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Securing Your Financial Future?
What does financial planning really mean for you? What’s important to you about preparing your financial future?
These are the essential first questions when I work with a new client. Common answers include ‘freedom’, and ‘security’. But to each of us, those words have a personal meaning.
For some, freedom could mean not having to work past a target retirement date. For others, it could mean having the resources to follow the Formula 1 Championship from country to country each year, or the Golf, or … (insert your passion here).
For some, security may mean simply not retiring broke. For others, it may mean security for our family, both financially and in terms of education and other opportunities.
Each one of us has a different set of objectives in life, and we need to call upon various resources to achieve those goals - good health, family support, financial resources, and time. In this respect, financial planning is like project management for your finances. Our ‘start point’ is where we want to be in the future, and we work backwards from there to build a plan, putting together the steps we need to take to achieve that.
Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
How Well Do You Sleep At Night?
A while ago, at his first financial review after setting up a savings plan, a client of mine said to me, “You know Roy, it’s been terribly hard adapting my lifestyle to the amount I’m saving each month. I’ve had to make sacrifices, and had less to spend on treats and going out. But I’ll tell you what, I’ve never slept so well in years.“
Let’s think about that for a moment - good financial planning often means making some sacrifices now, so that we don’t have to later in life. Even if we have a high income right now, it’s too easy to become accustomed. That’s why, whatever our current income, we should probably be putting something extra away every month, to reduce the chance of an income shock sometime in the future.
As a financial advisor, it’s my job to help you sleep well at night. But I can’t do it alone…
Not Rocket Science
There’s no secret to building wealth for the long term. And it’s certainly not rocket science. It boils down to only three essentials:
- Be Disciplined - religiously set aside part of your income each month, and part of your annual bonus too;
- Make Your Money Work Hard For You - don’t be satisfied with bank rates that barely keep up with inflation, have a long term investment plan;
- Make Time Work For You, Not Against You - compound growth really is an incredible force, but for it to work you actually need to be saving!
You’ll notice that only one of the above factors - making your money work hard - is the responsibility of your financial advisor. The other two - discipline, and starting early enough - are down to you.
There’s a lot of mumbo jumbo spoken in the financial industry; much of it is nonsense. It’s no coincidence that the most successful investors - such as Warren Buffet - are renowned for two things, (i) taking a long term view, and (ii) having an easily understood and down-to-earth investment policy, that can be described in just a few sentences.
I call it ‘The Science Of Financial Common Sense’.
Now, we may not all have a few billion dollars in loose change, but I work with clients every day to help them make good decisions now, so that sometime in the future they’re in a position where they never need to worry about money again.
If Not You, Who?
I’m a firm believer that nobody is more motivated than you to look after your finances, and plan for your future. It’s my job to help you do that, in a transparent and straightforward fashion.
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