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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Turbulent Markets are like White Water Rafting! You need a professional guide with proven experience!

Rafting - Jacaré Pepira River, Brotas, São Pau...Image via Wikipedia

(Contributed) This article by R.H. (Rick) Coyle is from his recent newsletter to his clients. Rick is an old friend and fellow Karate enthusiast who I trained with for many years. He is also a 30 year veteran financial planner, investment advisor and coach with Dundee Private Investors Inc.


I was recently looking at some pictures of a white water rafting trip I took with my wife ten years ago. As I was remembering the excitement and fear I started to think it had a lot in common with financial Planning.

First there is a starting point and a destination you are heading towards, the journey contains a lot of emotions, it can be hard work, and a lot of fun.

We had three choices; the Dead River (pretty calm), the Kennebec (has a little excitement), and the Penobscot River which had several Class 5 rapids to navigate. Which one you choose reflects your appetite for risk and excitement and the speed in which you make it to your destination.

We chose the Penobscot River which had the most excitement of course. Now you can choose to take the trip on your own or with a guide. We chose the guide because we did not have the knowledge or the skill to make this trip on our own. Our guide was experienced, looked fit, and gave us a brief talk on what to expect before we headed down the river. His experience and
calmness inspired confidence in us and we were comfortable following his directions. He kept his instructions and strategy for getting down the river quite simple (kind of like a good financial planner).

Now there is more then one way to get down the river. You could swim it, which our guide did occasionally on his day off, you could canoe it, kayak it, or raft it as a group. We chose the raft (safety in numbers/diversification).

We started off in calm water for about an hour and then navigated a couple of class 2 rapids which were pretty easy and raised our excitement levels. The higher the number the more intense the rapids are. Class 6 is the highest. You could feel your pulse staring to accelerate and your senses heighten as we headed into a Class 4 Rapid known as guide killer hole. We were paddling hard taking direction from our guide and all of a sudden I was in the water wondering what happened. My life jacket (kind of like an Insurance policy ) kept me a float as I sucked in a couple of mouthfuls of water and decided to pick my feet up and enjoy the ride, knowing that eventually I would reach calmer waters (kind of like the Stock Market ).

Eventually the raft caught up to me and they pulled me on board to find out that my wife had also gone into the water as well. She thought it was so romantic that I jumped in to save her. With both of us back in the boat we headed to land to enjoy a steak barbecue and look at the Class 5 rapids we would be heading into on a full stomach right after lunch.

Knowing what to expect at this point helped, however as I looked at the thundering rapids I did briefly entertain the thought of bailing and not going through with the rest of our plan for making it to the end of the river (goal). The final stretch of our journey to our destination was intense and exciting and we all made it while staying in the raft. At the end we turned the raft around and paddled back into the rapids and surfed the white water. What a blast!

As we approached our exit point and could see the opening in the trees and our bus to take us back to the cabin it was a feeling of relief and self satisfaction that we faced our fears and accomplished our goal.

There were a number of things that made it a successful trip. First you had to actually start it. As Nike says "Just do it". Second you had to overcome some fears and third you had to stick to the plan despite some obstacles and set backs. Finally in deciding to go for it you made yourself as aware of the risks as possible and then managed them. We did this by first checking out the company we used, selecting a confidence inspiring guide, and wearing a life jacket and a helmet. After doing all of this we were able to focus on enjoying the journey as well as the good feelings and personal growth that come with achieving your goal.

Rick Coyle is a Financial Advisor/Coach with Dundee Private Investors Inc. He has 30 years experience in Financial Services. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are the opinions of Rick Coyle and are not to be construed as the opinions of Dundee Private Investors Inc or any affiliated company. The statements in this newsletter should not be construed as specific advice and may not be appropriate for your unique situation. Rates of return indicate past performance and past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance. Mutual funds are not guaranteed or insured.

Rick can be reached at 902-678-1727. Email rcoyle @ ns.sympatico.ca

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