Many of our clients are intelligent, successful and on good incomes, yet they aren’t necessarily smart with their finances. Instead, many take an avoidant approach. They travel frequently, regularly go out for dinners, drinks and smashed avocado, and have a wardrobe full of the latest fashions.
It’s common for younger clients to feel like retirement is a lifetime away and something they’ll deal with “later”. Those who are single, often delay taking out insurance and writing a will until they have a family, despite a growing super balance.
In the back of their minds, these clients know they should get their finances in order. But with so many options available, they often feel paralysed to make any serious decisions for fear of not getting them perfect.
If this resonates with you, below we share the most important financial advice you may ever hear.
Time in the market is one of your most important assets in securing your financial future. When I coach clients, I tell them that often the worst thing they can do is not to make any decisions at all.
Time allows you to chase better returns by taking on more risk. If your investments suffer from any short-term fluctuations, they have longer to recover.
It also allows you to benefit from the power of compounding returns. This is where your investment returns end up earning their own return, compounding your earnings.
Here’s one powerful example that most people have the ability to implement right now. What would happen if you put aside $50 a week and invested it into the share market every time you save $1000? Short answer: If those shares earn 9 per cent annually, in 30 years you’d have $442,000 in wealth – and this would be achieved by investing only $78,000 of your own money.
In our article on the real cost of procrastinating about your finances, we suggest some basic investment strategies, that if started early enough, can have a huge effect on your financial future over time.
We meet many successful “A-type personalities” keen to “get things right” and assess the merits of all options available. However, the downside of this drive for perfection is that they often put off making big decisions until they are certain they are the right ones.
We also find that women, in particular, are often afraid of making the wrong decision. As a consequence, they are prone to procrastination, especially when it comes to their finances. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to take the plunge and risk imperfection.
While we always promote education, research and making informed choices, the quest for perfection can actually hinder financial success if it results in paralysis, overwhelm and procrastination from making decisions. All investments come with a degree of risk, but sometimes taking no risk is the biggest risk of all.
Like with many big changes in life, getting started is often the hardest, but most powerful step.
Once you open that new savings account, you’ll feel like you’re starting to take charge of your life and money. You’ll gain momentum and other actions should feel less difficult.
As you begin to see your savings accumulate and feel empowered to invest. It might motivate you to take out life insurance and get a will written up to protect your family.
Knowing that the financial aspects of your life are sorted and you’re on a path towards a positive financial future can provide a lot of peace of mind, even if they are not the “perfect” decisions.
If you’re dealing with paralysis, overwhelm and procrastination in the drive for perfection, seeing a financial adviser could be a valuable investment.
A financial adviser’s expertise and research will help you get the most suitable financial strategy for your individual circumstances. Their expertise will give you more confidence in your decisions. You won’t suffer paralysis from analysis of the myriad of options available on the market. Further, they’ll also take care of much of the legwork, which may just be the momentum you need to secure your financial future.