Morgan Housel was a financial columnest for the Motley Fool and Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of The Psychology of Money which has sold over one million copies. He is now a partner of the Collaborative Fund which is an investment firm focused on supporting and investing in the shared future.The firm’s funds focus on investments around two macro themes: the growth of the creative class, and the concept of the collaborative economy.
Why the Psychology of Money?
Morgan notes in his book, the Psychology of Money, that there is a lot of literature around budgeting and how to do finances but a lot of literature does not account for or focus on the fact that humans are irrational balls of emotion that do not behave in consistent, reliable ways. Many of our choices are formed via emotion and the way we feel – and we can see this reflected in how we choose to invest.
In his book (and article) he goes through 20 points on the psychology of money, looking at the concept of risk versus luck and reflecting on people who have a lot of things versus people who have wealth and how the wealthiest people in the world have exercised consistent investing over time to reach their fortunes.
I loved his analysis of Warren Buffet noting that Buffet started investing at the age of 10 years old. By the time he was 30 years old he had reached his first million. He mentioned that he has averaged returns of 22% over time and it is really TIME that is the critical element in his success. When you compound 22% returns over time, you quickly find you are snowballing wealth. Most of his fortune has come over the age of 60 years.
In the same vein he refers to Jim Simon’s who has made over a billion dollars from investing between 1988 until 2018. He achieved this by using quantified trading strategies, for the Medallion Fund and managed to return on average 66.1% gross before fees from 1988 until 2018. Jim Simon’s has been a more successful investor than Warren Buffet, however he has not been doing it for as long so ultimately it is TIME that is the secret to enormous amounts of wealth.
So what are the secret strategies to being a successful investor according to Housel?
Here are some of my favourite tips from the book:
If you spend your income on things, you will have things instead of wealth. In order to accumulate wealth you need to save money and invest it rather than spending it on items.
In order to have the grit and resilience to save wealth there is an element of not needing to be attached to status, greed, appearances, keeping up with the Jones’s. Recognising that status is an illusion, in the sense that when people look at you driving your expensive car they don’t think “Wow, who is that amazing person driving that expensive car?” They think “I wonder what I would look like if I was driving that expensive car”. Once you come to terms with the fact that no one else will care you can release your attachment to needing to meet some appearance to please others.
He notes it is likely that 80% of your investment success will be based on a small portion of your investment. So expect a lot of failure on your pathway to success. It’s like 99% failure and 1% success. There are a lot of quotes around this – even Michael Jordan notes he was so successful because he missed so many shots and lost so many games, he failed enough to succeed.Having enough. Being enough. Understanding that greed and risk, such as gambling at high stakes for high returns has led to many an investors downturn/demise. So – recognizing that you have enough. Your starting point should be “I am enough” “I have enough” so that you are making reasonable and rational investment decisions.On this note – only invest what you have – not what you don’t have.
Getting wealthy versus staying wealthy. Recognising there is one type of mindset to get wealthy versus staying wealthy once you get there.
“No one is Crazy” People are subject to their age, era they grew up in, the economy at the time of their lifetimes. We invest differently based
So recognising that sometimes success actually looks a lot like failure.
Compounding – consistently investing over time is where the results are at. Not being swayed by dips in the market. Staying the course with your strategy until you see results, instead of bailing at the first sign of hardship.
I think this book is a really great way to cut through some of the BS around investing and prime your mindset for what truly is grit and resilience necessary to become a successful investor.
Recognising that its not all roses and pretty pictures. That you may actually be investing for a really long time before you see results. That it takes perseverance, resilience, grit, determination. Starting from a place of being enough and not getting greedy for more than is necessary. Recognising that wealth and status aren’t the be all and end all – true wealth comes down to having your health, loving relationships, freedom, and what he stresses the most is TIME. Having freedom over how you spend your time is the ultimate wealth any human being can experience.
In order to succeed what you really need is consistency and self-discipline. We have recently visited with a friend in Darwin from the defence force and they shared a story about the army and how in the army they teach people a technique of survival which is about setting your parameters or the boundaries you require to survive and then sticking to those boundaries. All it takes is knowing what you want, setting the boundaries and then the self-discipline to stick to the strategy over time.
It’s great having you all on board! I look forward to catching up with you next week where we will be discussing creating a vision for your life!!
Studied law at Harvard Law school. Works as a self-development coach and author.
Why read the 5am club?
If you are looking to enhance your routine, take your life to the next level, improve your efficiency, creativity, productivity in the way you run your daily schedule then 5am might be the book for you.
The book is somewhat lengthy and probably uses a lot of unnecessary story telling to present its gems – however the gems are still there to be had or considered anyhow.
What were the key takeaways?
The book discusses the importance of leading a balanced life to truly attain success in your life. You may be wealthy but have no one to share it with, you may be healthy but be poor and have no money to afford things, you may have a positive mindset but not take action to make things happen in your life.
