Hurry up and wait
The title of this blog draws on an old military adage where one is encouraged to get through tasks quickly only to then stand around waiting.
However, I think it has a more positive application in the field of personal finance, in particular investing in equities - that is the companies which are inventing, innovating and providing great customer service. One should hurry up and put money in stocks and shares and then wait before taking money out.
Such calls to action are a core element of financial coaching. Purposeful coaching conversations assist clients in identifying goals and working out what to do next. One common obstacle is procrastination. For example, clients know they should be investing but want to wait until the "holidays; fees; wedding; car payments et cetera" are paid off. Or they are uneasy about the stock market because it is "too risky; too high; too low". Financial and life coaching can help people gain insights which will assist them in getting out of their own way and begin to take meaningful action.
By taking early action in the field of investment, even modest amounts of money can build up over time. Small monthly payments compound and if this money is being invested
regularly it evens out stock market peaks and troughs.
The coaching conversation which encourages clients to take action around investment might also turn towards spending habits. Very often a client might identify areas of expenditure which are not providing value and come to the realisation that through controlling cash flow they can increase the amount available for investment. Subsequent investment increases then feed into the compounding machine.
This lightbulb moment is not only transformational for individual clients, but also has potentially important positive spin-offs for the next generation. For any money which is invested for children when they are one or two years of age will have many decades to grow. If the parent can also coach their children around money, then the young person can take over and add to monthly investments when they enter paid employment.
When is the best time to take action? Most likely 10 or 20 years ago. When is the second-best time? Today.