Falcon Heavy

The launch of Falcon Heavy was a wonderful sight as it roared towards the heavens.  A massive rocket with 5 million pounds of thrust and a payload capable of carrying 64 metric tons, the equivalent of a fully loaded 737.[1]  The recent payload carried Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster complete with a driver – “Starman.”

The successful launch by Space X from the Kennedy Space Center put them in the lead for the race to Mars ahead of Boeing and Blue Origin.  They succeeded because of the passion, persistence and vision of their founder, Elon Musk.  Without his dreams and plans this rocket would’ve never left earth.

However, it hasn’t always been straight up for the company or Falcon Heavy.  The company has endured failure and setbacks.  The plan for Falcon Heavy originated in 2004.  It was scheduled to be introduced in 2011 with a 2013 launch date.  In 2016 one of their rockets exploded on the launch pad and destroyed everything including a Facebook satellite.  Despite these setbacks and delays the company forged on with an eye on their recent launch.

Investors can learn many things from this launch.  To be successful as an investor you need a vision and a dream.  William Ward said, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”  Without a vision your idea will never get launched.   Once your dream is committed to paper you now have a plan.  Your plan is the cornerstone that will turn your dream into actionable ideas.  The details of your plan will help you navigate your investments towards your goals.

Of course, you’re not guaranteed victory just because you commit your dream to paper.  Your investments, and plan, will suffer many setbacks.  It took Space X fourteen years to go from thought to launch and their team needed many years of patience before they were able to see their dream reach the stars.  You’ll need patience as well.  A long-term investor will experience many strong years of growth but will occasionally be interrupted by a few outbursts of panic like we experienced in 1987, 2000 and 2008.

The limitless dreamers like the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison and Einstein must have been optimists because it’s hard to imagine a pessimist committing to enormous projects like these pioneers did.  It will take faith and optimism to invest your money in the stock market for decades especially if you experience a bear market or two.  You’re more likely to succeed as an investor if you own great companies and believe in their future regardless of their price movement in the short term.

Musk, like the innovators before him, returned to the drawing board often.  Thomas Edison was famous for “failing” 10,000 times before the light went on.  After their rocket exploded, the Space X team had to review what went wrong so they could fix the problem before their next launch.  When your investments lose money, or your plan isn’t working, it will pay to spend some time reviewing your accounts, strategies and goals to find out what happened.  Reviewing your investments will make you a better investor.

JFK aimed for the moon; Musk is pointing for Mars. These are huge targets.  Astronauts walked on the moon and I’m confident that one day someone will walk on Mars.  Without targets your goals are useless.  You’ll need them to measure your progress and, ultimately, your success.  If you’re going to set goals, aim high.

Invest for the long-term, set big goals, create a plan and your investments should blast off!

Aim for the moon…even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars. – Unknown.

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management an independent, fee-only, fiduciary financial planning and investment management firm in Austin, TX.  For more information please visit www.parrottwealth.com.


Note:  Past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.  Your returns may differ than those posted in this blog and investments aren’t guaranteed.  Photo Credit: Tom Cross.  The picture is not Falcon Heavy.




[1] www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy, website accessed 2/21/18

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