Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.
Michelle Carter, CFP®

Waiting… Patience… Delayed gratification…

These are concepts we discuss quite often in meetings.

Sometimes, you will hear us say we are looking out for the person you will be financially in 10, 20, or 30 years from now. Perhaps there is something exciting you wish to have, do, or buy *right now*, but doing so might jeopardize the security of the “future you”. In these situations, having a conversation is important, weighing the risks and the benefits to come to a conclusion or compromise. And sometimes the compromise is simply waiting.

Most of you practice these concepts daily, as you diligently invest money into your retirement plan. You choose to set aside a portion of your income to use at a later date, giving up something now for future benefits. What is exciting to me is to see this persistence rewarded as I watch many of my retired clients pursuing travel and other goals, or simply enjoying the security they have put in place for themselves.

Our patience can be tested quite strongly when we invest in the market. We watch our investments struggle during down times and wonder if we have the stamina to bypass the gratification that might come from pulling out of the turmoil, in return for the positive investment experience that is there when we take a long-term perspective. This is a difficult test for sure.

Waiting… Patience… Delayed gratification…

These are not just financial lessons. These are life’s lessons. We learned them from our parents or other people in our lives. We teach them to the next generation. And (many times) life teaches these lessons to us.

At the end of this month, my husband and I will finally hold our first child in our arms. Due to unexplained infertility, waiting for this day was a lesson in patience eight years in the making. Never have I grown so much as when I was forced to wait, taught to have patience and found my deepest desire delayed, with no idea how or if it would ever be achieved.

This experience has taught me about life, and I keep those lessons with me in everything I do. I know each and every person has had a similar life event that changed them for the better and taught them something invaluable they will carry with them forever.

Waiting… Patience… Delayed gratification…

The beauty of these concepts is, although they are everywhere and not always welcome, the reward at the end is always sweeter, simply because of the struggle it took to get there. This is true in many areas of life, whether it be health, family, career or, yes… even 401(k)s.

Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we wanted them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come. -JFS

I will be out of the office on Maternity Leave beginning sometime in late September and I look forward to returning approximately eight weeks later. David will be here in my absence to handle any urgent client issues, and I am reachable by phone if needed.

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