KFM Newsletter: Time is Precious

TRUTH #7: It is important to pursue what matters most in life because time is precious. 10 Truths: How to Create Financial Independence.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Rob Kemp: I like to ask highly-successful people if they were to do one thing differently, what would it be? The most common answer that I receive has been “I wish I spent more time with my children.” This is something that I heard early on in my career which has always been in the forefront of my mind in raising our children.

Experiences seem to be a recurring theme throughout our clients’ lives. Whether it be travel, attending a play or concert, time with family or dinner out with friends, we get to live vicariously through our clients. One of the benefits we receive from being a trusted advisor for our clients is hearing about all of their life experiences. There is no possible way to recreate the experiences of our clients because frankly, the list is quite endless. However, the themes of “time is precious” and “make the most of your time” have been heard loud and clear and we at Kemp Financial Management thank you for that wisdom.

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To that regard, recently the Kemp Family visited Yosemite National Park in honor of Rob and Diane’s youngest son’s recent high school graduation. A tradition was started with the first high school graduation where the graduate had the honor of selecting the summer vacation. As the children have aged, married and started careers, it has become increasingly difficult to find time where the entire family can gather. So jumping on a plane and traveling a long distance was out of the question. A five hour drive to Yosemite made perfect sense and everyone was able to clear time from their busy schedules to participate.

  Tuolumne Meadows

Tuolumne Meadows

The first camp site was a backpacker campground in Tuolumne Meadows, shared among a variety of packers. We set up camp and those around us inquired as to who we were and what we were doing. We all heard numerous times “my family would never do something like that” which made the start of our adventure even more fun. We did enjoy the stories shared from numerous individuals that were on their own personal journeys on the Pacific Crest Trail. Most of them were between days 90 and 100 of their 2,650 mile journey. Hearing their stories made us appreciate the 30 plus miles that we would trek in the days that followed.

Day two was a moderate hike to Indian Rock from Porcupine Creek. Indian Rock is the only arched rock in Yosemite National park. After lunch and pictures, we continued the journey to our destination, North Dome. We found a campsite located off the beaten path near water that had an incredible view of Half Dome. After camp was set up, we finished the day’s hike to the end of the North Dome trail to be treated to a view of the valley floor and picturesque Half Dome.

Day three was a day hike to upper Yosemite Falls. Fortunately, we decided to leave our campsite at North Dome and simply hike to the falls. Once again, we were treated with an incredible view of the valley along with the iconic waterfall.

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We packed out on day 4 and then drove to Taft Point with a final 2 mile “out and back” hike. Taft point was on the opposite side of the valley where we hiked, so we were able to see the trails that we completed from the Half Dome side of the valley. It was incredible to see the miles traveled from a different vantage point, which provided a sense of appreciation of what we all accomplished. In total, Fitbit registered 36 miles in 3 days.

Here’s a short list of our takeaway Experiences:

What goes down, must come up. One of our hikes included a 1.5 mile decent at the beginning and the end. Since this was an “in and out” one day hike, yes, that meant 1.5 miles back up at the beginning and the end.

Patience and endurance. It was hot, dusty and full of mosquitos with limited water sources. In order to see the splendor of Upper Yosemite Falls with picturesque views of the valley from Yosemite point, there was no other way to experience it without patience and endurance.

Directional trail signs are a good thing when you don’t have a map. We would not have known where we were headed without them. While they did not provide all of the details of what the trails entailed, they did provide the direction to each destination. They were clearly marked and easy to follow.

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Safety. In Yosemite, your food must be stored in a “bear can”. Trail heads are also lined with bear canisters to store items you would traditionally leave in your car. Since bears are attracted to anything with scent, our cars were emptied out into the bear canisters and our food for our travels all stored in bear cans adding additional weight to each of our packs.

No mobile phone connectivity, hence no map. What a great way to truly unwind. The phones had zero service, therefore they were stored away and only used for pictures. A complete disconnect from social media and the news with an appreciation for nature and what has been created over millions of years.

Stay focused on the goal. There were numerous points where sitting on the beach seemed like a better option than hiking in the heat and dusty trails. But once we reached our destinations, the labor of the hike was worth every ounce of energy.

Time is precious. Everyone was so grateful to have the time to be together, let alone the health to enjoy such an adventure.

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All of this has ties to the Capital Markets and Truth #8: Establishing goals and staying true to them are key components to success. 10 Truths: How to Create Financial Independence.

Unfortunately, there is not much new to add to the capital markets update that is different from the last quarterly newsletter. While the fundamentals continue to remain strong, the capital markets are 100% reacting to the ongoing trade “chatter”.

Tuesday, June 26th is a great case in point. The markets opened negatively based on strong trade discussions only to turn significantly higher after it was announced a “softer tone” was being discussed on trade negotiations. Later in the day, the “softer tone” was second guessed by financial media and the market closed down for the day. This has been the repeated theme since trade discussion began in late February 2018.