Sharma proposes 4 main pillars of life that all need to be nourished in order to attain true success and satisfaction in life as follows:
Mindset which is about cultivating a psychology of possibility. Realising that with everything that ever happens in your life you have a choice to own your perception of it and look for the opportunities in every situation whether it feels comfortable or not.
Heartset is about your emotional life. Recognising that you won’t win at life if your heart is heavy with anger, resentment or sorrow. When striving to uplevel, improve your life, it is important to start from an inspired, open loving place. “unexpressed emotions will never die” they will only come to light later in uglier ways – so it is important to repair, rebuild, reinforce a winning heartset in our lives. This isn’t about removing toxic energy but instead re-focusing on positive energy and gratitude. Whatever you feed grows.
Healthset This is about longevity, physical health, vitality. Exercising every day dramatically increases your joy and experience of that day and of your life. Being healthy, feeling good about yourself, feeling good within your skin.
Soulset Being engaged with your spiritual self and your higher self. This may simply be a matter of meditating daily in the mornings on how you want to show up in the day ahead and reflecting on the fleetingness of life or the service you are here to bring to the world. What gifts do you have to share?
One of the key elements of the 5am club is engaging with the process of greatness. Sharma talks about scientific studies showing that great achievers or people who have completed great feats throughout history have had habits that have led to that greatness. It is about daily practice, sweating the small stuff, making sure every detail in everything you do reflects you, reflects who you are or who you are becoming and what you bring to the world around you.
“most people take the limit of their vision to be the limit of their world, few do not”…
How do we improve our habits? How do we instal better habits?
It’s your habits not your talent. The strength of your grit and determination, not the strength of your talent that equals a great performer.
Real power is different to fake power. Fake power = assets, money, glitter, shine,
Real Power = never comes from anything external. Genuine power doesn’t arise from your possessions or appearance, it expresses itself when you contact your original gifts and life your life by principles of good habit such as: self-discipline, honesty, integrity.
Cultivate character – honouring inherent vision, usefulness, helpfulness.
To lead is to serve.
Rumi “Give up the drop, become the ocean”
Activate your gifts and become the hero of your life.
Code in a good morning routine.
“Own your morning, elevate your life” – 5am
Remove distractions from your life. Switch off your phone, leave it outside of your sleeping area at night. Go to bed earlier.
Rise early at 5am and complete the 20/20/20 formula which is 20 minutes of reflection or meditation, 20 minutes of physical exercise and 20 minutes of reading or nourishing your mind with something new, inspiring, improving of your soul, your heart of your mind.
Sharma suggests it takes 66 days to instal a new habit, the first 22 days will be hard, the second 22 days will feel messy and the final 22 days will be gorgeous.
If you stick it out for 66 days and know that with some elbow grease you will see yourself through to someplace better and giving yourself that extra time will put you miles in front of other people.
The other really important aspect was rewarding yourself. When you get up early to reward yourself with a piece of dark chocolate at lunch or some other treat that will motivate you to keep going!
Practical application – reality testing
Overall I found this book to be enriching – though maybe it could have used a lot less words to express the same thing. It is still inspiring and I am always looking to be inspired.
By placing the concepts in the forefront of my mind I have managed to start waking up earlier, eat less, increase exercise and become more focused on being here and now.
I think you have to be realistic and practical about what works for your life. In the 20/20/20 formula Sharma places exercise first. Personally, because of where I live I often find it easier to do work or reflection for an hour in the morning and then physical exercise and then do something inspiring.
If nothing else, it is good to focus on the intention to improve your life and to take tangible steps towards making it happen at every opportunity possible.
In general I am a fan of Robin Sharma’s work and find his suggestions insightful, practical and improves my focus and mindset about where I am going and how I am improving in my life.
Michael Hyatt is a leadership expert who has published a number of New York bestsellers. CEO of Michael Hyatt & Company, a leadership development firm helping successful, but overwhelmed leaders focus so they win at work and succeed at life.
Hyatt dispels the 10 essential questions that an aspiring leader needs to ask in order to develop an effective and compelling vision that will lead their life, business or organisation to succeed in whatever endeavour they choose as follows:
Question 1 Are you a leader or a manager?
Question 2 What difference does vision make?
Question 3 What do you want?
Question 4 Is it clear?
Question 5 Does it inspire?
Question 6 Is it practical?
Question 7 Can you sell it?
Question 8 How should you face resistance?
Question 9 Is it too late?
Question 10 Are you ready?
In Part 1 (Questions 1 & 2) Hyatt makes a compelling argument for why vision drives everything and is the necessary element for success in just about any endeavour you can think of.
I have come across this before, noting that the vision is the what and when you know your what then you can be flexible on how you get there, but it’s important to know what you are trying to achieve from the outset so you can focus based on the direction you are pointing and the goals you are trying to achieve.
