SUMMER FISHING. Every summer I retreat to a family cabin in the Sierra’s for one week of rest and relaxation. I can proudly say that I have only missed one summer trip since the family vacation ritual began forty-five years ago. Over the years, the getaway has come to represent more than just a week “in the mountains”.
What began as a fun family vacation with my parents and sister has evolved into a place where I can go to “unplug”. Clocks, calendars and busy schedules are left behind. Enjoying quality time with loved ones is priceless, but devoting moments to myself to soak in peace and solitude is cherished.
The temporary reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life allows me to unwind and clear my head. However, after a few days I find myself craving real time stock market news. With limited access to current newspapers and spotty cell phone coverage in the area, I challenge myself to go fishing around for other sources of information. Before long I realize that a wealth of newsworthy material is available right in my own pine tree and deer filled back yard.
My mountainesque surroundings are akin to a small-scale economic barometer. While fishing in lakes or skipping rocks in nearby streams I am able to study the water level and deduct what it may mean given the statewide drought. As I go into neighboring small towns, I can observe if local businesses have closed or if new storefronts are flourishing. Hotel vacancy signs and degree of golf course attendance in the area can serve as indicators of consumer spending. Being away “in the mountains” enables me the freedom and creativity to think outside the box.
This one week personal “time-out” allows me to return re-charged and raring to go. The novel perspective gained while away is valuable. As a Portfolio Manager, I return fresh with new ideas and perspectives to share with colleagues and clients. Being away leaves time to reflect on how unique each client is; each with distinct needs and goals.
Summer fishing entails more than just a chair, lake and rod. It presents an opportunity to reel in valuable information from untapped resources. As a result, a better Portfolio Manager returns full of fresh stock ideas and innovative concepts for investment and financial plans.
By: Debbie Mitchell, CFA, CFP