Some people think that DIY gives you control. After all, when you are doing something aren’t you therefore in control of it? For example, let’s say that right now you are investing where you want, buying the asset classes you want and taking any appropriate measures to keep on track towards your preferred result. Most people would accept that this is control as we generally interpret it and leave it there. However most people would be open to making the same mistakes over and over again. Unfortunately, DIY might work for building a deck or any other number of handyman activities but when it comes to finances, your hard earned money deserves total control. That might sound a little confusing so let’s explore this a little further.
To start with, let’s take a closer look at the notion of Control.
Control could apply equally to the doingness part of the activity as it can to the result part. For example you could be in control if you purchased shares yourself or you could be in control by seeking professional assistance to ensure the result is what you want it to be.
It’s this link between doing and achieving that often gets muddled together. People sometimes think that doing equals control. DIY is doing it yourself. There is no result mentioned at all. I could lay row upon row of bricks, easily achieving the doing part of DIY but if the rows of bricks don’t look like a straight brick wall then my result is in question. DIY is popular because people love to do things but the result is rarely considered at the planning stage. The same applies to investing.
Do you want your share or property purchase to look like my wonky brick wall or do you want long term pleasing results?
Taking control of the result gives you real control. This form of control allows you to set the terms of the result because it frees you up from doing. In the same way as buying a chocolate cake gives you control over the result and removes the necessity of doing the actions of making the cake. You controlled the result by choosing the cake you wanted. In our financial example, the doing part becomes more directional by seeking out and choosing a professional to help with your result. The professional completes the doingness part.
The same can apply to your plan for retirement. Do you have a plan or a task to be completed?
Are you falling into DIY mode for your financial future by doing it all or at least thinking you are doing it all? If you are, how can you be sure you have the skills to do a better job than a trained industry professional? You could learn of course, but you see, learning on the job means mistakes will be made because that’s often where the learning part comes in. We learn from our mistakes. The trouble is if you make a mistake it’s your money that you are risking and although it may be recoverable if you have enough time, if you don’t the result can be permanent.
Think of it this way. What is it that you want? This type of question can be revealing although it could open up a line of thinking that may take you only part of the way to the answer. We think it’s more instructive to ask a different question.
What financial outcome do you want and how do you get it?
Can you see how this question is more specific and forces you to think directly about what you want your plan to be? At the same time, you also have to start thinking about how it can be achieved and for some people that is the scary part.
We believe that starting with the end result in mind and comparing that idea with where you are now should make it crystal clear what has to be done to achieve the desired result. The problem that emerges is knowing where you start to formulate a strategy that gets you there and how successful you’ll be in following that strategy. You see, while it’s easy to formulate a strategy if you know how, it’s not so easy to stay the course when things get tough. It’s more difficult to hold yourself accountable to yourself because you will be easy on yourself when you make excuses for not following the strategy.
You have to be the cause of your financial situation not the effect. You have to make it happen and that means taking action. It does NOT mean you have to do it all by yourself. Some people think that taking action is linked to doing everything for yourself, hence the term DIY. Don’t be misled, choosing professionals to help you achieve your goal, or even help you define your goal is still taking action.
Today you can take a simple action that we are certain will benefit you more than most of the other things combined. Take some time and write down your goals. If you have a partner this task is best done together. Ask yourself the hard questions. How much money do you want as an income? Think about the type of lifestyle you would like and write it down. Once you feel good about what you want, that’s the time to map it out and if you need help a good financial planner provides great support.
We recognise the difficulties most people have in formulating a plan. That’s why we created a new style of workshop where you can learn how to understand where you are now and identify what’s needed to get to where you want to be. If you ever wanted to know what was stopping you from moving ahead, this workshop is for you.
The earlier you begin creating your future, the easier it will be to achieve.