February is the month of love, but it’s also the first real month of the year for most of us, once we’ve got back into our routines and come back to grips with life after the holidays in January. As a result, you may be thinking of how to get your 2020 goals going, especially your financial goals, rather than romance.
However, there is a way to think of both. In honour of the month of love, we’ve made a list of things to ask yourself on behalf of your investment strategy, based on some of psychologists and marriage counsellors’ favourite questions for couples to ask each other.
Do we want the same things?
What do you truly want out of your relationship with your money? What’s your ultimate goal – to retire well? Or be protected from unemployment? To have your loved ones protected after you’re gone?
The reason to ask yourself this is to lead on to another question: do you have the right products for your investment strategy? If the discretionary fund you’re in is geared towards offshore investing with the ultimate purpose of retirement, yet you want income coming from that, you and the products you have may be at odds. This is why it’s helpful to review your portfolio regularly and make it’s still working well for you.
Are we spending enough time together?
The key to making any relationship work is spending quality time together, and the same goes for your investments. Life tends to happen and, often, the whole year can go by without most of us revisiting the status update on our investments. In general, it’s a good idea to revisit your investment strategy and see how investments, annuities and the like are all doing between two and four times a year, or whenever a major life event like buying property, marriage, the birth of a child or divorce occurs.
What do you really need from me to make your dreams come true?
Some of us can be tempted to treat our financial goals like a wish list or creative writing exercise, summoning up whatever dreams our hearts desire and then setting aside whatever funds, effort and time we deem they have available, without stopping to really calculate whether it’s a realistic picture. Again, this is where it helps to have a financial adviser in your court!
It’s important to frame a realistic and achievable investment strategy, armed with information and ideas you need to really achieve those goals.
What are my habits that you do not like which I should stop?
We all have bad money habits. All of us.
There may be some that are hurting your money more than others and, when stopped or cut back, will lead to a blossoming of your relationship. Not sure what your bad habits are? A good place to start is with our piece this month – ‘What’s the state of your budget?’
Ultimately, a wealth creation strategy is a relationship between you and your money. You get good relationships, ones that go the distance, and you get bad ones. And just like any relationship, it takes hard work and honesty.