So I am sitting here, the morning of my 53rd birthday and I think…..wow! Both my kids are in their twenties, my wife retires at the end of this school year – I’m getting old.
I know my 90 year old clients are laughing at me right now – thinking you’re not old – you’re just a young pup!
Nonetheless, it is interesting to start seeing myself in the light as one of my own clients – someone planning for retirement. Please don’t start googling for a new advisor just yet - you are stuck with me for another 10 years! Quite frankly, I love my job – usually I would rather be at work than on the golf course yelling at a silly white ball. The markets are much more predictable than the direction of my golf ball!
One thing age does bring you in this business is a certain type of calm and confidence with the markets. The fact that they seem unpredictable and cause anxiety to many is actually a good thing for an advisor. If the markets always went up I would be out of a job! Unless you develop this calmness you will never make it in this profession – the failure rate is astonishing. Some may be surprised that some of the brightest people academically fail miserably and quickly in business. They get all caught up in the small stuff and lose touch with the big picture.
Time teaches you that there is a lot more to managing a client’s lifesavings than high returns. It is about the journey – many investors simply cannot handle “high returns”. Sure, having a great home run in the portfolio feels much better than having a dog. At the end of the day, however, it is about how all the pieces fit together and building the mix that allows each client to sleep well at night.
As I have said in the past it is you the client who has built the wealth through your hard work. My job is to preserve it throughout your lifetime and protect you against inflation and unnecessary risk. Then to transfer it to the next generation as efficiently as possible.
Now as I focus more closely on my own long term retirement plan I think I will only get better at helping you and your family with yours!
It is great when things come together. Kristin, Maurice and I will be welcoming a new team member soon – all in an effort to ensure we can increase our service levels as investors demand more for their hard earned money!
Two Glasses of Wine
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."
The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
“The golf balls are the important things -- your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.
“The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.
Play another 18.
There will always be time to clean the house and ‘fix the disposal’.
“Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend.
• Congrats to Leah – she got a beautiful letter this week telling her that she made the Dean’s List at Queens. A wonderful accomplishment especially as she applies for her Master’s programs at various universities in the coming months. Mom and Dad just hope she ends up not too far from home!
• Brad is learning that with success comes some challenges. His growing window cleaning business is making him work overtime as he continues his University courses at Carleton, (where he is doing extremely well) and teaching swimming and other courses for the city he keeps getting calls from repeat customers to clean their windows. Nothing wrong with having too much work – at his age anyway!
• It is really becoming apparent that there will be benefits to having Rosanna retire this coming summer. No more being stuck to teacher holidays! Travelling March Break and summer when everything is the busiest and most expensive. We are already planning already for a trip next September – we can’t wait!