Sunday 20th March, 2005


Achievement through vision

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Money Matters
with Raziah Ahmed

In business planning, corporations develop mission statements and core value statements that signal to all and sundry what focus they will pursue, and what guidance principles will be followed. They then develop policy statements and strategic goals.

It is the same thing we need to do at a personal level, if our vision is personal financial independence. The major rationale for strategic planning is to take the best advantage of ones strengths, avoid ones weakness, neutralise threats as far as possible, and most importantly: convince everyone else that you will achieve your goal.

But the starting point is always an intention. An intention is a statement of a plan. And having created the floor plan, how can you do the same thing better, cheaper, faster. Smart thought translates into efficient work; try never to have to do it all over.

However, when you fall (and it is inevitable that we will fall, being human and gullible and all), get up as fast as you can. When you smile the whole world smiles with you, but when you cry, they all think: “you are losing it!”

Financial independence is not about getting filthy rich, but it’s about having enough to give away to others with a free conscience.

So put down on paper your priorities for financial independence, and do a two to three per cent add on to give away to the needy or less fortunate.

This is actually an esoteric but fundamental principle of wealth creation. It is like a universal law, steeped in the abundance principle: there is enough for everybody, and the more you give to others the more you get in return. BUT, you need an intention to start with.

The reason that most people never have enough money is because most people do not have a vision and a mission and a core value system, all aligned with the principles of abundance and charity.

If you live your life thinking someone has stolen your birthright, and that inhibits your growth and prosperity, think again! No one is responsible for your lack of planning but yourself.

So let’s go, for example: Tertiary education for two children = 300,000; 50 per cent due in eight years, 50 per cent due in 12 years. What is the present value of 150,000 at six per cent return per annum, for eight years, with an inflation rate of three per cent? Your financial planner can assist you with these calculations, and can structure a plan to achieve your target savings for eight years, and then for 12 years into the future.

How will your assets be valued 12 years into the future? How much will you need to spend each year to maintain the quality or value of your assets?

Remember when we spoke about creating a master list of your assets, and the relevant ownership titles. This will be a real time saver when you sit with your planner.

But you cannot sit with a planner or financial consultant unless and until you know what you want to achieve. If you leave that aspect of your personal business to the consultant, you will end up with the consultant’s plan, which very often, is not what you wanted in the first place.

A good financial planner or consultant will work with you to achieve your goals and will not impose a plan upon you, but it will save time if you organise your records, lists, documents, desires and dreams into written records and objectives.

To illustrate the magnitude of strategic planning: did you know that McDonald’s Corporation has created a situation where the average Japanese believes that McDonald’s is a Japanese Company? McDonald’s now prides itself in being “multi-local.”

n Raziah Ahmed is a registered financial consultant.

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