If it Feels Too Hard… You’re Probably Doing it Wrong

When i was a kid i could get exceptionally focussed. I would “get my blinkers on” (as my wife now refers to it) and i would beaver away trying to achieve whatever task it was that i was working on – building something, fixing something, or just trying to solve a problem… and often it was in the most unproductive way possible.

Of course i didn’t know that at the time – i was just trying to use whatever tools were at my disposal, without help, instruction or guidance to get the job done – these days you might refer to it as “A Genius Life Hack” if it works out – or perhaps an “Epic Fail” if it doesn’t.

Then one day (presumably after watching me struggle for a while and laughing behind my back) my old man would come along and teach me a better way. The better way was quicker, easier, less stressful, more productive and allowed me to achieve my goal with a minimum of fuss and move on.

Ever had any of the following experiences?

  • Trying to drive a nail with a spanner, a shoe or lump of wood…. then someone hands you a hammer.
  •  Trying to iron your hair straight… then discovering a hair straightener? (Mum hated her curly hair as a kid and tried this one out!)
  •  Trying to paint a house with a brush…. then discovering those wonderful things called paint rollers… or even better, a spray gun!
  • Trying to perform an intense series of calculations with a calculator…then someone shows you what a spreadsheet is.
  • Trying to remove a stubborn bolt with pliers > Someone introduces you to multi-grips or vice-grips… life gets a little easier > Then you get shown what a wrench (or shifter) is… life gets easier still > Then you discover a ring spanner… (god why didn’t i use this in the first place!)… then finally you discover a socket set and your job becomes an absolute breeze.

For any given job, there is 100 wrong ways, and usually only a handful of ‘right’ ways. It doesn’t matter whether its a sport, a work task, a job around the house, managing an entire company, or managing your personal finances…. if it feels too hard you’re probably doing it wrong!

The earlier you discover the right way
the better your outcomes will be.

Now in many cases the implications of ‘getting it wrong’ aren’t that big – using the wrong tools for handyman work is a waste of time, frustrating, a worst result etc, but its not life damaging. However, in the case of your personal finances, going though an extended period of trial & error before eventually discovering ‘the right way’ can cost you 10’s or 100’s of thousands of dollars, cause stress, emotional damage, put strain on relationships – its a whole different price to pay for a situation that is completely avoidable.

Just like the journey of discovery for our plier using bolt remover people typically go through a similar journey with their finances…

  • You get introduced to money (actual notes and coins) as a kid
  • You discover bank accounts, term-deposits and earning interest which lasts you through to your late teens (Some of us never discover what else is out there which is can be just as detrimental as the the next part of the journey below)
  • You discover credit cards and do a whole lot of damage to your ability to save and grow your wealth
  • You discover other forms of debt and buy a car using a loan… your ‘bad debt’ piles up
  • You decide to get your life into gear in your mid 20’s and start trying to pay down your debt so you can save and buy a house
  • You buy a negatively geared investment property and take on a truckload of debt (’cause thats what Aussies do) – you start well behind the 8-ball because you pay 3.5% in stamp duty and on-costs, and you’d pay another 3% in selling fees if you want to sell. You get tired of the drain on your cashflow and eventually you sell (maybe you made a capital gain after costs, maybe you made a capital loss, or came out line-ball)
  • Then someone introduces you to shares – you buy a few “Blue Chips” like Telstra, BHP, Commbank, and IAG and then discover shortly after that the chips aren’t so blue (check out the 5-year charts for TLS & CBA) so you either hold and wait for the price to go back up or sell in despair – all in all, win, lose or draw you haven’t had the greatest experience with the sharemarket and its left a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Please tell me you didn’t turn to Bitcoin at this point… PLEASE!!!

So what is the answer?

*Ask any successful sports person what they attribute their success to – i’ll gladly wager that they’ll mention their coach.

*Excludes Nick Kyrgios & Bernard Tomic

Ask any successful business person what they attribute to their success – they’ll almost certainly express their gratitude to their mentor.

When it comes to your Financial Success, build yourself a team of trusted and talented professionals – and start with your Financial Adviser.

The earlier you engage a Financial Adviser and discover the right way (for your personal unique circumstances, objectives and goals) the easier your life will be, and the better your outcomes will be.

THE RIGHT WAY.

I’m beginning to lose count of the people that ask me what to do about one small snippet of their financial life (to the exclusion of the other 90%).

  • Which bank should i use for my home loan?
  • Where should i put this lump sum of cash?
  • Should i be in super fund A or Super Fund B?
  •  Should i sell my CBA shares? When should i sell them? For how much?
  • Which stocks should i buy?
  • Should i move into my house or leave it as an investment?
  • Is a Wrap platform or an SMSF better?

You know what my answer is?

I HAVE NO IDEA

Its not because i don’t i don’t have any idea about home loans, stocks, superannuation, or financial analysis (i happen to know a great deal about all of those things) – it’s that i have no idea of why you’re doing all of that stuff in the first place! And that is where my job begins…

When i understand the why behind all of those questions, thats when we really start making some amazing progress toward achieving great outcomes for you. Let’s step back from the nitty gritty for a moment and take a big picture look – a helicopter view. Lets discover what the right way is FOR YOU. There is no one-size fits all solution, and there is no magical asset class that meets the financial objectives of everyone – so stop searching for it.

Speak to your Financial Adviser about YOU – not your home loan, not your super, not your shares. These are all secondary considerations and at the end of the day they only exist to serve one purpose – and until you tell me what that is, you’re the only person who knows what it is. So let’s talk! Lets talk about whats important first, and then we can work out the best way to structure your assets, debt and cashflow to achieve your purpose.

Once you discover ‘The Right Way’ (For You) life is wonderful. It’s stress free, its easy, and its extremely financially rewarding.

If thats not the case for you presently, and it feels too hard – reach out and say hi – there is an easier and better way, and the sooner you discover it, the better your outcomes will be.

All the best.

Saul.

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