Recently I decided to learn to sail. I’ve long been interested in sailboats and sailing but for a variety of reasons did not put myself in a position to learn and enjoy the sport. This year was different though as I finally decided if not now, when? I started by picking up a few magazines devoted to sailing. That helped a little but I found there was a whole new language I needed to learn. Tack, Clew, Foot, Head, Leech, Luff and many others that sound alike but have a variety of differing functions. Terms like luffing, Heading Up, Tacking. Terms that in a broad sense have little to do with each other. Of course there are terms that mean the same thing but are spelled differently like jibing and gybing.

So what’s a person to do? Number one thing for me I needed to form a commitment to do this. While I wouldn’t recommend this for anybody else (wealth managers can be goofy too) I bought a boat to sail. Now I have some skin in the game and I’m vested in using the thing! Next, I hired a professional to teach me. The first challenge was to get familiar with the basics of sailing and the boat and I gained some experience in that way. This was much like deciding to invest and throwing a dart at one of the pages of the Wall Street Journal. While it had its benefits I still didn’t have the real knowledge to sail the boat the way I wanted to. So… I signed up for an American Sailing Association (ASA) Certification course through Northern Breezes in Minnesota. Both were extremely valuable but the ASA course forced me to get familiar with the “new language” of this new endeavor. I now have a “Basic Keelboat” Certification and will take the “Bareboat” Certification in August. I’ve also discovered that I have much more to learn and I’m excited to do so.

This new experience has been a tremendous amount of fun and I’m looking forward to many more fun and relaxing trips. This new experience did bring to mind how others are experiencing similar challenges in their personal wealth management needs. Wealth Managers and Financial Planners can often use terms not familiar with the people who need their services. Financial publications try to hit a broad audience but in doing so can only tell part of the story.

Your wealth management team serves the role of the skipper/instructor of your financial ship. Helping understand the terms and use the right tool for the right job. Many individuals want a nice cruise while some want to have their hands on the wheel to experience all the ups and downs of steering the course. A great wealth management team will help you understand the terms and concepts to navigate your way to you desired destination.

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