It’s easy to reduce your financial world to numbers and dollar signs, but there’s much more to the story than that. Expanding your focus to your Financial Quality of Life lets you approach financial information and decisions with a better understanding of your true opportunities and what they mean for you and your family. Here are five ways to give qualitative elements of wealth the attention they deserve:
1. Maintain a focus on the long term
Last week we wrote about investing for growth because we wanted to remind investors not to be overly cautious. Giving up growth opportunities in favor of short term safety may seem prudent at times, but don’t let a low-risk low-growth investment strategy go on for too long. Our youngest clients have an investment horizon that’s difficult to comprehend. Even our oldest readers likely have 30 years of investing ahead of them.
If you’re investing for the long term, you need the growth potential that stocks can provide. The major returns you’re looking for could come in the first year or they could come in the ninth year. A bond is not going to double or triple in value over that time. Stocks and diversified ETFs can and often do. Remember that time is your antidote to volatility.
2. Live like a Bostonian and be the millionaire next door
Boston is an unassuming city. Modesty and humility tend to be key values here. Maybe it’s the concentration of top talent among our world class companies and universities. Or maybe it’s a hangover from our puritanical origins.
The millionaire next door is common in Boston, and for good reason. It makes sense from an efficiency and stress management perspective to spend your time growing your business and investing in education and family while your assets grow and work for you. Millionaires next door earn a high quality of life by spending far less than they make. New Yorkers, by contrast, often face significant local pressure to solve financial problems by continuing to out-earn their spending. Very stressful.
3. Capture your full picture with a Net Worth report
The demand for better reporting for investors is constant. We often search for new reporting features that can bring clarity to our clients’ full financial lives. Fortunately the tools available for reporting on real estate, stock options, pensions, mortgages and lines of credit have improved significantly. Ask us how you can improve your financial reporting and we’ll be happy to show you the way.
4. Grow the intangibles
From our True Family Wealth series, we know that successful families count their wealth in more than just dollars. Human capital grows through family education, training and talent. Intellectual capital grows through shared knowledge, expertise and collaboration among family members. Social capital grows through more family connections through non-profit, community and business engagement. This has been written about extensively; ask us for the two marquee books on the subject if you want to learn more.
5. Add an expert to your bench
Experts are there to bring leverage and efficiency to the table when solving problems and answering complex questions. Lawyers, CPAs, and investment professionals like Osbon Capital Management will lower your costs, increase your outputs, increase your knowledge and save you time when they are operating at full potential.
If you’re ready to look beyond the numbers, let us know. We welcome you to raise your expectations.
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