Bob Toomey

Bob Toomey

Financial success and mountaineering | Financial advice

The steps to achieving financial success mirror mountain climbing.

  • Thursday, August 15, 2019 3:13pm
  • Business

I recently summitted Mount Shasta in California, a 14,200-foot volcano. It is a gorgeous mountain and summitting was very rewarding.

There are many things that are vital to success at an endeavor such as this, but several of the most important, I believe, are preparation, proper tools/equipment and experience.

Preparing for a climb of this magnitude requires the discipline to put in many days and hours of training, particularly climbing smaller mountains with a heavy backpack over varying terrain and many hours in the gym. Proper and high-quality tools and equipment are vital — proper clothing, shelter, food and climbing tools can mean the difference between success and failure (or worse). And experience vastly increases the chances of success. This experience can come from one’s own years of summitting or through hiring an experienced guide.

The elements of success in summitting a high altitude peak are not that different from establishing a roadmap (plan) for financial success — preparation, the right tools and experience are all critical elements to success in financial planning.

“Success” in financial planning and/or setting one’s financial future can differ from person to person; however, I would generally define it as satisfaction or “peace of mind” that one has sufficient resources to live the rest of their lives in reasonable comfort without financial anxiety, and one can focus their time on activities and endeavors they truly love in an independent fashion and without worry about money.

So how does one achieve this through financial planning? Preparation, high quality tools and experience.

When we think about “preparation” for creating and implementing a successful financial plan, it involves determining life priorities and goals, understanding one’s current financial status, assessing changes that may be needed to achieve financial goals, and assessing uncertainties or risks to achieving those goals. This involves a lot of thought, perhaps introspection, but also a sound understanding of one’s budget and financial resources.

Proper “tools” are essential in implementing a successful plan. Today, most planners can employ sophisticated financial planning software that can model just about any scenario one can think of. Good planning software (and of course the assumptions/data that are used with the software), like good climbing gear, make a huge difference in chances for success.

Finally, retaining a good adviser with experience in dealing with many different clients and situations, can make a material difference in understanding the plan, interpreting the plan, and understanding plan pitfalls and steps that can be taken to strengthen the plan to maximize the probability of its success. It’s not at all unlike how an experienced climbing guide can determine the best “steps” or route for a successful mountain summit experience.

Bob Toomey is vice president and director of research at S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island, with CFP and CFA designations and a background of more than 30 years in the financial industry.

More in Business

A new senior community opens in Bellevue

Crossroads Senior Living offers 185 one- and two-bedroom apartment homes

Winter chill begins to settle into real estate market

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

Bellevue real estate market transitions into fall

A monthly real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey plays a classical guitar. Corutesy photo
Music and financial planning

A monthly financial advice column from S. R. Schill & Associates on Mercer Island.

30Bellevue wins VISION 2040 Award

The award will be presented at the Sept. 6 city council meeting

Change to U.S.-backed condo loans comes as summer market wraps up

A monthly real estate snapshot by John L. Scott Real Estate.

From left, Kaavya Manam, Emerson Schrider and Ellen Chang of Happy Bubbles sold handmade bath and body products at the Children’s Business Fair in Bellevue on Aug. 31. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Eastside youth entrepreneurs set up shop at Children’s Business Fair

Youth entrepreneurs donate a portion of their proceeds to charity of choice.

Overlake Hospital’s new operating rooms allow for cutting-edge heart procedures

Spacious rooms allow for more equipment, innovation and collaboration.

Courtesy photo
                                Mercer Island financial adviser Bob Toomey recently summited Mount Shasta in California.
Financial success and mountaineering | Financial advice

The steps to achieving financial success mirror mountain climbing.

Selection and ‘healthy’ sales characterize local market

A monthly real estate snapshot from John L. Scott Real Estate.

Senior city staff at Bellevue teach the Bellevue Essentials courses each year, passing on years of knowledge to up-and-coming community leaders. city of Bellevue/courtesy photo
Bellevue opened applications for seventh annual Essentials course

The course is a civic engagement program that takes place over nine weeks starting in September.

Eastside business booms with summer options

Locals can visit numerous new developments this summer, all within Eastside communities.