Finding the Right Path

Money Matters (June 2016)

By Chuck Dudley

fog-1021008_1920Recently, our Senior Pastor Emeritus at First United Methodist Church of Hot Springs, David Wilson, filled in for our vacationing pastor. His sermon was about love and overcoming hardships, and in the text of the sermon he quoted from renowned singer, actress and author of the 50s and 60’s Portia Nelson. You can look up Portia’s list of accomplishments. But what struck me was the poem she wrote that is used by self-help groups, self-assessment groups, and addiction groups.

As I was listening, her words rang true for a lot of things in life. Dealing with unfortunate situations, family issues, and of course……………………… financial planning for your retirement!!

The title of the poem is: “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.”

Here are the 5 chapters. See if there is some meaning for you in any aspect of your life, especially in your plan for having a fulfilling retirement.



I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost……I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in it….it’s a habit…..but,
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.


Reverend Wilson always had 3 ‘faith lessons’ in his sermons.

So what can we learn from this poem?

Here are my thoughts:

  • •It’s important to learn from your mistakes
  • •Be willing to accept your mistakes and move forward
  • •Be intentional about making changes

Retirement planning may be that hole in the sidewalk. If it is not going the way you want, then quickly begin a strategy to help you find another street to walk down.

Be willing to listen to new strategies and understand that retirement needs as much planning as raising kids, planning for college and vacation planning. I’d bet that most people spend more time each year planning that perfect vacation than then spend on retirement planning.


If you really want to make sure you have right ideas for moving forward in a positive manner, we will listen. We’ve been able to help families and businesses learn to use money wisely, and we’d like to help you too. We would be honored to visit with you about how to help you and your business. My number is 501-318-0010, or you can send me an email at

An hour of your time spent analyzing your situation might make a lifetime of difference

Arkansas Insurance Producer # 1005698

That’s all for this month! If you’ve enjoyed what you read, please share Money Matters with a friend, family member or loved one.


Chuck Dudley



Argent Financial Group

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Argent Financial Group (Argent) is a leading, independent, fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $30 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, businesses and institutions with a broad range of wealth management services, including trust and estate administration, investment management, ESOPs, retirement plan consulting, funeral and cemetery trusts, charitable organization administration, oil and gas (mineral) management and other unique financial services. Headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, Argent was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930.

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