We have all used building blocks at one time or another over the course of growing up. ABC blocks we all had when we were infants. Lego, Mechanix, Tinker Toys, etc. when we got a bit older. Making grand creations out of simple blocks is something we can all do. So let’s take that skill which we all have and apply it to build a strong financial house. The basic principles of building are just as important here as they were with our juvenile creations. We just have to think a little “outside the blocks.”
Having a plan, a goal, or a vision makes any construction plan much easier. The basic blueprint to build a strong financial house is a well thought out budget. (See The Empty Wallet at EnrichMagOnline.ca for more information about making a budget.) It will help you reach your goal, whatever it may be. Buying a cottage, retiring at 60, leaving something for your kids … all are obtainable, but you need a plan to get it done.
Anything you build needs a solid foundation. The foundation of a solid financial house is pretty straightforward. Get rich quick schemes and highly speculative investments simply cannot support a strong financial house. It is just as important not to lose money as it is to make money. A long-term plan of solid investments and dedicated savings is the rock solid foundation that is needed.
Location, Location, Location
When talking about a strong financial house, location translates to diversification, as in – where do I put my money? Under the mattress is not a good location! What may be a bad location today (GICs, Canada Savings Bonds, low interest savings accounts, etc. that currently yield very little) could be excellent in the future. Don’t try to guess what a good location is. Get some advice from a professional. If they are good, they will tell what a good location is today, and they will tell you when it’s a good time to move!
Any strong financial house ever built will require renovations. The addition of a child, education costs, a mortgage, etc. can drastically alter your construction plans. But not so much if you had foresight at the blueprint stage. Being prepared to adapt to these changes to your plan is essential.
Build in Spring, Not Fall
An early start to construction of your strong financial house will allow you to get the most use of the most powerful financial tool there is – TIME. Obviously, the longer you wait, the less you can use this tool. You do not need to do all of the building right away, but getting started early will make the entire project run smoother.
These are the basic building blocks needed to build a solid strong financial house, but it’s a much more complex piece of work than we have outlined here. Think of a room in a house – four walls, a ceiling and a floor. Pretty straightforward, but in that room you also have wiring, doors, windows, fixtures, etc.
The rooms of a strong financial house are far more complex. RRSP, TFSA, loans, insurance, pensions, retirement, estate plans, etc. are some of the components of the different rooms in your financial house.
Here at Enrich, we are going to help you every step of the way. I will be your financial foreman. The very first step you have to take in building a Solid Strong Financial House is to start saving. Check out Save Your Savings in the premier edition of Enrich Magazine. Future stories will be geared toward expanding and explaining each step of this construction job.
We will also be holding seminars in various locations around Brampton on specific parts of the financial house. They will give you the opportunity not only to learn, but to get questions answered about your particular construction plans.
Every financial house is different and unique. We look forward to seeing you there!