As a financial adviser I am often asked how should I invest? What is the economy doing? How do I achieve better returns? In my view, there is still a big misconception that financial planning is all about investment returns. But, is it? What is more important, peace of mind and precious, moments spent with our loved ones, or
the financial roller coaster, which we can experience, if we focus on the wrong things? I'm sure, for many of us the latter is a rather traumatic experience. In reality we rarely ask one of the most important questions "why"? Why is it important to achieve a specific return? Why is it important to have financial freedom? Without these questions, it is almost impossible to define our true goals. How does the target return bring us closer to our deepest desires and aspirations? How much is enough for us to have peace of mind? By conditioning our financial success on a specific return, we often put ourselves under enormous pressure, as we cannot influence the invisible market forces. This also fixates our attention on negative news, which unfortunately dominates our media. Of-course, we all naturally want to achieve prosperity and to have enough”, but everyone's enough is very different and there are many ways how we can achieve our desired outcomes. But before we can set out on the journey towards our ideal life, I would like you to ask yourself two simple questions. Do you know what assets you have? And most importantly, what does good look like, in terms of your ideal lifestyle? These two questions are best summarised by a simple picture
As years go by we accumulate piles of financial paperwork, which require some sort of action. Our investments are often fragmented, and it is not uncommon for people to have multiple pensions, investments and cash savings with various providers. All of this stuff, if not actioned keeps nagging us do something about me!"
It is almost impossible to be in control when you are not sure if your money is in the right place. Lack of clarity in this area, often leads us to one of the key questions everyone has on their mind, do I have enough? For me financial planning is like solving a puzzle. There are many pieces which need to be arranged in a cohesive way to bring clarity to our current position.
This is exactly what happened in one of my recent client meetings when we used multi coloured pieces of paper to identify different assets. This was an aha moment, as we now could see the complete picture, rather than stacks of annual statements which are not the easiest thing to read.
This is the bedrock of any financial plan, without which true planning is not possible. Having intense conversations about money and our deepest fears is hard and for many people is a taboo. We often fear to be judged, or just simply don't have anybody who we can trust. This is where an experienced financial adviser can add massive value by helping us to clarify what is really important in our life. And more often than not it is people around us, their well being and reassurance that our lifetime savings will last through the rest of lifetime. At Ebor, we believe that financial planning is about you. If you have never been asked these questions before, we would be delighted to hear your story and help you on your journey to achieve what is really important.