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Quarterly Commentary

After a strong 2023, this year is off to a good start. Our team is optimistic for the long-term and, as always, we expect more short-term volatility in the coming months. Although we could talk endlessly of markets and economics, it seems appropriate to share a slightly different perspective today.

In March of this year, one of our dearest clients (I’ll call her Jane) passed away at the age of 84. I had the privilege of working with Jane for more than 20 years, and when you know someone for that long, you get to know them pretty well. We had many discussions during that time, and she certainly had her unique perspectives on life and investing. I always got a kick out of the emails she would forward and the discussions we had about investing and making sound decisions, regardless of the geopolitical, economic and political circumstances. During the tech bubble and its subsequent collapse, the Subprime Crisis, and the effects of Covid, Jane consistently demonstrated the wisdom of maintaining a focus on the long-term.

She had the foresight to prepare for the future through proper investment and estate planning. She set up a trust, named her son as a co-trustee and granted him Durable Power of Attorney on her Schwab accounts. She managed her withdrawal rates appropriately and generally lived a frugal but full life. I will miss her and I am grateful to have known her.

Perhaps Jane has prompted me to contemplate mortality, but I've also been considering how we've built our firm here at FVIM. One of our primary objectives is to provide financial guidance to our clients, while aiming for their investments to sustain them throughout their lifetime. And ultimately, the accumulated assets held at Schwab can be passed on to heirs efficiently and seamlessly.

Jane isn’t the first client that has passed away, nor will she be the last. Similarly, we as your advisors recognize that we won't be here indefinitely. In the spirit of long-term planning, we have built a team to last for years to come. While retirement isn’t in my current plans (at least in the foreseeable future), life is unpredictable. So, to be prudent, we need to plan as well.

Andrea became a partner in our firm at the beginning of the year. She has been helping clients make wise decisions, particularly with her expertise in taxation. Matt, with extensive experience in investment management and planning, has been nothing short of a solid partner; someone who has been faithful and dependable.

Madeline, who joined us six years ago, serves clients on the operational side, providing a fresh perspective to our team. Then, there are Holly and Sarah. What can I say about them? Having worked with both of them for close to twenty years now, I just can’t imagine two better people for efficient service, while caring deeply for our clients.

I love what we do here at FVIM. We have an incredible team to implement the processes necessary for our clients to achieve their lifelong financial goals. Guided by an evidence-based investment philosophy, we are dedicated to serving you and your family for many years to come.

As for me, I simply have an immense amount of gratitude for the opportunity to know and serve clients like Jane. I consider it an honor. Thank you for your continued trust in us.

Rob Pool, Founder