You know that many wealthy people have become even richer by investing their wealth. That they have sometimes achieved more than 50% return in recent years.
You would then expect them to shout the following things:
“Awesome. I’ve always dreamed of this.”
“To invest has been the best decision of my life.”
“Wow, now I can finally do the things I always dreamed of”
The truth?It is not enough.
Did I just say it’s not enough for wealthy people to get a 50% return on investing?
Okay, there may be some people who are happy after the crash in 2008 that they are finally above Jan again.
But for the rest of the wealthy Netherlands?
She doesn’t care much.
And I know you don’t believe me. But if you read on, that might change.
Because after advising hundreds of wealthy people about their assets in recent years, I now know how people react after a year with good returns on their assets.
Because this is what wealthy people say, for example, after achieving an ‘x’ return:
8%: “Nice return, nothing wrong with that.”
7%: “This has been a good year.”
6%: “Nice this.”
5%: “Reasonable return.”
4%: “As expected.”
3%: “Hmm, last year was better.”
And do you know why they give these quasi-casual responses?
Because something is missing.
Why making returns is not enough
Do you know that saying?
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.
The same goes for wealthy people.
Getting a return is not really satisfying for people if they don’t know what they want to do with it.
The irony is that almost every financial service provider claims that everyone already knows what we want to do with our assets.
What our so-called “financial goals” are.
Then they say something like:
For themselves. And for their family.
In the past 8 years as an estate planner, I have advised approximately 500 people. And there are 2 people who knew exactly what they wanted with their assets.
The other 498?
When asked “what are your financial goals” 9 times out of 10 I get answers along the lines of:
“I have no idea, Ronald.”
“Just have a good life later.”
“What do you mean?”
That’s why I’m pretty sure you don’t know what your financial goals are either.
And if you disagree I challenge you.
I challenge you to answer a very simple question.
Here it comes:
“What do you find important about your assets, apart from growth, return and costs?”
If you can answer this question sensibly within 15 seconds, stop reading.
Can’t do that?
Then you belong to the 98% of all wealthy people who do not know either.
So you are not alone.
Advisors usually don’t help you
Wouldn’t it be nice? Would you like to have a conversation about what you really think is important about your financial future?
So why are those conversations rare?
The reason for this is that many advisors are simply not that interested in what you really want with your assets. That sounds strange, but they prefer to talk about their knowledge of the profession (because it’s safe).
They also find it very difficult to have such a conversation with you.
The annoying thing about this is that those conversations are often ‘cozy’ and also contain a lot of information. But the effect is that it is often one-way traffic and therefore too often, too superficial.
And vague sometimes. For example, consultants say:
“You beat the benchmark.”
Gross domestic product increases by 2.8%, while international risks also increase.”
“Increasing trade conflicts will lead to a preference for investors in Treasuries.”
Why do they say that?
Because you are their customer.
And sentences like this are proof that they have in-house expertise. Expertise to get a return on your assets.
And return is of course good, let that be clear. Because it’s assets that they know are important to you.
But returns alone are not enough.
Because you secretly want money to also make you ‘happy’. In the sense that you really enjoy it. You get a happy feeling.
But you probably don’t have those kinds of conversations with your advisor.
Check it out (and I’ll ask the question again):
What do you find important about your assets, other than return?
How you slowly remember what is really important to you
Do you know what people kind of answer when I ask them that question?
That it grows;
That they can help their children with it;
That they can live on it.
And I hear you thinking, “Is this all?”
And it makes sense too.
Because people don’t have “substantive” conversations about their assets.
Not with friends. Because that’s too private.
Not with family. Because you don’t want to brag.
Not with the accountant. Because it simply has a different service.
Suppose you do have a conversation about your assets. That you do think about it seriously. That you do think about what you want to do with that return?
Would that give you more direction for yourself? Would that lead to better choices? Would that also give you better results?
The answer seems clear to me.
That’s why it might be time to think about your assets in a different way. So that you remember what you really want with your assets.
And do you know why that’s important?
Because you are responsible for your own future.
And not your accountant, tax specialist or asset manager.
At this moment there is a good chance that your dot on the horizon is not yet completely clear. That you haven’t figured out what you REALLY want with your future yet. And how your assets can play an important role in this.
If you do want to know that, if you do want to have your future visible, if you do want to make conscious choices, then surround yourself with someone who is genuinely interested in your ups and downs.
And you may now think that a substantive conversation about your future is of little value, but believe me, it will change your thoughts about your own future. Change drastically.
Because you will discover where you want to go.
Where you initially do not know what you really want to do with your euros, you will eventually know exactly what to do.
Where you have only thought for years, you will now take the first concrete step towards a conscious choice about your assets that feels good.
Not because it’s coming.
It happens because you invested in yourself.
Are you ready to discover what you really want with your assets?
Or do you just let everything run its course?
The choice is yours.
Owner and wealth planner Beyond Numbers