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Every now and then, when people find out what I do they ask me all different types of money-related questions.
If they should invest in shares, if they should invest in property, if they should quit their job, how to start a business, what’s the best bank, if they should fix the interest rate on their home loan, if buying a property with their superannuation makes sense.
You know, that sort of thing.
And my answer is pretty much always this. You could, but …
1. “One size fits all” is rubbish
We know and see people in the media all the time, who are successful and have achieved what we want for ourselves and our family. When talking to people about their money and their life, what I hear is that if they just knew what other people did, then they could achieve the same results.
And this is exactly what marketing wants us to believe - that if we have that ‘thing’ we’ll get the same result.
Like one of those commercials that tells you a Sham Wow can fix all your problems for 1 easy payment of $19.95.
Or, if you buy an Audi, you’re also buying a European lifestyle and the relationship you’ve always dreamed of. Coffee and matching outfits anyone?
But it’s not just advertising and salespeople that make us think the solution is that easy. It’s media personalities on the morning programs (hi Kochy), it’s social media quotes (that 5-10 word brilliance from someone famous on a picture of a sunset), it’s our friends and families (and their well-intentioned “you know what you should do …”).
Information or a product without context, will only ever be part of your solution. What do I mean by context: it’s everything else you need to know to fully understand the impact of the information or product on your individual situation.
2. Have you seen the movie Fight Club? Tyler Durden is wrong. You are a beautiful and unique snowflake.
In one of the scenes in Fight Club Brad Pitt says, “You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” Now I think Brad Pitt is a great actor, and In really like Fight Club, but I side with my mum on this one: that I am unique, just like everyone else.
I want you to think of the people who are really similar to you. These are probably your best friends or family members. Now think of all the areas where you’re the same:
What you like.
What you want.
What you need.
What you believe.
Now think of whether you’re the same or different with these ones:
How you approach problems.
How you follow though.
How you communicate.
How much money you like/want to have in the bank.
How you want to feel with your work, your career.
How much travel you want.
What kind of home you want to live in.
How you want to use your wealth for you, your family and your community.
I bet that you’re different to even your closest people, once you start to dig a little deeper.
After talking to hundreds of people about the deeper stuff, I can tell you that everyone is uniquely different in what they want and don’t want.
3. So, you’re saying the solution for each person needs more than just info.
Yep, that’s exactly what I’m saying. A solution needs not only information, but context, the experience of having made mistakes, the ability and time to execute, making ongoing adjustments and an exit strategy to name a few things.
One element that hardly gets talked about is “behaviour management” – in particular, deciding whether to stay the course or bail, when something unexpected happens.
How will you know what to do?
Who’s got your back and can help you decide?
Who knows what you truly want and don’t want?
When I started working in the financial advice industry in 2005, I started to see what was needed to bring a solution to life to achieve goals for clients – what worked and what didn’t work.
And then, when the Global Financial Crisis happened in 2007/2008, it was a crash-course (pun totally intended) in navigating unexpected events. It affected so much: shares and property values, interest rates, savings, job security, short-term plans, long-term plans, business revenue. And then things I’m sure people never considered that it would impact, like their working hours, goals, mental health, relationships …
Life just happens: people get married, kids are born and grow older, jobs change, cancer and death happens, inheritances are received, home are sold, people move suburbs and states and countries.
And this stuff needs to be taken into account when making long-lasting decisions.
Good things take time
If you’re going to make a major financial decision, I’ve learnt and now discuss with clients, that taking your time to get it right and put a plan together is the best way to approach it.
Being inspired by a friend or sales pitch is only the start of a conversation towards getting the results you want.
You need time - to read books and articles. To ask for opinions. To talk to experts. To discuss with your spouse. To whiteboard it from start to finish. To see where it fits with the rest of your life. To understand and find out about all the costs. To get clear about the pros and cons. To discover the possible options. To plan.
That is, if you want to create awesome outcomes. Not just once, but over and over.
If you haven’t got the time to do all this, or you want help with some of it, get in touch. Let’s have coffee.
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