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Your investments are a partnership

     Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a conference of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The state of Idaho did an outstanding job of hosting this event, which included participants from fish and wildlife agencies in 23 western states. I came away with a better understanding of the importance of creating a team and building consensus among state agencies, communities, policy makers and federal partners. This process can be useful in dealing with job-related and personal issues as well as with other organizations.
    I have been on the Fish and Game Commission for seven years and have acted as the chair for two years, including this year. I learned quickly that dealing with natural resource issues can be controversial; there are many stakeholders with diverse opinions and backgrounds. One point that still amazes me is that 90 percent of the tough issues we try to deal with in Idaho are common to almost every other western state. I’ve also found that all of the different stakeholders usually agree on more topics than they disagree upon; however, it can be difficult to avoid focusing on the differences.
     The success stories come from building new partnerships, leveraging resources and taking a collaborative approach. This process requires compromise and a respect and understanding of other people’s points of view. It is also important to weigh the cost of the solution against the potential gain, and to always keep the overall goal in the forefront.
    Communication is the cornerstone of the process. Another critical component is trust and credibility. Successfully communicating with an audience is an art, but there is always room for improvement. Not everyone listens and learns in the same way. Often we need to repeat key points, because it is not always what we say but how we say it that makes a difference. Sometimes it is difficult to find a common language. Not everyone has the same educational background, and certainly each business or agency has its own lingo, which puzzles the rest of the world. Another important point in communication is to do more listening than speaking.
    The human ego is another obstacle that can get in the way of reaching a goal. As hard as it is to admit, I know I have a rather large ego. Many of us have seen agencies or individuals get caught up in this ego trap, which can slow down or halt progress towards an important goal.
    At the conference, I listened to different speakers from agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the U. S. Forest Service, and different wildlife agencies. They all were very proud of their organizations and activities. But some of the most meaningful accomplishments came from forming partnerships. In these cases, no one agency was responsible or received the credit for the successful project. The solution was formed when participants from several different user groups, stakeholders and agencies joined forces toward a common goal.
    Building consensus and forming partnerships can be incorporated into your everyday life as well. Your job, family, community or organization could benefit from the collaborative process. Things like clear communication, understanding your role and responsibility, and setting priorities all can help you achieve goals, both large and small.
    Remember not to get caught up in the details. Focus on the overall goal. Don’t let personalities or differences get in the way of progress. Instead, focus on a few things that you have in common and move toward the bigger picture. Listening to opinions from people with different backgrounds, cultures and interests can be the first step toward creating a meaningful solution and achieving a much larger goal. Hopefully you will be able to use some of these ideas when you are struggling with a tough issue or if you are in a difficult situation.
    All these lessons apply to investing as well. Your investments are a partnership with businesses throughout the world, and your investment representative should always be on the lookout for areas where you can form new partnerships that will be beneficial to your overall goals.
    Leveraging your resources is an on-going process—you should periodically review your investment portfolio to ensure it is continuing to utilize your resources in the most effective way possible.
    Collaboration with your financial advisor means you recognize their—and your—strengths and weaknesses so that decisions are made in line with your overall financial goals.
    Communication, trust and credibility are as important where your investments are concerned as they are in any other area of life. Ego can interfere with your ability to make wise investment choices.
    The Fish and Game Commission must work collaboratively with other agencies in order to maintain this area’s abundant natural resources, to make sure a vibrant and healthy wildland continues into our children’s and grandchildren’s generations. Likewise, the prudent investor works collaboratively with his or her broker, tax specialist, financial planner and investment representative in order to ensure a vibrant and healthy financial future that, potentially, can form a base of success for generations to come.
    Nancy Hadley is an Investment Representative with DA Davidson in downtown Sandpoint. She is currently accepting new clients. Reach her at 208.263.2010.

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Nancy Hadley

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Fish and Game Commission, Idaho, Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, communication

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