There’s a favourite saying among sports coaches— failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If an athlete does not ready his body and mind to the appropriate level before a competition, he or she has already lost before the game even starts. Achieving a superior mind-body interaction and being committed to the game can easily be the difference between winning and losing. But athletes struggle with white noise all the time, and so do we in our daily and financial lives.

So how can we take this lesson learned on the fields, rinks and courts and apply it to our personal finances? How can we responsibly manage our lives and money? The answer lies in preparation. In order to be prepared, we need to have both a personal plan for our life goals, and a financial plan in place to make those goals possible.

The first step involves setting a series of goals for ourselves. What do we want our life to look like in 10, 20 or 30 years? Do we see a cottage in that future? Would we like to retire early and travel the world? Do we see ourselves helping to pay for our children’s or grandchildren’s education?

This might sound overly simplistic, but in order to have success we must first objectively define what that success means to us. By establishing a clear destination for ourselves, we create a roadmap with which to measure our progress. With this plan as our benchmark, it becomes harder for us to stray from our long-term objectives, and we will make better decisions in our daily lives. This is similar to that mind-body interaction athletes spend their entire lives honing; except the link we are establishing here is between our long-term goals and our daily lives.

Now that we know where we want to go, how do we go about creating our plan? Keep in mind, there is no one-size-fits-all financial plan. Simply put, we will know we have a good plan when it puts our objectives within our reach. It should feel natural to some degree, even if it does restrict us a bit. Moreover, a financial plan need not be unerring or written in stone; instead it should evolve with us as our circumstances change over time.

The most important element of any plan is you. Smart coaches and athletes know that a strategy is no good unless we stick with it— 90% of any good plan is in its execution.  Planning helps us all to see the big picture, but we still need to follow through in our daily lives. That is why we at TMA have an annual review process with our clients so that we can track and review our clients’ progress in detail with them. Regular reviews of our short and long-term objectives, as well as a portfolio sustainability exercise, will give the feedback we require to ensure our continued personal and financial success. Moreover, it lets us know if we’ve been missing “practice” too often and whether or not we need to hit the “financial gym”.

If you think you might require a more comprehensive and formal financial or estate plan, please speak with us. We can help evaluate your situation and possibly set up an appointment for you to sit down with a licensed financial planner, Edmond Fhima Pln. Fn.

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