Growing up, my family often took adventure vacations. At 12-years-old we took a week-long rafting trip down the Selway River in Idaho rafting over significant rapids and an occasional waterfall. We backpack camped in the Cascade Mountains on numerous occasions. It was here that I first observed the transformative power of new experiences.
I was one of those moms who insisted her kids do chores. Not just 5 minutes worth but a number of regular daily chores. We did this to develop of a sense of belonging and to learn responsibility. Another reason was I didn’t want them to see Mom and Dad always working while they loafed around the house. If adulthood was that drab, why would they ever want to grow up?
Much has been written about the traditional sandwich generation, a generation of people responsible for bringing up their own children and for the care of their aging parents. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent age 65 or older and are either raising a young child or financially supporting a grown child, and about one-in-seven middle-aged adults is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child1.
We see it time and again. Some of our brightest, most affluent clients struggle with paying bills. It’s not that they don’t have enough money. It’s that they don’t have a workable system and sometimes miss a payment or have to dip into savings for a big bill.
Does an unexpected car or home repair blow your monthly budget? Do you feel like you’re never able to save enough for a vacation? Do you worry about if you’re going to have enough for retirement but you don’t even know what you have?
Investing is and has always been a balancing act of contradictions. President Harry Truman complained that he wanted someone to “give me a one-handed economist. All my economists say, ‘on the one hand…on the other’”. In today’s environment, we have elevated asset values in nearly all types of assets on one hand. But on the other hand, we have loose global monetary policy. Likewise, we have historically low levels of asset price volatility on one hand. But on the other hand, we have a geopolitical landscape that is disruptive and uncertain. So what can we do to weigh these factors and arrive at a decision on how to invest our assets?