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Groundhog Day?

Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation, St. Vincent, what is one thing all these movies have in common? Bill Murray acted in each and everyone one. From an assistant groundskeeper to a fading movie star going through a midlife crisis, Bill has quite the range of characters he has played in his career.

This past weekend before teeing off for a round of golf, I noticed someone looking at my golf bag. As someone who likes to walk rather than take a golf cart, I am always looking for a lightweight bag. Telling the individual, I would make him a good deal if he was interested in purchasing the bag, this man commented how he is constantly in search of a lightweight bag and mine looked light. When speaking with this individual, his playing partner got out of the cart and made his way over to us. Upon seeing him I said hello and asked how the round was going. Lo and behold, the individual was Bill Murray.

As I went about my day, I thought of all the various movies Bill acted in but kept coming back to one…Groundhog Day where he played Phil. For those unfamiliar with the movie, it follows a weatherman (Phil) who ends up living the same day over and over again. He is the only one that knows each day is repeated. So understandably he goes through many different emotions as well as finds ways to make each day different. As you all know from my prior updates, I can try to be philosophical. Thus, one possible result of Phil reliving each day is he finally realizes everything is not about him.

So, what does Bill Murray and more importantly Groundhog Day have to do with your life and wealth management? For many people, with all that is currently going on in the world, each day feels like Groundhog Day. You may have your daily routines, which does not seem to change much at all. Maybe you go the grocery store on Tuesday and get gas on Friday, but beyond that, there is not much change in your routines. This monotony has the potential to cause many different emotions which can affect you in different ways. Some people may believe, beyond the virus, their life may not really have changed.

However, if we look closer at the prior months, life has changed. Many people have realized the health of oneself as well as their loved ones is the most important item to them. Everything else does not seem as important if one’s health is not good. While we are not doctors, we do know stress, either caused from internal or external forces, is not good. Our goal for each of you is to help alleviate any stresses and help make your lives easier. Our wealth management formula, as seen below, was specifically created to alleviate stress as your life continues to change.

Wealth Management= Investment Consulting + Advanced Planning + Relationship Management

Investment consulting is the management of your investable assets. Advanced planning includes wealth enhancement (tax mitigation techniques), wealth transfer (helping your assets go to who you want, when you want and how you want), wealth protection (protecting your hard earned assets from being unlawfully taken) and finally charitable giving (looking to enhance your gifts for not only yourself, but the charity of your choosing). In order to try and accomplish the investment consulting and advanced planning, we need to continue to meet and speak with you and your family as well as your other professionals (attorney and CPA for example), thus the relationship management part of the formula. As you have heard me say time and time again, financial planning is not a one time, one size, fits all approach. It is a continuous process that changes with your needs.

Reflecting on the Groundhog Day movie, Phil initially believed each day was the same and it took him time to realize he had control of what would happen, at least for that one day. He could do anything he wanted from eating and drinking to his heart’s desire, to learning the piano and trying to fall in love. While he did not have any repercussions from his prior day events, we know life is not actually like that.

We all know by experience the choices we make today, while potentially not felt immediately, will sooner or later be felt. This means the planning we do now, while it may take time to realize, is so important. Your financial plan was ultimately created for a reason and it is a continuous process. Unfortunately, unlike Phil in the movie, there are no do overs. That is why it is so important for us to have regular meetings with you to learn about any upcoming changes or potential changes in your life so as we can update your financial plan.

I have been asked to comment about businesses and their situations and how we can help them. When thinking of changes, our conversations with business owners are constantly evolving. With the business owners we work with, as well as completing workshops for the clients of our professional network, we are seeing some business owners view the current situation as an opportunity to not only survive but thrive. These owners are not being passive and reactionary but are taking active steps to improve their business model and customer experiences.

Our business workshop is broken into a three-step process with an initial assessment where the business owner looks at where they currently are as compared to where they want to be. There are many benchmarks that they can set for themselves. Following the assessment there is a series of questions that the answers can help create an action plan. This action plan is designed to help get the owners to the business they can only dream of. Finally, there is the adjustment phase where the business owner realizes ways to hold themselves accountable. It is through this process where the business owners realize now is the time where they can super charge their business for years to come.

For the week, the market as measured by the S&P 500 increased approximately 1.8%. Like Phil in the movie who was reliving the same day, the S&P 500 seems to be moving sideways, reliving each day dependent upon new virus numbers or potential vaccines. Companies have just started to report earnings. Thus, we may get some insight and clarity to what is going on in the economy and how the consumer is reacting.

If you are looking for an escape this weekend, look for a classic movie, I may even suggest Groundhog Day or another Bill Murray movie. We all know we need a few more things to laugh about these days.

Please stay safe and healthy.


Chris Zeches, CFP®
Managing Partner