The Wisdom of a Financial Life Plan in difficult times

 In Financial Planning, Milestone Blog

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Rely on your Financial Life Plan to help you understand what really matters and what you can do about it.

Three well known pieces of wisdom that are particularly applicable to financial planning are:

  1. What is known as the “serenity prayer”: “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference”.
  2. The boxer Mike Tyson who taught us that “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
  3. One of Warren Buffet’s library of common sense investment quotes “it’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who has been swimming naked.”

As we continue to face uncertain times and navigate choppy financial waters, these wise words can be used to summarise the times in which we live and what we might be able to do about them.

Most of us will have recently been punched in the face by things that we can’t control such as inflation, Putin and a pandemic and, anybody who has had the courage to look at the financial markets in 2022, will see that there is currently a strong ebb tide flowing out to sea. Investors who were relying on waves of optimistic sentiment to fuel speculative investments are now more than likely struggling to hide their modesty.

A less well known adage says that “if things aren’t going to plan, then it is usually because there never was a plan.”

A Financial Life Plan is important in difficult times

A Financial Life Plan is especially important during difficult times because it is something that you have created and therefore something over which you have a significant level of control. There is no shortage of bad news arriving from all directions but what does it actually mean for you? Are you still on track to achieve your Plan? Because when it comes to your money, that is what really matters.

A Financial Life Plan provides a context for the punches and helps you to concentrate on the things you can control rather than fretting about the things that you can’t.

Does this event or piece of news significantly affect my Plan and, if so, what can I do about it? Without a plan to quantify what the latest blow actually means for your money, the media will delight in framing everything as a threat to your wealth and your future. A long-term plan allows you to look at the choices you can make and still achieve your goals.

If you already have a Financial Life Plan then, if you haven’t already done so, it might be a good time to revisit and check that it is standing up to the most recent flurry of blows.

If you don’t yet have a plan then the great news is that if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there! If you are not convinced by that piece of questionable wisdom then we are always here to help and that usually starts with a Plan.

Working with our clients to create great Financial Life Plans and keep them updated and relevant when the world inevitably changes is what we do expertly, every day. Mike Tyson would surely approve.

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Gareth Higton
Specialising in financial planning, investments, pensions and retirement planning, Gareth has been helping his clients meet their lifetime financial objectives since 2010, gaining a huge amount of experience working with many different types of clients.