"When your values are clear, your decisions are easy."Submitted by Blue Rock Wealth Management on November 2nd, 2015
"When your values are clear, your decisions are easy" ~Peter Sage
Sage wisdom from a successful entrepreneur that applies to many different aspects of life including financial decisions. Of course, that is where my mind goes first when I heard this profound quote. I couldn't help but think of times when we need to clarify our values.
What do I mean by that? In our context, it's a lot about defining goals. We believe the best advice is given with the ultimate goal in mind. Is it important for you to be financially independent by age 55 so you can do non-profit work? If that's the number one goal, the focus becomes clear. In this case, we'd expect this person to be highly motivated to save aggressively while working that job.
It's not enough to set this goal. Goals are not a "set it and forget it" process. If you do, sometimes the values become less clear and your decisions may not flow naturally. Revisiting this goal is important. Simple things like writing it down make an almost unbelievable difference. You should be talking with your advisor about those values regularly (ideally annually) but you also need to incorporate the affirmation of those goals into your daily routines. In those daily decisions, your goals are made or broken.
I would dispute one small but significant part of Mr. Sage's statement. I often say it's our job to make decisions simple for clients but not necessarily easy.
Even when your values are clear, decisions can still be hard. For example, you know saving for the kid's college is more important than eating out but an over scheduled week means you are eating dinner out four nights a week and often eating out at lunch too. It's not easy to plan ahead and pack lunches and snacks even though you would answer that clearly college is more important than eating out.
What do you do with this? Start with identifying your values. For most people, it's really only a few things driving them. Maybe they'd like to pay for college and be able to retire by a certain age. Whatever they are, clearly identify those and find simple ways to remind yourself of these consistently. Start a daily journal, setup an email reminder, create a poster on the frig, put a post it in the car... Get help where you need it. An advisor is often a professional nagger. Give your advisor and key people in your life permission to nag. We have lots of practice!