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1st Quarter 2024 Newsletter Thumbnail

1st Quarter 2024 Newsletter

New Year’s resolutions are an annual ritual for many.  You know the drill, on or about December 31 we make commitments to ourselves to eliminate our vices, accomplish a long dreamed of fete, reacquaint with family and friends, or something similar along those lines.  By February 1 we’ve forgotten all about it.  

As a pragmatist by nature, I’ve long ago decided the self-admonishment of failure in February was significantly more painful than the feeling of exuberant expectation in late December.  Although I can’t recall having made a resolution since my 20’s, I believe some of my resolutions may have been alcohol induced, which is another activity that has been significantly curtailed since my early 20’s, but that’s a discussion better left for another letter.

Anyway, this year, against my own best advice, I have made a resolution to reactivate my instrument rating, allowing me to fly an aircraft in marginal weather.  I earned my instrument rating many years ago and have retained the ability to control a plane without visual reference to the ground.  But other aspects of flying by instruments have been lost, specifically the ability to talk with air traffic controllers along with more esoteric skills such as how to properly enter a holding pattern.  Although the ability to aviate in the clouds is the most important skill set in instrument flying, the other pieces are significant for a successful flight (and nobody wants to be part of an unsuccessful flight). 

The most important skill learned in instrument flying is believing your eyes and not your instincts.  Nature never intended us to fly. Our instincts will fail us when our eyes can’t see and we find ourselves in an environment that nature never intended for us.  We can feel as though we are in a climb while accelerating or in a turn while straight and level.  Following our senses in the clouds, we may manipulate the controls in ways that impact the aircraft in nonsensical ways leading an unsuccessful outcome.  Only by trusting our instruments and ignoring our senses can we ever conquer this environment.  But instruments fail and only by cross checking one instrument with another can be successfully accomplish our flight.

Growing up with Midwestern values and being more introverted by nature, I have gravitated towards sports and activities which were out of the limelight and more self-contained.  My career choice allowed me to connect with people one-on-one and generally not requiring me to interact in large group settings. The activities that I enjoy continue this pattern.  I find fishing a stream alone or with a small group relaxing and enjoyable and the vast majority of my time flying is solo.  This is definitely a trend.  Maybe that’s why instrument flying is not as comfortable for me.  Flying in the clouds requires talking to air traffic controllers.   A task that I have always found to be somewhat difficult and always uncomfortable.  More of a group activity which makes me anxious.  Another obstacle to overcome.  

Many unsettling events are currently transpiring.   Wars in the middle east and Europe.   Interest and inflation rates higher than we have seen in years and in a few months, we will elect our President.   Regardless of the outcome, half the country will be disappointed.  All of these events can cause us to feel anxiety, and possibly fear.  Any of these events by themselves or taken together may cause the markets to pause or to fall.  This will be a time to ignore our emotions, our instincts and rely on our instruments, our Investment Policy Statement to see us through.  Calm heads in an uncertain world.

We continue to believe that patience and a long-term perspective will allow our clients the best probability of reaching their goals and objectives.

As always, we thank you for your business and for your continued trust.


Jack P. Cannata