Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning

Today we learned of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.  Our queen was the sovereign of Britain and the Commonwealth for 70 years.  For those of us who went to school in the 60’s and 70’s, it was not uncommon to have seen her picture in our classrooms and to have sung “God save the Queen” after singing,” O Canada” every school day morning.  These traditions are fond memories for many of us and at times, we often wish for those traditions to continue for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.

In July 1982, my wife and I were invited to attend the State Dinner in honour of Princess Ann, Queen Elizabeth’s oldest daughter.  At that time, our Uncle Hazen Argue was Minister of State for the Canadian Wheat Board.  He arranged for us to be invited to this prestigious affair as a belated wedding present.  Our table guests included the pilot of the jet that transported Princess Ann and her entourage across Canada and one of the Princess’s Ladies in Waiting.  This lady had the evening off from her duties, other than she had to be nice to us at the table!  This dinner was the first big event in public life that I attended, and it made an indelible mark on me.  This state dinner exposed me to people and experiences that I did not know existed other than in the newspapers or on television.

This experience got me to read more widely and to seek adventures beyond the normal life around me.  It reinforced my understanding that my small-town experiences, agriculture diploma and camping from the back seat of my car were not the sum of all adventures and opportunities available for me to embrace. 

I was able to build upon my solid rural Saskatchewan foundation by adding both formal and informal education which also included many different experiences. The inspiration of meeting a member of our Royal Family and the entourage that attended them spurred me on to a rich life that I did not know was achievable.  The ability to inspire is perhaps the value that the monarchy offers to Canadians today. 

I have just finished my annual education session by attending the 20th annual Canadian Institute of Financial Planners.  In order to maintain my Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, we need to have 25 continuing education credits each year so that we can continue to add value to our clients and community each year.

This year’s topics included technical information on taxation, family business succession concepts, fixed income and equity investment opportunities and transitioning ideas from one phase of life to another.  We also learned that perfectionism can be overrated as it often leads to procrastination.  In conclusion, we are grounded by solid traditional values while being adventurous in our work and business.

Al’s Nuggets:

  1.  Read and study the things that are important in your life.
  2. Stopping something is often better than starting something new. 
  3. The Niagara Falls are very impressive.      
  4. The word “retirement” is not in the bible nor in any other religious book in the world.  We are to be a contribution to those around us for as long as we can function.
  5. Don’t rely on your spouse, children, boss, “society” or the “government” for your happiness.
  6. Don’t confuse your self-worth with your net worth.
  7. Find ways to increase your margins.  Finding the extra dollar either by increasing income and/or reducing costs is where wealth is built.