2016: A Year of Unexpected Outcomes

Dear Valued Client,

Welcome to the 2nd Edition of PFA’s Year in Review. Last year’s inaugural missive was penned by Managing Partner Craig Joncas, and I was greatly looking forward to reading his thoughts on this year.  However, in the year where things don’t necessarily turn out as you think they will, this task was assigned to me.

2016: A Year of Unexpected Outcomes

This year can certainly be described as one of unexpected outcomes. In 2016 there is, of course, one event that shocked the world and will likely leave it a very different place from where 2016 began.  I’m speaking, of course, of Leicester City’s stunning ascent to champions of the British premier league this year.  President-elect Trump, Britain’s exit from the EU, The Cubs’ World Series championship – these are barely newsworthy compared with what little Leicester City hath wrought.

To put Leicester City’s accomplishment into perspective, consider this:  Preseason odds of their winning were 5000 to 1. By comparison, the same odds makers were laying only 500-1 odds against Simon Cowell becoming the British PM.  Heck, at 1000-1, the odds that Hugh Hefner will reveal he is a virgin seems unlikely, yet it was still five times less likely for Leicester City to win it all.

So, three things to take away from 2016:  First, don’t assume anything is impossible. Second, there sure is a lot of weird stuff you can bet on if so inclined. Finally, look past the headlines because there are some amazing happenings that don’t get covered “above the fold”.  Among them are:

  • The Juno spacecraft reached Jupiter after traveling about 1,700,000,000 miles in five years.
  • A solar powered plane circumnavigated the globe without using one drop of fuel.
  • A breakthrough discovery isolated gene NEK1 as a major contributor to the fatal disease ALS. Get this:  The ALS Association credits the discovery largely to the increase in awareness and funds from the Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral in 2014.
  • Solar photovoltaic energy now powers over 6 million homes in California. A new record, but count on that being broken by a large margin in the coming year.
  • 2016 marked the first year in decades where the global population of tigers actually increased. Same with manatees.

Plenty of good stuff to report from Team PFA this year with an excellent mix of professional and personal development.

  • Craig Joncas took an epic road trip with his college buddy Jacob as they blogged their way across the USA in a pop-up trailer.
  • Craig then convinced me to pick up his jeep and pop-up in Denver and bring it back to Maine. Confessedly, the road trip was a highlight of my summer.
  • Client Relations Specialist, Julie Willette, and her husband Ryan ate their one-year frozen wedding cake.
  • Financial Advisor Lauren Ulman built a substantial client base and completed extensive research on strategies for managing student debt.
  • Operations Manager Hannah Tackett and her husband Zac moved out of their hipster Munjoy Hill apartment and into their very own house in the ‘burbs.
  • PFA also experienced its very first “spin off” with Craig Grover and Tom Harnish striking out to form a new firm.

Big, big things are brewing for 2017, so be on the lookout for the 3rd edition of PFA’s Year in Review about a year from this very date.  Meanwhile, we hope you, your families, friends and loved ones have the most happy, pleasant, healthy holiday season. Best wishes for a fabulous 2017!