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Happy Fourth of July!

Today is the Fourth of July – America’s Independence Day. 

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, “officially” severing our ties with the British crown. 

Of course, declaring independence didn’t make us independent any more than me declaring myself to be as rich as Jeff Bezos would make me a billionaire. Actual American independence involved a lengthy fight that wasn’t resolved for another seven years… until September 3, 1783. 

As I said on Juneteenth, freedom isn’t free. It may be an unalienable right, as Thomas Jefferson put it in the Declaration of Independence, but you still have to fight for it.

The same is true for financial freedom. Unless you were born rich, you have to roll up your sleeves and earn every last red cent. That’s the American way. And as long as there are red-blooded Americans willing to dream big, ignore conventional wisdom, and attempt the impossible, it always will be. 

One of my favorite “cowboy capitalist” stories involves the great steamship and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. In the early 1800s, New York gave the steamship operator Robert Fulton a monopoly on all steamboat traffic in the state’s waters. 

Vanderbilt took issue with that. But rather than chafe under the abuse… or play the crony capitalist game of bribing a New York political boss… Vanderbilt simply ignored the law and busted the monopoly himself. 

Flying a flag on his ship that read “New Jersey Must Be Free,” Vanderbilt personally ferried passengers from New Jersey to New York, charging lower fares and offering better service than the monopolist… all while staying one step ahead of the police.

Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with him, declaring New York’s monopoly an unconstitutional limit on interstate commerce. But as I just said, Vanderbilt didn’t exactly wait around for their verdict. New Jersey must be free, after all! 

That’s the raw, untamed spirit that made American capitalism the most powerful wealth engine the world has ever seen. 

As members of The Freeport Society, we are committed to fighting for our financial independence with the same vigor.

We won’t let socialists, crony capitalists, or other assorted finger waggers stop us from investing the way we like while upholding the principles of free minds, free markets, free enterprise, and individual liberty. 

We want more 1776, less 1984.

America’s Founding Fathers had it right in 1776. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and the other Founders believed in self-reliance, free speech, limited government, sound money, and avoiding foreign wars. They believed the government should enforce the law, protect citizens from foreign aggressors… and then generally leave the people and the free market alone. 

Today, as we celebrate our independence, let’s recommit to the fight for our financial freedom… together.

Now, turn off your phone or close your laptop. Fire up the grill and cook some hotdogs. Wash them down with an ice-cold beer or lemonade. Hit the swimming pool. Toss a baseball with your kid. 

Or, skip the heat with a good movie in an air-conditioned living room 

Take a day to just enjoy living in the land of the free. We’ll pick this up tomorrow when the market reopens.    

Cheers to independence and the pursuit of wealth.