As Hyatt states, it is important that a vision is the next and not the now. It’s about where you are going, the unachieved, the unattained.
How do you cultivate a compelling and effective vision?
In Part 2 Hyatt provides practical tips and strategies for how to cultivate and develop a vision script by focusing on what you want and then testing it through a series of tests to ensure it is durable, sellable, indestructible.
He finishes with working through how to stay on track and keep the vision alive in Part 3 (Questions 8 to 10).
Check out our favourite tips and strategies from the book below:
All vision starts with desire.
What is the difference between mission and vision? They both inform strategy but in different ways.
Mission provides day to day clarity by defining the identity and scope of the business. Without a clear mission you could veer off target and head off into too many different directions or the wrong direction. An effective mission statement keeps you on task by answering 4 questions:
Who are we?
Who do we serve?
What problem do we solve?
What transformation do we offer?
The answer to these 4 questions defines your identity, your clientele and your answer to your customers challenges and the results you produce.
A mission describes what a business is.
A vision describes where it is going.
Mission is here, vision is still out there. Mission is now, vision is next.
Where do we want to take this thing?
What do we really want?
Mission is about…
Vision is about….
Mission should fit on a t-shirt.
Vision robust document that describes your future… 3-5 years. Step into the future and describe what you see in 4 key areas of your business:
Sales & marketing
What do you want for your future??
Every statement about the future tells us about how we are performing in the present and influences what we do next.
The Future of Your Team
It’s important to start your vision script with your team. The right team will enable you as the leader to focus on what you do best. They will execute strategy, take care of your customers and cultivate new ones. The right team will blow you away with their ideas, skill and know how.
What does the ideal team look like to you three years out? How does your organisation take care of them and cultivate a winning culture?
Convey enough detail so that other people can see what you see – so together you can build it.
When you imagine your team 3 years out, what do you see?
In terms of their talents,
What do you provide in relation to benefits, lifestyle?
Ex. “our team mates live and breathe our ideology. Our team are free to execute their talents without management breathing down their neck. We encourage innovation and experimentation – if something doesn’t work we learn and move on.”
What do you want the future to look like for you and your team? Where do you want to take this thing? What did we really want?
Make a plan for the next 3-5 years in the following areas:
Sales & marketing; and
Vision script…every vision statement tells us about how we are performing in the present and influences what we do next.
The future of your TEAM
Your team makes everything else possible. The RIGHT team makes it possible for you the leader to focus on what you do best. They will execute strategy, take care of your customers, and cultivate new ones.
The right team will blow you away with their ideas, ambitions, skills and know how.
What does the ideal team look like to you three years out?
Convey enough detail so you can clearly explain it to others and they can see what you see so you can together build it. When you imagine your team 3 years out – what do you see? In terms of their TALENTS, EXPERIENCE, and Worklife balance. What do you offer in terms of benefits, incentives, opportunities for growth?
Eg. “Our teammates live and breathe our core values and ideology. They possess impeccable character, extraordinary talent and proven track records.
Our employees demonstrate reasonable autonomy in executing and planning their own work without the impediment of overbearing management, stifling bureaucracy or procedural red tape.
We encourage innovation and experimentation. If something doesn’t work we learn from it and move on.”
The future of your products
What are the products or the services you offer?
Eg. “We create products that enable leaders to get the focus they need to win at work and succeed at life”
“We create products that delight our customers, exceed their expectations and deliver dramatic transformation”
Vision is about next not now… the future vision creates a measuring stick for the present but also superior to the present.
You’re not there yet.
“Our ultimate product is not our information or tools but the transformation our customers experience when using them”….
“We routinely say no to distractions masquerading as opportunities”
“We employ stable and talented speakers, coaches and podcasters”
The future of your sales and marketing
Think broadly and philosophically about your marketing… this is fundamentally about how you relate to your customers.
“We employ customer acquisition strategies that make our offers irresistible”
“We understand that our customers and clients are the REAL HEROES and we serve as a guide that helps them overcome their obstacles and achieve their desired transformation”
WHAT IS YOUR IMPACT – the future of your impact
Finally – your vision script should describe the intended outcome of your service/product. What is the result of realising your vision?
Financial impact or reach, influence or something less tangible
“As a result we are transforming our world and achieving outstanding results”
Key financial metrics “we have achieved these outstanding results without compromising our team, values or our culture”.
What if my business is driven by something outside of these key areas? Add what is essential to your business.
How to write your own…
Dedicate time and focus – WHAT DO YOU WANT? Time and focus. Stick with it until you are on point.
“Homo-prospectus” we thrive from considering our prospects…
THREE TIPS FOR CREATING A VISION SCRIPT
You’re trying to paint an inspiring, clear, attractive picture of your organisation’s future – nothing else. It’s not about setting strategy…
Get away and clear your head
Get alone with your own thoughts… Find solitary place away from the office. Unplug from the constant and get in touch with your thoughts.
