Content provided by J.J. Schenkelberg, CLS Senior Portfolio Manager

A couple of weeks ago, we gained a fifth member to our family.  Like many other American families, our kids have been begging for a puppy for years.  As an individual who relies on organization and schedule to survive, I held out as long as I could.  My kids’ birthdays are in late March and mid-April, and as an alternative to video games, my husband and I decided to go with a more active present.  Rocky, the cutest, but not-so-little, black Labradoodle puppy has joined our clan.

We chose him from the litter due to his description as “mellow yellow.”  Overall, he is a very mellow pup and has been very good.  However, as with all puppies, we are faced with whining at night, potty training, getting into places he shouldn’t be, and chewing on everything in sight.  He’s been very good about holding it in his kennel overnight.  However, the other night he couldn’t make it and there was quite a huge mess to clean up this morning.  I’m pretty sure my kids told everyone at school how their mom almost threw up this morning cleaning up Rocky’s mess.  The gag reflex was clearly tested!

A puppy, just like a new baby, is one series of unexpected events after another.  Dealing with finances can often be like this as well.  There can be unexpected expenses such as a larger-than-expected tax bill, having to buy a new air conditioner, retiring earlier than expected due to illness or injury.  Or, there can be unexpected market events adding volatility to the account, such as an economic recession or military conflict.

Somehow the puppy will grow up and eventually get potty trained (I hope!), and the global population will continue to grow, spurring economic activity and new business ideas.  Then, investments will grow and be there for our clients when the funds are needed.  We just have to stay calm, and stay committed to consistent training and investment philosophy.  Sometimes, we don’t even have to wait that long.  I had a pretty awesome unexpected moment cuddling with a cold, wet puppy after he was all clean from his bath this morning.