Accomplishing something without help can be very satisfing, but sometimes the best decision can be to hire a guide.

I’m like many other do-it yourselfers and believe I can accomplish most tasks on my own or with minimal help. With age and experience I have learned to stand back and take a second look. My wife would be the first to tell you I certainly am not capable of accomplishing all home improvement projects. I can handle the basics of most projects around the house, but when it comes to a significant job, the school of hard knocks has taught me to hire a professional. Sometimes the electrician or plumber really is needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I think individuals can accomplish a lot by conducting thorough due diligence and by getting a firm grasp on whatever project or goal they are attempting to accomplish. Hiring an expert or a guide can sometimes be a very prudent decision though.

The first time I climbed the South Sister in Central Oregon I made the trip with a professional guide. I was able to summit on a nice fall day without any issues.  The view was fantastic and it was nothing more than a tough hike. A few years later I decided to summit again, this time I went with a few friends who were accomplished outdoors people, but had never been to the three sisters Mountain range. It was late May and the weather was nice and sunny so we were confident we could make the climb with no problems. We got a late start and began climbing the mountain, because this was my second time on the mountain I was the expert of course. As we gained elevation we discovered a lot more snow than the last time I had visited the South Sister. We began to struggle and not make much progress, as I scanned the horizon the weather was changing quickly. We decided to setup camp and bunker down because a storm had blown in out of nowhere. (Probably not out of nowhere if we had studied the correct forecast) As the storm picked up intensity we began to realize we had made a huge mistake. We were completely exposed and the wind proceeded to tear apart our tent and inject a dose of newfound respect for mother nature. It is now 4AM and at this point we had no choice but to try and make our way down the mountain, the storm was only getting worse and 10 inches of snow had fallen. As we made our way down the mountain slipping and falling while acquiring many cuts and bruises I vowed to make better decisions in the future.

What is the market corollary for this blog…the market can throw a storm at you at anytime and you need to have the expertise on how to handle that storm. Is the market life threatening? At times it can feel that way. It can certainly threaten your savings. Always have a cautious eye on the horizon and be prepared for anything and have a guide you trust.