father and son

Content provided by Rusty Vanneman, CLS Chief Investment Officer

My son and I started a club a few years ago called the Vanneman Boys’ Club. It has a bunch of cool stuff, including secret handshakes, codes, and sayings.   It’s all quite top-secret, of course, but I think I can share one story from a few years back.

When my son Ethan was 11 or so (he’s now 13), he asked how one of our sayings “Always be grateful; always be humble; always be strong” applies to what I do at work. Here was my answer:

Always Be Grateful

  • Be grateful we live in a world full of opportunities, growth, and innovation; and can take advantage of these opportunities through the financial markets.
  • To take advantage of these opportunities and grow, we have to take risks. For many investors, this means adding growth-oriented assets to our portfolios.

Always Be Humble

  • We don’t know how the future will unfold.  We may have informed views, but we don’t really know.
  • There will always be volatility and surprises – there will always be roller-coaster rides and Black Swans.
  • That’s why we diversify our opportunities.  Balanced portfolios are humble.

Always Be Strong

  • To reach our goals, we need to be strong – and stay the course.
  • There is power in purpose; power in planning; power in taking action; power in discipline, and there is power in patience.

Ethan seemed to be satisfied with the answer.  I was too.

“Always be grateful; always be humble; always be strong.”