This seems to be an increasingly topsy-turvy world with wacky politics and trade wars between the US and just about everyone else. And in Canada we have all just witnessed another hard-fought federal election that ended with a minority government. The question is how to navigate such tricky waters in daily life?
For example, a young client a few years ago agreed to purchase a starter life insurance program. When his insurance was approved, and it was time to deliver the contract, he wanted to wait a few weeks. At the time, there was a lot of media buzz about a religious figure in Southern California calling for the end of the world…and this young man decided that he wanted to wait until after that date.
I pointed out that there have always been ongoing predictions about the end of the world and that the prudent course of action was to move forward and put his starter financial plan into effect. He agreed and we met a few days later.
One of the best ways to deal with uncertainty and stress (the ongoing background noise in most Canadians' lives these days) is to control what you can and focus on doing the best that you can with the resources you have.
One possible strategy, whether you are just starting out in your first job or you are already retired, is to focus on the little things you can improve month by month.
Start out by picking just one thing you wish to accomplish during the next month and get it done. This goal might be completing those Estate Planning documents, Wills, Powers of Attorney and Medical Directives, that you have been avoiding. Or maybe, just putting aside $100 per month, until you have enough saved to pay for these documents to be completed.
For other people, it may mean a monthly savings plan to build up some emergency cash reserves. One idea is to use the old cookie jar as a place to stash money and keep it outside the actual banking system. Having extra funds on hand can protect you against financial stress in cases where banks or ATMs are unavailable because of weather-related disasters.
Another strategy might be to buy some extra supplies of food staples (sugar, coffee. flour etc.) to add a little protection in your budget against the possibly of rising food prices over the next 12 months. Having some emergency measures in place during the coldest months of the year, as recommended by the Federal Government, is never a bad idea.
Whatever your circumstances, there is always something that can be done to improve your personal situation – either to increase security or to build assets. For younger investors, dollar-cost-averaging (buying investments on a monthly basis no matter what) is a great long-term strategy for building wealth.
The key is to do something on a monthly and regular basis that increases your personal resilience and ability to respond to adverse circumstances. By following a plan, you will sleep more soundly at night knowing that you did the very best you could each month.
Try this for the next 12 months and see if your anxiety and stress levels subside. The goal is to replace fear and dependency with hope, optimism and a feeling of independence. A “yes I can” attitude!
Call us today for a discussion on how you can improve your personal situation. Small incremental changes can lead to massive improvements over time. The goal is to bend your life's trajectory more in line with your hopes and dreams!