beautiful downtown louisville

A Ripple Is a Full Circle Is a Ripple

photo shows overlapping ripples expanding in a pool with blue and yellow tones of water

A rare thing happened recently, an event more than four decades in the making.

Early in my career, making loans was part of my job at Louisville State Savings. One of those loans helped a trade-school graduate buy tools. He was 19 years old and ready to go to work and live on the fruits of his labor. We completed the paperwork at 130 Main—just down the street from where I am now.

This week a 60-year-old man came in to see me at 228 Main. He wanted to get his 401(k) plan rolled over so he could retire and live on his capital.

It was that trade school graduate, back to visit me at the other end of his career.

I was honored to be there at the start, and the finish, of this fellow’s career. It was a greater honor to hear him talk about his experience.

“I’m glad you’re here,” he said, “when you might have moved to Florida. I don’t want to deal with an 800 number or a computer. I like to be able to come in and sit and talk.” It was about more than his preferred methods of doing business, though.

It was about having someone to be there with him as he navigated his goals. He continued, “I need somebody that understands what I’m trying to do. You were here when I was starting out, you’re here now, and I hope you’re here for a long time to come.”

I have long suspected that every interaction can make ripples that expand to the end of time. We leave tracks wherever we go. The seeds we plant with our words and deeds grow into things we could never imagine at the time. I had a small part in getting some tools into the right hands. That young man setting out no doubt changed many people’s lives throughout his career. And who knows what that help enabled them to do?

I guess what I am trying to say is, life compounds.

Satisfaction is not exactly the emotion I’m feeling, but it’s something like the deep contentment of knowing I’m in the place I’m supposed to be, making the difference I can. Isn’t that what people want out of life, more than anything? To know they make a difference?

Start to finish—it seems like a full circle. But really, one thing leads to another, and another, and another. I’ve been a lot of places, but now I’m in the one with the best view of life, compounding.

Clients, if you want to talk about the next thing to which your life is leading, email me or call.


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525,600 Minutes

“How do you measure a year in the life?”

Jonathan Larson wrote those lyrics for the 1996 Broadway musical Rent, but today they strike a chord in me.

One year ago, I had two homes, four vehicles, and a life split between Florida and Nebraska. I was a year into this new chapter—as a widower—with many options and a lot to figure out. Life was unsettled.

“How do you measure a year in the life?” Had two places: left them, moved to one new place. Had four vehicles: dumped three, added one to end with two. Used to swim laps in the sunshine for health: now I walk in all kinds of weather. Had a Floribraska snowbird lifestyle: came back as a full-time Cornhusker. Used to split my workdays between the Florida home and the shop in BDL (beautiful downtown Louisville!): ended up “on Main,” as we say.

“525,600 minutes…” The mid-century modern home in Louisville is what started it. Driving over to see it with my realtor the day it listed, I kept thinking, “I need another house like I need a puppy! This is stupid.” But the home charmed me very quickly, and I realized I needed just one place—that one. Fortunately, I was in a position to purchase it. Then other pieces fell into place quite quickly.

That question of location seems pressing for a lot of people in the wake of a loss or a change in the household. In the year after Cathy passed, I too was wondering where I should spend my time, but I should have been thinking with whom I will spend it. It just took me getting settled back here to realize it.

The people I care about are mostly concentrated around here. Reconnecting with the community, the place I lived most of my life, has been a joy. And rededicating myself to business has been invigorating.

A year into it, I’m happy here—I would not trade with anybody.

Resources create options, which are handy when circumstances change our plans. I’m so grateful for you, the best clients in the world, who are such a large part of my life. That I came out of the hard years still connected to you is a blessing for which I will always be grateful.

Clients, if you would like to talk about your plans and planning or anything else, please email me or call.


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Streams of Consciousness

photo shows four different driftwood fires burning on a Platte River sandbar

A pastime of mine is enjoying driftwood fires on the Platte River, just outside beautiful downtown Louisville. With the changes in the weather, a recent trip to the river got me thinking.

There’s an idea—often attributed to Greek philosopher Heraclitus—that suggests, “No one ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and they are not the same person.”

Each day, we experience new things. These events bring us joy, sadness, pain, elation. Some events change us by an inch. Others change us by a mile. Some changes are flighty. Others are permanent.

But we change daily.

The market has been acting like this proverbial river lately. From a distance, not much has changed. But if you look closer, you’ll see it differently. Small victories. Temporary setbacks. The ebb and flow of new information.

We have a sense of where the market is flowing. But just like an actual river, there are no guarantees (Mother Nature has her ways, right?).

As the river makes anew, it brings me more driftwood. Which allows me to continue my pastime. Which prompts me to recognize that each fire is different—and the observer is different too.

Clients, if you’d like to talk about this or anything else, email or call.


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