At our event last week in McAuley Place we talked about forming habits (in relation to physical wellbeing specifically, but it applies to forming any habit). Consistency is important, and also forgiving yourself, while at the same time holding yourself to account. So if you don’t make it out for a run or walk or whatever on a particular day, you don’t give up; but neither do you say, I’ll start again on Monday. Instead, say “I’ll start again tomorrow”.

Hold that thought.

We’ve just finished a newsletter series on retirement here on Bob’s Bulletin. I’m about to start one on investing but before I kick that off, I want to encourage you to regularly assess your finances, and in order to do that, you’ll need to assess your life in a more holistic sense.

We can deal with our finances in isolation, but taking a holistic approach leads to and outcome of coherent and consistent decision making.

I recommend that every 3 to 5 years should pick up the significant changes in your life, such as:

  • Children growing up and becoming independent (or less dependent)
  • New jobs, promotions
  • Moving house – upsizing, downsizing or renovating
  • Scaling back – going part-time or taking time out altogether
  • Ailing health – yours or your parents’
  • Retirement
  • Separations, divorces, deaths

Most of these are pretty major changes, and each time they happen there will be repercussions for your finances.

It’s about the things within your grasp

On top of these, there are macro-economic factors such as Brexit, trade wars, stock exchange crashes or peaks, that will also affect your financial situation. Many of these are out of our control, and an obvious response to these matters is a globally diversified portfolio. As Warren Buffett stated, you see who’s been swimming naked when the tide’s gone out.

Worrying about the wrong things

There’s another element to be aware of and that’s your attitude, which has been shaped by your upbringing and life experiences. So, if you were saddled with debt by the property crash, for example, you may now be overly cautious when it comes to spending or investing. It’s hard to see something like that in yourself, and this is where a qualified financial planner can help you hold the mirror up.

What are you checking for exactly, when you do this review? Well, you want to make sure that in the coming 3 to 5 years money drops into where you need it, when you need it.

Sounds like there’s magic involved – you wave a wand and it appears – but it’s the opposite of magic. It’s just prudent planning. Making sure your money is available for the things you need it for and that are important to you.

That’s where investing comes in. I hope you find the next couple of weeks useful. If you have any specific questions about investing or general areas you’d like me to cover, email me or send a Whatsapp.