So much of the investment industry is focused on the “how” – how to get enhanced returns, how to build a portfolio, how to save tax, or how to capture the “next big thing”. Very few companies emphasize the “Why” but given the increased commoditization of investment products and the pressure on many advisors to sell proprietary funds, it’s never been so important for individual investors to find their “Why”.
This drive forms the foundation that helps you push through the media noise and inevitable market cycles. Ahead of a likely recession in 2023, this is a vital time to stay on track. Here are five “Whys” that may inspire you to set and reach financial goals and enjoy the retirement you dream of.
Opportunity to build
Everyone aspires to build things. Build a family. Build a career. Some things are hard to build, like a company, since many variables are beyond your direct control. Building an investment portfolio is relatively easy precisely because it is binary. You are either saving or you are not. If you think of building a portfolio like building a house, then intuitively you understand there are inputs required and there are defined stages starting with the foundation. Building towards the retirement of your dreams is no different. Enjoy the process, brick by brick.
Ever notice that people who “have it together” tend to have good self discipline across all areas? And those that don’t tend to let all areas of their life slide? It seems that one form of self discipline impacts the others. Saving and building wealth is one of the easiest forms of self discipline because the results are there in black and white. By setting a bit aside from every paycheck, reviewing monthly progress and strategizing on asset allocation with your advisor can be rewarding, reinforcing feelings of self discipline.
Creates forward momentum
Goal setting and achievement is hard. Many life-changing goals simply take too long, we can’t easily identify the required behaviours to achieve our goals, or the results are too abstract to track and reinforce progress. The enemy here is diminishing intent. The great news about investing, and working with a skilled advisor, is you can create goals within the portfolio that fit any timeline. One of the greatest intangible benefits of investing is you can apply basic goal setting to other areas of your life. The best news about this is that the early wins are easy and self-reinforcing. If you have forward momentum you look to the future with more anticipation and less apprehension.
Within your control
Wise people focus their energies on the things they have a degree of control over. With personal finances you must accept that some things are beyond control. One day your car brakes seize and the next day you are pulling out of the service shop with an unscheduled expense. Even positive developments can hit the wallet, like if your child studies hard and gets accepted to a university that just happens to be more than budgeted. Everyone will have times of self doubt with their personal finances. The fact that your investment plan is the one thing you can control when everything else seems to be messy is a huge motivator for you to stick to the disciplines.
Lifelong learning path
Most would agree life is more worthwhile if we are constantly learning and applying new knowledge. Without this we stop growing and that is not a good thing at any age. Investing money is a lifelong learning opportunity precisely because there are defined stages in the journey and each stage requires some learning. The process of discussing investment ideas and strategies with your advisor for different stages of life is a very rewarding learning opportunity that has few boundaries. Working with a professional can help you understand and engage in your retirement plan. International capital markets are a huge sandbox to explore and offer an excellent opportunity for life-long learning.
The takeaway – intangible benefits are huge
The wealth management industry is a business but too many firms are solely self serving, ignoring investors and their life goals, which don’t always mean saving as much money as humanly possible. Often, it’s being able to afford vacations, or taking that extra golf trip, or setting their children up for a secure future. Whatever the motivation, you must discover your “Why”.
Investing has tangible benefits. If you invest one dollar today, you will have one dollar plus accumulated earnings for consumption in the future. Most people understand this. But the “aha” moment of the intangible benefits are just as powerful and rewarding. The disciplines you exercise and the lessons you learn in investing will spill over into other areas of your life. Q Wealth can help you discover your “Why”.