By Ken Hatfield

As I round the turn and near the retirement finish line, I have reflected on the last ten years spent with Portfolio Advisors and thought it appropriate to share with you some of my thoughts, experiences, and lessons learned over that time.

I have found that for most people, wealth is accumulated the “old fashioned way.”  By that I mean they’ve accumulated wealth through years of working hard, saving diligently, and investing over long periods of time.  As I reflect back, with very few exceptions, people that walk through the door at Portfolio Advisors have not inherited their wealth.  Nor have they gained wealth through speculating in precious metals or through actively buying and selling stocks seeking quick profits.  No, most have done it the “old fashioned way.”  Most view their accumulated assets as “sweat equity,” meaning that they have achieved it by keeping their nose to the grindstone each and every day of their working lives. As an advisor, your journey became my journey, and I shared in your feelings along the way.    

I have found that most successful investors, or at least those who I have been fortunate to work with at Portfolio Advisors, have learned that reacting to news or information spontaneously is most often a costly mistake and as such they don’t.  They know that they must focus on things that they can control and try to ignore the things that they cannot.  It is at times hard for people to resist the temptation to react and it is then that they may seek the advice of a trusted advisor to help ground them as they struggle with their own emotions.  Sometimes, we all, myself included, need a voice of reason or a sounding board.  I am honored and flattered to have been that voice for many over the years.

Further, I have learned that most people we serve at Portfolio Advisors are more often seeking help beyond pure investment advice.  They come in because they need help in making key life decisions, such as whether they have enough money to retire and if now is the right time to do so.  They also may have questions related to Social Security and when to file for benefits.  Or, they need help making decisions about paying off their home mortgage, buying a second home, or perhaps determining the feasibility of long-term care.  Others are looking to begin saving for the costs of college for their children or grandchildren.  Working collaboratively and helping you with your various needs have been a rewarding challenge of which I am most appreciative.        

The team that I now leave at Portfolio is an outstanding group of people that I deeply respect and will miss.  I thank them for their contributions to the firm and know that they, under Tina Mistry’s leadership, will forge ahead as they continue to serve our client's needs.

I’d like to thank Gary Leffler who founded Portfolio Advisors and became my financial advisor and mentor in 1985.  I’d also like to thank Mike Leffler, who took the reins of the firm upon Gary’s retirement.  He had enough confidence in my abilities to hire me in 2011 and make me a partner in 2014.

Last but not least, I thank you, my clients and friends, who have allowed me to serve you.  One of the most valuable aspects of my job over the years has been the relationships we’ve built and developed.  Trust me, I truly value them. 

It has been an honor to work with you, and I wish you and your families good health as we enter the new year.