The essentials of financial planning are easily understood and mastered.
Live on less than you earn, don’t get into stupid debt, put aside sensible amounts each month for later, put the majority of that into the stock market, keep your investment costs down (target 0.4% pa total), have insurance to cover disasters (to things and persons), don’t outthink yourself, don’t fiddle – get inert.
But we must consider this in the light of the assumptions we make about our world and ourselves.
That’s because our future money success is much more about what thoughts we pay attention to, because they determine what we do and don’t do. Our thoughts create our reality and are sometimes unhelpful, and only ever one version of “the truth”.
Mindset (the thoughts we pay attention to) is the key to any successful outcome – financial or otherwise.
Our assumptions can be so large we might not be able to see them. Maybe I can’t see them all, but here’s a decent effort.
Don’t be fooled, we’re going to be around a long, long time. Our parents and grandparents are NOT a good measure for what we can expect.
The last 50 years has been all about information – gathering it, sharing it, the internet. The 50 before was travel and moving quickly, we went from horses to supersonic.
The next 50 will be the age of bioscience, our minds are going to be blown by what becomes possible. We will, on average, live much longer and much more healthily. This is a good thing. Be prepared.
The world is great and getting greater!! The global economy has reduced global poverty from 90% about 100 years ago to about 10% today. The other 10% will be gone soon; it is a matter of time.
Humanity’s thirst for progress is unstoppable. We simply want things to be better and we won’t stop until they are. That manifests itself in humans coming together in companies to create amazing things.
That’s what economic growth is and, if you own those companies via your pensions and ISAs, huge investment benefits accrue to you. The long-term returns are truly outstanding and can set you, your children and your grandchildren up for life. Don’t miss out.
That said, bad things do and will come along. Which is why you should have an emergency / contingency fund. And properly protect your family (wills, powers of attorney, death nominations, insurances) should disaster strike. And make sure you have fun with them.
Staring into a crystal ball is so tempting. But an utter waste of time. You will miss things today that are worth way more than trying to guess what might happen tomorrow.
Our egos and intellect are masterful in convincing us we know what comes next. Occasionally they will be right, but only through dumb luck. Simply don’t pay any attention.
Get on with today and have faith in, and act on, the assumptions above for tomorrow.