As usual, a new year brings new ideas. This past year I’ve struggled a bit with the limitations posed by writing a weekly article focused on the markets exclusively. Within that space, I’ve taken a few literary indulgences to broaden my spectrum and still stay true to the theme of Navigating the Markets. In the end I decided, rather than spend my time searching for topics that were fresh but stayed on topic, I would simply change the format and take a broader focus; thus, Navigating Your Wealth was born.
The markets are just one of the challenges you face when managing your wealth. Remember, wealth is not an achievement or a financial status, it is the sum total of your financial world: investments, real estate holdings, debts, insurance, businesses, pensions, cash on hand – we all have wealth, it’s just a question of how much, what stage we’re at and what it looks like.
Planning is an important part of managing your wealth, but it needs to be seen as a dynamic process not a static one. The forty page tome that you received outlining your current financial situation, the future value of your assets and the million other details is nothing more than a snapshot of your circumstances at a specific point in time. They can change any given day and will, so must your plan!
What makes it more complicated is that the things that change are different every time. This year it’s your health or your family’s health; next year it’s the economy or the direction of the markets; the year after that it’s your state of mind, the state of your marriage or the state of your family… any of these can change everything; yet all too often we continue to trudge down the same path, even though the destination has altered completely.
It's recognizing that things have changed, and adjusting your plans to reflect those changes that really matters. It’s less about the song and more about the dance; the devil will always be in the details especially if you choose to ignore them. So moving forward, I’ll be focusing on the details: the decisions you need to make, the challenges or opportunities you may be confronted with, the struggles, the windfalls and the black swans that can change everything.
In the words of Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
I welcome you to the New Year and wish you good health, happiness and prosperity.
This publication is intended only to convey information. It is not to be construed as an investment guide or as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned in it. The author is an employee of ScotiaMcLeod, a division of Scotia Capital Inc. (“SCI”), but the data selection, analysis and views expressed herein are solely those of the author and not those of SCI. The author has taken all usual and reasonable precautions to determine that the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable and that the procedures used to summarize and analyze such information are based on approved practices and principles in the investment industry. However, the market forces underlying investment value are subject to sudden and dramatic changes and data availability varies from one moment to the next. Consequently, neither the author nor SCI can make any warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of information, analysis or views contained in this publication or their usefulness or suitability in any particular circumstance. You should not undertake any investment or portfolio assessment or other transaction on the basis of this publication, but should first consult your investment advisor, who can assess all relevant particulars of any proposed investment or transaction. SCI and the author accept no liability of whatsoever kind for any damages or losses incurred by you as a result of reliance upon or use of this publication in contravention of this notice. All performance data represents past performance and is not indicative of future performance.