Broker Check

How Your Retirement Picture Can Look Like Havasupai Falls

May 29, 2015
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My wife and I recently had a wonderful experience hiking the 10+ miles to Havasupai Falls.  Once there we were also able to plunge into the blue-green waters of Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls.  This idyllic slice of paradise hours away from our home in Scottsdale wouldn’t have been accessible to us nor nearly as enjoyable had it not been for our trustworthy guides, Joy and Nick.

You see, Joy and Nick have been down to the falls hundreds of times, leading many groups down this rugged terrain over the past decade.  As I think back to our experience in this part of the Grand Canyon, it occurs to me that the very reason that we had a successful trip was that we trusted and believed in our guides.  The parallel to my work as a financial advisor is an easy one to make.  What are the keys to having a great guiding experience?

1)      Go With Experience

Someone asked Nick how many times he’d been through the village of Supai, the Indian village that serves as the outpost to Havasupai and he answered that it had to be over a hundred.  Experience makes all the difference.  As we were climbing down the slick and steep ladder rungs leading to Mooney Falls, Joy’s calm words of guidance to me of where to plant my next step took on significance.  This was because I trusted her experience.

2)      Don’t Overthink

In the pre-trip talk the night before our big experience, Nick and Joy had to encourage me to “turn off” my brain.  I’m a type A when it comes to adventures like this and I had to learn, albeit reluctantly, to allow my guides to often think for me.  We had adverse weather conditions (is 40 degrees and sleet adverse?) to deal with at the very beginning of our hike down.  This was a great time for me to not overthink and allow Joy and Nick to guide us.  When we arrived at our campsite, the tent we initially moved our bags into had a zipper that wouldn’t work, exposing us to the elements (e.g. bugs, rodents and rain).  Without hesitating they swapped tents with us.  I gladly “turned my brain off” at that moment.  

3)      Allow the guide to walk beside you

Joy and Nick were focused on our well-being.  They took joy in serving our needs and were happy when we asked questions and needed them.  Their confidence allowed us to try things we would never try on our own.

These are great parallels to the experience clients can have when they have a trusted financial advisor:

1)      Go With Experience

Choose a team of advisors who have significant experience guiding clients through difficult decisions.  

2)      Don’t Overthink

Your financial guide has been through many markets and knows how to maneuver through life’s difficult financial decisions.  Trust your guide to know how to get you to your destination.

3)      Allow the guide to walk beside you

Many of my clients have experienced losses or significant changes in life.  As a financial guide, I have no greater desire than to walk beside them as they navigate a very difficult path in their journey.    

The end result of trusting our guides to the falls was one of immense satisfaction.  They provided us with peace of mind through the journey.  Reminds me of our purpose statement at Summit Wealth Group:  “Helping People Navigate the Path to a Better, More Secure Future.” 

Randy Morris, CFP®, ChFC®, AIF®