“Good habits formed at youth make all the difference” – Aristotle
Before I embark on attempting to pass on a nugget of advice, let it be said I’m not aligning myself to Aristotle!!
A question which often leaves me pondering is “when it is too early?” . For sure 7 a.m. on a Monday feels too early!, but what I’m trying to get at is when it is time to start planning for your future?
As a 20-something year old I often see short term rather than what’s hopefully inevitable, a long and prosperous future. Nine months in and the Metis Ireland catchphrase “Stick With The Plan” has hit a nerve with me and has me pondering “Is it time I start planning and start “sticking with the plan”?”. An old teacher of mine used say “look at the walls, it’s a Catholic school!!” and there’s almost a sense of déjà vu here at Metis Ireland:
“Look at the wall”:
Does a 20-year-old need a financial planner? Most people don’t even consider the enormity of retirement and old age until well in their 40’s or later. The short answer is: No not a financial planner, not yet, but definitely a financial plan. That’s because planning is important at any time in one’s life, and especially important when it comes to retirement saving. As a sporting hero of mine once said “Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail” (Roy Keane).
Which financial planning ideas matter most to young people? Here’s a quick breakdown.
- Save More, Sooner
The way real wealth is built in the world today and always is with discipline and effort. Yes, you might manage to get stock options in a hot startup company or inherit a load of money unexpectedly or enjoy some other windfall. But just saving more gives you the ultimate in investing power: Steady compounding over long periods of time. Investing is no different to the weekly shop down in Supervalu or Dunnes. You need to shop around and try to get the best package on offer and maximise the potential growth of your money. We all are familiar with the house hold names in the life company world such as Zurich & Aviva (after all they are in our face daily be it on TV adverts or as sponsors for various different operations e.g. our National sports stadium at Lansdowne Road). You need to see beyond this, invest time in preparation before investing your funds in hope rather than expectation and confidence.
- Develop a Long-Term Goal
Retire at 40? Totally possible. Save a million euros? Piece of cake. You can do anything so long as you set a serious goal and find a plan that gets you there. Structured and affordable saving into a retirement plan is a good way to start. Sorry for more sporting examples but take Saracens Rugby Club as an example. Ten years ago they were mere mortals at the top table of European rugby, following a defeat to our beloved Munster in 2008 they set a plan to better them-selves and become a power house of both English and European rugby in ten years. Nine years on they are back to back European champions and seemingly untouchable heading into 2018. Why? They made a plan. They created a structure. But most importantly they stuck to it and they are bearing the fruits of their labour in the long run. Different field completely but it’s the same rules; Patient, Strategic and Well Thought Out plans work.
- Learn More about Investing & Planning
Oftentimes the main obstacle on the road to an effective and efficient financial plan is one’s self. Reading the back pages of the Financial Times once in a blue moon doesn’t make you an expert but nor does it do any harm. The one thing I’ve noticed, and found to be most important, is to take in all the information available and educate yourself. The more time and effort put into “The Plan” the greater the results. A pragmatic plan which you have considered over time and delegated to, or taken advice from, Qualified Financial Advisor’s, can leave you in pole position and give your money every chance to succeed.
- Worry Less, Enjoy More
It’s important to remember, you are young! You have time for false starts and poorly considered plans. Don’t let a small mistake be the reason you give up on investing or planning. If you step back from risk and stay out of the markets for a decade, you blow a chance to nurture your money with relatively little effort if the work is put in at the start.
No matter how daunting it may seem, investing really is just setting aside money and prudently putting it at a risk which is aligned with your views and goals over long periods of time.
It may seem like very little but a compounding deposit of €50 a month can leave you in a great position when you hit 35 rather than spending it on a Saturday night (often unknowns’ to yourself). Having looked at it prior to starting working with Metis Ireland, but more so since I entered this field, I am firmly of the belief that in your 20’s and beyond, the only big mistake you can make in the financial planning game is to not play at all!
My message is best worded in a quote:
Trainee Financial Planner
Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
All content provided in these blog posts is intended for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. You should always engage the services of a fully qualified independent financial adviser before entering any financial contract. Metis Ireland Financial Planning Ltd t/a Metis Ireland will not be held responsible for any actions taken as a result of reading these blog posts