The idea of wealth creation – that is, acquiring money or things of value over time – is all too often confused with personal wellbeing. It’s easy to get caught up in comparison mode, evaluating what everyone around you has in material goods and feeling insecure because you might be behind the curve.
These days a posh car is not a measure of success – they can be leased for very little and in my town it seems everyone owns a Range Rover.
But what if we change the focus and use wellbeing as a measure of success instead. Instead of asking clients how much money they have, ask how they want to use their money to make them happy and secure.
Simply having money in the bank, a high income, or an impressive investment portfolio, doesn’t equate to financial wellbeing. To me financial wellbeing means having control over your day to day finances; capacity to
absorb financial shocks; and freedom to make financial decisions to enjoy life.
We can help provide clients with a financial security blanket, offering peace of mind for the future and showing them how to use their money for enjoyment and experiences, rather than the greedy pursuit of material goodies.
Most of our clients will have what they need to make ends meet, but many live with anxiety and fear about what the future holds. That fear leads to making poor financial decisions. Instead of money being a tool for
enjoying life, it ends up being a barrier.
This makes our work all the more important and we have to provide leadership and guidance – clients are always more impressed at seeing the enjoyable and fulfilling lifestyle we lead, rather than the car we drive.
So tune out the noise about investment performance and DB transfer scandals and let’s help clients to see that success can be measured in a different way, by defining what’s important to them and using their money to create maximum enjoyment.
• This column originally appeared in the latest Financial Planning Today magazine which is available to view online now.
Julie Lord is chief executive and a founder of Magenta Financial Planning in Bridgend, South Wales