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What do you do with 260 tons of leftover turkey?

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Back in 1953, Swanson foods had a very large problem. What do you do with 260 tons of leftover food? So it polled its workforce.

One man, Gerry Thomas, came up with a clever solution. He was impressed with the "tray style" meals served on airplanes (remember those?), and the TV dinner was invented.

Flash forward to today, and we are still surrounded by excess and cheap food. This is the time of year for getting together with family, stuffing yourself on good food, giving thanks for the many blessings we have, then going crazy on Black Friday.

I wish that we had a day of savings in this country, rather than one of excessive spending. With our wages falling year over year and the idea of full-time employment escaping many Americans, maybe we should focus our energies on actually saving money.

I don't mean by purchasing a TV at 50 percent off. I mean actually depositing money into some investment vehicle.

How about in the stocking of your loved ones this year you actually place some “stocks”? It seems rather fitting to me.

The best gift you can give your kids is that of the understanding of how important and valuable money really is. Maybe instead of wasting it on toys they are going to forget about in a few days, give them an investment account that might last a lifetime.

Warren Buffet was shown the value of investing at a young age and he tells a story of placing his first stock given to him by his father into a safety deposit box.

Many years later, he went back to that safety deposit box and pulled out a different stock valued at more than $40 billion and gave it away to five different foundations.

None of this may have happened had Buffet Sr. not given his son that seed of investing that sprouted into the Buffet fortune of today.

So just as Gerry Thomas looked at a bunch of leftover turkey and turned it into a small fortune for Swanson, maybe this year we all could make different choice for gifts under the tree.

Maybe we could decide to invest in our kids’ futures and give them a spark that might ignite a flame of change.


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Joe Wirbick

Joe Wirbick

Joe Wirbick is the president of Lancaster financial services firm Sequinox. Joe specializes in retirement planning and distribution. Tax information is provided for informational purposes only.

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