The Strength of the Cable and Financial Independence
Posted: Jonathan Chapman
Watching the inauguration in D.C. earlier this month reminded me of the many years I spent living in the D.C. area. Much of that time was spent during my tenure at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD (located about 30 miles outside of D.C.) where I earned an undergraduate degree in ocean engineering. For those who aren’t familiar, the Naval Academy is one of 5* service academies (i.e. colleges) in the United States that prepares its students for service as an officer in the United States Navy or United States Marine Corps. As I often tell folks, the rigor is so demanding during those 4 years that it’s often said it’s a great place to be from, but a tough place to be at. In fact, barring any future memory disorders other than forgetting what my wife asked me 10 minutes ago to get at the grocery store, I’ll never forget my graduation date. It’s how I remember my wedding date since I married my beautiful bride 4 days after graduation. Just don’t tell her that’s how I remember our anniversary. I digress.
As a plebe (freshman) at the Naval Academy, you are indoctrinated in the traditions of Naval Service and the Naval Academy from day one. On induction day (the first day), every plebe is issued a small book called “Reef Points” in which they are required to memorize the information within in a very short period of time. A particular section in that book has stuck with me for over 20 years now. That section is the “Laws of the Navy.” One of those Laws reads:
On the strength of one link in the cable,
Dependeth the might of the chain,
Who knows when thou mayest be tested?
So live that thou bearest the strain!
This powerful phrase is obviously analogous to many areas of our lives. So why do I bring this up and how does it relate to wealth management? You see, everyone’s financial life is like the cable. For some, that cable may be pretty short and for others it may be pretty long. Regardless, that cable is only as strong as its weakest link. Each link in that cable represents every aspect of their wealth, whether it’s their business, job, income, savings, investments, retirement plan, tax plan, insurance or estate plan.
An individual’s financial well-being, or cable, is dependent upon the strength of each of those areas. Therefore, a Wealth Advisor’s job is, and should be, to objectively assess every aspect, analyze them, provide recommendations, and then help implement those recommendations in order to strengthen each link of that cable. Additionally, as time passes, those links which were once polished or brand new, become weathered and eventually begin to deteriorate. Therefore, a Wealth Advisor must continually monitor and refinish or replace each link in that cable. Then, when the storm comes, that client’s financial cable is strong enough to withstand the raging and turbulent seas because each link has already been tested and prepared to provide the strength required for the cable to endure. Therefore, when working with an advisor, find one that will continually strengthen each link in your cable to ensure stability and financial independence for you and your family. Let us know if we can serve you.
Footnote: *The Naval Academy is 1 of 5 service academies, but that’s if you count the pre-school along the Hudson River in New York as actually being a service academy. And yes I know they beat us this past year, but I wouldn’t call a 53-61-7 a winning record. But maybe they do at a school that hands out participation trophies. I kid, West Point grads are actually people too. By the way, the record is referring to the Army-Navy football game all-time record. The game is held in December of each year, typically in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America.