The two most popular dates on the calendar to resolve to make changes are New Year’s Day and Labour Day. Both represent a new start, a change of season, an opportunity for self-improvement. A resolution is a promise to make a change for the better – and there’s no time like the present to tackle whatever it is in your life that needs a re-set. Every day is a gift so TODAY is probably the best day to take control of something that requires attention.
At Niagara Region Money Coaches, we help people say ‘yes’ to Financial Peace all year ‘round – it’s about putting in place the pillars that empower and helping clients make the changes required to win with their personal finances.
There are several areas that I tackle – and it often starts with cash flow. If winning with money has more to do with defence than offense (spending is more important than earning), then it is critical that there are appropriate controls put on spending habits – no matter the level of income enjoyed. The word ‘Budget’ has a lot of negative connotations associated with it, but for some to truly take control it is the right noun (and verb) to action.
For others, simply ‘Tracking’ is enough to provide the insights to help make informed trade-offs and improve cash flow. An experienced Money Coach can help you build sustainable systems that work.
An Investment Plan is a longer term cash plan that has your long term goals top of mind (like retirement, self-employment or saving for your children’s education). Understanding projections, educating yourself on investing principles, reducing investment fees, understanding your risk profile, having an appropriate asset allocation, and over time increasing your confidence level as an investor are all important.
I explain each of these in detail with my clients, and I know that a passive/low cost/well-diversified approach is most sound. We don’t have to look much further than the words spoken and written by Warren Buffett [Hathaway Berkshire CEO], David Chilton [The Wealthy Barber Returns] and Dan Bortolotti [MoneySense’s Guide to the Perfect Portfolio] to know we’re right. Experts in the field who don’t sell any financial products are of the same mind here. Educating clients on how to save tens of thousands of dollars over a life-time through smart investment choices is one of things I enjoy most.
Of course, having valid wills, life insurance and a legacy plan in place are also good to check-off the Financial Peace list. Again, I make these easy by describing to each client what is necessary for them, providing great resources, calculations, tips and contacts within my network to get these in place if needed.
For grandparents and parents, don’t forget that part of your financial legacy is teaching your grandchildren and children great money habits. Empowering young people with the information needed to succeed financially is very rewarding, so please don’t ignore this important category of family care.