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A drive along the lake fills Ken with inspiration and optimism

In September 2020, my wife and I and several friends were scheduled to take a dream vacation to Germany. As a result of Covid, our trip was rescheduled for 2021. Then, earlier this year, anticipating ongoing Covid travel restrictions, we concluded Germany was not in the picture.

Undaunted, we decided on a road trip to the Upper Peninsula. We toured the Lake Superior coast, visiting numerous small towns along the way. They were full of history and interesting people who faced many challenges and setbacks.

Over the years, many folks sailed the Great Lakes or worked in iron ore and copper mines. They were rugged and resilient people, seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

Generally speaking, I don’t think any of us today are as rugged as our predecessors, but I do believe we’re as resilient. That’s why I have a renewed sense of overall optimism, particularly regarding the world of investing.

By today’s standards, those early ships on the Great Lakes were primitive and unsafe. Navigation was conducted with a compass abetted by a lighthouse with dim lights that were originally powered by whale oil.

Today, the huge freighters that travel those lakes are loaded with technology and guided by GPS. Such innovations didn’t just happen over night; it took decades for entrepreneurs to make it all possible. In a sense, it’s much like our space travel and exploration programs that are being driven and funded by the private sector.

Throughout the Upper Peninsula, there are abandoned mines and other remnants of a thriving time. Similarly, our nation has had many boom and bust industries and abandoned towns. By now we should realize that, in this changing world, you not only have to work hard to get to the top, you have to work just as hard to stay there.

But even with hard work, technology sometimes makes great efforts obsolete. For example, Nokia dominated the cell phone market twenty years ago, and Apple was just a start-up computer company. Times change and innovation continues to advance at breakneck speed. What’s state of the art today can be obsolete in a matter of years.

Sometimes innovations can cause people to lose a job or otherwise be hurt financially. That’s when you need to be resilient, perhaps by updating your job skills or taking on a new trade. And also why you need to establish a rainy day emergency fund, something I have always encouraged.

For investors, there will always be risk. But there will always be a company trying to build a better mousetrap that’s seeking investors. The challenge, of course, is to find the company that can deliver that mousetrap and keep on delivering.

In this complex world, there’s a wide variety of ways to invest. Some investors are content do it on their own, while others rely on mutual funds or other professional money managers.

Revisiting our Michigan history in the U.P. has reminded me how resilient people can be. Setbacks do occur and can be painful for individuals and businesses alike.

But time and history show that resilient and determined people and businesses can find a way to succeed. With all of today’s innovations, I think long-term investors who can ignore all the negative headlines and distractions will do just fine.

Know Someone?

Do you know someone who would like to meet with a financial advisor?

Ken Morris 248.952.1744

E-mail your questions to kenmorris@lifetimeplanning.com

 Ken is a registered representative of LPL Financial. Securities and financial planning offered through LPL, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Ken is Vice-President of the Society for Lifetime Planning in Troy. All opinions expressed are those of Ken Morris. LPL and Society for Lifetime Planning are independent companies. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.