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My, what a difference a few months can make!  A few rays of sunshine, longer days, warmer temps and the best start to a year for the stock market in 30+ years…life is good!

Now that we’re almost through the first quarter of the year, it’s a good time to revisit those resolutions or goals that you may have set for yourself back in early January.  Remember those exercise programs and healthy eating plans we put together and committed to on New Year’s Eve???  Hopefully, you’re still sticking with those changes that you wanted to make.  If not, it’s never too late to recommit and get back on track!  Changes like these are difficult, for sure.  As many of my old coaches would say, “If it were easy, everyone would do it!”

Writing this to you all is as much a reminder (and a slap on the wrist) for me as it is for everyone else.   I’ve managed to keep two of my resolutions going through the first 2 ½ months of the year (two out of three isn’t bad, right?).  I typically like to focus on the positive, but the guilt and shame are really starting to get to me, so my exercise routine is going back into effect starting immediately!

Now, back to focusing on the positive because I have been very pleased with the two resolutions that I have been able to stick with, so I thought I would share those with you.  I’ve started practicing meditation in the mornings, and I’ve substituted the radio/music for podcasts on my commute to and from the office.  Just a few weeks into both of these new “practices” and I found myself wishing I would’ve started them years ago!

For the meditation sessions, I use an app called “Waking Up” by Sam Harris (I’ve become a big fan of Sam Harris through this app and reading some of his other material).  There is a free version, but I pay a few dollars a month for the premium version because he has a guided meditation course that helps beginners like me learn what meditation is all about as you begin to train your mind and engage in the practice of meditating.

More and more, I was noticing that I have trouble “being present” and “in the moment.” This is especially true when I’m trying to spend time with my two boys, and that is what led me to give meditation a try.  The more I practice, the more I am seeing and feeling a difference in my daily mindset and ability to “be present.” I have a long way to go, of course, but I always feel better after my morning session and it helps to get me on the right track for the day.  The progress feels good and it’s a totally different experience for me to be “training” my mind.

I have also been pleasantly surprised by how much I am enjoying listening to podcasts.  I mainly listen to them in the car while I’m driving to and from the office, so I am usually able to finish one podcast each day as many of them seem to be about an hour long.

To begin, I started with the Tim Ferris show as he is one of the more famous and top-rated podcasters and there were many recognizable guests that he has had on his show.  Tim’s show is mainly focused on interviewing world-class performers across many different fields (athletes, entrepreneurs, brilliant minds, etc.) and he tries to find out what makes them tick or what it is that they do differently from the rest of the world.  Some of my favorite interviews have been with Jim Collins (author of Good to Great and a few other best sellers) and Seth Godin (brilliant marketing mind, author, and well-known blogger).  I have also enjoyed a few of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcasts and I intend to listen to more of his work.

If you’re looking for something new or a change of pace, perhaps you’ll give one of these ideas a try.  I’m certainly enjoying the benefits, so far.  Now, if only exercising and burning calories was as easy as sitting in a chair and focusing on your breathing 🙂

What are some of your favorite podcasts that you enjoy?  We’d love to hear from you, and I’m always looking for new suggestions and recommendations.  Also, if there is anything that we can do to help with any of your financial resolutions that you may be putting off, don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help you.

Todd M. Wike, CFP®
Managing Partner, Potomac Financial Group
2018 RJFS Chairman’s Council Member*


The information contained in this material does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Todd Wike and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the services or opinions of the various podcasts or applications discussed in this material. Chairman’s Council Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually.