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  • Writer's pictureJeran Van Alfen, CFP®

Marking the Path Ahead

The new office is located about a block from the coast here in Carlsbad and one of my favorite things about working here is that after work, sometimes, I will take off for a run along the beach. This is a great way to clear my head after a long day and get centered to take on the next day.

Last week definitely had some days that needed to be reset as the week finished with 5 consecutive down days for the S&P 500. While the market index is still up 14% for the year, this was the worst week for stocks since December. These temporary fluctuation are ordinary but after a week like this one I think it is important to reflect on how we approach the ebbs and flows of the market.

As you run (or walk) along the coast here in Carlsbad, you will inevitably come across stacks of rocks like the one in the picture called rock cairns. While some people argue that these towers are disturbing the natural state of things, the occasional cairn is always impressive when you are taking in the beautiful ocean landscape. The other day I decided to look up what a cairn represents and what I found out became a symbol for Centered Financial’s website.

While these stacks of rocks in Carlsbad are most likely a form of meditation and a way for the builder to feel grounded, a rock cairn typically is used as a trail-marker. They indicate the right way to go at critical junctions and keep hikers on the safe path. In Scandinavia, cairns were used before lighthouses to help sailors navigate the fjords and they can be found from Iceland to the Himalayas helping people get to where they need to go.

A good financial plan and investment policy should act like a rock cairn when you have critical junctions in your life. In fact, the first principle of our investment philosophy at Centered Financial is asset allocation based on a plan. This means that we define what your money needs to do for you and we clearly map out your goals, vision, and the risk involved when we construct your portfolio. Your asset allocation will keep you on the safe path and your financial plan will mark the key junctions along the way that we need to be aware of.

Markets will continue to change as we saw this week, however if we have the right guides in place, we will only be exposed to as much risk as we are willing to take and we can move forward with peace of mind. When you see the rock cairn on Centered Financial’s communications in the future, hopefully you will be reminded that you have a guide to help you on your financial path.

Enjoy the new week ahead!


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