Believe the best is yet to come
We are conditioned to think about limits/constraints. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We tend to experience what we expect. We create defences that block our progress.
Part of being clear about the future is being honest about the past and the present and how they are influencing our view of what is possible in the future.
Two feats at once. Total honesty about the here and now and commitment to the belief that it can be better. Far better.
“Everything is broken”….
Imagine your future, describe what you see.
The future takes shape of choices today. Write in present tense as though your vision has already has happened.
“Nelson books publishes 7 new york times best seller books each year. We sell 10 books that sell over 100,000 units per year. We have great relationships with the authors and the agents and we have a staff of extremely talented and extremely committed people”.
To get started ask yourself a number of probing questions as follows:
What needs to change in our business model so that my team doesn’t burn out or leave?
What kind of authors or list of titles do we need to attract to minimise the turn and maximise our profitability?
How would our organisation stack up against competitors in the market place?
What kind of organisations or processes could we invent that would help our business scale faster?
What interests, concerns or excites you. Do the oracles job for them… what will your business look like in 3 years? How can we become the business that might put us out of business in 3 years? Why would it have a competitive advantage?
Who do we want our customers to become?
Who are you spending time with, where are you travelling, what are you reading?
A vision should be something that personally motivates and interests you. Let your curiosity pull you along… that is what it is for.
The vision scripter. Visiondrivenleader.com
Don’t get hung up on “how” you will achieve your
Questions to ask yourself:
In 3-5 years
What kind of teammates do you want to attract?
What characteristics do they all share in common?
How do they work? What is their work ethic?
What do you do to attract top talent?
What is your compensation philosophy?
What does your benefits package look like?
Why are prospective employees attracted to your company?
What makes people beg to join your company?
What does your office environment look like?
Why does that matter to you?
What results do your products create?
What value do they deliver?
Who do your products help?
How do your customers feel when they use your products?
What’s the user experience like?
What is the production creation process look like?
How do you choose what to offer?
What makes your products superior to those of your competitors?
SALES & MARKETING
What markets do you serve?
How large is your customer base?
How do you reach them? How much does it cost you to acquire new customers?
What is your cost per lead? What is the lifetime value of your customer?
How do you see your marketing, sales, and customer experience operate?
What’s their role in customer retention and acquisition?
What are your results? What is your revenue? Profit? Staff count or size of your
What financial thresholds excite you as the leader? What do you wish to make free/how do you want to spend your time as the leader? What do you see as your role? How will the growth of your organisation impact you and your team?
How will the industry competitors think of you?
The complexity of your business….may need you to look beyond 3-5 years.
Describe your vision in as much detail as possible.
Read your vision daily. When you are clear in what you want – you capitalise. You tend to filter out opportunities that deter you. Because of your focus and alignment you …
Vision is essential to leadership. He thought it would take 3 years to reach his vision and it was achieved in just 18 months…
Make your vision concrete and compelling and others will join you to make it a reality.
Vision script is wet cement – lets refine it so it is clear:
Is it clear? – every vision script looks different depending on the leader that creates it. Write your vision script in whatever style:
Flows most naturally; and
Helps you sell your vision to your team, etc.
Is it clear? Make it concrete. A good leader thinks in shades of grey and speaks in black and white.
QUESTION 4 – IS IT CLEAR?
Vision grid –
ABSTRACT & IMPLICIT
Quadrant 1 – abstract and implicit. Never completely externalised – foggy. Don’t know what direction.
Quadrant 2 – abstract & explicit – enthusiastic – but has clearly/tangibly expressed what saying
Quadrant 3 – Concrete and Implicit – still not solidly expressed to everyone else…
Quadrant 4 – Concrete & Explicit – a well written vision script can help with. The leader has a well developed concrete vision for the future and has clearly expressed this and articulated it to the team in precise unambiguous language – this allows the team to develop strategies, goals, tasks to execute vision. More than that they can get a sense of the passion and the purpose behind it all – clarity creates connection. There is nothing more satifying than proceeding with confidence. Knowing your team is aligned and passionate about the future because your vision is CLEAR. So – how do you gain clarity??
5 steps to gain clarity:
ADMIT that you are unclear. You want to project confidence even when you don’t feel it…so it’s hard to admit we are missing something. BUT this is the first step.
Recognise your blinders. Ignorance, lack of curiosity, over confidence, cognitive biases, time constraints and fear (karen martin’s 6 issues that hold leaders back)… It takes some self-reflection to see if any of these are present.
Ask for input. Without counsel many plans fail but with many advisors many plans succeed. Spouses, mentors, industry coaches, your team, etc. Ask them what they think – you’re not alone.
Process the feedback. Getting alone, reflecting and journaling. Including core members of your team, review the work together.
JUST START – it’s important to get moving. If you can’t read a sign you have several options – scrunch up your eyes, look at it from a different angle, buy high powered glasses or ask a friend to read it for you. The easiest way to get clarity is to just move closer to the sign. Taking steps forward can bring things into focus. Dont expect a vision to come … patient persistence is key. Vision is a habit, a process….
