While putting my children to bed one night a few weeks ago I suddenly connected with the fact that it was March of 2019. With the kids in bed, I quickly ran to the safe and pulled out my passport. Flipping through the pages, looking at my old visas from places like Zimbabwe, Laos, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia and Brazil brought back a flood of memories, but I couldn’t find the entry stamp I was looking for. I went to my email, told Jillian what I was looking for, and eventually we confirmed my memory. It has been exactly 10 years since we embarked on our trip around the world. It has been exactly 10 years since we entered Mexico on foot, ate a subway sandwich, hopped on a bus, and began a journey south through the Americas that eventually morphed into our passing through 50 countries over the course of 21 months.
It had started with a goal and a plan.
Senior year of college, like most seniors, I had the unpleasant task choosing a course for the rest of my life. None looked particularly enticing but I eventually took a first step, joined IBM and worked mostly with the USPS. It was fine, I did well and was compensated fairly, but it didn’t excite me. Having already set a goal for myself that did excite me, to explore the world and follow summer temperatures through the various hemispheres for a couple of years, helped me to stay on task and remain focused. I did the math and determined what I needed to save monthly to make it happen.
Jillian and I married, and we continued the path together. At the time some of our friends, and certainly the talking heads on TV, were focused on buying real estate. That didn’t ‘fit’ our plan, so we didn’t engage. The market crashed but our money, because it was ‘short-term’ money that we intended to use up in a short amount of time, had been safely stowed away in a money market fund. We thought for a moment about taking that cash and buying a house, with the real estate market in shambles it would have been a good buy, but that wasn’t our plan and so we didn’t do it.
On the first full day of our trip we were on a boat in Baja California, Mexico, petting a wild grey whale and its new born calf. A few days after that we were swimming with sea lions and enjoying the best Mexican food we’d ever had. We never looked back and never regretted the decision to follow through on our goal.
Taking that trip and sticking to our goal and plan probably had a far greater impact on the course of our lives than if we’d simply purchased a house in 2009. If nothing else, I wouldn’t be your advisor today if it weren’t for that trip!
This experience is why I place such a strong emphasis on understanding your goals in order to create a plan. Not every plan is fully developed, nor is every goal well-articulated. Still, when we understand ‘where’ we want to go then we can figure out if that investment property, new business venture or contribution to our retirement accounts, is supportive of our goal…or a mere diversion.
Thank you for taking this stroll down memory lane with me, but more importantly, thank you for the trust and faith you place in my abilities to help you achieve your dreams and goals.
Live Long and Prosper,
Daniel Tobias, CFP®
Please note: The above is a copy of the 2019 Q1 Passport Wealth Management client newsletter attached to quarterly statements from April 2019. The newsletter is published to the website for informational purposes only and is not financial or investment advice. You should consult a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional for financial advice. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indexes are not available for direct investment. Investing involves risks, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no guarantee that markets will act as they have in the past or that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.
Daniel Tobias is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional and a Fee-Only Advisor. He owns Passport Wealth Management, a financial advising firm based in Cornelius, NC that works with clients across the globe. He helps individuals plan for retirement, manage investment portfolios, mitigate taxes, and secure their financial futures. With more than 10 years in the industry, Daniel has spoken nationally on financial planning practice management and has served on the National Association Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) South Regional Board. He resides with his family near Lake Norman in North Carolina where he enjoys mountain biking, hiking and travel.