Driving Too Fast Down a Snowy Mountain

On the way back to the airport from our recent ski trip, we encountered somewhat unexpected snow on the way down the mountain to the “valley.” That is if you count being one mile above sea-level a valley. My father-in-law was driving a recently purchased Suburban, and doing it quite well. We encountered many plows, slow-moving trucks, and a few disabled vehicles. He navigated everything at an appropriate speed that never made any of us uncomfortable.

As is typical on any dangerous road, there were a few cars going way to fast and passing in the unplowed left lane. I will acknowledge that there is a happy medium to be found here; going too slow can be almost as much of a hazard. Anyway, you know a car that’s driving recklessly when you see it.

In one such instance, we were notified via an overhead digital sign that there was an incident blocking the right lane. Two cars, one new-ish Ford Pickup and one old-ish Jeep Cherokee, tried to pass our group of cars on the left. Both were successful in the passing part, but only the pickup was able to take advantage of what I assume were anti-lock brakes and slow quickly enough to avoid the jackknifed semi in the left lane.

The old-ish Jeep was not able to slow quickly enough, and hit the right side snow bank/guard rail with its front right wheel hitting first. The Jeep skidded halfway up the snowbank and bounced onto its driver’s side, teetered, and came to rest. Through a confluence of veering and slowing by our car and other vehicles, we ended up front and center. Fortunately for all, trained emergency personnel were already on the scene tending to the semi, and although I did jump out to do whatever I could, I was very glad for the calming expertise of the emergency worker guiding the proceedings.

The author, trying to look helpful.

Two things come to mind as it applies to the investment and financial planning world:

  1. Trying to go too fast on a dangerous road is akin to being overly aggressive with your investments; you might get there faster, but you also run the risk of flipping your car. Being invested in types of assets that are too risky could jeopardize your chances of achieving your financial goals.
  2. Even though I sort of knew what to do to assist the woman trapped in her vehicle, I was very thankful to have a trained and guiding hand. Having an expert partner in your financial life can give you a similar level of comfort. Our clients are very smart people, and while most sort of know what to do when it comes to investing and financial planning, we think they appreciate having an expert on the scene.

So, go an appropriate “speed” with your investment portfolio, and don’t be afraid to consult an expert. He or she might just give you the peace of mind you need to create a solid plan and enjoy your journey!

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