Having accepted the post of CEO in the depths of a pandemic, I was optimistic that once we got past the worst, the next couple of years would at least be on a somewhat more upward trajectory. That was wishful thinking, in hindsight. The last 36 months have been challenging for all investment professionals. From dealing with the pandemic and inflation worries that have persisted longer than most thought, to an aggressive and very hawkish Federal Reserve Bank that raised interest rates at the fastest clip than most of us have seen in our careers, not to mention major market sell-offs in the equity and fixed income markets, and finally to classic “runs on banks” that bring back memories of the 1930s, this has been a challenging time. And it’s important to acknowledge that.

Several years ago, in connection with Bailard’s 50th anniversary, we set about codifying the values that are foundational to our company. Several were not unexpected—like Excellence, Fairness, and Accountability—but two stood out as different and important. I speak often to my colleagues about Compassion. It plays an instrumental role in how we treat each other and how we care for our clients, partners, and community. But, as the world continues to raise new challenges, the value of Courage keeps bobbing up to the surface.

Courage takes many forms in work and in life. Sometimes, Courage means holding steadfast to a sound plan in the face of adversity. On the other hand, it speaks to the willingness to challenge one’s thinking and take calculated risks when warranted. And, at its core, Courage is the backbone to stand up and do what is right, even when it is hard.

Crucially, I find that courage begets courage. When we push outside our comfort zones, we grow professionally and personally. It then compounds, building trust and serving as inspiration and creating a community where we motivate each other in the pursuit of greatness. I am inspired every day by this team. I see how their courage creates a workplace that is innovative and thriving, but also brave and caring.

As we acknowledge that times have been challenging, there is also the deep understanding and recognition that change is the only constant in life. This principle underlies Bailard’s unyielding focus on thoughtful and prudent work on behalf of our clients and their assets. It’s exactly why we plan, diversify, test, openly communicate, and strive to continually improve.

With the words of Jim Collins in mind, it is impossible to foretell exactly what lies ahead and we, instead, rely on each other. For over five decades, individuals, families, and institutions alike have entrusted Bailard. We have weathered challenges together and forged new paths. The undercurrents of Compassion and Courage run deep and provide the wind at our backs, allowing us to look ahead in preparation for the next challenge.