In early June, APCM participated in the Dave Thorsness Rowing Challenge, AKA “The Dave”. This was a team building exercise that gave the investment and private wealth teams a shared experience in jungle tactics rowing. We had a one-hour dry land lesson, a two-hour rowing lesson in an eight-person shell, and then a day of head to head racing with six other Anchorage area businesses on Jewel Lake. I, with 29 years of rowing experience, was the ringer in the bow seat. Blake Phillips, Vice President of Institutional Sales, has some college rowing experience so we sat him in the stern most “stroke” seat. We finished with a solid fourth place edging out Wells Fargo after a tiny collision (I did mention jungle tactics, didn’t I?).
The power and the value of our team is one of the key reasons I joined APCM. Having access to the wealth of knowledge and focus that our team brings to our clients is an asset I did not have before working here. It is powerful that this team resides entirely in Alaska – when a client has a question, or wants to understand why we made a certain decision, it can be answered face to face by the team who did the research.
Our rowing experience bonded us in a trust exercise on a partly sunny yet blustery day. In rowing, you can only control the outcome of the event with the oar in your hand. If you row harder than everyone else to the exclusion of your team’s work you will just row in circles. When we rowed as a team, just like in our work, our progress was straight and fast. When we face obstacles, like headwinds, we work together to stay the course. In rowing, we have a term for the worst thing that can happen in a boat, it’s called a crab. Crabs can knock you into the lap of the person behind you while the oar flies over your head and drags alongside the boat. I liken catching a crab to market corrections. They are certainly unexpected, they are sometimes painful, but they are part of investing. Just like in rowing, our team is here to adapt to market movements, execute your financial plan, and keep our eye on your long-term goals and personal finish line.
The difference between financial planning and rowing is that in financial planning everyone who crosses their finish line wins (and you don’t get blisters on your hands).
Marietta “Ed” Hall, CFP®