Last week saw the return of the Malaysian Ironman and Langkawi 70.3 events after an absence of two years. It was great to see a combination of so many local and overseas participants, many of which have been using the past 36 months for extra preparation and training, to ensure they were in the best condition to conquer their goals.
As a qualified British triathlon coach and after competing in marathons, ultramarathons, and Ironman events all over the world, I understand the demands, discipline and dedication it takes to succeed in endurance sports. That too can also be said for the skill sets required to successfully manage one’s personal finances, having a well-thought-out structure is key.
Preparing for retirement without a strategy is a lot like participating in a marathon without any fitness training.
Sure, you can say “ I’m young and in great health. Why would I need to train?”
But here’s the thing to survive in an endurance event like that, a great deal of discipline and training that’ll develop strong physical fitness is required.
Ask any seasoned marathon runner, you’ll get the same answer.
Surprisingly enough, life itself works the same way. To be frank, life itself is one of the toughest endurance events of all, with certain goals we aspire to peppered along the way, a career, marriage, travel, property, kids, promotion, and then the ultimate target for many – a good retirement.
In other words, just like you need strong physical fitness to succeed in endurance sports; to successfully manage your personal finances, having a well-thought structure that’ll develop your financial fitness is the key.
So, if you are curious about how you can develop and strengthen your financial fitness; dig through the following 4 tips that anyone can get started on.
First off, we need a specific goal to achieve, this may be the attraction of a full Ironman distance triathlon in 12 months’ time, to participate in next year’s London marathon, or to be able to afford for our children to go to university, to purchase that new house in 10 years’ time, or to retire at age 55. It is important that we realise and can visualise our long-term goals.
In many cases it’s extremely useful to call on the help of an expert, sometimes left to our own devices we don’t make the time or prioritise training or we simply don’t have the expertise to improve our situation. So, we might seek assistance from a qualified swimming instructor to help improve our swim stroke, a running coach to get our 10k time down, or in the case of your financial fitness, we might take the advice of a qualified and fully regulated wealth manager to help with the big decisions.
Constructing a realistic framework at the very start is essential in both endurance training and for the health of our personal finances. We might set out a 16-week training plan for that Ironman, ensuring some flexibility to allow for required adjustments, as and when circumstances inevitably change, and life gets in the way as injuries and sickness occur. The important thing is that our plan has the ability to allow for these life events and adapts accordingly. This is exactly what we try to achieve with a structured wealth management plan, we can take a short-, medium- or long-term approach and put together a sensible proposal to meet our objectives.
There is little point in devising and executing a well thought out plan if we don’t keep track of our performance, have regular reviews and health checks, and make minor adjustments where necessary. With endurance sport this can get very addictive, with the wonders of modern technology and very user-friendly apps such as Strava allowing amateur athletes to analyse their progress. At Melbourne Capital Group, we too rely on technology to help us continually analyse and monitor market conditions, specific sectors, funds and our clients’ individual portfolios. Allowing us to make any adjustments as we work through your life plan to help ensure your financial wellbeing. All our clients have access to our online portal which allows them to easily track any investments they hold with the touch of a button, offering a fully transparent view of their overall financial health.
With so many events taking place and the demand for places, it’s quite clear we enjoy the structure and discipline of the physical training and fitness. It demonstrates the importance to our overall wellbeing to have a plan and stick to it. It is just as important to treat our financial fitness in such a disciplined manner in order to reap the same rewards. Being in good financial health is a key part of being in good overall health because the stress that results from not being in good financial health can easily lead to actual physical illness.
Remember, improvements are always possible. Take time to analyse your financial health, set a plan, and then actively work towards your goals whatever they are. Financial fitness may be a long journey, but it is doable with the right mindset and structure in place which will give you the best chance to smash your long-term goals.
Drew Mitchell is a Private Wealth Manager based in Bangkok and has spent over a decade advising international families and senior executives in South East Asia and the Middle East. Email him now at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in making smarter decisions with your wealth.
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