Permanent Value

Finish Strong

Bruce Doole
April 12th, 2011


On April 3rd, I completed my first triathlon, the Lavaman Triathlon in Hawaii and learned a few lessons that I want to share with you.    The first one is that a strong start and especially a strong finish are the key to not only races but many endeavors (particularly financial) in life.   At the start of the triathlon, I was determined to get into a good early rhythm and make sure that things were working as smoothly as possible.   This was all made possible by our coach who prepared us for every possible scenario based on his 30 years of coaching and participation in over 280 triathlons himself during the past 50 years.   We spent five months preparing for the race where I made sure I could complete all three distances but the three days prior to the race on location were by far the most valuable.  I tested swimming in the bay that would be our race course (with and without a wetsuit); biking and running on the actual course as well as what nutrition I would take prior to the race itself.  I was thus fully prepared and had gotten all my mistakes out of the way before the gun (actually a conch shell) sounded for the main event.  This helped me to have a mistake-free race and I even had an unexpected but pleasant surprise when my son Jordan ran with me the last quarter mile to the finish. 

Now how does this apply to my finances you might ask?   Being prepared and getting sound coaching is essential to having a successful financial strategy.  You can take simple steps like making retirement plan contributions automatic and on time, keeping a working budget and establishing a healthy surplus every month.   While I had a head coach and a nutritionist, I also had a separate run, swim and bike coach for each event in the triathlon.  I asked them a lot of questions and always consulted them when I was not getting the results I wanted in training.  You have us, your financial advisor, as your head coach; you also have coaches in estate planning, taxes, and risk management.   You need to see all of them when appropriate, test their advice on your own financial situation and take their advice in a timely fashion to make your strategy the most effective it can be.  Finishing strong is critical in planning because that is when mistakes can have the biggest impact.  If you tested your strategy early in your financial life and are confident in the race you are running you are likely to finish strong.  Having someone to help run you in to the finish and encourage you (like your financial advisor) certainly helps make it more worry-free and pleasant as well. 


We look forward to meeting with you in the next few months to discuss your strategy so we can help you make all the critical adjustments necessary for you to be successful.  We would like to review all your finances two to three times per year depending on your schedule and will be calling to get your help in gathering the information we need so the meeting can be as efficient and effective for you as possible.   Thank you in advance for your cooperation and have an enjoyable spring and summer.  We look forward to seeing you soon.