• Brad Clinard

Moments of Joy - 1st Quarter 2019 Recap

"To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life." - T.S. Eliot

As we start both a new quarter and Spring, it is a good time to reflect and share some thoughts. First, the “predictions” in our NCAA March Madness post turned out about as expected big picture, which is always nice. At the start of the quarter, it is traditional to share something along the lines of “5 key reasons why we are positive on the market’s continued strength.” So, to be brief, we are still positive on the market. Technically speaking, all three of our market indicators are positive. Fundamentally, we are focused on five positives as to why the investment markets are still relatively strong:

1. the Fed continues to be accommodative to the markets with interest rates and monetary policy

2. Inflation remains low

3. Economic growth is slowing, yet still growing at a moderate and healthy rate

4. corporate profits and earnings growth are very healthy

5. The government’s fiscal policies are pro-business and pro-growth

If it’s important to you and you want more details on the economic picture, great. Just shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to follow up.

The first quarter of 2019 was a special season of opportunity for our team to have an impact. Our clients become like our family as we walk with them through many life experiences and emotional journeys. Our team rejoices seeing “client life wins.” As we start the Spring quarter, we want to share a more personal, uplifting and inspiring message about some of the awesome client “life wins” that we witnessed.

As we reflected, it became clear that while everyone has extremely unique stories, they also share similarities. There are beautiful stories, there are sad stories, there are inspirational stories, there’s joy, there is hurt, and there is love. It is what makes the human experience, human.

Here are my “Top 10 Moments” from the first quarter that brought our team joy in our ability to serve clients:

- The great anticipation I had one evening for the next morning when I was going to share breakfast with a client for whom I have great personal admiration. In this moment, I am grateful for the lessons I learn from many of our clients, genuine success stories of everyday people doing things the right way and being good stewards.

- Hearing the strain in a long-time client’s voice during a check-in call, prompted me to inquire further. I realized that she was not free to speak, but in time I went to see her in person, to take a walk through her neighborhood so she could let me know what was bothering her.

- Bringing on a new client who has struggled through the past years and is re-creating life through both service and adventure, on her terms. So proud to watch her regain her strength and personal independence. Awesome!

- We are celebrating a win for a client who is preparing to go hike a portion of the Camino Del Santiago. This is the continuation of a dream he has talked about for years. Wow….so inspiring!

- While meeting with one of our clients, I ended up shedding a few tears. We were having a conversation centered on encouraging him to live a passionate life and explore novelty, as we reflected on a friend who passed too soon from this world. It is a good time to take a moment to plan for the future, but also to enjoy today. After all, the way we live our moments is the way we live our lives.

- Helping a grandson and a grandfather bridge a generation gap while encouraging each of them and helping them individually use their money as a tool to enrich their lives and grow as a family.

- Our team providing ongoing prayer and hopefully some comfort to a special family, the children of our client, while they are facing difficult medical challenges. We hope that some of our family’s experiences with difficult health challenges can be used to share compassion and in a small way provide comfort during challenges.

- We worked closely with a couple nearing retirement and their desire to transition to a retirement community. There are so many variables to consider when considering this transition. We helped them navigate the challenges and complexities, considering trade-offs, and managing their resources to achieve their goal.

- As we mourned the loss of a special client, we remembered her extraordinary life. It was also a blessing to witness the successful couple’s lifelong legacy wishes fulfilled. The estate plan the couple diligently constructed with my father, was 25 years in the making, and left their children with a significant inheritance. It is surely a blessing to the children and will enhance their financial resources as they approach retirement.

Now if this didn’t inspire you, here is your bonus. In March, I attended a conference in Florida and heard demographics expert Kimberly Lear speak. Her research was fascinating. One thing that really jumped out to me is about our perception of time. As we collectively live longer, the way we perceive time changes. Essentially, we are in “youth” longer and we feel younger longer. We see this through clients doing amazing things, well into their 70’s. To see “seniors being awesome”, just check out This Mountain Life, which recently played at the Banff Film Tour in High Point (available through iTunes store). It is the story of Martina Halik and her 60-year-old mother, Tania’s attempt to 2300 km ski trek from Vancouver to Alaska through the treacherous Coast Mountains of British Columbia. This adventure had only been completed once before, and never by a female duo. It is a true testament to the capabilities of human achievement, determination and passion with one of nature’s most breathtaking backdrops.

If you have friends or those you care about that might need encouragement or advice that could lead to a big impact, we are here to share time and guidance with the people you care about. We welcome a conversation to explore if there is a way we can help. Maybe you don’t have a mountain to climb, but we encourage you to embrace the moments of your life and enjoy the journey.

Be safe -- have fun -- encourage others -- live well -- seek joy.