4 Keys to Financial Contentment
Would you rather be content or rich?
Rather than rush past this very important question, hit “pause” in your reading and actually answer the question. Chances are, you may have to search through a few layers of thought to find an answer you feel is genuine. Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, teaches “all progress begins with honesty”. An honest answer to this question is a critical step towards peace of mind.
Our culture, especially the financial services industry, is designed to foster discontentment and promote the lie that money can buy contentment. We are told if we achieve a certain savings target we will be set. Assuming the projections become reality, we will be set financially, but that does not mean we will be content or have financial peace of mind. A quick Google search will remind us that some of the richest people in the world are also some of the most discontent.
I think you will agree that what most of us really want is contentment. We certainly don’t want to be poor, but what is most important to us is to have peace of mind – to be content. Although contentment cannot be found in a number (hitting your savings target), it can be found and enjoyed. The truth is contentment is not related to money. I address some of the psychological keys to achieving contentment in an earlier blog entitled “The Fallacy of Financial Independence” (https://trinityfamilywealth.ca/the-fallacy-of-financial-independence/). Today, I want to outline some tactical keys you can take in your journey towards peace of mind.
- Have a financial plan that identifies your finish line. The most common concern I hear is “Will I have enough?” A plan will show what you need for savings and where you are in terms of progress. As we’ve discussed, it’s not the answer but without it you won’t have clarity or action steps.
- Annually measure against your financial plan. It’s common to review your investment performance to see the percent of growth you achieved. Although that gives you a sense of progress, the more important question is: ‘Am I where I should be?’. It’s important that your advisor, answers that question so adjustments can be made if need be.
- Utilize Non-Traditional Assets. Most investors are frustrated and tired of the volatility of traditional investments (stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds, etc.). High net worth investors have the option to invest some of their portfolio in investments that do not follow the swings of the stock and bond markets. You can reduce the volatility and still grow your portfolio. The best place to find these options is with a portfolio management firm that specializes in this asset class.
- Engage a Contentment-Oriented Investment Management Team. It is important to achieve an appropriate rate of return for the risk you are comfortable with, but you may achieve that and still not have peace of mind about your finances. We continue to be immersed in culture and media that breeds discontentment. The journey to contentment takes time and a team that has the tools and skill-set to guide you. Unfortunately, many advisors don’t recognize the importance of contentment, let alone have the skill-set to help you pursue it.
Being content in any aspect of our lives is a very rich place to be. It takes work to achieve it and work to maintain it, but it is such a blessing. If you are missing some of the tactical keys, give us a call and we can discuss how we have helped guide others on their journey to contentment.