Treasures Come in Many Different Forms

Last week my family and I went to Tucson, AZ for a dual purpose. We were visiting Dick, an old friend of the family and investment colleague, and attended the Tucson International Gem and Mineral Show.  

Tony and DickMoeller Family

Gem and Mineral ShowGem and Mineral Show

Left: Dick and Tony

Right: Moeller Family

Below: Gem and Mineral Show Exhibits

 

 

The weather was beautiful, but even more importantly it was great to see my old mentor. Dick is an 89 year old Harvard grad, successful businessman and wealth manager. Years ago he moved from Leawood, KS to Tucson, but we've stayed in touch. Today, he still advises a few select clients, travels internationally and is as sharp as a tack mentally...nothing gets by him. As such, this was one of the high points of the trip for me.

Next, we were off to the largest Gem and Mineral Show in the world. It is something that you would need a week or more to actually take it all in. Sandra, the kids and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were able to pick up some nice and unique items. Luke, my 12 year old middle child, was in heaven. He has developed a real passion for minerals, loves to bargain with the vendors and had to be dragged out of the various vendor exhibits.

In addition, we were fortunate enough to meet up with two Kansas City area couples and clients whom were spending part of their winter in Arizona. It was so nice to see and hear how much they were enjoying the great weather.  

Along this line, my wife and I took a walk near a golf course in Scottsdale and it was truly amazing what we encountered. Every individual or couple we passed, waived, smiled and said hi. I told her that if we stayed very long in this place, I would get carpal tunnel from waiving and need Botox to counteract the effects of smiling so much. Honestly though, it was great to see people so happy and wanting to share it with us. Well, coming back to Kansas City, the snow and near zero degree weather helped me fully understand why they were so happy and appreciative. Yes, sunshine, birds chirping, the smell of fresh cut grass and flowers can definitely change one’s demeanor as it relates to the winter blahs.

On a much different note, on the first day of our trip, I received a call from a client’s son (Lawson) whose mother was in the hospital and near death’s door. I've worked with her and her deceased husband for well over 20 years, know the family quite well and have only kind and warm thoughts about them. As an only son, Lawson was struggling with the fact that his mother’s condition was so bad; that he may lose her at any moment.

Basically, the doctors said that his mother’s body was shutting down and there was very little if any hope. Needless to say, Lawson and I talked many times over the course of the next several days and at length, but at the end of each conversation, I told Lawson that he must rely on his faith, and that I would keep both him and his mother in my prayers.

To be honest, I was prepared to get a call at any time from Lawson that his mother had passed. However, each time we talked, he told me that his mother was showing very small signs of improvements - head movements, her eyes opening, responding to sound and even squeezing his hand over the course of the next several days. It borders on miraculous when the doctors and nurses both tell you that they’ve rarely, if ever, seen anything like this. The last communication I had with Lawson was quite promising. Currently, his mother cannot talk, but she is coherent and able to sit up. She is making slow and steady progress.

What I find so incredible about this trip was the wide range of emotions that I experienced.

  • The joy of seeing my clients and others appreciate the beauty of their surroundings.

  • The amazement my family and I encountered seeing some of the most beautiful formations that nature has to offer. Beauty that no computer program or 4K TV can replicate.

  • Being able to talk to and pray with a client’s son regarding her well-being. I felt honored that I was able to be there for my client’s family, even though I was over 1,250 miles away and all I could offer was support and prayer over the phone.

Some people think treasures are gold, silver, jewels, artwork, etc. The treasures I experienced over this past week were simply being in the "present." Whether that be seeing others truly enjoying life, being in the presence of an old friend and sharing life or being a friend for someone who’s struggling with the possible loss of the life of a loved one. In any case, I didn’t receive material items or possessions, but was afforded great life memories that time cannot tarnish or weather.

Saving For College via 529 Plans

529 Plans are one of the best options when saving for a child's college fund. However, there are many misconceptions or unknowns surrounding them. As such, the following is a link to an excellent article on college savings plans. If you are currently using or considering a 529 plan for a child's college fund, I strongly encourage you to click on this link: 10 Little-Known Facts About The Popular College Savings Plan.

Quotes    

"Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness."

                    Euripides

My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake."

                   Aristotle


 Quotes selected by the IAG staff

"Mentor and coach others whenever you can. Your teaching will deepen your own learning."

                   Lee J. Colan

"A faithful friend is a strong defense; And he that hath found him hath found a treasure."

                   Louisa May Alcott

Tony Moeller, CPA

The information listed in this commentary is a compilation of various publicly available sources and is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation or solicitation of any particular investment or strategy. A risk of loss is involved with investments in the stock and bond markets.

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