Coffee Break

Hello friends,


We’re entering the time of year when many of us take time to appreciate the people who have nurtured us, spiritually and physically; who have loved us and educated us; and who represent our greatest hopes for the future. These special people may be our parents, our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, or even our great-grandchildren.


I feel so fortunate to have strong bonds with my own family, bonds that keep us close and make us value our time together. I feel especially blessed to be able to work with my father, Larry, who after 30 years of work at General Mills, joined me at Northwestern Mutual nearly 4 years ago. Yep, even after years of working the nightshift as a factory mechanic, and even though he and my mom had the savings to retire, Dad wasn’t completely ready to head out to pasture.


My Dad had some hard luck early in life and was an orphan, living alone in an apartment, at age 15. Even though he had to get a job right away, and couldn’t afford to attend college, he and my mother made sure that my brother and I had the chance to pursue advanced degrees. They never talk about the sacrifices they made, but I know for a fact that my father went to work many nights with only 2 or 3 hours of sleep. He did this so that he could attend his sons’ sports practices and matches. He was ever-present, even though it meant very little rest for himself.


Had he not been intentional about his role as a father and primary breadwinner, I am convinced that my life, and the lives of my mother and brother, would be vastly different today.


My dad has taught me a lot about what it means to be a father and a professional. He taught me that your word is everything and that if you say you’re going to do something, you better do it and do it well. He and my mother always held us to high standards – for our schoolwork, our extracurricular activities, and our relationships with others. My father also gave me my first lessons in money management: He advised me to pay cash for everything except my house, and to pay myself first and set aside 15-20 percent of my income for retirement.


When I think back to the decisions my Dad made, including his resolve to move forward after a tough start in life, it makes me so proud to be his son. He has always wanted something better for himself and his family, and for that, I am incredibly thankful.


Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!




Chris M Graw, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®

Wealth Management Advisor


To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit: FINRA BrokerCheck