What we do know is that active managers (Chapter 5: 10 Truths: How to Create Financial Independence) are trying to identify areas of the market that will perform better based upon what they think will happen throughout the trade discussions. The active approach to investing is what is causing the day-to-day gyrations in the capital markets.

Because we take a strategic approach to investing, thankfully we do not have to worry about what parts of the market, or for that matter, what parts of the world will do better than others. Because we are globally diversified and greatly diversified with our holdings in the US, we are already where we need to be if trade talks escalate or if they are solved through successful negotiations. While two camps have been formed about whether trade talks are good or bad, somewhere in the middle will be reality and eventually it will be resolved. When? Nobody knows, not even the active managers that are causing the day-to-day gyrations in the market. Rest assured, it will all come to pass.

The one bright spot in the capital markets continues to be US Small Company stocks. We see two positives from the continued positives behind the movement of US Small Company stocks. It provides evidence the fundamentals of what drives markets higher is still in play. And also, US Small Company stocks are least impacted by the ongoing trade discussions. Again, because we are strategic in our portfolio allocations, we are participating in the ongoing growth of US Small Company stocks. Diversification does matter and it is working even during periods of time like today.

In summary, the capital markets are basically where they were they were at the close of the first quarter of 2018. However, please remember the following:

  • Just like the backpacking trip, what goes down must come up.
  • Nobody said we would get to the finish line without patience and endurance.
  • You have your directions through your personalized Legacy Action Plan.
  • You have safety through global diversification.
  • And we encourage you to disconnect from the news of the day to make sure you enjoy all of life’s experiences that are most important to you.

We have enjoyed seeing many of you in the past few months and look forward to seeing more of you in the days, weeks and months ahead. As always, if you have any pressing needs or would like to schedule your next update meeting, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Happy Fourth of July!

Our offices will be closed Tuesday, July 3rd at 1:00 p.m. and remain closed through Thursday July 5th. We will resume normal office hours on Friday July 6th.  If you require assistance during that time, please be prepared to discuss any needs prior to 1:00pm on Tuesday July 3rd.

We hope you enjoy the holiday with family and friends!

Evolution of the Yosemite Valley: Just for fun, here are some mind bending thoughts on the formation of Yosemite Valley (Source: Yosemite.ca.us/formation)

The area that was to become the Sierra Nevada once lay beneath a sea at the west margin of North America. The rock that was formed on this sea floor from deposited silt, mud and marine organisms was subsequently lifted above sea level and flexed into a mountain range surmounted by a chain of volcanoes much like today's Cascade Range. Granite that formed from molten rock at the roots of these volcanoes eventually would remain as the core of the Sierra Nevada after the overlying sedimentary and volcanic rock gradually weathered and eroded away.

50 million years ago. The landscape consisted of rolling hills, broad valleys, and meandering streams. The Merced River meandered through a wide trough whose slopes supported hardwood forests.

10 million years ago. A more dissected landscape ensued as the whole range was uplifted and tilted westward. This westward tilt accelerated the Merced River's flow and the river cut deeper into its valley. The climate grew cooler and drier. Forests of coniferous trees, including sequoias, dominated.

3 million years ago. A canyon landscape developed with continued uplift. The raging Merced cut its canyon as much as 3,000 feet deep. Its tributary streams, with smaller drainage basins and volumes of water, cut more slowly. The Ice Ages approach brought a colder climate and thinning forests.

1 million to 250,000 years ago. At least one and perhaps more glacial advances filled Yosemite Valley to its brim. Half Dome projected 900 feet above the ice, but many peaks to the north were engulfed. The Valley was gouged and quarried into a U-shaped trough with steep walls. Many Merced River tributaries were now cascades high above the Valley.

30,000 years ago. During the Tioga glaciation, Yosemite Glacier, a smaller ice sheet, advanced into the Valley and terminated near Bridalveil Fall. As thin as it was, it had little erosive power to enlarge the Valley further.

10,000 years ago. The last Valley glacier hat melted and its terminal moraine has dammed the Valley to create a shallow lake, Lake Yosemite. This was only the last of many Lake Yosemites that probably followed each glaciation. The deep excavation created by earlier glaciers, as much as 2,000 feet into bedrock beneath the present floor of Yosemite Valley, was already filled with glacial till and sediments long before the Tioga glaciation. This last advance of ice had insufficient erosive power to re-excavate the Valley to any appreciable depth. Lake Yosemite eventually filled in with silt, leaving today's level Valley floor. The photograph shows Mirror Lake. Today it is filling in through the same natural processes. Glaciers did not directly create today's free-leaping waterfalls, although they helped set the stage. The falls plunge into alcoves in the Valley walls, produced by frost-splitting of rock fragments off the lower parts of the cliffs over which the waterfalls formerly cascaded. Where the cliffs are dry most of the time, frost action is not so effective.

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