Keeping Financially Fit

Financially healthy

I enjoy most forms of exercise for which I’m very grateful. I often get asked in classes if I used to be a dancer which is funny because if anyone saw me when I actually did attend dance classes they definitely wouldn’t be questioning it. I was a very good dancer but far from a great one. I lacked poise, strength, conditioning and overall fitness. 

There are lots of things required to be overall healthy. It’s not only about exercise – diet and nutrition and good mental health are also important. However, concentrating on just the exercise aspect of health I’ve come to find that there are three main factors required for a good exercise regime:

  1. Cardio Training: e.g. running, swimming, cycling, HIIT.
  2. Strength Training: e.g. resistance training with your own body weight, free weights, exercise machines or other equipment. 
  3. Flexibility Training: e.g yoga, pilates, barre, tai chi.

You need all three.

Strength training is supported by excellent posture, core strength and balance from say yoga and pilates. Strength training in turn means that yoga poses and pilates moves can be held for longer and feel easier to do.

Cardio comes in useful for both yoga and strength training. Endurance is improved by doing cardiovascular exercise and your heart rate can return to baseline more quickly when doing any form of exercise.

Core strength is essential is for protection against foot and ankle injuries when doing cardio and for fixing and keeping alignment of the body which can easily become unaligned from doing exercise (even walking).

The three factors complement each other. They are part of a good exercise “diet” and I personally feel at my best when I can incorporate all three factors into my weekly routine (which admittedly is not all the time).

I think similar can be said of Financial Planning. I certainly used to think that being a Financial Adviser or Planner was something like being a stockbroker. In fact, it’s nothing like being a stockbroker. Further still, although investments and investment returns are important, they’re not the only factor that is important (and often not the most important factor).

Good Financial Health requires:

  1. A Plan: the blueprint for a good financial life including defined goals and key facts like assets, income and expenditure.
  2. A Portfolio: more often than not, a savings plan will be supercharged by returns from real assets (property, equities or bonds).
  3. A Partner: Something or someone that is going to make you check in with and monitor your circumstances.

Your plan and knowing your key numbers is going to help you know what type of approach you should take with your investments.

The portfolio is going to give your long-term savings a better potential for returns which will help to attain achievement of the goals within your plan.

A partner is going to help you monitor both the plan and the portfolio, hold you accountable for action points and to dos and help consider things in a way you may not have thought of yourself.

Having a financial planning partner is great but it’s going to be more helpful for everyone if there is a plan and a portfolio!

Even a Financial Planner should have a plan, portfolio and partner. Sometimes after doing the day job there’s little time left to do your own planning and hold yourself to account. No matter who you are you could benefit from a Cardio, Strength and Flexibility regime and you could also benefit from a Plan, Portfolio, Partner regime.

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