Bill’s Blog August 4, 2021
My wife and I just returned from a Western Canadian road trip taking time to refresh and visit close friends. As important as creating wealth is, so is a balanced life, and we all need time to refresh, have fun, laugh and enjoy friendships. I hope you are doing the same at some point soon. As well, having these valuable breaks allows us to focus better on our careers or businesses and make better financial decisions when we are back.
So, back to my original question, do you have a complete wealth plan? In my over 15 years as a professional insurance broker and financial advisor, I have seldom met a person with a complete wealth plan or adequately diversified (including financial advisors and CFP’s). I include business owners, professionals and a wide range of individuals. Why is this? There are several valid reasons, and one at the top is lack of financial education, depth of knowledge and not understanding what a comprehensive wealth plan is.
In my Wealth Foundation Series course, I go into developing (walk you through step by step) or adjusting a wealth plan in detail; however, today, I will provide highlights in this Blog. A comprehensive wealth plan should include the following:
- Several vital questions you need to ask yourself.
- An honest evaluation of what you currently have and what is missing?
- At what stage are you in your wealth plan? Starting, middle or at the end-stage. This question is critical as it will determine many factors. At each stage, you should reevaluate your risk profile and derisk it as you get older. You will always need some risk in your overall plan, but minimize pure speculation and focus on lower-risk cash-flowing assets as you get older. You may need to add more to your plan at each stage to build it out and make adjustments.
- Are you regularly evaluating your plan (minimal annually, but better quarterly)? The financial world is rapidly changing, and the risks are increasing in many asset classes. By not evaluating things based on reality and making necessary adjustments can be extremely costly to your wealth!
- What do you currently have for assets? What are the risks to these assets? If you do not know, then ask someone who does. Remember, all assets have risks and different market cycles and not understanding this and taking appropriate action can be devasting to your wealth plan!
- As I mentioned in my last blog, there is a time to buy an asset and to sell an asset. Have you fallen in love with an asset or asset class and have become irrational? Missing critical buying times and selling times can have a significant factor in your wealth plan.
- One of the great dangers of every human (including myself) is pride, thinking we know it all (very dangerous to yourself and your wealth. How do we avoid this? Be humble and acknowledge we need other people to help us with wealth ideas, strategies and mentorship. Many skilled people and advisors create significant wealth. Who is on your team? Do you need to add some new team members or possibly delete one or two?
Before I get to the next point, a critical thought came to my mind. The majority of people do not start creating significant wealth until after age 50. Why?
The twenties is figuring out things like a career or what business I want to start, and often there are course changes. Many people also are trying to find a suitable life partner. The majority of young adults don’t focus on a wealth plan or even savings. Instead, they are spending money on fun, adventure, trying to figure out life, and often making lots of mistakes…believe me, I was there too! If a couple decides to have children, for the next 25 years, they are investing in their children’s growth, teen years and helping them with adult education. They have mortgages or rent payments, car payments, vacations, etc. The point is, don’t beat yourself up if you have not built a sizable amount of wealth at this stage. Remember creating wealth takes a lifetime!
What do you currently have, and what are you missing to have a complete wealth plan?
- For the vast majority of people, you will need guidance from integral financial professionals. Be careful who you choose, and do not be afraid to ask lots of questions. Examples would be: Have you ever had any regulatory problems or fines? Have you ever been banrupt? Do you practise and personally implement what you preach/sell?
- If you don’t connect well with the person, look for someone else. Does the advisor have sufficient and broad knowledge and solutions to create a comprehensive wealth plan? Many advisors are very limited in what they offer by choice (that is Ok as long as they are outstanding in that field). So you may need several advisors.
- What do you currently have as assets? Make a list or, better yet, create a simple wealth journal. In your journal add: Why did you buy that asset, and what is its purpose in your wealth plan? When will you sell, what will you reallocate that capital for, and what new asset will you purchase? Remember, a wealth plan is dynamic, and you will need to adjust it dozens of times over your life. Having a wealth journal helps you stay focused and provides a story of your journey, lessons and a record. Every time you buy or sell an asset, provide a simple explanation of why you did it and how that asset performed.
- Finally, what are you missing in your wealth plan? This is a big question, and it needs careful consideration based on capital availability and priority. Once you determine your most crucial financial need or protection asset, take action in the next 30 days. Procrastination is not your friend in creating a wealth plan. Could have, would have or should have, have devastated families and individuals since the beginning of mankind!
- Creating a complete wealth plan takes a lot of work, but enjoy the process and keep on learning. If you have not taken my online wealth course yet, I highly recommend you do. As a bonus, not only will you receive the $100 discount, BUT, I will also offer a one-hour free consultation for those who complete the six lessons—a limited time offer. First 50 students. Check out the course and purchase at www.fivefoldfinacial.ca/wealth-courses/
All the best in 2021!