I was with my family in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming this summer with another family, where we had many great adventures.
One adventure was taking the tram up to the top of the mountain. The tram is a huge gondola with a capacity of around 100 people. Fortunately, it was only 25% full.
The ride up was breathtaking!
We were informed, there was a pretty short and easy hike down to a lower gondola.
Myself (Mike #1) and the other dad (Mike #2) decided to hike down and our families, wisely, went back down on the tram.
We had a hiking map, water, sunscreen and a little food to nibble, if needed. We were good to go!
The plan was to follow the “well marked” trail! We soon realized; the trail map didn’t correspond to the ski slope signs on the mountain. To make matters a little trickier, there was a big mountain blocking our view of the lower gondola.
With the trail being poorly marked, we lost the main trail. Being pretty resourceful, I realized that I had 4 bars on my phone. So, I did what any rugged hiker would do. I called the hotel concierge! Ironically, his name was Mike as well (Mike #3).
Mike #2 pinned our location on Google maps and we were able to tell Mike #3 the name of the BLACK DIAMOND slope, where we were located.
He told us to keep going north. He was pretty sure we were on the right trail. “Even though you can’t see it, the gondola is on the other side of the mountain.” Unfortunately, there was some pretty rugged and scary terrain to cover.
We still didn’t feel real confident getting advice from a guy on the phone, even though his name was Mike and he sounded pretty confident.
If we would have had a professional guide, it would have been challenging and scary. However, we would know for certain, we were headed in the right direction.
We were concerned that we would travel this difficult trail and have to turn back, because we were going the wrong way. Actually, we were just about to turn around when a couple approached us and passed us like we were standing still. Well, actually, we were standing still!
They told us we were going the right way. Thankfully!
Me being the mountain man, I hiked bravely to our goal! Actually, I kind of bravely crawled and hugged the side of the mountain!
Mike #2 was definitely doing better than me and suggested I stand up straight. He said, “it is probably safer than hugging the side of the mountain, where your feet are already sliding down the slope.” Mike #2 is very wise! Even though it felt better to hug the mountain because I was scared, his advice helped me to move a little quicker and safely reach our destination.
Our precarious situation reminded me, how scary the financial world is for people and many hike the long journey with no plan and no guidance. Often having to turn back and start over again. Some may even have a plan and decide to go it alone and ask co-workers, friends, family members and call centers for advice. This network of contacts may care and only want the best for you, but often it is the blind leading the blind.
They may tell you to invest in the hot stock of the day or a hot sector of the market, when things are good. The same people will probably tell you to get out of the market, when the market is down.
Furthermore, they probably won’t tell you to protect your family with proper estate planning, insurance planning and other important aspects of a plan that you can control beyond your investments.
If you have a well thought out financial plan, where you review and update with your financial advisor (trail guide), you can make it to your destination safely with a lot less stress!! I am not saying it won’t get scary or stressful at times, but having the right financial advisor can make a huge difference and help you make informed, non-emotional decisions along your volatile trail to your financial goals.
You are your personal CEO. The most successful CEOs are delegators to a team of trustworthy and knowledgeable advisors. They delegate because they want to concentrate on what they are good at, running a successful company.
Mike #2 and I both vowed to have a better plan for future hikes and actually discussed doing it again someday. With a professional guide!
Feel free to contact us to see how we can be your personal CFO and we can build a life map that is easy to read and follow.
Also, Mike #3 was very helpful and nice. He was very happy we made it down without having to call mountain patrol!!