The oldest Millennials will turn 37 this year. Platinum adviser Michal Bodi channels his internal millennial with the benefit of his experience as a financial planner, to posit a few questions all Millennials should ask themselves.
As strange as it may sound, the oldest Millennials will turn 37 this year. People generally feel more responsibility (a.k.a. feel more pressure) at this age and we start paying attention when it comes to money. We might have a steady income, a mortgage (or we want one), maybe even some other personal debt. A little bit of super here and there, looking to settle down, to start a family. We start looking ahead and looking around. What’s everyone else doing?
Comparing ourselves to others creates extra amount of pressure. Are we doing what we ‘should be doing’? The social acceptance plays a huge role in the society. It started a long time ago when we were kids, comparing toys. We still compare toys, just more expensive ones.
The pressure is on. Coming from parents, our peers, the stories we read about on Facebook. You have to get it right! Have you started saving for your property yet?
And that’s not the only problem. There’s also the options. So many options. Where do I even start comparing them all, right? The burden of getting things right often leads to distraction and procrastination.
Maybe you are still in your twenties. Or maybe your children are. Where should they look for guidance? Why look for help in a first place? Surely, people figure it all out on their own, right?
Maybe they do, …eventually. But we don’t learn anything practical when it comes to money in schools. We don’t learn about the difference between a stock and bond, the luxury of time, about the virtues of patience and discipline. There’s nothing to fall back on. Even if we had all the time in the world to study it all up (which we don’t), there’s a big behavioural gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it.
We simply don’t always do things we know we should be doing. We get busy, we ‘don’t feel like it’, our heart (or gut) is telling us otherwise, we leave things for ‘later’. It’s normal, we all do it, including all the ‘financial gurus’ out there. Because we’re all human. We just don’t like to admit it sometimes. And we don’t like other people tell us what to do.
But what’s the opportunity cost of all this? Imagine you could get it right nice and early in life, in your twenties. How much of a competitive advantage it would give you today – getting it right the first time and not having to fix it…
Let’s just give it a random thought, a totally crazy one. Let’s imagine we did put the effort in and did look for guidance early in life. From a third-party professional, who we connect with and who we can trust. Someone who would ask the hard questions, provide us with leadership and guidance, not only on our financial issues, but more broadly about our life choices, the things we really care about.
Someone who would make sure our decisions are always business decisions, not emotional. Someone who would help us prioritise and focus on things that actually matter. Because these things make the biggest difference. They form our beliefs, our attitudes, how we perceive the world around us, and over time, they shape our habits and form our behaviour. As Warren Buffett famously said – you don’t have to be smarter than everybody else, just more disciplined.
How much of a difference that could potentially make? To take advantage of the most precious asset we all have – time – early in life. All the mathematical concepts like compound interest thrive and rely on time. They also rely on always making the right decisions (which we already established we don’t always do). Human nature is a failed investor and a bad money manager. But what if you always had someone looking over your shoulder…Crazy thought, right? Maybe it is. But is there anything to lose?
Michal Bodi has 82 client reviews with an average client rating of 99%. He is a Senior Financial Adviser at Sydney Financial Planning.
Financial advice can help put your finances on the right track - the sooner you do this, the more advantage you will gain from the compounding effects of time. Is it time for you to explore the benefits of getting advice from a financial adviser?