The road ahead….
Is your vision clear? In order to be a good leader it is important to have clarity of vision so your company can survive and thrive – a vision that not only expresses what you want but is also concrete & explicit.
With that level of clarity (clarity without inspiration leads to boredom and disinterest) and inspiration without clarity leads to excitement without direction.
Inspiration is what we will explore in next question:
QUESTION 5: DOES IT INSPIRE?
“Moved people move people”
It’s not enough to have a vision and its not enough that your vision is clear.
For a vision to be effective it must be powerful enough to shake off complacency and replace it with the motivation to take action. Unless your vision script ignites hearts, minds, passion, and creativity you won’t attract the talent or the buy in from your team necessary to reach your destination. Your customers won’t buy into it either and you will forego the impact and contribution that you might otherwise have on the world stage.
A vision that fails to inspire will surely expire.
Does your vision inspire? There are 4 characteristics to ensure it does:
It focuses on what isn’t, not what is.
It’s exponential, not incremental.
It’s risky, not stupid.
It’s focused on what, not how.
If your vision for tomorrow is more or less than your vision today – it fails.
What isn’t, not what is.
What isn’t… eg. uber. Don’t look at what exists – focus on what you do differently. What is unique – what if we found a way to make the whole process easier… everything is obvious once you know the answer.
Step out into the future and envision what could be …. 70% market share. 72 Billion dollars value – UBER.
Make it BIG.
Exponential, not incremental.
Eg. iphone. Got rid of physical keys & replaced with virtual keys – creating more space for a bigger/better device.
The industry were very sceptical.
Risky, not stupid.
Physical paper planner… paper planner….
Are you likely to fail?
Does your team believe in it?
Does the plan impale your business?
What, not how.
Malala only needed us to yearn for justice, equality. Vision and strategy are important but vision.
By finding your what people find their why. Give yourself permission to imagine the ideal future without worrying about how you will get there.
Changing the script….
QUESTION 6: is it practical?
Hyatt suggests 10 annual goals, break this down into quarterly objectives and then weekly goals of no more than 3-5 … then daily tasks.
Vision is fixed, strategy is malleable.
Stay connected with the vision and allow strategy to evolve and flex. The vision is everything how you get there may change.
The vision strategy differential
The vision stays the same the strategy changes… no plan of operations survives beyond the first task.
The commander and chief will always focus on objectives and be ready to make changes.
Vision isn’t protect
The way to achieve our goals us holding tight to your vision and loosely to your strategy.
Meaning & purpose in the workforce.
Compelling vision script will compel people….
What kind if people do you need on your team??
Teammates live & breathe values…
The vision becomes the benchmark, keeping the vision script in the forefront of your mind…
-do they embrace your vision
-can they help you achieve your vision..
Diversity enhances a teams ability to solve problems…
The visibility problem
Research shows 4/10 staff members really knew what the vision of the organisation was…
All team members need to be on board, enrolling your team.
QUESTION 7: CAN YOU SELL IT?
Can you sell it to 4 key stakeholders… leadership, staff, external stakeholders…
Can you sell your vision script?
Others that need to be involved feel some ownership. You want input, validation, buy in.
Why us the new vision good for them? Why should we care?
HOW TO PRESENT YOUR ASK
To secure approval or buy in from those who count:
Start with the conclusion. Much easier for buyer to concentrate if they know what you want upfront.
Provide the background. Be brief. Provide only the background necessary for them to make an intelligent decision.
Provide the rationale. 3-5 key reasons why your client should accept your recommendation. This should include both why they should agree as well as the consequences of not doing it.
Establish a timetable. How long will implementation take if approved. If in phases, briefly outline the key milestones – over deliver.
State financial impact. Both as a cost or as a necessary investment and the return on investment. Be clear, shoot straight, don’t downplay the costs or hype the benefits.
Anticipate objections – this is where the battle is won or lost. Think of every objection your receiver could possibly ask – don’t risk getting a ‘no’ because you haven’t asked the honest questions. Address the elephant in the room.
Make the pitch – maintain eye contact.
Next week we are looking at SELF-DISCIPLINE! Stay tuned…
https://www.getrichslowly.org/about/ regular guy who went to the school of hard knocks. Made a number of poor choices, found himself in a shitload of debt and then did the hard yards to get himself out of it.
EPISODE 1 What is financial independence?
Think of the matrix. “You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. Like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me…. The matrix. The matrix is everywhere.”
“Remember all I am offering you is the truth and nothing more”.
If you follow this course – you will come to see money differently.
We live in a culture built on debt.
What does it mean to be retired?
Leaving one’s job and ceasing to work. “Retirement” relevantly recent concept only available in wealthy nations where citizens have relatively long life spans. Throughout history people have lived short lifetimes.
