Reflecting on Mother’s Day this year, I am reminded that my mom has always been my rock. While she was not rich by material standards, she provided something even greater–a strong foundation on which to build my life. Little did I know that her wisdom and life examples would become the experiences and standards that would lead me to a profession in wealth management.

The lessons instilled by my mother have allowed me to pursue my passion for helping others and endeavoring to leave the world just a little better than I found it. Now, as I embark upon my 16th year in finance, it seems fitting that I pay homage to the one who got me here. And, because my clients are asked to share the personal details of their lives, I am happy to do the same. As trust and transparency are integral to how we work with our clients, I would like to share a few relevant life lessons that are also central tenets to investing.

Lesson #1: Tuning out the Noise

My mother is a strong woman with a “can-do” attitude and a bit of competitive spirt. She often talked about the new goal she had at work and thus how she was going to win the monthly contest. She was determined, intent on succeeding, and, most of all, FOCUSED. Managing her work life and taking care of her family as a single mom is beyond impressive. Her tenacity and strength are inspiring. She is a wise woman, small in stature, big heart on her sleeve, and always there for me when I need her. To this day, I still rely on her wisdom.

As I contemplate life lessons in this blog, I am reminded of a childhood experience during my “baller” days playing basketball. In a drill designed to prepare us for shooting free throws, my teammates would line up on each side of the key and start shouting, clapping, and tauntingly try to distract me from make the shot.  The goal was to train our minds to drown out all the noise and chatter around us, to focus and build concentration. It takes practice, but not unlike tuning out the daily market noise, we can overcome the incessant distractions and talking heads. Choosing an investment philosophy and sticking with it is the best approach for a long-term, positive investing experience. While there will always be headlines and concerns around the world, let’s focus on what we can control, the risks we can mitigate, and the plans we can create to help us live a better life…without the all the noise.

Lesson #2: Consistency

In the early years, Mom worked as a seamstress. With four kids to juggle, she would occasionally take my twin sister and me to work with her, which inevitably meant playing and taking naps in the huge bolts of fabric. She had a way of turning adversity into adventure and keeping us engaged. Later, she worked at Nordstrom, taking the bus downtown sometimes six days a week. No matter how demanding or frenzied life became, she would always take time to be there for her kids. Each day, before leaving the house, she would look us in the eye and tell us she loved us. Day in and day out, no matter what the world threw at her, her children always knew that they mattered and they were loved. She was consistent, steady, and strong.  Just as life “throws us curveballs,” both international and domestic markets battle uncertainty. This makes it very important to have a consistent and proven method for handling the fluctuations markets have had and will continue to have. What is your investment philosophy? Do you have a strategy that will allow you to remain strong and consistent when the waves get choppy? At Avier Wealth Advisors, we customize each portfolio to protect retirement spending needs and implement a proven rebalancing method that forces us to take the emotion out of investing. When others might waver in their decision-making process, we remain rooted in a strong foundation. Providing that peace of mind to our clients is of utmost importance to us. It helps to alleviates the worry for our clients and allows them focus on the life they want to live.

Consistent, steady, and strong are the traits that I emulate, which brings me to the last life/investing lesson for this blog—choosing an advisor. The importance of choosing an advisor on whom you can depend to act in in your best interest is vital.  You will be well served in choosing a professional who is competent, knowledgeable, and can relate to the financial challenges and issues you may face on your life’s journey. Your advisor should be a person or company that remains true to their investment philosophy, sticks with it when the daily noise drowns out reason, and demonstrates the strength of character and resolve to serve their clients above all else.

Choosing An Advisor (Fiduciary Responsibility Required)

Mom knew that raising a family in a “low income” neighborhood was less than ideal for the well-being of her kids. She was determined to do everything in her power to get her children into a better neighborhood and ultimately into better schools offering greater opportunities. Looking back, it was a major effort to for her to uproot and relocate her entire family. She made that decision because it was in the best interest of her kids.

Earlier this year, a colleague of mine wrote a blog on the importance of working with a fiduciary. Avier Wealth Advisors is a fiduciary which means that we place the best interests of our clients in front of our own. Also, we at Avier place importance on education and competence in the financial industry, and this is evidenced by the credentials that many of our staff hold, such as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CHARTERED FINANCIAL ANALYST, and/or CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT.  Each one of these designations has ethical standards to which the certificate holder must adhere. All Avier Lead Advisors must have at least one credential, and several of our team members (Avier Team) have more than one. It is of the utmost importance to us that we are always striving to do what is best for our clients, as that is at the core of everything we do.

On a daily basis, I work with strong women and men who encourage and support each other to be engaged in the overall financial future of their families. It’s no secret that I have a special place in my heart for single mothers and divorced women doing what it takes to make a better future for the next generation. It’s what my mom did for me and I will always be grateful. Life’s journey can get ugly at times, and it is during the lows that you discover on whom you can depend. I want to be there for those that want and need a chance to start over. Let’s plan to move forward, stronger, more engaged, and make the ugly times of life pay dividends in the form of wisdom. If it is important to you, it’s important to me.

Thank you for trusting me with your good, bad, and ugly. We are on this journey together!

And last but not least, thank you, Mom, for laying the foundation that allows me to pursue my passion. You are my rock, my lifesaver, my friend.