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Life Is Like a Box of Unassembled Furniture Pieces

By Roch Monnig, Jr., CFP®

Did you play with Legos when you were younger?

Legos were fun. Legos are fun.

As adults, we typically don’t play with Legos, but because nostalgia affects us all, we find ways to relive the positive experiences of childhood in adulthood, taking activities like playing with Legos and modeling adult activities after them.

In 1943, after much deliberation, the adults came together and created IKEA, a company that would come to be known for its stylish, cost-effective, unassembled furniture, furniture that would become the adult equivalent of Legos. While that might sound absurd, it makes sense the more you think about it. Both LEGO and IKEA have a four-letter name in uppercase. Both are of Scandinavian origin.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

The problem is that the adults somehow got it very, very wrong. The experiences of playing with Legos and building furniture could not be farther apart on the enjoyment spectrum. If you’ve built furniture, you know just how difficult it can be. The seemingly intuitive process can quickly become maddening, and I don’t think I ever described playing with Legos as “maddening” when I was younger (unless I stepped on one).

Jokes aside, financial planning can sometimes feel like building furniture. Just when you think you have all the pieces you need, a large, unexpected expense pops up, and you’re one screw short. Even though you followed the instruction booklet, a global pandemic turns the world upside down, and your finished product looks different than expected. That’s financial planning – an imperfect process in which imperfect people build something inherently imperfect.

But despite the course corrections you might’ve had to make over time, you appreciate your financial plan because it brings you confidence and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re accomplishing your goals while navigating a world that’s predictably unpredictable. You appreciate it the same way you do that nightstand with the one leg that’s shorter than the other because it brings you happiness and the satisfaction that comes with having completed a project. 

What I’m trying to say is what you build might not be perfect, but it’s surely worth the effort.

The opinions expressed are those of PYAW’s Investment Team. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed. 
PYA Waltman Capital, LLC (“PYAW”) is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about PYAW’s investment advisory services can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. PYA-20-37