The Dangers of Smooth Air

Paul Brown |

Lately, we’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Many pilots don’t seem to be worried about their finances today. To be sure, there are many reasons for this: stable contracts, the economy is growing, COVID isn’t harming the airline industry as much as it did in 2020, and many investments have performed well over the past 18 months. Add to this the human tendency to only focus on problems that feel immediately threatening. Said another way, the air is smooth right now.

Ironically, now may be the best time to focus on your planning and investments. Think about how this relates to your flying. Do you wait for an abnormal situation or an emergency to begin preparing for those possibilities? Of course not. You prepare for them when the air is smooth, in a procedures trainer, in the simulator, or thinking through what ifs when you are flying. It may seem obvious, but we all know that we will perform better if we know what to do before things go wrong.

This past year, we welcomed many new pilot clients to our practice. In many cases when we first spoke with them, they were afraid, unsure and confused about what was going on and how it might impact their future. As for our existing clients, they knew we couldn’t predict a black swan event like COVID, but we remained confident in our process for handling them when they do come (notice I said when). Part of this was developing contingency plans while the air was smooth. When COVID hit, all we had to do was run the checklist.

If that isn’t enough incentive to get you thinking about your planning now, consider this. When the next black swan event comes, you will likely be so task saturated that it may be impossible for you to plan much of anything in your financial life. The time to do your planning is when you are in the green, not when you are in the red. We serve as a resource for our clients so that when they do get into the red (or even the yellow), they have us to help move them back toward the green.

We believe there is a serious lack of Situational Awareness (SA) around the importance of the planning process. Although you plan and contingency plan every day at work, many of you don’t have a defined and comprehensive financial planning and contingency planning process. We know this because we have witnessed it over the years. It’s not just pilots, but workers from all walks of life. We believe that Planning and Contingency Planning will provide you with a higher probability of meeting your goals and staying out of trouble.

When someone boards your airplane, you can’t guarantee with 100% certainty that they will arrive safely at their destination, but I imagine that you are confident that they will arrive safely because of the processes you have in place. In the same way, I am confident that a comprehensive Planning and Contingency Planning process can lead to a greater chance of financial success for you and your family.

Reach out to us, while the air is still smooth, for a complimentary consultation to see if we can help you and your family. 


As always, safe flying,

The Wings Wealth Management Team


*All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.