Waypoint Story

When they hear our name, many people ask, “What is a waypoint?” Waypoints are navigational markers, identified by their latitude and longitude coordinates. They can be lighthouses, buoys or other landmarks used by travelers on land and sea.

I felt the name was appropriate for a wealth management firm because waypoints chart courses through areas of uncertainty, helping to avoid treacherous territory, dangerous shoals, or unfavorable currents. Waypoints can also help determine the best course to take and provide clear benchmarks for measuring progress toward the chosen destination.

The inspiration for the name Waypoint came from my experiences on our sailing yacht, Orion. For a period of time, I raced with the crew and was able to observe a successful team in action. It was very exciting! Accomplishing the goal of winning the race, much like achieving wealth goals, is part science, part art. The skipper is ultimately responsible for getting the boat to its destination as quickly as possible. However, a good skipper depends on the navigator, the sail trimmers, and the winch grinders - each performing a unique job that requires a special skill set. Winning the race depends on thoughtful use of the expertise on board and seamless effort as a team.

The navigator directs the performance, staying alert to obstacles while taking cues from the direction and speed of the wind, water currents and depth, and weather conditions. Communicating closely with the crew and skipper, the navigator must process a variety of information and anticipate what lies ahead. Flexibility is a must as he or she continually acts on new information to refine strategy. Benchmarks, be they waypoints or time horizons, are critical to successfully reaching the goal.

As in wealth management, technology has made the job much more precise, and information is more accessible and timely than ever. Experienced sailors, however, still depend upon their strong senses. They can feel the wind change on their cheeks, smell the rain from miles away and gauge wind changes from the ripples and color of the water and the sky.

Our role at Waypoint is much like the navigator’s. We learn the unique characteristics of our clients, analyze and synthesize various inputs, then communicate vital information to clients for informed decisions. We’re diligently aware of the financial environment and use waypoints to guide and to measure progress toward the destination, adjusting our course as necessary.

In sailing, the size, shape and weight of the boat will largely determine optimum speed – much as investors differ in their risk tolerance, planning horizon and other characteristics. At Waypoint, we define winning as helping clients achieve their goals with plans that recognize their individuality and reflect their values and purpose.

Finally, like “best-in-class” crews, we must successfully work together with our clients’ other advisors to integrate the various components of their financial lives. As members of these combined teams, we strive for optimum performance: one strong team, powering our clients toward their life goals.”

Beth Patterson