What is financial independence?
You’re earning enough money to support your spending habits for the rest of your life.
Spend less than you save. Some people in the FIRE movement – save half of their income.
The more you save, the quicker you achieve financial freedom.
Formula includes following elements:
Generally sustainable to take 4%
Multiply your current annual expenses by 25. If the product is less than your savings, you’ve reached FI – Financial Independence.
My expenses would be $50,000 per annum so product $1,250,000 to achieve financial independence.
Financial Independence is not one thing. It is a series of incremental thing. A series of financial milestones – each more exciting than the last.
Our attitudes and beliefs are shaped by parents, community, and friends.
Our view of reality is like a map to navigate our way through life. If the map is true you will do well. If it is false, you will get lost along the way.
We aren’t born with these maps we pick them up along the way. No two maps are the same. No map is 100% accurate. Our mental maps require constant revision and updating.
Revising our mental maps requires effort. It’s not easy. Most of the time these maps are hidden. They are subconscious.
“Invisible scripts” from book “I will teach you to be rich” by Ramit Sethi
‘Money is the root of all evil’
‘I can’t get ahead because the economy sucks’
‘I have to go to university in order to be successful’
‘I can always make more money’
Most of our money scripts come from childhood.
WHY IS A MONEY SCRIPT IMPORTANT?
IF you don’t like your relationship with money, you need to re-write your script. You will have to do things differently to get new results. Rewrite your script and act on it to make change.
If you want to make changes you must take action.
Take some time to think about your own money script and think about how it has affected your life.
What does it mean to be rich? What does wealth mean to you?
Freedom. Freedom to do whatever I like and not have to worry about making ends meet or finding money to pay bills.
Think about the first messages about money you ever received. What were those messages? How have they influenced you from childhood??
I recall my mum always saying “we could never own that” “we don’t have any money” and having a “poor person” mindset. She would say things like “it’s better not owning anything” and while there was no value put on anything, we struggled financially, didn’t save for the future, spent impulsively and frivolously, didn’t exercise self-control or self-discipline at all.
It impacted on me significantly as I tended to spend frivolously, not exercise self-discipline or self-control etc and I found the whole experience, conversation around it extremely humiliating.
Imagine you are in a romantic relationship with money. What does it look like? Are you in control or does money control you?
It is reckless in that I am not monitoring it and it has been totally derailed.
What is one step you can take today to improve your relationship with money?
Create a budget and focus on my FI number.
First Step to escaping your money myth is getting clear on purpose
EPISODE 2 – THE POWER OF PURPOSE
It’s important to have the right mindset.
Have a plan. Build a foundation.
What attitudes can you develop that are likely to help you at completing your journey to financial independence? How can you create a plan so amazing that you are willing to walk to work bleary eyed every morning in order to achieve it?
Each of us largely create our own reality and our own happiness by choosing what we focus on and how we react to it.
The shape and content of your life is largely a reflection of how you experience objective reality.
There are two ways that you can primarily change your life:
You can change external conditions; or
You can change how you experience those external conditions – change your internal response to them.
Sometimes the best way to improve things is to change the world around you.
There are times when the best way to improve your life is to change your environment.
Due to many of us are used to following rules and living up to certain standards – so have thus developed an external locus of control.
External vs Internal LOCUS of control
In psychology a LOCUS OF CONTROL refers to how people view the world around them and where they place responsibility for things that happen in their lives.
You believe that the world happens to you.You believe circumstances outside of yourself and largely outside of your control are the cause or fate of your happiness and life circumstances. In
You believe you are in control. You either change your environment or change the way you are reacting to the world around you.
You can change that person or you can change how you relate with that person. Here’s the reality – you can’t control other people.
People who try to change the world around them believe in the external.
People who change themselves to deal with the world. Internal locus of control – shift.
If you don’t like your circumstances it’s up to you to change them.
You have the power to determine your own destiny. FIRE Movement followers: Believe you – Forge your own path. Be proactive rather than reactive.
The pursuit of financial independence is by nature a proactive. Default actions lead to default results.
If you don’t act, you do not escape the matrix.
I want the freedom to do what I want when I want – common attitude of people searching for financial freedom/independence.
When you are running towards something you are being proactive.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE??
I had no greater goal so no wonder I got into debt.
George Kinder – certified financial planner
Discover goals and values of client – he considers himself a life planner, not a financial planner.
Asks his clients three questions:-
Imagine that you are financially secure. You have all the money to live for the rest of your life. What would you do? What would you do with your life?
Imagine you go to your doctor. She gives you the sad news that you are about to die. If you knew you were going to be gone in the next few years – how would you change your life? Would you change your life? (noting you don’t have unlimited wealth)
Now you find out – you only have24 hours to live and there is no way to change it. How would you feel? Who did you not get to be? How would you feel about your life so far? How would you spend your last day?
