With apologies to grammar enthusiasts – this is a true statement. Jim Yih is one of the more well-known presenters and financial commentators in Canada and this is the key point (and is a quote directly from him) that he makes during his many educational presentations. You can read more about Jim and his beliefs and teaching here: www.jimyih.com. It really is the most important concept I would like to get across to people everywhere too. Yes, we all need to use the services of professionals to assist us but we should never abrogate our own responsibilities in this regard – it is OUR money after all!
Will Rogers, an American folk legend and philosopher, is quoted saying: “before I worry about the return on my money, I will worry about the return of my money”. I have always loved this quote and use it frequently when speaking with clients or during group presentations. Sometimes we spend so much time chasing more money we forget to take proper care of that which we already have. If you feel this is an important issue, you need to be sure that your advisors know this – and know it very clearly. If we don’t share our beliefs with our advisors, then it is our own fault if the results do not match our expectations.
“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” ~Pablo Picasso – certainly one of the most influential artists in the world (and a very interesting person too), makes a poignant point with this comment. My interpretation of this quote is that he enjoys money but wants to stay humble and do the things that please him rather than just chasing more money. Personally, this makes sense and reminds me to stay “grounded” and not get too full of my own success, whatever that might be.
As spoken by Woody Allen~ “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” – is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on how money has become such an important part of our lives – and perhaps for the wrong reasons – who knows?
I mentioned earlier that we need to share our personal philosophies with our advisors – and I mean all of them – not just financial advisors. Our lawyer needs to understand how we feel about legal matters in general in addition to providing specific feedback on any proposed actions or plans. Our accounting advisor needs to understand how aggressive we are prepared to be when it comes to tax planning – are we prepared to let the “tax tail wag the dog” for example.
“In the old days a man who saved money was a miser; nowadays he’s a wonder.” ~Author Unknown – could have been spoken just yesterday – many, many people today are having a great deal of difficulty saving money and it is understandable but preventable and fixable given proper commitment to your financial goals.
I don’t want to wrap up this article with jokes about economists or financial advisors and prognosticators, but this quote sticks in my mind – “If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.” ~George Bernard Shaw. Economists are always interesting and are as fallible as weather forecasters. They always speak in terms of “indicators” rather than cold, hard facts and certain results. They call themselves scientists – and science is normally based on irrefutable facts – strange.
“Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1.” ~Warren Buffett – no-one is ever perfect although we all try to be – to one extent or another. As a goal, this ties in very closely with Will Rogers comment at the top of this article and is a good finale.