even lower-paying jobs have their merit.

Although we are thankful for the success that we have enjoyed, we are equally grateful for the failures.

It may sound a little masochistic, but we learn more from defeat than from victory. We brush off success with a small degree of acknowledgment, but we agonize over failure.

We analyze what went wrong. We break down all the segments. We retrace all of our steps. And when done, we have learned. Isn’t life all about learning?

Not only are we thankful for a wonderful country, but closer to home, we are extremely thankful for our community.

It has some faults, and petty bickering, but it doesn’t get much better than this valley. Tell anyone where you live and they will without question say how lucky you are.

In several weeks, we will be closing out another year and starting anew.

It will be a year of surprise, as they all have been. The markets will rise and fall. Interest rates are likely to change. There will be some marvelous new technology announced.

There will be some crises – economic, political or military. It will be a year like none other.

We are looking forward to the opportunities.

We look forward to the learning that will most certainly come.

Tom and John Mills are registered investment advisers and certified financial planners. Reach them at 254-0155, MillsWealth.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Strategic Wealth Advisors Group (SWAG), a registered investment adviser.

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