We all want advice we can trust. Everyone wants to be told the truth. The Real Truth about money can be condensed into five words: Life Is Not A Rehearsal.
Have you noticed that time is slipping by and it slips by quicker than we realise? Ten years ago it was 2008; this seems a shorter time than ten years’ time in 2028. True?
The real truth about money – the Bedrock Truth upon which all other truths stand – is found in the degree to which it serves you, by which I mean: you, your plans, your loved ones, the causes which matter to you and your legacy.
This means it’s not about the Square Root of a Sharpe Ratio; Hot Fund Fads; Bitcoin Bubbles or the latest nugatory market ‘correction’ from the shrieking heads on CNBC (who, incidentally, know nothing of your existence let alone your heartfelt goals). Just like the 1980’s song, “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places”, this outside ‘information’ is the wrong place to look and a deafening distraction; not least, because none of this noise matters to an income which you cannot outlive and which out-paces rising prices by orders of magnitude. What you actually need are earplugs and an inside insight.
Ear plugs from all good retailers. Where do you find this inside insight? By starting at a higher level and asking the Big Questions which reveal your desired ports of call on your life’s journey and therefore which financial choices should be taken, how they should be taken and with whose help.
So, let’s pause for a moment. Begin your own inquiry very simply by giving some thought to these questions. Find a pen and consider writing down your answers on a piece of paper or in your journal:
- What do I want to do with the time I have left on this planet?
- When can I stop doing what I no longer enjoy?
- When can I start doing more of what I really love doing?
- What do I need to do ensure that the people I love are totally financially secure whatever happens?
- How much is enough?
- Will I have enough? Will I have too much? Have I got enough now, and don’t know it?
Financial planning, which is purpose driven, reveals, defines and quantifies your answers to these questions through an intentional values and goals conversation supported with a realistic assessment of what you have and a step by step action plan which leads to rewarding results for everyone involved.
Whatever your goals, whether you’re thinking about your “Financial Independence Day”; a comfortable retirement and staying comfortably retired; buying a new house or saving up for your next family holiday, writing these goals down and aligning them with what matters most to you is the cornerstone to a monumental Master Plan which is worthy of your commitment to its implementation. How you go about doing this depends on the importance you place on your precious – and finite – 168 hours in your week. But more on that later.
Everyone knows about the importance of planning ahead. But not everyone appreciates the importance of defining a purpose for your finances. So, what do we mean by planning with “Purpose“, which is stage one?
Well, some people value time spent with their family above anything else, while others prioritise making plans for a comfortable retirement. Most people see the importance of planning for the unexpected such as the financial impact of dying too soon or a long-term illness. It’s often all three, and more.
How do you define your goals with precision? Whichever method you choose, it is helpful to show on paper a clear relationship between your values, your goals, your current financial reality and how they interact. We have found, and you will find, that having the GL Passport as the locus of a face to face conversation achieves meaningful goal definition, calibrated to your values.
When we articulate and set goals guided by clear values, several things happen. We make financial choices from a place of confidence, strength and dignity. It gives your financial planner the ingredients to create a meaningful financial plan and a context for independent financial advice. It provides you with the motivation to set sail and stay the course as you reach your goals and ports of call with your planner.
What’s next? “Planning“. This is stage two. You have three choices with how you use your GL Passport: you may try to create a plan yourself; if you have a financial adviser who is also a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, you may hand them your GL Passport and ask them to create a plan for you; and, of course, you can also ask us to join you as part of your crew – and we’d welcome the opportunity to be your navigators. If you have more important things to do with your 168 hours or value a sounding board, you’ll want to take one of the last two options.
If you want us to help you now, we’ll construct a visual Master Plan. This is not a thick, static report. Instead, by using sophisticated financial modelling software, we can apply our planning expertise in a more dynamic way bringing it to life with multiple scenarios in real time during the planning meeting with you. You see your income, outgoings and your net worth from now until you’re 100 years old or more. Its implementation is stage three, “Advice“: this may involve investment, pension, tax and insurance recommendations, but it may not. You may have other assets such as property or the value of your business to bring into the mix, so you can enjoy your life and maintain the lifestyle you want to have.
But that’s not all. Things change along the way. Our response to events, our “Behaviour“ in other words, and “Progress“ against a plan needs to be reviewed and adjusted to remain successful. These are stages four and five. So, we won’t leave you high and dry. We’ll offer a long-term relationship through one of our review programmes travelling with you “by Land”, “by Sea” or “by Air” so you progress towards the lifestyle that you wish to have and make a difference, not only to your quality of life but those of future generations.
If this approach resonates with you, we’d love to help you make a start on your journey. Just give us a call, drop us an email or pop in and we’ll facilitate your tailored GL Passport as your first step, with our compliments.
We hope that our occasional updates provide you with some valuable content and food for thought. Keep tuning in!
Until the next time, let me leave you with this quotation:
“Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Certified Financial Planner™ professional
Chartered Wealth Manager™
Investors should remember that the value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up. This update has been produced for information purposes only and isn’t intended to constitute financial advice; investments referred to may not be suitable for everyone.