I think I may be on a theme at the moment – something is gnawing at me and it’s not the occasional mosquito. Perhaps I am concerned about my own mid-life stage and seeing my children head off to University (that’s probably something to do with it). Perhaps it is meeting with clients and prospects who give me cause to wonder if only… if only I had met them 10 years earlier. Whatever the cause, I’m conscious that time is a very valuable resource and you don’t want to spend too much more of it reading a ramble.
Long story short… well that’s kind of the point. Most of our lives we live as though we have a long time left, “all the time in the world” but the reality is that life is very fleeting. So we need to enjoy what there is and plan for our futures as best we can with what we have today. I heard a phrase the other day which went along these lines “people value present money much more than they value future money”. I think pretty much every financial planner will probably agree that this is the case. Getting some people to take action about their future can be very difficult. Take fees for example, this is invariably a tiny proportion of the difference that good financial planning will make. I’m not talking £000’s but many £000’s of £000’s. Yet for many the fee is the number that they really “feel” and relate to. Its now, it’s present. The future – well that’s some way down the track.
The future is of course made up of from a history of “the present” the “now’s”. I am struggling to convey the importance of getting the present sorted out properly so that the future is much better. I’m not sure where I’m failing in this regard, but I am. Perhaps my copy writing could do with a serious spruce up, perhaps I need to try a different approach… yet I am struggling to win you over aren’t I. By win, I mean persuade. Persuade that taking action today about your future is just as important as the tasks you are actually doing today. So I’m declaring open season on ideas. If you have any that you believe convey the notion of long-term thinking and future value being as valid as present value, I’d love to hear from you.
Too many of us seem to think that the future will simply look after itself. We are more like Allan Karlsson, from “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” who bumbles from one incident to another, narrowly avoiding disaster served by a helpful side order of luck and naivety. It’s a delightful movie, but it is fantasy, yet it would seem that many of us prefer the fantasy that things will work out ok, as opposed to working to make them ok. I wonder what explosive I might use to shift some thinking.
Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA