We live in very uncertain times.Truth is, we always do, but since the financial crisis in 2007-08 the uncertainty of the economy, nation and world seems greater then ever before. Everything we have been told would work hasn’t. Investing seems like a losers game. The value of our homes has dropped. Our high priced education gave us debt with no job. Those that we looked to for guidance, we can’t seem to trust. Wall Street, big banks, lenders and government seem only out for themselves.
How do you make financial decisions and thrive in such an environment? For some, they simply don’t. They pull back, stop dreaming, saving or planning and resign themselves to a downgraded financial future. Or they act rashly by taking greater or different financial risks in the hopes of rebooting their financial future. Either approach is grounded in emotion, not prudence and can leave them worse off then before. More so than ever before, you need to apply a prudent process and framework to making financial decisions. A process focused on YOUR priorities and consistently reapplied to adjust as your priorities and situation changes.
A good place to start is to examine the concepts discussed in Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen’s book GREAT BY CHOICE. The book attempts to answers the question: “Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, while other do not? Although focused on companies, I found that it parallels many of the components of the prudent process we apply with our clients. Whether you are preparing for retirement or currently retired these concepts are very important to managing your financial life in uncertain times. Here is a brief outline of the important concepts of the book:
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll examine each concept in detail and discuss how you can apply a prudent process to managing your family’s financial life and work to thrive in uncertain times.