My Week at a Dude Ranch.

This past week my family and I spent a week at Wind River Ranch – a Christian dude ranch in Estes Park, Colorado.   Wind River Ranch rests in a valley nestled between Longs Peak and Twin Sisters.   It’s a magical place.

I spent my time riding, hiking and fishing while trying to act like a cowboy.   These activities can teach us a lot about investing.

While riding horses on their property and through the Rocky Mountain National Park it was easy to get lost in my thoughts as I meandered along the trails.  I had to remind myself I was sitting on a thousand-pound animal on a narrow trail and had to remain focused on where I was leading my trusted steed.   I had to keep looking forward so I wouldn’t run into a tree or fall of a ledge.  Riding a horse while looking over your shoulder doesn’t do much good.  Also, horses aren’t too fond of walking backwards.  So, too, with investing.  It is imperative to keep moving forward towards your short and long term financial goals.  Looking back and applying the coulda, shoulda, woulda strategy is a waste of time.

Hiking in the Rocky Mountain National Park is breath taking.  I hiked two trails.  The first hike was to Mills Lake.  A beautiful hike along Glacier Creek.  The lake looked like a giant swimming pool on a windless day.  The water was smooth as glass and clear as could be.   The second hike was to the top of Twin Sisters.   The elevation at the peak of this hike was 11,427.  It wasn’t a fourteener but challenging never the less especially coming from the low lands of Texas.  On both hikes I needed to plan my route and make sure I had all my supplies especially my bear bell.  When you invest it’s important to be prepared for all types of conditions.  A financial plan and investment strategy will help guide you to your financial goal.  An asset allocation policy will allow your account to weather a storm or two.  Like hiking, it’s important to stop every now and then to make sure you are on the right trail and you’re still marching towards your goal.

Fly fishing in the Rockies is about as good as it gets.  Fly fishing in rivers, streams and crystal clear lakes is part art and science.   I used four or five different fly patterns and all of them worked at one level or another, some more than others.   However, not every cast caught a trout.  I spent a fair amount of time casting and waiting.    Patience was needed.   Investing requires patience as well.

Whether hiking, riding or fishing all three require a solid plan, the right equipment, and constant monitoring to succeed.   Investing also requires these attributes.   The more you plan the better your investment results will be.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  ~ Psalm 46:10

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management, LLC.

July 4, 2016


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