I love this quote. Ideally, this is how we should think when considering the future. Yet, most of us struggle to look beyond our immediate circumstances. Life just gets in the way, doesn’t it?
It’s a complex world we live in. Various mediums seem to rejoice in their delivery of shocking and sensational news and, whether we like it or not, it affects how we think. Cognitive biases in turn impact our behaviours. Technological advances also now mean we can borrow money at extortionate rates on the click of a few buttons. Instant gratification is quite normal at the expense of planning for the future.
But we have to be careful as to whose life we are living? Are we responding to what is expected of us by others, or are we living life in the way we truly want too?
As I write this blog, I have just come back from the first ever Financial Well-Being Conference in Bristol. What a fantastic day hosted by Chris Budd of Ovation Finance.
Apparently, studies show that on average 40% of employees have money worries. Such stress and anxiety hinders an employee’s ability to do their job well.
The concept of financial well-being has been around for a long time in various guises, but there is no doubt that there is an increasing awareness by employers, as to its importance in the work place. It’s nothing new to us at Blue Sky, for our emphasis has always been on improving both financial and personal well-being with our clients. However, like socially responsible investing, it is becoming in vogue to think differently about how we live our lives and about time!
It’s easy for us to think in the wealth management space, that everything is bright and rosy, yet the stats from Money Charity (May 2019) below paint a very different picture:
- The change in the average real wage since February 2008 is -6.1%
- The average total debt per adult in the UK is £31,142, that is 113.1% of average earnings.
- Individual insolvencies in England & Wales in Q1 2019 was equivalent to 350 people a day, or one person every 4 minutes and 7 seconds!
In relation to the last point, I know of a well-known local solicitor who did an excellent job in winding up a company for his client. Professionally, they did their job well. But little attention was then given to how the owners of the company felt afterwards. You can imagine how despondent they were after such an experience, until our planning service showed that they would still be able to live a fulfilling life whilst at the same time achieving some of their dreams. Their financial well-being improved dramatically!
There is no doubt that negative emotion adversely impacts behaviour and can skew our thought processes. The key is to keep a sense of perspective and focus on what is possible.
Start with your dreams. Your circumstances can easily change.
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA
EMPLOYERS: If you are interested in helping your employees improve their financial well-being, please give us a call on 01202 756560 or e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org. We can discuss how we tailor a programme for your company.