Anyone who has witnessed the spending behaviour of wealthy celebrities will know that having more money does not necessarily translate to better financial outcomes. In fact, many people get stuck in a consumption arms race in which every increase in income just gets absorbed by a higher standard of living.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission just published this handy list.
We engage in battle every day. Sadly, many of us are losing the fight. It's the war between wants and needs.
You don't need a new car but you sure do want one. Those expensive shoes - you've just got to have them. That newest electronic gadget. You really don't need it, you just really want it.
William Bernstein has several good reads, including the one I’ve just finished The Investor’s Manifesto, Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon and Everything in Between. (yes, I was lured by the title)
For those that haven’t heard of William Bernstein, his status is legendary in financial circles. There’s a couple of things that I really like about him –
“It can’t be that simple, surely”, is something I hear a lot.
People just assume that money management is complex. That’s no surprise really, as the traditional financial industry is built on the premise that complexity equals value or to be more pointed, the more complex the solution, the more someone should pay for it. The industry is very willing to sell you this crap. The media don’t help either as eye-grabbing content sells.
When you haven't got much capital of your own, the road to financial security can seem long and arduous. But the truth is that wealth building is actually pretty simple.
All it takes is time and the price of a cup of coffee.
A third of marriages end in divorce*. Relationship breakdown is an emotionally difficult time, that can have a significant financial impact as well, This impact can continue well into later life. For example, households with men and women aged 55–64 years who haven't divorced earn around $10,000 a year more than those households headed by divorcees**of the same age.
In the perfect world, we’d all be debt free.
For most of us though, we can’t get by without it. The question is, how much debt is enough? As they say, a little bit of something is alright, but too much is another story.
Humans are hardwired to want things -- now. It’s called instant gratification, and it’s a powerful force. In most psychological models, humans are believed to act upon the “pleasure principle.” The pleasure principle is basically the driving force that compels human beings to gratify their needs, wants, and urges.
I'm eating a hamburger. I see the man next to me carefully picking a slab of cheese out of his burger, wrapping it in a paper napkin, and eating the rest. It puzzles me, so I ask him about it. “Excuse me,” pointing at the napkin, “why did you do that?” The man replied “Oh, every time I eat a burger, I set one ingredient aside. At the end of the week, I have a free burger!”
At 30 you may have your first mortgage, have started a family, and be well on your journey towards financial wellbeing. However, if you’ve hit 30 and suddenly think you’re over the hill, rest assured when it comes to building financial wealth, time is still on your side. Take the time to review these questions to see if you’re on the right track.
This article originally appeared in the "Slice Of Life".