Everyone’s got one of those projects: impossible. Beyond the reach of your talent. Potentially offensive. Here’s mine. A Long Island financial planning firm wanted to send a letter to their clients on the first anniversary of September 11 reflecting on the tough year and striking an optimistic note. Here’s the kicker: they wanted to include a lottery ticket with each letter. Oddly enough, I'm proud of the end result. And it only took one draft.


Dear Name:

There’s no way to adequately describe the ways our world changed on September 11, 2001. There’s no way to describe how we ourselves have changed.

But we Americans-- from our founding fathers and mothers, to the westward-bound pioneers, to the immigrants passing through Ellis Island—are a resilient people. It’s part of our heritage to find a way, to rise above our circumstances. And we have done so.

This past year has been difficult, frightening, frustrating. But we have made it through. That in itself is one of many reasons to have some faith that our hope and good decisions in our lives and investments will continue.

Please know that on this September 11, I will be taking stock of all my blessings and giving thanks. I will be counting my continued friendship with you as one of them, and I hope you will be doing the same.

[Redacted for obvious reasons]

PS: I am optimistic that the coming year will bring better fortune to us. So I hope you will accept this lottery ticket in the hopeful spirit in which it is intended.