This week’s blog post in our “Financial Planter” series is written by Megan Poore, a Financial Services Professional.*
Money can be viewed as a source of joy and security — or discord and scarcity—with a range of emotions in between. When best utilized, money is a tool for providing things for ourselves and others. As a financial advisor for 14 years, I’ve seen that most of us don’t have a comfortable relationship with money. In my quest to help people feel more confident with their money and financial decisions, I’ve pulled together some quotes to help shape a thoughtful view of money in our lives.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil…”
- The Bible, 1 Timothy 6:10
Whether or not you spend time in Bible study each week, or even if Christianity is not your faith tradition, you’ve almost certainly heard this piece of scripture misquoted as, “Money is the root of all evil”. Misunderstanding that message has led to more guilt, shame, money avoidance and wrong-minded thinking than one can imagine. The fact is, money is a necessary and important part of our lives, and we must have a healthy relationship with it. As Francis Bacon (an English philosopher who was alive over 400 years ago, but likely still has 7-degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon) said, “Money is a good servant, but a bad master.” Being clear that you’re thoughtfully and deliberately exercising stewardship over your financial resources — and that you’re not a slave to greed and avarice — is a great place to start.
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
- Warren Buffett
What the “Oracle of Omaha” is saying here is in direct opposition to what we hear most often from the financial media. The messages we tend to hear relate to frenetic movements and short-term timing. Mr. Buffett, however, uses the analogy of a tree — an organism that takes decades or even generations to mature. My husband and I planted a sapling in the front yard of our old house just before our eldest daughter was born. Twelve years later, we’re amazed when we drive by and see how large that tree has become. Financial planning has a lot of parallels. Small changes you make in how you use your money now can have large impacts down the road. Investing a small amount of money every month or increasing your 401(k) contribution each year makes a bigger impact than you might envision. Plant that tree now so you can enjoy the shade later!
“The four most expensive words in the English language are, ‘This time it’s different.'”
-Sir John Templeton, businessman and philanthropist
Isn’t it interesting that all of the past sharp declines that have occurred in financial markets are now viewed as having been great buying opportunities, but the ones we anticipate in the future inspire fear and loathing? Each market downturn tends to be surprising and we tend to think there are new forces at work -- that “This time it’s different…” The fact is though, the S&P 500 experiences declines of 20% or more on a very regular basis. Markets have averaged one decline about every four years since 1926! Most investors lose sight of the adage “buy low, sell high”, and instead sell during a market downturn and re-invest “once things have settled down.” This often translates to investing at the top of the next market cycle. Not you, though! You’ll be the savvy investor who adds money to diversified investments when everyone else is running for the door, and then you’ll reap the rewards as markets rebound.
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. “
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr., American author
One of the most satisfying ways to remind ourselves that money is our tool and not our master is to share with others. Seeing suffering or injustice and being able to help in some small way is empowering and humbling. Mother Teresa said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.” Even if what we give doesn’t cost a penny, sharing kindness with others can broaden our sense of what’s important and add to our level of gratitude.
Finally, Socrates is credited with saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Examine your life — and if that examination leaves you concerned that your feelings about money and finances are not as confident as they could be, we encourage you to seek out trustworthy advice. Investing in your own well-being is always a smart investment.
Megan Poore, is a financial advisor at Lucien, Stirling and Gray Advisory Group, Inc. in Austin, Texas. While no one shares any inspirational quotes from Megan, she did once misunderstand the lyrics to “2 Legit 2 Quit” and that gets brought up at every family gathering, so that’s close enough. Megan helps both women and men take control and navigate changes in income, retirement assets, business ownership and other matters related to major transitions, and their effects on a client’s lifestyle and family responsibilities.
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Megan Poore and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.