The new year is upon us once again, and I’m sure like many others, you’re experiencing similar feelings of reflection and optimism. Reflecting on the things you could’ve done differently over the past 12 months, while being optimistic at the chance to get yourself back on track.
This is probably why new year's resolutions are so popular - but they are often ditched as quickly as they are made, with a University of Scranton study showing that only 8% of people achieve their resolutions. We’ve heard them before; I’m going to lose this amount of weight, I’m going to cut down on or quit this, I’m going to call my mom more, and so on. Even financial goals fall in the top 10 in some polls .
So, I ponder, why are these financial goals set, yet rarely achieved? In my experience, when I initially speak to people about money and finances, they tend to get anxious and/or embarrassed. This happens with everyone - whether they’ve managed to build wealth or not. This is because they haven’t taken the time to get organized and get their financial ducks in a row.
Does this sound like you? You have some money in one account and some more in another, and these two accounts are effectively strangers, not working together for you. Perhaps you haven’t taken the time to actually look at your retirement savings and you’ve just let them hover in the background? Or, perhaps you haven’t sat down to actually put any money away, to begin with? We all know we should do something about it - we just haven’t got around to it yet. Which is fine, you’re only human.
This lack of action, however, is what is causing your anxiety!
This anxiety leaves you afraid and embarrassed to start, so you leave your finances untouched, and the cycle continues.
Money in Motion
This is Newton’s first law clear as day; an object in motion will tend to stay in motion, whereas an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon . We as humans will tend to only do what we’re incentivized to do. So, what will incentivize you to take action and begin the motion of your finances this year?
I’ve stressed this point on many occasions, and will continue to do so; I’m a big football fan. One of my favorite things about this time of year is the NFL playoffs. The best of the best go toe to toe to see who has put in the most work, and who will come out on top and lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy. We all love to see it, especially when it’s our team because we love to see the result!
What many of us don’t see, however, is the work.
Teams do get the trophy on Superbowl Sunday, but a championship win starts 2 or 3 days after the final game of the previous season. There is no such thing as an overnight success.
This can be seen in other fields as well. Everyone saw Jay Z emerge on the scene and continue his meteoric rise amongst the greats of Hip Hop, but no one saw the years of struggling behind the scenes as he developed his work and built his record label.
The same thing goes for your finances. Wealth doesn’t suddenly appear. It is accumulated over a period of time through discipline, sacrifice, and habits.
The Snowball Effect
We all get disheartened when we hear these words, but they are in fact your best friends when it comes to building wealth - or success in any other pursuit for that matter. So, the best thing you can do is to just start, even if it’s a small step.
This is because the more wealth you accumulate, the more it grows…like a snowball!
For example, if you have a $10,000 portfolio, and you receive a 10% return, you've earned $1,000. A portfolio of $100,000 earns, $10,000. And, a $1M portfolio, earns $100,000. It’s the same 10% return, yet a 10X and 100X respective growth in your wealth!
This is why motion is so important; because your finances will continue to move if organized correctly. Movement means growth, and growth means wealth. Everyone will start from a different place for any number of reasons, and this often leaves us feeling embarrassed and judged. So let me just clarify something, no one is judging you, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed.
What you should do, however, is JUST START!
Taking the First Step
But where do I start I hear you ask? Well, I could offer you some generic financial tips that a quick Google search would provide. This, however, would be like asking Google how to fix a broken arm. Each break is different and requires expert assessment in order to recommend the right treatment. Would you fix your broken arm on your own after some quick internet research?
I didn’t think so, and the same goes for your finances.
Everyone is different in terms of money. Some people earn more. Some spend more. Others have more debt. Some excess liquidity. Some have different goals, and others, still, have different mental attitudes towards money. I could easily make some generic suggestions but will they be right for you? Doubtful without fully understanding and analyzing your entire picture.
This is why you need someone who can look at your needs, and your circumstances, to help you make objective decisions to help get your finances moving in the right direction for decades to come. Otherwise, you could be trying to put a band aid on a serious fracture without even realizing it, simply because you were too embarrassed to ask otherwise.
On your marks…
So, what is your incentive to finally take your finances seriously this year? What steps will you take to get your financial ducks in a row? Who will you call to help you lift your financial trophy in 10, 20, or 30 years time?
This piece contains general information that is not suitable for everyone and was prepared for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or as an offer to provide investment advice. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee any future results. For additional information about Julius Wealth Advisors, including its services and fees, contact us or visit adviserinfo.sec.gov.
Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year's Resolutions. Here's How They Do It. - Forbes.com, Jan 2013
Top 10 New Year's resolutions for 2022 revealed - CountryLiving.com, Jan 2022
- Newton's Laws of Motion - Britannica.com