A Different Degree of Wealth

The Origins of the Declaration of Independence

Isaac Newton, inventor of calculus, discoverer of gravity, godfather of modern optics, and the first to describe the laws of planetary motion, wrote, “If I have seen further (than others) it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

Even that pithy quote, which many think Newton originated, can actually be traced back to similar sayings that are thousands of years old.1

Everything comes from somewhere.

Whether it’s the Wright Brothers’ invention of powered flight, Nikolai Tesla’s invention of alternating current, or Alan Turing’s invention of the computer—all these unprecedented breakthroughs were made possible by the earlier work of others.

The same goes for our Declaration of Independence. This remarkable document, which launched the 13 colonies toward becoming the United States of America, has been an inspiration to many different freedom movements the world over. It may also have the distinction of being the most inspiring document ever to have been created by a committee.

It was the creation of five men, including Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, who in June of 1776 had been tasked with penning a formal declaration from the Continental Congress to King George III. No minutes of their meetings were kept. But it is generally accepted that Jefferson did the bulk of the composing.2

In the 18th century, serious writing always took into account the ideas of previous authorities. And many people have speculated about which existing documents Jefferson used as his model for the Declaration. The ideas he expressed can be traced to Enlightenment thinkers like David Hume, John Locke, and Thomas Payne.

But he may have been following a specific example.

Professor Stephen Lucas, who spent 15 years studying the origins of the Declaration, has found evidence that Jefferson used a 17th century Dutch document as a model. Called the Dutch Plakkaat van Verlatinge, it was issued in 1581 to justify the Netherlands’ revolt against Spanish rule.3

Both documents begin with a preamble that justifies the rights of citizens to revolt against tyrannical authority. They both catalog a list of grievances. And both describe repeated attempts to obtain redress of their complaints.

Knowing that our Declaration of Independence was modeled after existing sources doesn’t make it any less special. Quite the opposite, in fact. If, as the evidence suggests, it drew directly from earlier documents of people seeking to be free of tyranny, then it only helps prove the assertion in the preamble: “We hold these truths to be self evident.”

Just as expected, they were obvious to other people as well.

We wish you and your family a happy Independence Day, and hope that you are able to appreciate the freedoms that so many others have longed to enjoy.

Source: Efficient Advisors

Why Buy Insurance?

When you drop a quarter into a slot machine, you know that your chances of winning are pretty slim. But risking a quarter (or perhaps much more than a quarter) may be worth it to you if the potential payoff is great enough. Insurance is a lot like that. You pay premiums not because you expect to die today, get into a car accident next week, or lose your home in a fire next month, but because the peace of mind it offers and the financial protection it could provide are worth it. You don’t have to bear the risk of financial loss alone. Insurance is all about risk and financial protection.

Do you feel lucky today? The concept of risk
We all face risk–the possibility of injury, illness, death, or property destruction–each day. Although you can never eliminate risk, you can guard against financial loss by shifting part of your financial risk to a larger entity (your insurance company) that’s in the business of dealing with that risk. In return for your payment of premiums, your insurance company agrees to pay you (and/or others) a certain amount of money for a specified loss. This loss may or may not occur, so both sides gamble. Still, the potential benefits of insurance may be well worth the cost.

You can limit or eliminate some of your risks with the right type of insurance
Consider the possible losses associated with each risk you’ve identified. For example, assume you have a spouse, two minor children, a mortgage, and various debts and expenses. If you die within the next few years, how much money will your spouse need to pay off the debts, meet expenses, and perhaps even send the children to college? Or what if your 68-year-old spouse (or parent) suddenly suffers a stroke and requires around-the-clock care in a nursing home? How will you pay for it?

Insurance coverage can protect you, your business, and/or your loved ones from the financial loss associated with your risks. There are many different types of insurance to consider. These include life, medical, disability, auto, and homeowners, to name just a few. Most types of insurance are optional, but some–like auto insurance–may be required by your state or lender. Even if a certain amount of insurance coverage is required, though, you may want to purchase additional coverage to protect your assets. And if you have an employer that provides you with one or more forms of insurance coverage, you may want to supplement this coverage with an individual policy.

Explore your insurance options and try to quantify your potential losses. But because an insurance-needs analysis can be pretty complicated, it may be best to sit down with an insurance professional to figure out what types of insurance policies you should buy and how much coverage you actually need.

