During the French Revolution, there was a very influential journalist named Jean-Paul Marat. As Wikipedia summarizes him:
He was a vigorous defender of the sans-culottes and seen as a radical voice. He published his views in pamphlets, placards and newspapers. His periodical L’Ami du peuple (Friend of the People) made him an unofficial link with the radical Jacobin group that came to power after June 1793. His journalism was renowned for its fierce tone, advocacy of basic human rights for the poorest members of society, and uncompromising stance toward the new leaders and institutions of the revolution.
I always remember Jean-Paul Marat though, not because of his powerful writing or message, but because he developed a debilitating skin condition during the revolution and was confined to his bath tub where he soaked in minerals to ease the pain. In other words, the friend of the people of the French Revolution, the radical voice of the new movement, was writing his influential pieces from his bath tub. He was human in his power. A normal person with normal person needs who made a difference.
He was an important enough voice for the revolution, that his opposition assassinated him while he was in the bath tub in 1793. Later the same year, the French painter Jacques-Louis David painted The Death of Marat to remember him.
This story has stuck with me since I first learned about it in high school. It is the lesson of how regardless of your stature, your humanity, or your sickness, your ideas, thoughts, and voice are powerful.
I thought about this story often after the birth of my first child. When I finished my maternity leave, I worked from home so I could still easily breastfeed my infant. I have many memories of sitting in a comfortable nursing chair, one arm holding my nursing child and the other arm outstretched towards my computer where I was writing an article for this website. Could someone so human make a difference?
Now in 2020, we are seeing the humanity in everyone. As toilets are flushed during Supreme Court hearings and talk show hosts go on the air from their personal homes without make-up or styling, we are seeing how the influencers of our world are humans like you and me. Even the best among us are like Marat, humbly expressing our opinions from amidst our weaknesses.
Here at Marotta Wealth Management, we strive to advance the field of financial planning. We don’t accept the status quo. Instead, we strive to make financial planning better, faster, and smarter than it was before. Comprehensive wealth management is an endless task that we are devoted to strive to provide.
To that end, we have developed the mathematical formula for determining whether you should realize capital gains for rebalancing, created an algorithm that models your financial life each year until you are age 100 to create a customized tax plan, developed a Freedom Investing strategy for international investments to outpace the EAFE Index, designed age-appropriate safe withdrawal rates from age 0 to age 90, and more.
Sometimes, we feel small. We are just one financial planning firm. Who are we to invent new methodologies? However, this COVID-19 quarantine has given me new resolve on the matter. Yes, we are merely human, but our ideas and our analysis are powerful.
We have no secret ingredient at Marotta Wealth Management. Instead, we openly and publicly publish our strategies as articles on our website. We strive to provide the necessary resources for anyone to prepare their own investment plan and meet their financial objectives. If you want to stay involved in the latest advancements in the financial planning industry, you should subscribe to our newsletter.
Photo by Martin Wilner on Unsplash