Everybody makes plans. You do it all the time. What to wear to the party. Where to go for the long weekend. Which route to take to the theatre. Life is full of plans, many of which don’t see the light of day. You even make financial plans. There might be physical as well as mental ‘jars’ – for the car, for holidays, for your social life, for housekeeping, for making a difference. Making sure you have more money than a month, as opposed to more months than money. I guess we can call this type of planning budgeting.
Let’s agree on one thing – this type of planning and budgeting is fine for the short term here-and-now, probably up to a 12-month window and involving cash. It does the job. Simple and expedient. Whatever works for you is much better than simply not making plans at all.
“To achieve great things in your life you need two things; a well-designed plan and not quite enough time.”
Are you in a good place, the wrong place, or a bad place? All of our client relationships begin with a meeting of discovery which involves learning something for the first time, exploring, and unfolding. What has brought you to this point, what is your motivation? Why do you feel that you need help? The answers are too many and varied to list here and whilst many start off with a financial or money context, they often stray into new undiscovered territory.
Don’t worry though because we have been dealing with issues like this for decades and every single client has been helped in one way or another. Everyone has their own path to take and we help you to decide which one may be best.
When you come into our office for this meeting of discovery we do ask that you bring your important ‘other’ if you have one because we simply can’t produce compelling outcomes when we only have half the story. And don’t worry about a sterile cold office and a mighty oak desk dividing us because we invite you into our relaxing client lounge. No telephones, televisions, or computers to interrupt our conversation. Nice quiet space. We dare to be different.
Aspirations, hopes and dreams
What would be the point of a well-drafted plan if there was nothing at the end of it all? As Lewis Carroll put it in Alice in Wonderland –
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
So you must have a purpose before you begin. What is it that you want to achieve? What will great look and feel like? Where will you be, who with and doing what? Your aspirations are written large in black and white, right out in the open. Be brave and adventurous and get them all out there because there will be time for regrets later on for not trying hard enough now. Working alongside us at Capital will help you to put your hopes and dreams into words without anybody being critical or judgmental. This may or may not sound new and innovative to you, but trust us, it is. The vast majority of financial advisers and wealth managers in the UK have only one focus which is to (hopefully, fingers crossed) produce a bigger pot of money than when you started. That’s it. Nothing more. And what’s the point in more if more doesn’t meet any of your life goals and ambitions? Futility at best.
Planning. Not plans.
We can’t put it any better than the 34th president of the United States Dwight Eisenhower –
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
Planning is an activity and needs the energy to see it through. You will now know what you truly seek in your life and when you want it, so sitting idly by won’t cut it or make it happen. Things need to change, you need to get engaged. The path will not be straight and there are potential pitfalls and distractions on the way. You might need to change course and adapt. And never forget dear Alice and what she was told.
You will be partnered with us along the way because our role is to keep you on track to meet your dreams. We will be the calm voice of reason and reassurance when all about you are losing their heads. You will be counselled against doing things that on the surface look attractive but will ultimately do you harm. When you need an impartial sounding board to hear your views or want a professional second opinion, then that’s what we do.
Managing your money
Having put your objectives first we need to ensure that the financials that support them are robust and appropriate. Unrealistic dreams can quickly turn into nightmares.
Capital are experts in financial advice linked to great outcomes and we have hand-crafted investment portfolios that are all designed to produce returns for you that beat cash and inflation because that means that the buying power of your money increases over time.
It is vitally important that you have the correct portfolio for your particular needs (for more information please see our Investing piece). If you don’t choose your correct risk profile then unfortunately over time the markets will find it for you, and you won’t like the result.
The whole aim of the financial growth of your investments over time is purely to support your chosen outcomes, nothing more and nothing less. Taking much more investment risk purely to gain a modest financial advantage at some future point, is to us a meaningless venture.
When things go wrong, life doesn’t allow us a rewind button, and nor do we have a pause function. Life can be littered with regret and bad decisions. Our response to this is avoidance and defence. Most dangers are well known but we don’t know when they may strike. So we can plan for them and also take avoiding action and miss them completely. Keeping what you have got safe is at least as important as growing it. And this is another difference that sets Capital apart. The vast majority of wealth advisory firms get paid more linked to the value of your assets, so growth becomes an objective because it earns them more money. We decided against doing this anymore and all new clients join us on a fixed fee basis.
Fulfilment, meaning and purpose
We are often asked what exactly we do here at Capital, and it can be encapsulated by a short phrase – bringing meaning to money.
All of our clients have wealth, some more than others, and over time they have learned that money does not equal happiness and nor does money keep you warm at night, or pick you up when feeling low, or have a loving conversation. Money is cold and inert. Don’t fall in love with it, because it won’t love you back.
What emerges in almost every instance is that people want their wealth to change lives for the better, to provide opportunities and chances they didn’t have. There is a ripple effect which depends obviously on the scale – firstly themselves, then their immediate family, their extended family, and social circle, outwards to causes and beliefs.
Great financial planning produces great outcomes, which lead our clients to have feelings of purpose in life, leaving a footprint or a legacy. It gives you meaning to get up in the morning and strive for something greater than yourself. And doing this can lead to a feeling of fulfilment and satisfaction, a job well done.
To find out how we can help, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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