Life planning is all about asking that final question. What would you do/how would you feel about the last day of your life?
Most people miss people, experiences, events, achievements.
EXERCISE – Personal Mission Statement
Steps (each on a new page)
What are my lifetime goals? (let your mind run free, list every single thing you would do with your life? Note the 3 that seem the most important to you)
How would I like to spend the next five years? What would you like to do? Suspend judgement – highlight 3 goals that resonate the most
How would I live if I knew I would be dead in 6 months? When finished find new
New Page – write My most Important goals – and take the top 3 from each of the prior questions
Label “My Mission” is there a theme? Using your list as a launching pad – draft yourself a personal mission statement. Set aside mission statement and walk away. Wait a week.
Review your mission statement. How does it make you feel? You will want a mission statement to hold you in good stead through good times and bad times.
What does a personal mission statement sound like?
“I want to be the best person I can be both mentally and physically. I want to sample all the world has to offer by fostering new relationships, exploring new ideas and daring to try new things. I want to use my skills and experience to improve the lives of others while also improving my own.”
Set goals based on what goals align with your mission statement. Your mission statement shapes how you manage your money and your life. Yours should too.
Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Optimal 10 servings of fruit and vegetable per day.
Are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep per day? Get enough sleep?
Cut out booze. Back away from the booze.
Do you need to chill out and practice more self love using meditation.
Do you need to reign in your portions? Nearly everyone who has excess body fat is just eating too much!
Is it time to prep and plan in advance. Dedicate an hour per week to meal prep and become super efficient about what you eat.
Exercise consistently. Strongest weapon. Key predictor in maintaining weigh loss in the long term.
What are the phases of changing a habit?
STAGE 1 Pre-contemplation – not thinking about changing habit
STAGE 2 – Contemplation – starts thinking about changing habits.
STAGE 3 – Preparation – started taking some steps towards making change such as research, investing in equipment, resources that will help achieve the change of habit.
STAGE 4 – Action. Starts doing, developing structures and habits that actively engage with the changing habits
STAGE 5 – Maintenance. Has been ‘doing’ the new habit consistently for a while. Self-sufficiency, solid habit loops, feels successful. The initial thrill has worn off, sometimes feels bored or complacent. Experiences compliance fatigue. If new habits are not reinforced, it can lead to the next stage.
STAGE 6 – Relapse.
—- How do we avoid relapse??
Every day of our lives is filled with ups and downs.No need to sweat the downs too much… pull back the camera and look at the bigger picture.
“If only it were so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? ”
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn The Gulag Archipelago
This week’s podcast is inspired by current conflicts arising around the world. Tensions are high globally. We are experiencing war, global supply chain issues, increasing natural disaster, rising petrol prices and increased living expenses.
How do we find the calm within the storm? How do we stay grounded when everything around us seems to be falling a part?
This week we are taking inspiration from master psychologist and world renown buddhist monk the late Thich Nhat Hanh.
Who is Thich Nhat Hanh?
Thích Nhất Hạnh was born as Nguyen Xuan Bao; October 11, 1926 – January 22, 2022) was a Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk, peace activist, prolific author, poet, teacher, and founder of the Plum Village Tradition, historically recognized as the main inspiration for engaged Buddhism. Known as the “father of mindfulness”, Nhất Hạnh was a major influence on Western practices of Buddhism.
In the mid-1960s, Nhất Hạnh co-founded the School of Youth for Social Services and created the Order of Interbeing. He was exiled from Vietnam in 1966 after expressing opposition to the war. In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.
The first step is to recognise each feeling. For example fear. Take out the fear, look at the fear. You know the fear springs from yourself. Mindfulness also springs from yourself. They are both in and not fighting.
Step 2 is to become one with the feeling. It is best not to say ‘go away fear, I don’t like you, go away’. It is much more effective to say ‘hello fear, how are you today?’ and then you can invite the two aspects of yourself – mindfulness and fear to shake hands as friends and become one.
This may be scary but you know that you are more than your fear. The secret is to nourish your mindfulness with conscious breathing and keep it there so that it remains strong.
Although your mindfulness may not be very strong in the beginning, if you nourish it. It will become stronger.
Step 3 is to calm the feeling. As mindfulness is taking good care of the fear you begin to calm it down. You calm your feeling just by being with it, like a mother tenderly holding her crying baby. Feeling his mothers hold the baby will stop crying and calm down.
The mother is mindfulness, born from the depth of your consciousness and it will tend to the feelings of pain. A mother holding a baby is one with the baby. A mother focusing on other things will not calm her baby.
You need to drop everything else and just focus on holding the baby.
Do avoid your feeling. Do not tell your feeling it is not important. Come and be one with your feeling, you can say “breathing out I calm my fear”.
Step 4 is to release your feeling. Let it go. Because of your calm. Smile at it and let it go.
Calming releasing are just SYMPTOMS. Don’t stop there.
