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The greatest threat to wealth

There are many misconceptions as to what the greatest threats are to your wealth creation and wealth management strategy. People often suggest that it’s a stock market crash, war, pandemic, or just plain over-exuberance. We have found the greatest threat is people; specifically, the threat and reality of relationship break down and often at the latter stages of life when your working life is less.

Investment values will inevitably recover with a stock market crash, a war or a pandemic. However, a relationship breakdown involves the permanent loss of wealth. There is no prospect of market recovery, and you have a shorter time frame in terms of working life to make it up.

So what can you do?

First and foremost, it is important that the accumulation of wealth is tied to the achievement of meaningful joint and individual goals. Financial planning and wealth management focus on accumulating and preserving wealth, but this is meaningless if the “why” is not answered. The “why” goes to the very essence of why we do things and motivates us to delay gratification and accumulate savings. This savings in turn becomes capital and eventually long term wealth. We have found that unless the “why” speaks to each of us individually and collectively, then the durability of the wealth accumulation strategy is questionable, and this goes to the heart of the shared values of the relationship.

Secondly, you need to revisit and check-in. To assume that there are no changes is to flirt with disaster. People are complex at the best of times and the impact of environmental changes on what people value cannot be discounted. You only have to look around at the sea change and green change we have experienced across the nation in the last 18 months. Further, while they have dubbed it the “great resignation” in the USA, we have maybe not experienced as profound an effect, although people are questioning whether what they do provides both social good and value for themselves. Perhaps these are the times of the “great questioning”.

Thirdly, mix it up. The millennials possibly have this nailed away more than others. They come from the perspective that life is very much about “experiences” and cobbling together as many of those experiences as possible. While we all prefer what we know, how often have we put ourselves out there and experienced something new and thought, “Wow, that was worth it”.

Fourth, create for others. In December, I wrote of the benefits of creating an Estate Plan that gives with a warm hand rather than a cold hand. Good financial planning makes this possible. As Abraham Maslow wrote, people have a higher need above the basic needs of food, shelter, lifestyle and ego motivated activities.

And last but certainly not least – have fun. All work and no play does make Jack or Jill very dull.

Hopefully, some of what has been written today resonates with you.

Speak to one of our financial adviser