financial success

On Getting a Tattoo

graphic shows the word "REMEMBER" etched into a stacked stone wall

Friends, maybe you could have guessed this about me… but I don’t have any body art. (I seriously doubt this topic has ever crossed your mind, but here we are.) 

I’m considering the idea of a tattoo—just the idea. A tattoo is a somewhat permanent endeavor: that ink becomes a part of your human body, so it’s as permanent as any other part of these mortal vessels we have. 

To some, it’s a huge commitment. It’s etching a message that travels with you, for the rest of your life! I suppose it’s not something to take too lightly. 

But I can appreciate what a powerful tool it might be across someone’s lifetime. A tattoo may not be for everyone, but we certainly understand the impact that a phrase or image or saying can have on a person. 

As an alternative, you could also consider getting yourself a “mind tattoo.” This idea appears in Jennifer Pastiloff’s book On Being Human, and it was important to her as she worked to change her life. She chose guiding words—anything that helped open her up, when she felt like shutting down.  

So what would you pick, if you could get a key idea inked into your mind, a reminder that was always there when you needed it? 

The nice thing about a “mind tattoo” is that it can be your own little source of strength. No need to shout it from the rooftops or fight about it on the internet, huh? 

So may something helpful become etched in your mind. Keep an ear open for that mantra, any words that help you breathe more deeply when you’re feeling overwhelmed. 

Who knows what might stick with you?

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A sunset over a body of water

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On my morning walk recently, I captured a sunrise scene. Colorful clouds with interesting texture reflected perfectly in one of the Louisville lakes. I am strictly an amateur, but a good picture jumps in front of me once in a while.

Pondering later what goes into a successful photo, I came up with this list:

  • Choose a pertinent subject.
  • Frame the key elements, focusing on the important stuff.
  • Keep it centered and level.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this same formula is what goes into writing a blog post or telling a story. And it’s what we strive for in our work with you.

There are a thousand things we could talk about or think about, but you and I work on your highest priorities—the most pertinent subjects. Our goal is to frame them so you can make effective decisions. By keeping it level, we can use a balanced approach.

Clients, if you would like to work on your story, email us or call.

What We Learned from You

© Can Stock Photo / ScantyNebula

One of the privileges of working with you is the opportunity to get to know your life stories. Over the decades, we’ve met a lot of people and heard many stories. We learned a lot about about productive financial habits and instincts from you, our clients.

We have noticed that people who are successful in retirement have some habits that helped them get there. These factors do not guarantee success, of course, but there seems to be a strong correlation. Here are three habits that seem to be key:

1. For all or most of their working careers, they invested regularly—every month, every payday. 401(k) plans, automatic deposits to Roth or other accounts…these put wealth-building on autopilot.

2. They spent less than they made. One client told us, it isn’t how much you make, it is how much you keep. We all know people who make good money and spend all of it–and others who manage to save on modest incomes.

3. They adapted to unexpected surprises without impairing their long term financial planning. Having an emergency fund, realizing that life has uncertainties…these are key to getting back on track through all kinds of times.

The three habits go a long way towards building financial security. In addition to those, some clients were apparently born with helpful investment instincts:

A. A native sense of confidence that the country works through its problems, that economic slowdowns give way to recovery sooner or later. Those who believe that seem to have an easier time waiting for markets to rebound.

B. An aversion to needing to do what everybody else is doing. Fads (or stampedes, as we call them) can be a dangerous way to invest.

We got done at the university a very long time ago. Thanks to you, however, we are always learning. One of the gratifying aspects of our work is the opportunity to pay it forward—to deliver the good news to the next generation. Clients, please email us or call if you would like to discuss this or any other topic.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.