Annuities are Settled
I had a really great trip last week. Most of the regular listeners already know this is my favorite time of year. As sad as it is to see summer slip away, September is an absolutely beautiful month to be in Montana. My work/life balance gets harder to keep in check as I get busier running this website. But for mental health, we all need to take a break and I draw a lot of inspiration from all you retired people with lots of time on your hands.
Elk hunting is my thing. It has been a tradition in my family for generations and it seems I’m about the only one to carry it on. When my horses and mules are added to the mix it’s a culmination of all the skills I’ve gained from being an outdoorsman for the past 40 years. It takes competence in several areas to put all that together and haul an elk out of the woods on the back of a mule. Lots of people like to do it but very few people do it like this.
Most days start before the sun comes up and don’t end until after it goes down. We are often traveling to and from the hunting areas either on foot or on the back of horses and mules. Those animals have eyes that collect more light so they can see much better in the dark than we can. It takes a lot of trust and experience to realize that the horse and mule will take care of us and know exactly how to get back to camp. There have been several times where I felt like I was lost, only to come around a corner and see a light glow inside my tent. The stock knew exactly how to get back and they took care of it.
During these trips, I try to disconnect as much as possible. I read the Bloomberg open and close each day just to keep an eye on what’s happening in the financial world and email once a day to push all my responsibilities to the next week. So about three times each day I get a reminder of what a mess this world is in. Financial news is never good and I never know exactly how to answer when people ask about it. This is the best attempt I can make at telling you what I think. It only really matters if you want it to.
Much of my cynical viewpoint of politics, financial markets and the world in general come from the fact that I disconnect from it frequently. When the radio signals become faint your head clears, heart rate slows and blood pressure drops. I’ve tested it for anyone who wants to question how I know that but I’m positive that an escape is physically and mentally healing. Jumping back into the digital world twice a day is a completely different experience. It seems like the same thing over and over. I’ll bet there’s not much difference between the daily news today and the news on the same day one year ago. The story is different but the purpose is the same.
Moving in and out of the digital world gives me the opportunity to compare and contrast both sides. In comparison to something as pure as wilderness, the digital world seems utterly ridiculous. Nothing is ever settled and there’s a sense of perpetual anxiety at all times. Interest rates, unemployment, stock market, bureaucracy and global threats, not to mention all the social garbage that keeps us divided, are all so volatile and never seem to settle down. Nothing changes so what’s the point of ever watching the news?
You wanna know what I didn’t have to worry about? Annuities. It’s set in stone and one of the only things that isn’t affected by the constant uncertainty coming from the daily news. One night last week I was riding back to camp on my favorite mule, Jitterbug. I couldn’t see anything even if it was right in front of my face. We had four miles to cover, which would have been slow going for a hiker and for some impossible. The country was rough with steep inclines, rocky terrain and faded trails that aren’t used too often. To find elk you have to be willing to go where people can’t reach. Jitterbug had no problem with it and we made the trip in under an hour.
While I was riding along, listening to Jitterbug’s hooves chew up the trail, it dawned on me how lucky I am. There are few things you can count on without a doubt in the world today. Not everyone has a mule but it sure is handy when trying to escape the anxiety of the real world. And I’m glad to be an annuity proponent because it’s the closest thing available in the financial world. Always there and steady as can be.
Have a great weekend!
Watch The Podcast Episode: Annuities Are Settled
Last Updated on September 29, 2023 by Bryan Anderson