I think my dad and Pops have mentioned me to you, but I am Francis. This week, I spent time in my dad’s office and seeing as I am about to turn four, I thought I should start carrying my weight, thus I volunteered to write to you.

Right now, I am really enjoying trains. I play with trains at home and get to watch train videos when I have been good. When playing with my dad, he says trains are actually very similar to what he is doing with you. Trains travel on tracks to get to their destination. My dad says these tracks are like your life in that you are traveling to some destination, a destination or set of goals, you have identified. Sometimes, trains need to move aside for traffic or even change their destination, thus they go to a branch line.

My dad says branch lines are like changes in your life, changes which mean updates or additional conversations need to occur. When moving to branch lines, the crew members need to get even more involved. Speaking of crew members, I like the conductor because he oversees the train and waves to me when the trains go by.

To my dad and Pops, you are the conductor of your life or your train. With you as the conductor, this leaves my dad and Pops as the trainmen. Trainmen are responsible for protecting the train, looking for potential hazards. This is what my dad and Pops are doing for you, looking to help protect you from known and unknown hazards and helping you to try and accomplish your goals.

Now, not only do I like trains, but I am excited about cars and have been watching Lightning McQueen in the Cars movies. Of the three movies, my favorite is Cars 3. If you have not seen it, I recommend you watch it, but in the meantime, it tells the story of what happens when new shiny, fast cars join the racing circuit which causes Lightning to be pushed out of the sport. It proceeds to tell the story of how Lightning can get back on the track. New shiny, fast cars sound a lot like what my dad and Pops say is trying to invest in the ‘hot’ new thing or trying to change your investment objective many times in a short period of time. I have overheard my dad and Pops tell clients that while new growth companies may have a part in their portfolio, having too much exposure to one investment, can be detrimental when volatility arrives. I hear them all the time talk about the benefits of diversification.

Thinking of investment objectives, my dad and Pops tell me I have my whole life in front of me. While nobody knows the future and what may happen in the economy or markets, I have a lot more time to take additional investment risks because I am young. Dad and Pops tell me for those of you approaching or already in retirement, taking unneeded risks could be bad because if there is a significant decrease in asset values, you do not have time to recover. Additionally, they say you want to be sure to find the investment objective which allows you to not only sleep easy at night, but also help you try and accomplish your goals. I, for one, sleep very well at night!

Spending time with my dad in the office has been fun! While I obviously do not know much of what my dad is talking about, he does mention how lucky he is to have such great clients. It was nice writing to you, and I hope I can meet you sometime.

Keep washing those hands and stay healthy!

Francis