Weigh the price of insurance protection against the potential benefits
Cost is always an important consideration. Even if you appreciate the importance of disability insurance, you may be unable to afford it. In addition, you should weigh the price of insurance protection against the potential benefits to you. For example, the chance that your dilapidated 10-year-old auto will be stolen is remote–and even if it is stolen, your financial loss would not be great, so theft coverage would be a waste of money.

Have a fun-filled 4th of July weekend!

Source: Broadridge

Golf Tip of the Week

The High Shot

One of the hardest things for many amateur players to do is to hit the ball high into the air. One reason is the contrary nature of golf – if you try to hit up on a ball, you’ll usually top it. So do yourself a favor and make no changes in your swing. Just make two minor adjustments in your stance. First, play the ball slightly forward of its normal position. If you usually position it off your left instep, move it about a ball-width forward, off your left instep. Assuming that your normal ball position allows you to hit the ball at the bottom of your downswing, the forward position will ensure that you’ll catch it at the beginning of your upswing.

Second, redistribute your weight at address, so that you feel a bit more weight on your right side. This will shift your center of gravity – and your swing center – behind the ball a bit, which is where it needs to be at impact if you want to achieve a high trajectory.

Then just make a normal swing, the goal of which should be to finish with your hands high. Don’t feel as if you have to chase after the ball because it’s forward in your stance, and above all, don’t try to hit up on the ball. With the changes you’ve made at address, you’ll do that naturally.

Tip adapted from Shark.comi

Recipe of the Week

Green and White Pizza

4 Servings 


  • Yellow cornmeal, for baking sheet
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chopped fresh broccoli rabe (from 1 bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 cup low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Chopped toasted walnuts and crushed red pepper, for serving



  1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Lightly dust a large, rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal. Cook oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broccoli rabe, ¼ cup water, lemon zest, and salt. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Divide dough in half. Stretch each piece into a 15-by-5-inch oval on prepared baking sheet. Spread crème fraiche evenly over dough, leaving ¼-inch border. Sprinkle with mozzarella, broccoli rabe mixture, and parmesan.
  3. Bake until crust is golden, and cheese is melted, 12 to 15 minutes. Slice and top with walnuts and crushed red pepper.

Recipe adapted from realsimple.comii

Health Tip of the Week

The Top 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories.

There are many types of physical activity, including swimming, running, jogging, walking and dancing, to name a few.

Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer.

Here are the top 10 ways regular exercise benefits your body and brain.

  1. It can make you feel happier
  2. It can help with weight loss
  3. It is good for your muscles and bones
  4. It can increases your energy levels
  5. It can reduce your risk of chronic disease
  6. It can help skin health
  7. It can help your brain health and memory
  8. It can help with relaxation and sleep quality
  9. It can reduce pain
  10. It can promote a better sex life

Tip adapted from healthline.comiii 

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The views expressed herein are exclusively those of Efficient Advisors, LLC (‘EA’), and are not meant as investment advice and are subject to change. All charts and graphs are presented for informational and analytical purposes only. No chart or graph is intended to be used as a guide to investing. EA portfolios may contain specific securities that have been mentioned herein. EA makes no claim as to the suitability of these securities. Past performance is not a guarantee of future

performance. Information contained herein is derived from sources we believe to be reliable, however, we do not represent that this information is complete or accurate and it should not be relied upon as such. All opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. This information is prepared for general information only. It does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person who may receive this report. You should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any security or investment strategy discussed or recommended in this report and should understand that statements regarding future prospects may not be realized. You should note that security values may fluctuate and that each security’s price or value may rise or fall. Accordingly, investors may receive back less than originally invested. Investing in any security involves certain systematic risks including, but not limited to, market risk, interest-rate risk, inflation risk, and event risk. These risks are in addition to any unsystematic risks associated with particular investment styles or strategies.

Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, legal, or retirement advice or recommendations. The information presented here is not specific to any individual’s personal circumstances. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable — we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

The articles and opinions expressed in this newsletter were gathered from a variety of sources but are reviewed by Ballentine Capital Advisors prior to its dissemination. All sources are believed to be reliable but do not constitute specific investment advice. In all cases, please contact your investment professional before making any investment choices.

Securities through Triad Advisors, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Ballentine Capital Advisors, Inc. Triad Advisors and Ballentine Capital Advisors are not affiliated entities.


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