Chinese New Year is fast approaching. It’s a time of celebration when we wish luck, health and wealth to our family and loved ones and also set intentions for the year to come with a view to increasing both our wellbeing and our prosperity.
Here at Infinity we truly believe that taking control of your financial planning is a major factor in achieving both those things. Clearly, financial planning is key to securing lasting prosperity but the peace of mind it brings can also have a huge impact on our wellbeing, a fact which is frequently overlooked.
2021 is the Year of the Ox in Chinese astrology. It has to be said that of the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac the ox is not the most exciting. Who wants to be a big, bulky, brown beast that spends its days trudging up and down fields when you could be a colourful and mythical dragon breathing fire and terrorising knights, or a muscular, strong, prowling tiger bossing it in the jungle?
But the humble ox does have admirable qualities, just not the bling bling kind. Oxen are methodical, conscientious, diligent, dependable and determined. That’s supposedly you if you were born in 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009. While these qualities may be undervalued in our loud and brash world, they are definitely the kind you would want in a good friend, partner or employee.
And I’d hazard a guess that those born in the Year of the Ox are pretty good with their finances because the qualities listed above lend themselves particularly well to financial planning. If you’re not an ox, you can still take a leaf out of their book. Here’s how:
Be METHODICAL like an ox
Successful financial planning means saving, particularly methodical saving. The best way to acquire financial security is to save regularly, over many years, building wealth slowly but surely as your savings grow, not only because you are adding to the pot but also because they are benefitting from compound interest.
Be CONSCIENTIOUS like an ox
To be conscientious means to put a lot of effort into what you are doing. Financial security doesn’t just happen, it does require some work. Good financial planning involves budgeting, prioritising savings, researching the best way to invest to maximise return within your tolerance for risk, working out how to save in the most tax-efficient way possible and so on. It doesn’t have to take up huge amounts of your time but a certain amount of effort is needed. A financial adviser can lighten the load.
Be DILIGENT like an ox
Financial planning is not something that can be completed and ticked off a to do list. It is a process which involves careful and detailed attention on an ongoing basis. As you get older, your responsibilities will change and your situation will evolve so you need to be diligent about reviewing your financial plan regularly and updating it to ensure that it continues to meet your needs.
Be DEPENDABLE like an ox
If you have dependents, they need to be able to rely on you so, like an ox, you need to step up to the plate and prove your reliability. That doesn’t just mean putting food on the table and a roof over their heads but also ensuring that their physical and emotional health is taken care of with health insurance and protecting them should you no longer be able to provide for them with life insurance and critical illness cover. If you can, go one step further and give them the gift of a decent education, which will, in turn, set them on the path to success. A sound financial plan takes all these elements into account and a financial planner can help you assess your needs and find the best products to meet the requirements of your family.
Be DETERMINED like an ox
Financial planning is not always a smooth ride. 2020 was a case in point with investors experiencing off-the-scale volatility. Although it was an exceptional year, the cyclical nature of the market is a constant. To succeed in investing you need to block out the short-term ‘noise’ and keep focussed on the long term with the dogged determination of an ox. Regular investment in a balanced portfolio over a sustained period will bear fruit.
Whether you were born in the Year of the Ox or not, harnessing these qualities will help you to make 2021 a prosperous year.
You can also make life easier for yourself by working with a professional to support you along the way by bringing their financial knowledge, experience and expertise to the table. If you are an expat in Asia and are looking for help with your financial planning, why not get in touch?