Inflation, 911, and Van Gogh

A&I Wealth Management > Blog > Inflation, 911, and Van Gogh

Last week, we saw many reports say that inflation is back. As you know, we rely on independent investment researchers. The right way to invest, we believe, is to diversify by investment strategy. That is to say, we use different research teams who may not always agree with each other. Now more of them are starting to agree that inflation is coming back. We have discussed this in several recent newsletters. We know that after a recession like last year, that it is normal to have prices rebound. We also discussed the danger of the Federal government creating and spending a lot of money.  Read more here:

If you are worried about inflation, you likely want to invest in something that can stay ahead of inflation. Also, it might be nice to get an income that grows faster than inflation. Equities may fit the bill. Talk with your financial planner about your investments. Consider asking for a Withdrawal Policy Statement.

Van Gogh’s Era and Our Times

Last week, I saw the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit and thought to myself, what were things like when he was alive? He lived from 1853 to 1890, and during his lifetime things were rough. Famously, he died horribly. His mutilated ear, of course, is a symbol of his troubled existence.

Van Gogh’s life paralleled his times. Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto. Charles Darwin declared the theory of evolution. The revolutions of 1848 were the most widespread political upheavals in the history of Europe. Inequality between the rich and poor grew worse during Van Gogh’s lifetime.

The world was experiencing the industrial revolution. The population was beginning to move from an agrarian lifestyle into a completely different way of life. And, of course, medicine was butchery by today’s standards. They had very little inflation, and a lot of starvation, and many worries about the weather during those stressful, changing times.

So there are similarities between Van Gogh’s era and our own. Many people decry inequality. We complain about politics. Some people want a dramatic upheaval and massive change. There are some amazing thinkers and leaders changing the world today, for better or worse. Whose intellect will impact the world like a Marx or Darwin is anyone’s guess. Assuredly, we are in a world of massive technological change, of a similar scale to the industrial revolution. More people are more wealthy than ever before today; and that was true in Van Gogh’s time as well. We worry about climate change and so did they, back then. Today, we worry about inflation instead of famine. I think things are better now, than back then. Van Gogh created some beautiful paintings during those troubling times. Van Gogh found a way to transcend. We can too.

Rich Picciotto, 9-11 Firefighter

Finally, last week I saw Rich “Pitch” Picciotto speak about his experience as the last man down from the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He wrote Last Man Down: A Firefighter’s Story. “Pitch” said, when things get really bad, we really do come together. Our politicians may tear us apart to further their own self-interests, but they do not represent us when they behave that way. He was inspiring, honest, modest and down-to-earth. After 9-11, our country and our world came together. We have an opportunity to do that now, if we choose.

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About the author

Karl Frank, Certified Financial Planner ®, MSF, MBA, MA, is the President of A&I Financial Services LLC, a local business that specializes in wealth management, insurance planning, and retirement planning. Karl cares for business owners and the businesses that care for them. Learn More about Karl.