Let’s make it a real resolution in 2023 to focus together on the big picture when it comes to your finances. All too often, it can be very easy to be dragged down into weeds – in our world that’s the (very important too) world of products, funds and fund managers. Don’t get us wrong, these really matter and need to be discussed, but never at the expense of discussing the bigger picture.
Products, funds and fund managers shouldn’t lead our discussions, as these are the tactical solutions or inputs that are used to help us achieve desired outcomes. It’s the outcomes that deserve our closest attention, as these guide your strategic financial plan. These outcomes can be defined when we consider questions such as,
- What’s important to you in life?
- What does your desired future life look like?
- What do you want your money to do for you?
- What does financial independence mean to you?
- If you got a windfall in 10 years’ time, what would you do with it?
Once we can get clear together on these type of questions, we can then visualise the final destination that you are seeking to reach. Then we build the financial plan to help you get there. This plan in turn sets out those products and funds that are needed to get you there – think of them as simply the vehicles. You decide where you’re going, the financial plan is your map to get there and the products and funds are your means to get there. This is the order of importance of our conversations.
It probably makes sense for us to put a health warning over this at this stage. When we’re focused on where you want to go and what you want your money to do, you won’t see tempting adverts from us promising whopping returns. Because we’ve no control over achieving them. But what you will get is clarity about your future and confidence in achieving it. This will be backed up by a solid and realistic financial plan that will help you achieve your goals. Why do we approach your finances in this way?
Because what’s important is you achieving the life / experiences that you want and not spending every minute wondering about risk / returns / performance / charges etc. Again, each of these are important, but should not dominate our conversations. Think of it like your new home entertainment system. You don’t spend your energy thinking about the electronics inside and the wiring (think products and funds), but instead you focus on the quality of the viewing / listening experience – the outcome. It’s our role to help you identify your desired outcomes, and then to help you get there.
Please don’t worry, we also spend a lot of time and use our expertise ensuring that you have the right products and funds in place to help you reach your desired outcomes. After all, these products and funds are the vehicles that will help you get there. So they need to be expertly and carefully selected, and we will guide you through all of your choices. Alongside these, we will continually guide you in relation to your own inputs to the plan. These will probably include your levels of saving and staying focused on your long-term goals. We will help you to shut out the noise and avoid negative reactions to short-term events. We’ll help you stay focused on the big picture.
That’s our goal for 2023.