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September 2021 Client Newsletter

Hello Again!


First Some Announcements: 

Now is a great time to sit down and plan for the end of year.  If you are ready to sit down (in person, on the phone, or on zoom) and have a few questions give us a call.  We will discuss potential tax moves to make before the end of the year as well as answer in any questions you have.  When you are ready, give us a call, and don’t forget your taxes! 

Recent Blog Posts include: 6 Signs Your Elderly Parents May Need Help with Their Finances, How to Get Your Adult Children to Stop Relying on You Financially, and more. To read visit: AscendInvestment.com/GarrettsGarage  

My First Hole In One 

          Golf is a game that I have always wanted to play.  A perfect excuse to be outside in some nice cut grass is always appealing.   With the COVID shutdown and after the crazy market I thought it was a good time to take up a new hobby.  So, over this last year I started playing golf.

          A few weeks ago, I hit my first hole in one.  

When I first made contact with the ball my thought was “I didn’t hit that very well.”  But with a very lucky few bounces, that looked more like mini golf than the PGA Tour, the ball rolled and rolled and dropped in the cup.  

Looking just at the result, I hit the ball perfectly because it went in the hole.  But taking a step back there was no way I could constantly recreate the swing, ball flight, and lucky bounces.  Too many things had to happen together.  So I should not be practicing hitting the ball poorly but I should practice in a way that can provide consistent results.  


Annie Duke, a professional poker player and cognitive psychology researcher, wrote an excellent book titled, “Thinking in Bets”. She shares “Chess contains no hidden information and very little luck.  The pieces are all there for both players to see.   If you lose at a game of chess, it must be because there were better moves that you didn’t make or didn’t see.   The decisions we make in our lives […] involve uncertainty, risk, and occasional deception, prominent elements in poker.  Trouble follows when we treat life decisions as if they were chess decisions.”

          Life is full of luck, when and where we are born, who happens to be driving on the road at the same time we are, and random medical challenges.  Duke continues, “When I consult with executives, I sometimes start with this exercise.  I ask group members to come to our first meeting with a brief description of their best and worst decisions of the previous year.  I have yet to come across someone who doesn’t identify their best and wort results rather than their best and worst decisions.”

          Duke calls this “Resulting” when someone decides whether a decision is good or bad based on its outcome.  That may be true in chess but not always in life.  

Great Decisions

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.  Duke shares how to make great decisions “What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome.  A great decision is the result of a good process, and that process must include an attempt to accurately represent our own state of knowledge.  That state of knowledge, in turn, is some variation of ‘I’m not sure.’”

Going back to my hole in one, resulting would lead me to practice the same bad swing that led to the desired results.  But this would take me down a path of frustration and inconstant results because so much randomly had to happen.

When making decisions in life, such as investments, retirement, spending, etc. there is a large section of luck.  As a result, a decision needs to be based off a good process that will likely lead to desired results.  

When things don’t go your way, ask yourself, is this result of a bad decision or bad luck.   

          Feel free to pass this message along to anyone who you think might find it useful!




Garrett G. Smith

Financial Advisor

Ascend Investment Partners


Paul M. Norman, CFP®

Senior Financial Advisor

Ascend Investment Partners





214 South Main Street

Logan, UT 84321

Tel: 801-476-1200

Fax: 801-476-1207



175 Historic 25th Street

Ogden, UT 84401

Tel: 801-476-1200

Fax: 801-476-1207  

Ascend Investment Partners is not a legal or tax advisor. You should consult with your attorney, accountant and/or estate planner before taking any action.   

Ascend Investment Partners did not assist in the preparation of this report, and its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Ascend Investment Partners or its affiliates. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.


This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.

The commentary on this website reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Ascend Investment Partners employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Kesler, Norman & Wride, LLC dba Ascend Investment Partners or performance returns of any Ascend Investment Partners Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Ascend Investment Partners manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.