He has a gun! — The hunting encounter is a corollary to investing [Column] – Reading Eagle

For some people, fall is the time of year to hit the coffee shop for a slice of apple pie or a pumpkin spice latte. For others, it might be a hay ride or corn maze with their kids. And for some, it’s simply a Sunday stroll down the back roads to admire the foliage. For me, fall is the time of year to grab my gun and head out into the woods for hunting season.

Hunting has always been a tradition in my family and it is something I hope to pass on to my daughters. So, in preparation for deer season, I recently scoured the woods to look for new potential stall locations that could fill the freezer with venison this November. I brought my .22 thinking I might see a squirrel or two to add to the pot of soup, and this is where the story really begins.

Within a few hours of my departure, I saw a couple approaching about 40 meters with their dog. I could see their body language change rapidly as they saw me approach in my bright orange vest and hat. They radiated fear and uncertainty as he continued down the path. I could hear them talking quietly and then the husband not-so-subtly saying, “He’s got a gun! That is illegal. As he approaches me, I politely say, “Good afternoon, how are you today?” They quickly got out of the way and sheepishly murmured “Hello” and proceeded to walk in the other direction as fast as possible.

As he continued, I reflected on the encounter and felt a little sorry for the couple. They obviously didn’t grow up around guns or hunting, and due to lack of knowledge and experience they were paralyzed with fear during our encounter. At the same time, I smiled a little because it shouldn’t have been a surprise to them, since they were walking in State Game Lands, where there were signs everywhere saying, “Hunters wear orange, so should you.”

I share this story not to criticize the couple, but to draw a parallel between this hunting encounter and the stock market. When it comes to investing, you can be the hunter or the fearful hiker. Your role boils down to gaining a bit of knowledge and experience to be confident in your financial journey.

Understanding the basics of investing and having an easy-to-follow financial plan that fits your life can go a long way in calming your fears. When a market downturn reaches the top of the hill and starts to close in, instead of being scared and getting out of the way, you’ll have the confidence to stay the course.

Those who lack a basic understanding of investing, or who don’t have a financial advisor to keep them up to date, can often take a detour on their financial journey. If you allow fear to influence your decisions, it can lead to costly mistakes, like selling in a falling market. Instead of feeling like you want to run for the hills, take the time to learn the basics of money so you can feel calm and secure as you move down your financial path.

If you need help starting your financial journey or want to review your current plan, schedule a free financial review by visiting our website or calling 484-529-4370. Or if you just want to talk guns or hunting, let’s have a cup of coffee (no pumpkin spice for me).

Ryan Daniels is a financial advisor and author of “Money Basics and Fundamentals.” He is the host of the “Say Hi to Money” podcast and an Army veteran who enjoys continuing to serve, “Supporting communities that build financially strong families.” Visit their website at www.RFinances.com.