Each year, the beaches of west Maui are pushed and pulled down the coastline from Lahaina to Kapalua as the seasons change. In 2022, the unexpected volatile summer storm disrupted the natural movement and eroded the coastline for the late summer visitors to Kaanapali.
As we stood on the sidewalk of West Maui, we were awe struck by the erosion of the once pristine beach of just a year ago. Day after day, we watched as large mature palm trees fell silently into the water. We watched as the dirt continued to erode and parts of the sidewalk collapsed. One option considered by state officials was to go get the sand from other parts of the island to replace the beaches and make people feel better immediately, but risk further damage to coral, turtles and other underwater life. The other option, which the locals preferred, was to allow mother nature to restore the sand that had been washed away by the summer storm as the season changed from summer to fall, and the natural shift of the winds pulled the sand back to the shore as it always does.
On October 1st, as if right on time, the winds shifted, the cooler weather descended upon the warm west Maui coast, and the water turned brown with sand as it made its way back to the eroded coastline from the day before. Over the next 3 days, over 3 feet of sand had returned with the help of the waves and wind, and the beach was beginning to look like it had every year before. After almost twenty years of visiting this beautiful island, I had never seen anything like it.
The lesson that I was reminded of from this experience is that seasons change, storms happen, but the cycle of life persists. When volatile times create extreme conditions, balance will return if we are patient.
The same is true for financial markets. There is a natural business cycle from expansion to contraction, and some years are more volatile than others. But at the end of the day, the cycle persists, and owning good high quality investments based on the goals you have set is the best way to weather any storm.
As unsettling as it was for me to see this beautiful beach in such disarray this year, I cannot wait to see how the power of Mother Nature rebuilds and restores her beauty for years to come in the future.
Thank you, Mother Maui. See you next year!