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Invest Well. Live Well: The purpose of life is a life of purpose

On Dec. 4, Katherine McParland, a personal friend passed away unexpectedly. I think most of us are still in shock and disbelief trying to understand how this shining star is gone at the young age of 32.
Katherine McParland and Eric Davis.
Katherine McParland and Eric Davis.

On Dec. 4, Katherine McParland, a personal friend passed away unexpectedly. I think most of us are still in shock and disbelief trying to understand how this shining star is gone at the young age of 32.

I met Katherine a few years ago and was moved by her personal journey transitioning through more than 20 foster care homes. After aging out of the system at 19, she experienced periods of homelessness.

Katherine found her purpose and established a local charity dedicated to ending youth homelessness — A Way Home Kamloops. On a few occasions, I watched Katherine in action. She really was an adopted mother (or sister) for so many youths. Recently, as part of Katherine's graduate degree, she produced a report, From Marginalized to Magnified, to elevate the voices of lived expertise. As a pioneer, she has received many awards locally and provincially. 

Tragedy often causes us to reflect. I am reminded of Stephen Covey’s principle: Begin with the end in mind. He suggests individuals complete a profound exercise by envision themselves at their funerals. Who is attending and what would people say about you? What would you hope they were saying? How would your obituary read?

Invest Well Live Well Eric Davis Keith Davis
 

Many of us have attended funerals and celebration of life ceremonies. Being born and raised in Kamloops, I regularly read the obituary section in Kamloops This Week. I have yet to see a tribute to how much money one made, saved or spent. If anything, the individual’s successes are briefly mentioned, but the bulk of their life commemorates their passions: family, career, sport, friends, travel, philanthropy and those who have been touched by their passing. 

Our father would often say, "It is a shame that we wait until someone passes away before saying so many kind things about them. If only they were here to see how much love they created and, in return, received."

Some may be wondering what this column has to do with finance? I believe it has everything to do with it. Money is a tool, a conduit and medium of exchange. I like the quote from Robert Byrne, "The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

The value of one's portfolio does not assure fulfillment. It is often health, relationships, recreation and travel that elicit happiness. 

The most common goal I hear in my office is retirement, which is more of a phase than a destination. Because life can be unfair and short, we should not wait to cross things off our bucket lists. I appreciate that the pandemic has curtailed and limited our ability to tackle our dreams, but the vaccines offer hope and we will get the opportunity again.

So, when you can, please take that trip, learn to dance, practise piano, run a marathon, climb Kilimanjaro, give back to your community or just tell someone you love and appreciate them. 

Thank you, Katherine, for all you have done in our community. You left this world far too early, but your legacy and spark will go on. I promise you this. 

Until next time, Invest Well. Live Well.

(Written by Eric Davis.)

This document was prepared by Eric Davis, vice-president, portfolio manager and investment advisor, and Keith Davis, investment advisor, for informational purposes only and is subject to change. The contents of this document are not endorsed by TD Wealth Private Investment Advice, a division of TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.-Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. All insurance products and services are offered by life licensed advisors of TD Waterhouse Insurance Services Inc., a member of TD Bank Group. For more information, call 250-314-5124 or email Keith.davis@td.com.