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Investing in Memories

Published by: Chris Kittrell Date: September 08, 2013

As a wealth management firm, we have the opportunity and privilege to provide investment advice to our clients on a day-to-day basis. A few of the questions that I often find myself asking during a meeting with a client are, “What about money is important to you?” and, “Why have you sacrificed to save in the first place?” It’s not uncommon to hear answers centering around the phase of life that we title “retirement”. But all too often, when I press harder for a real “why” there is silence followed by replies such as, “I’ve never truly thought about it” or “I really don’t know.”

Helping people make smart decisions with their money sometimes involves challenging them to explore the “why” of their money. This exploration often leads to the awareness that a great source of our happiness is found creating memorable experiences shared with the people we love. Sometimes, people look at spending money on vacations as unnecessary or extravagant. However, I believe that using financial resources to invest in the relationships you value is money well spent. Over the years, I have heard from many clients about the trips they have taken and the incredible family memories they have created. Memories they now see as priceless.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to visit Africa with my eldest daughter as part of a Blood:Water Mission trip and had a fantastic time. It was incredible to see the beauty of Africa, the spirit of its people, and to enjoy the shared experiences with her. Some of the family trips clients have told us about include snorkeling in the Caribbean, trips to Disney, European vacations, family mission trips, snow skiing, weeks at the beach, and cruising to exotic locales. We’ve heard just as many wonderful stories about fishing trips to the lake, camping in the Smokies, or other local outings. We have seen a number of people who ended up leaving a lot of money to their children and grandchildren when they died. Why not go ahead and invest some of that money into memories now?

While we will always believe that it is important to save and prepare for the future, we also know that investing time and money in the relationships with those we treasure produces long term value. The clock of life continues to tick, so when it comes to creating memories, what place have you always dreamed of seeing and who do you want to share the experience with?

Chris Kittrell is a co-founder and Senior Financial Advisor with Rather & Kittrell.  He is available at