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Weather and Road Trips

For those living in Phoenix and Tucson, it seems as if this summer has been hotter than usual. Last week, it was announced Phoenix is experiencing its hottest summer in history while Tucson just completed the hottest month ever recorded in July. The kicker to all of this, is not only is it hot, but the monsoon season is historically dry.

While different parts of the Arizona have experienced varying levels of monsoon activity, it was only this past Monday when we started to feel as if the monsoons were here in Phoenix. Monday, we saw the towering black clouds, wind and dust. Francis looked to the sky waiting to see the lightening and rain. Unfortunately, he did not see much of anything Monday. Come Tuesday and Wednesday we had high temperatures and more monsoon teasing, but it was not until Thursday when we finally felt rain. Last night, Phoenix finally felt the wrath of a monsoon with extremely strong winds and rain causing damage and power outages throughout the Valley. Everyone wanted to see a monsoon; however, no one wants to see damage.

Considering the past week of monsoon activity, it got me thinking about how weather is like wealth management and can have an impact on travel.

Let us imagine for a second, Katie, Francis and I wanted to take a road trip to the beach. We get the car all packed up, have one last stop in the bathroom and excitedly get Francis into his car seat. We open the garage and to our surprise we could not see more than 20 feet in front of us. A huge haboob (dust storm) has descended on Phoenix. There is no way we are going to leave as we have a known risk and danger, the dust storm.

The dust storm is like known risks we have in all our lives. This includes disability, death and overspending to name a few. As it relates to investments, there is the economic risk of an overheated economy or recession. The weekly letter from a few weeks ago spoke about inflation, another risk to investments. Additionally, there is the risk the value of investments will go down during periods of economic stress.

It has been said by many people, that we are in a time like no other. While this is certainly true in some parts of our lives, financially speaking, we have been through this before. Look to the Great Recession, the early 2000s recession or even the recession of the early 1990s. We are in the midst a recession as seen most notably through unemployment. Historically, recessions occur approximately every four years. It just so happened the current recession was the first in a decade and was caused by a global pandemic.

Combine the pandemic with market volatility of March and you get a perfect storm, of fear and anxiety. Fear of one’s health, as early in the pandemic no one really knew much about this virus and anxiety over the historical drop in stock prices. Even with everything going on in the world today, our approach has not changed. We focus on a long-term strategic plan that is personalized for you, responsive to change and monitored often.

Back to the road trip. Now, the Zeches family has gotten past the dust storm and wake up the next morning excited to begin the trip. The skies are blue without a cloud in the sky. We leave the garage and begin the trip. This trip has known potential risks; however it is unknown if they will occur. By this I mean a flat tire, breaking down or even an accident. No matter what these risks may entail, we know we want to go to the beach and therefore we have adequately prepared for these events. We have plenty of water, the tire pressure was checked, we just had the oil changed and we are rested. We are ready.

In the context of the economy and markets, there is always something which could delay our financial trip due to unknown risks. The fear of an upcoming election, the worry of a potential terrorist attack or even a hurricane, are all reasons to not want to do anything. What we know is there is no way to anticipate these events, however if or when they ultimately occur, we need to talk about how they may, if any, affect your long-term financial plan. If your goals and objectives have changed, we are here to help you navigate the risks and rewards of the markets so that you have a clear picture of what could happen, which will ultimately allow you to try and accomplish all that is important to you.

In many of our conversations over the prior months, much of the discussion has been focused on one’s health and their financial security. People want to make sure they are healthy, and their families are healthy. To many, this is the most important thing. Secondly, they want to sleep easy at night knowing they will be financially secure through all economic cycles. We help you through a strategy that is grounded in long-term fundamentals with adjustments for today’s markets. We are here for you now and into the future.

Finally, this past week we received numerous questions concerning our ability to take on new clients. The short answer is yes, we can work with new families. The long answer is we are here as a resource to your family and friends. As you have heard described previously, as a service to you, we will absolutely take the time to speak with anyone you really care about who may be in a complex situation or who just wants to make sure they are making smart decisions in today’s world. As a fiduciary, we provide this service at no cost and no obligation. Additionally, anything we speak about remains 100% confidential and we will not share anything about you or your situation.

During this conversation with your friend or relative, which we call the second opinion service, we go through the discovery process to get very clear on where they are now, where they want to go and what the gaps are. Following this discussion we will review their situation and see if we may be able to help them accomplish all that is important to them and help them have more time to do all that is important to them.

Thus, please feel free to provide your friend or relative with our information as well as share this and other weekly emails with them. By the way, all my previous weekly emails and special reports can be found on our website (Chris’ Blog and Special Reports) that they may find useful. Again, we are here to help.

Have a good weekend and start thinking of those future road trips.

Stay safe and healthy.


Chris Zeches, CFP®
Managing Partner