Uncommon cents: The right attitude towards finance

My name is Michael Hemmings, and I am a consultant with Investors Group, an all-Canadian, nearly 100-year-old financial planning company. Over the next few months, I will be producing several short pieces in which I will encourage and instruct readers to consider their financial futures. In short, I want people to “start sooner, stick to it, and be successful.”

In the last week of November, I wrapped up the last of a four-week series of sessions on financial basics with a Grade seven class. Every session I asked them to repeat a short mantra: “Start sooner! Stick to it! Success!”

When I advise people to “start sooner,” I’m referring to their budgeting for debt, savings, protection (insurance), and investment planning. Once started, stick to it for the long term. The younger you are, the less expensive it will be, and compound interest can work its magic—what Albert Einstein once called “the eighth wonder of the world.”

Ask anyone over the age of forty: if you were able to go back in time and start over with planning for the financial foundations of your life, would you? I can practically guarantee that anyone you ask will answer in the positive.

I believe that everybody has the potential to achieve financial success. Success, relative to one’s starting point, has less to do with personal circumstances and more to do with personal choices. Indeed, persons who have more modest incomes and assets often have the right mindset to be more successful at financial planning than those who are more affluent.  It is all to do with the determination, discipline, and intelligent choices made by the individual. Living by such virtues does not mean that you must be a hermit, just scrimping and saving and essentially missing out on life’s pleasures. Those help to establish a balanced and healthy lifestyle, which in turn makes it easier to maintain financial security, creating a positive feedback loop.

Next time, I will write in more depth about planning for the future, and what success can look like.

To ask questions, or to start a free, no-obligation consultation, email me at: michael.hemmings@investorsgroup.com

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