Currently, one of my favorite podcasts is 99 Percent Invisible by Roman Mars. It is about “all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world”* Great stuff. Recently, the story was about a company where you could order a house, and a few weeks later it would arrive at your doorstep (so to speak). It would come with all the parts you needed, pre-cut and unassembled, ready for you and your friends to put together. Not a tiny little shack either, but homes, up to 4,000 square feet in size. And, offered at a fraction of the price of a conventional house. The instructions promised that if you provide the foundation, you could construct the house in less than 90 days**. The company was Sears, Roebuck & Co. The year, 1908.

This was amazing to me. Mail order houses! Like the biggest IKEA project ever. But, what was most surprising to me, was that this was happening in 1908. And, it was Sears that was offering this. Yes, THAT Sears. Sears was a great innovator in its time. Imagine, in the late 1800’s, getting a Sears catalog for free, so that you could order almost anything and have it delivered to your house. Then, when the US population started to gravitate towards cities, it created a huge physical presence to capitalize on dense areas of shoppers. At its peak, Sears was the largest retailer in the United States^. And, in its 132 year history, Sears’ holdings included a tool maker (Craftsman), an appliance maker (Kenmore), a brokerage house (Dean Witter), an insurance company (Allstate), an online services company (Prodigy), and a real estate firm (Coldwell Banker), among others.

Now, this is not a blog about the history of Sears. But, doesn’t this all sound vaguely familiar? A large retailer that has disrupted other areas of the economy? The phrase “being Amazoned” is being used for industries that online retailing giant, Amazon, has entered. (Please note: this is not a recommendation for or against Amazon) Home electronics, grocery stores, even healthcare have experienced this. And, it’s not just Amazon. Remember phone books? Possible made irrelevant by Google. Landline phones? Quickly disappearing. And, when was the last time you put on your Sony Walkman…? As we find better ways to do stuff, we improve our daily lives. (Ironically, I’m writing this a day after WD-40’s 65th birthday. A simple product that has never been improved upon.)

What jumps out at me is that in so much of the mania we experience today, it’s a lot of “the same old story.” And, this brings great comfort to me. As analysts and politicians alike opine dramatically about how our large corporations are ruining the fabric of our country, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the first time. I imagine that Sears was once vilified for destroying the mail order business, by constructing stores in terrible and offensive malls. Whether it’s politics, technology or economics it’s easy to get caught up in the hyperbole. But, try to keep things in perspective. I’ve heard the term, “this time it’s different” uttered countless times in the past two and a half decades. It very rarely is. And, regarding investing, despite the perennial headlines of “Buy and Hold is Dead”, remember that your best chance for success is to invest for the long term.

 

* https://99percentinvisible.org/about/the-show/

** https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-house-that-came-in-the-mail/

^ https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/rise-and-fall-sears-180964181

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Verity Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

Gavin Chinn, CFS* Financial Advisor

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

An Investment Advisor registered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P., Gavin has 22 years of experience as an advisor in the Puget Sound area.

“I believe every client is unique and deserving of a personalized financial plan that will help them reach their individual financial goals. Before I make any recommendations, I like to get to know my clients. By asking the right questions, and developing an honest, trusting relationship I can really get a sense of what’s going to work best for them.”

Gavin graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Business Administration and started his financial career with US Bank in the Investment Department. Prior to joining Verity in 2006, he spent eight years with Piper Jaffray.

So what is Gavin’s vision for his dream retirement?

“My dream retirement would be absolutely worry free: financially, emotionally, and in every aspect of life. My finances would be in order so expenses for travel, luxuries, and gifts for the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids would be taken care of. My kids would be financially sound, so I would be confident in their prosperity. This would give me the freedom to travel and play and do whatever it is I want to do.”

When Gavin’s not working, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching Husky football, and taking weekend trips around the Northwest.

Gavin is registered to transact securities business in the states of WA, OR, CA, AZ, FL, HI, ID, IL, MN, NM, NY and VA.

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Verity Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

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