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Vineyards and Volatility

Vineyards and Volatility

June 25, 2021
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Sometimes you have to take a break from working out and turn off the news to recharge and get some life balance. Some friends joined myself and my wife and we did just that by taking a vacation to Napa Valley. Usually, it takes four days to a week to unwind. However, three wine tastings after arrival, the burdens magically lift and relaxation kicks in sooner than usual. As we visited some wonderful vineyards, I started to draw some parallels to wealth and health management.

We were on a tour of the Ferrari-Corona estate being adeptly educated by an elderly, knowledgeable gentleman who would be a welcomed grandfather to most. I asked the question, “How will your vintage be this year?” He said, “Can’t tell yet. It is still harvest season; we won’t know until it is over.” He went on to explain how precise the timing must be to harvest the grapes. They must be picked early in the morning or later in the evening when it is coolest. One torrential rain or early frost could cause the grapes to drop prematurely. All hands are on deck at this time of year. The staff are not amateurs. Many of them have advanced degrees in chemistry. The technology has furthered the efficiency and consistency of wine production yet still requires certain tasks and judgement by real human beings.

In wealth management we understand there are elements out of our control. Wine does not discriminate political party. While the chemist has produced excellent varietals, they can’t guarantee anything. Fortunately, the wineries that are most recognized have surplus barrels in storage and enough planning for the years mother nature dominates outcomes. So true is the market when employment figures, interest rates, tax reform, inflation, recessions, premature or late judgements alter a typically efficient portfolio. Today we use integrated technology complimented with our experienced team and focus on helping build wealth while seeking to reduce portfolio risk. There is collaboration among teams to determine on a personal basis the need for cash flow, tax harvesting, allocation decisions and life stage appropriateness. There are no crystal balls yet there is more experience and credentialed professionals at our firm that have enhanced our planning process.

So, whether you are a dedicated athlete, disciplined walker; or, perhaps, you manage your own money like making your own wine, remember to take a step back once in a while and enjoy the landscape, the time to reflect, and to renew yourself for another year. One of my favorite quotes from the lyrics of Les Miserable is “may the wine of good friendship never run dry.”


Securities and Financial Planning offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC