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In this edition, we discuss the following:
- Putting your goals first
- Confidence is the elixir of life
- Discover the benefits of mindful eating
Please scroll down for each item in this edition
Putting your goals first
A goals-based investment approach isn’t focused on ‘beating the market’.
It’s about tailoring your investments to meet your personal goals.
Achieving your important and unique goals and objectives, both now and in the future, is the foundation of our business. It is also the bedrock of every financial strategy we design for you and our Ongoing Service & Management Program exists to help you remain on track over time. This has been the sole aim of Mammoth Financial since our inception in May 2007.
In the last two to three years, we have been working through a major project to enhance this philosophy further via our Investment Administration and Investment Management enhancements program that has enhanced the alignment with your objectives, cohesiveness and cost effectiveness of these aspects of our service program. We are delighted with the feedback we have received from many of you and the outcomes to date from these enhancements. An important benefit we identified from these enhancements, is a closer alignment between the outcomes we and the research team seek to achieve via our asset allocation recommendations and positioning, and the outcomes the investment managers seek to achieve via their day by day decisions and the outcomes from those processes that contribute to your ability to achieve your unique objectives and maintain and grow your net wealth over time.
A key component of this is embedding of a “real return” objective in each part of this coherent process. That is, achieving a return above inflation over time. After all, pretty much every goal and objective we have seen over the years (and after some eighteen years of financial planning, we’ve certainly seen a few very unique objectives!) requires a return that exceeds the increase in the cost of living…and is not contributed to in any way by achieving a return that exceeds some arbitrary index
Performance comparisons are unavoidable in the investment world. Every day you see investment managers measuring their success by how much they’ve outperformed the market, or their peers, over a given time period.
However, most people don’t invest because they are aiming to beat the market. Instead they simply are aiming to make their money work harder so they can improve their lifestyle, educate their children or save for their retirement, in other words, a specific goal.
So why not start with the end goal and work backwards to find appropriate investments? That’s essentially what a goals-based investment approach does.
Let’s look at two investors who have very different circumstances:
1. Harriet is looking to save $100,000 to put towards a house deposit in the next 2-3 years.
2. Carla is retiring soon and looking for an income of $60,000 every year for the next 20 years.
These two women are likely to have very different investment profiles. For example:
Harriet has a shorter timeframe, so she may not be able to take as many risks with her money (bearing in mind she may not have time to wait for markets to recover from an unexpected downturn). Harriet also needs to make sure she will be able to access her entire lump sum at once, possibly at short notice when she finds a home, so liquidity is important.
· Carla has a longer timeframe, so she can afford to invest in higher-risk assets knowing she has more time to recover any short-term losses. Because she needs income, her investments will be geared towards those that earn high levels of interest or dividends. Liquidity is less of an issue for Carla as she is likely to leave the bulk of her money invested for the long term.
These two investment strategies will look very different. But one thing both women have in common is that they have a specific goal that doesn’t relate to any particular market benchmark or index.
This important change of mindset can help investors become less distracted by what the markets are doing in the short term. It also gives you something more personal and more meaningful to measure the performance of your investments against.
After all, you’re investing to achieve goals, not returns. To learn more, speak with us.
Confidence is the elixir of life
We also consider the role that confidence plays in the outcomes we achieve in many aspects of our lives. Do you ever wonder why those that are more confident seem to reach their goals, or get closer to them, than many others? We appreciate that this is a bit of a chicken and egg problem. However, the key question for us is: how can we become more confident about our financial position? How can we become more confident about taking potential life-changing steps? How can we maintain this higher level of confidence over time?
Discover the benefits of mindful eating
Is dieting too hard for you? Try mindful eating.
Achieving and maintaining your ideal weight doesn’t have to mean restricting your food intake or depriving yourself of the food you love. By listening to your body and eating more thoughtfully, you can reach a healthy weight and even develop healthy eating habits.
Mindful eating, as this alternative to dieting is called, means paying attention to how and what you eat.
It is about being fully aware of your food – from buying and preparing it to serving and eating it – and avoiding any distractions as you eat1 When you eat mindfully, you’re using your body’s cues to know when you’re hungry and when you’re full.
Benefits of mindful eating
Paying full attention to what you eat may help you consume less unhealthy food2
Because you’re fully aware of what you’re about to consume – including the unhealthy ingredients used to prepare it – you’re likely to hesitate before eating, for example, a hamburger and fries. Mindful eating may also help you moderate your food consumption. It takes time for your stomach to communicate to your mind that you’re full. So if you eat too quickly, you might feel full only after you’ve overeaten.
By eating slowly and attentively, you’re giving your gut enough time to release satiety hormones that tell your brain you’re full3
How to be a mindful eater
So how can you practise thoughtful eating? In the book Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, the authors identify the seven practices of a mindful eater:
| 1. Respect the food: When you eat, just eat. Don’t do anything else.
2. Engage all senses: Notice the colours, aromas and textures of the food while you’re preparing it.
3. Serve food in little portions: Serving food in modest portions can help you enjoy its quality, not quantity.
4. Take small bites and chew completely: Besides ensuring better digestion, eating in small bites can help you savour your food more.
5. Eat slowly: By taking your time when you eat, you may feel full faster,preventing you from overeating.
6. Don’t miss any meals: Eating regular meals helps you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
7. Opt for a plant-based diet: Consuming food that’s derived from plants is good not only for your health, but the planet too4
Changing the way you eat can have long-term benefits for your health and wellbeing. It can even be the start of living your life more mindfully and meaningfully.
1 Harvard Health Publishing. January 2016, ‘8 steps to mindful eating’, accessible at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/8-steps-to-mindfuleating
3 Harvard Health Publishing, February 2011, ‘Mindful eating’, accessible at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/mindful-eating
4 Cheung, L & Hanh, TN, (2010), Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, HarperOne, accessible at: https://www.savorthebook.com
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