For people living in Europe, away from their home country, there are many uncertainties that go along with the excitement of expat life. One of the major uncertainties is often around money- how to manage it- and how to prepare for your long-term future.
We spend a lot of time with our clients understanding what is important to them, what they want to achieve, implementing plans and managing structures.
The process we follow can be useful whether you are receiving advice from us, or are managing your own affairs, and can also apply to other areas of your life. Our approach or philosophy is centred around needs-based or objectives-based advice.
What does this mean?
Simply, it is the alignment of the destination and the journey. In application to a client’s situation that means we are not focusing on the next big thing, but we are focusing on what you, the client, want to achieve. Our guiding question is “What is most important to you?”. This can be expanded upon by asking what you really want to achieve, and what success looks like to you. If your goal is retirement, the questions are around defining what sort of retirement you would like: when you would like to retire, where you wish to live, and the way you want to live.
It is normal for many people to have not considered these questions in depth before.
When we have an articulation of your goals, we can then commence the financial analysis and convert that goal to a lump sum, your target number. The next part of the process is the gap analysis, where we work out where you may get to, based on your current situation, and where you need to be according to your goal. Then we can implement an appropriate plan to help get you there.
In describing this process, you can see it is not just about chasing the highest return or jumping on the next hot investment trend. When you know your goal and can quantify it, the process is more along the lines of taking the lowest risk necessary to help you to achieve your target. The road- the way you manage your money and invest- is important, but it is just the means to an end. The end- the destination, your goal- is what is most important.
If you are thinking about how the markets are moving, the latest investment trends and how to manage your money, consider this process. Start with why you are investing and what you want to achieve. It is the same process if you are receiving investment and financial advice from us or from somewhere else. Do not start with the investment. Start by defining the rationale. Then plan your investment so that it helps you to get to that objective. You will hopefully find it is less reactive, more aligned, less stressful, and ultimately, more likely to see you build your wealth to where you want it to be.
So, the most important question?
Ask yourself “Why?” you are investing and “What is most important to me?” and let this shape your decision making. Contact us if you would like to go through this process with us and we will be happy to help you to understand your targets and get the most appropriate plan and format for you.