5-Step Plan To Be Wealthy By Design
It is true that there are many random events in the financial marketplace.
But your approach to building your wealth cannot be random. It must be carefully considered, meticulously planned, backed by solid commitments and regularly assessed.(1) When these steps are followed – and when you and your advisor can maintain flexibility in challenging times – you will have put in place the strategy that will empower you to meet your goals and live your dreams. You will achieve wealth, but not as the result of random events, lucky breaks, or ‘timing the market.’ Instead, you will become wealthy by design.
I outline the following five-step plan to strategically achieve financial independence:
Discovering And Setting Your Goals
Identify your needs – family obligations, debt, and lifestyle requirements. Connect with your desires – know the difference between a need and a desire. Know where you want to go – relate your life goals to short-, mid-, and long-term financial goals. Evaluate when it is time to review or revise your investment goals.
Planning Your Investments
Learn the fundamentals of investing. Examine your current asset allocation. Explore how to diversify your portfolio. Do not try to time the markets. Come to grips with the level of risk that you can tolerate.
Committing To Your Plan
Enact a plan. Commit to it. Identify the challenges to your commitment.
Assessing How Well Your Plan Is Working
Identify which indicators to look at to determine how well your plan is working. Reassess if your asset allocation is properly balanced.
Keeping Your Plan Flexible
Keep up with a changing market. Know when to take action. Know when to expand on your investment.
I cannot stress enough the benefits of a well-conceived and disciplined strategy. Some people have the idea that such a focused design is restricting or that it causes you to miss opportunities that less-structured investors might capture. But it really works in the opposite way when you are following a plan; you aren’t being distracted by the ‘noise’ that so easily sidetracks other investors. That means you can actually pay closer attention to the real opportunities – the ones supported by careful research and sound investment principles. (Read: 5 Secrets To A Richer Life)
Disciplined investors stay invested, stay the course, and reap the benefits; undisciplined investors jump in and out of investments in a vain attempt to capture the latest hot stock or value play, and they invariably achieve inferior returns. The research backs this up, time and time again. That’s why I tell my clients: ‘Stay diversified, and stay the course.’