Dr. Francois Stofberg, Senior Economist and Managing Director of Efficient Private Clients
Holistic financial advice considers you as a whole, looking at your wealth, health, and happiness. It also factors in how those individuals fit into their networks of families and friends. Remember, we are connected to, and even depend on, other people, who in turn have similar bonds with us. If a financial advisor excludes any of these aspects from a holistic financial plan, the results will be sub-optimal and possibly completely unsuccessful.
Wealth is an important component of a holistic life. Wealth determines everything. Matthew Killingsworth, a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, showed that money actually can buy happiness. Besides helping you to buy happiness, wealth also improves our health and allows us to help others, which in turn strengthens our social networks. Focus on planning your wealth component optimally.
During the planning process, prospective clients often ask: “Where should I invest my money for the greatest returns?” A seemingly simple question, but in our opinion, it is the wrong one to ask your expert financial advisor. No return is without risk and higher returns usually involve higher risks. Investing in illicit activities will probably give you the greatest returns, but are the risks of jail time, or worse, worth it? We encourage our clients to rather ask, “How much risk am I willing to take?” Or, put plainly, “How much of my investment am I willing to lose?”
The second most important investment you can make is in yourself. This means investing in a business, an education, or both. Both have risks, but we are usually too young or ignorant to care about them. If you study more or longer, you lose more time which is your most precious resource. Both investments can have health implications, neither are always enjoyable, and the list can go on…
Nevertheless, successfully investing in yourself will reward you with a sustainable, long-term return that far outpaces any traditional investment you can make, even after adjusting for the associated risks. In one well-known example, the US business magnate and investor Warren Buffett said that you can improve your value by 50% by honing your written and verbal communication skills.
Of course, investing in a business has many other risks for which entrepreneurs could potentially be handsomely rewarded. Unfortunately, too many people who invest in themselves stop around their thirties.
They become uncompetitive and the return on their investment will suffer. Maybe it’s time to start investing in yourself again?
It’s challenging to determine a client’s next best investment from a risk-reward perspective. In many instances, investing directly in your health, happiness or even social constructs can improve your wealth. That’s because healthy, happy, engaged individuals work harder and often earn more. On the other end, directly increasing your wealth can generate handsome returns in the long term. Everyone’s needs and objectives must be considered independently. In doing so, you plan to live a life of wealth, health, and happiness.
Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the content of this newsletter, Efficient Wealth and Efficient Benefit Consulting accepts no liability in respect of any errors or omissions contained herein. The contents of this newsletter cannot be construed as financial advice and does not confer any rights whatsoever, enforceable against any party and does not replace any legal contract or policy which may be subject to terms and conditions. Efficient Wealth and Efficient Benefit Consulting retains the right to amend any information contained in this newsletter at any time and without prior notice.
Efficient Financial Services (Pty) Ltd, trading as Efficient Wealth, is an authorised financial services provider, FSP 655. Efficient Benefit Consulting is an authorised financial services provider, FSP 48026.