I’ve worked with Patty (not her real name) for the past thirty years. She became a client when I worked for a large Wall Street firm, and in the early 1990s, we developed a rudimentary financial plan that’s still working today. Patty is now in her mid-nineties and does not worry about market corrections, drops, dips, pullbacks, or crashes, and she usually says, “We’ve seen this before, and we know the market will recover.”
Soon after completing her financial plan, she called to ask if she could afford a new car, and I told her she could buy two. Her financial plan allowed us to invest and spend courageously, regardless of economic conditions, and it still does.
Her plan has been in distribution mode from the beginning, and we have sent her more money than her account is currently worth because of the long-term trend of the stock market and the power of compounding interest. Her wisdom and foresight have kept her invested despite the generational headwinds.
A few years ago, she blessed her great-grandchildren by opening education accounts. She had more than enough money for the rest of her life, so she cracked open her nest egg to fund the accounts. Her great-grandchildren may attend college for free because of her generous gift.
Patty is strong in her faith and receives great joy from serving others with her time, talent, and treasure. She is an optimist with a positive outlook on life and does not let a bear market sour her mood.
After each portfolio review, I half-joking ask Patty if she could speak to all my clients because of her positive outlook. She won the race long ago, focuses on things she can control, and ignores the rest.
If Patty had panicked during the past three decades, she would not have the wealth she does today, nor could she have funded her great-grandchildren’s education accounts. She has been able to overcome her fear and focus on the future.
I have a hundred years of data for stocks, bonds, interest rates, inflation, etc., to try and convince clients that markets rebound, but Patty is living proof that if you follow your plan, think long-term, and have faith, things will turn out well.
If you want to succeed as an investor, follow Patty’s lead.
Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. ~ Warren Buffett
October 17, 2022
Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets.
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