I just returned from a few days in Antigua - just a quick little getaway from the cold and to get ready for the rush that is tax season.
What I discovered – besides the awesome beauty of what must be the closest thing to Eden on Earth – is my desire to ensure my ability to return someday, maybe even permanently. The cacophony of sounds, beauty all around, wonder upon wonder to behold!
Inevitably, my thoughts turned to how to make my dreams happen. Even in paradise, I couldn’t stop thinking – at least not on my last day there, as we prepared to leave and head back to reality. Time finally had meaning again. As always, my favorite phrase echoed in my ears – plan for the worst and hope for the best.
I thought about a couple of my clients – two, specifically. One fit that phrase perfectly and one did not. We’ll call the first Joe and the second Paul. Both were very shrewd businessmen. Both did very well in life and were successful.
Joe worked at various jobs until he finally settled on developing his own company, which he later sold to a much larger company for a tidy profit when he was in his mid-forties. So tidy, in fact, he never worked a day again. That’s not to say that he rested on his laurels and became a ne’er do well. In fact, he embodied the “plan well” motto. He invested wisely, never speculated, stuck to his plan and lived an extremely comfortable life well into his 90’s – leaving a multimillion-dollar trust benefiting his wife, children and several charities that will span generations!
When the Great Recession hit, he didn’t panic, but rode it out because we had a plan. He and his wife had sufficient liquidity and income to provide for their needs, a diversified portfolio to weather the storm and a great partner to listen to their concerns and be there with them through it all.
Now, let’s consider Paul. He also invested wisely, at least initially. He worked for one company for most of his career – very successfully - retired and moved to the coast. He and his wife lived well and had a great plan.
However, when the recession came, he panicked. I talked him “off the ledge” several times, but finally he made me pull the trigger and cash out his entire portfolio. I’m pretty sure that we did so at the exact bottom of the market! He literally could not have chosen a worse time.
He had a plan, but he did not stick to the plan. A plan is only as good as you use it. Without staying the course and utilizing the plan as it is intended, it’s worthless.
To find out the rest of Paul’s story, you’ll have to tune in to next month’s end-of-month article. To find out how to develop your own plan and get the most out of it, contact any one of the outstanding professionals at ONST today.
Old North State Trust, LLC (ONST) periodically produces publications as a service to clients and friends. The information contained in these publications is intended to provide general information about issues related to trust, investment and estate related topics. Readers should be aware that the facts may vary depending upon individual circumstances. The information contained in these publications is intended solely for informational purposes, is proprietary to ONST and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete or timely.
Susan Willett is the director of trust services and oversees all aspects of trust administration for Old North State Trust, LLC. Old North State Trust, a North Carolina chartered trust company, provides: asset management services; income, estate and trust tax consulting; retirement planning and administration; and trustee and estate services to both individuals and businesses. Old North State Trust professionals have many years of experience and for over a decade have assisted clients in identifying and reaching their financial goals. For more information, visit www.oldnorthstatetrust.com or call 910-399-5470.
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