You now have the opportunity to go deeper and transform the source of your fear.
Step 5 – Look Deeply. Look into your baby deeply, even after the crying has stopped. You cannot hold your baby all the time therefore you need to look into him to see the cause of what is wrong. By looking you will see that is suffering has many causes inside and outside of his body.
By looking you will see what is needed to transform the feeling.
If something is wrong around him, if you put that in order – bringing tenderness and care to the situation, he will feel better.
Looking into your baby, you see the elements that make him cry and when you see them you will know what to do and what not to do to set him free.
This is similar to the process of psychotherapy.
A therapist looks at the nature of the pain.
Often the therapist can uncover sources of pain that stem from the way the patient looks at things.
The beliefs he holds about himself, his culture and the world.
The therapist examines these view points and beliefs with the patient.
Together they help free him from the prison he has been in.
But the patients effort is crucial. The teacher has to give birth to the teacher within his student.
And the psychotherapist has to give birth to the psychotherapist within his patient.
The patients internal psychotherapist can then work full time in an effective way.
The therapist does not treat the patient by simply giving him another set of beliefs.
She tries to help him see which kinds of ideas and beliefs have led to his suffering.
Many patients want to get rid of their painful feelings but they do not want to get rid of their beliefs.
Their viewpoints are at the very roots of their feelings.
So the therapist and the patient have to work together so they see things as they are.
The same is true when we use mindfulness to transform our feelings.
After recognising the feeling, becoming one with it, calming it down, releasing it – we can look deeply into its causes which are often based on inaccurate perceptions.
As soon as we understand the causes and nature of our feelings they begin to transform themselves.
Mindfulness of anger
Anger is unpleasant feeling. It is like a flame burning out of control that causes us to say and do things that we regret later.
When someone is angry we can see clearly someone is abiding in hell. Anger and hatred are materials from which hell is made. A mind without anger is calm cool and safe.
A mind absent of anger is the basis of happiness. It’s the basis of love and compassion.
Our awareness of our anger does not suppress it or drive it out.
When we are angry we are not inclined to turn to ourselves.
We can say to ourselves:
“Breathing in, I know that anger is in me.
Breathing out, I know that I am my anger.
If we follow our breathing closely while we identify our anger it can no longer monopolise our consciousness.
Awareness can be called upon to be a companion for our anger.
Our awareness of our anger does not suppress it or drive it out.
Mindfulness is not a judge. It is more like an older sister caring for her younger sister in an affectionate and caring way.
We can concentrate on our breathing to know ourselves fully. When we are angry, we are not usually inclined to return to ourselves.
We want to think about the person who is making us angry. We want to think about his hateful aspects, his rudeness, dishonesty, cruelty, maliciousness, etc. The more we think about him, look at him or listen to him – the more our anger flares.
This anger may be real, imagined or fantasy but in fact, the root of the problem is the anger itself.
We have to come back and look first of all inside ourselves. It is better if we do not listen to or look at the person we consider to be the cause of our anger. Like a fireman, we have to pour water on the blaze first and not waste time looking at the one who set the house on fire.
“Breathing in, I know that I am angry.
Breathing out, I know that I must put all my energy into caring for my anger.”
So we refrain from thinking about the other person or saying or doing anything as long as the anger persists.
When we are angry, we are the anger itself. We can be aware the anger is within us, it is an energy – a waste like a compost heap. We know the compost can be transformed into beautiful flowers.
We may see the compost and flowers as opposite but when we look deeply we see that the flowers already exist in the compost. And… the compost already exists in the flowers.
It only takes a couple of weeks for a flower to decompose. When a good organic gardener looks into her compost she can see that and does not feel disgusted. Instead she values the rotting material and does not discriminate against it. It takes only a few months for compost to give birth to flowers.
We need the insight and non-dual vision of the gardener with regard to our anger. We need not be afraid of it or reject it.
We know that anger can be a kind of compost and that it is within its power to give birth to something beautiful.
Gradually we can transform anger completely into peace, love, and understanding.
She is the founder and director of financial media platform, SugarMamma.TV and author of The $1000 Project & Mindful Money. A licensed Financial Planner for almost 19 years and founder of SASS Financial Services a financial planning firm.
Canna Campbell decided to start a project to save money so she could consistently earn passive income. She did this by saving parcels of $1000 at a time and then putting the cash into blue chip shares.
Canna Campbell’s Guidelines/Rules for the $1000 project
Guideline 1 – Be mindful with your money
Money earned over and above your usual salary. You make real savings count. This is what makes your money grow as soon as possible.
Acknowledge and show gratitude for these financial blessings. Every single dollar adds up.
No matter how small or big your financial windfall – make it count.
Guideline 2 – Work within your real life
Live your life as you previously did. Go through your budget and look at what you do and don’t really need.
You may find you value what you spend money on even more. Take more care for what you do have.
Throw out everything you don’t need in your life. It will liberate you.
Start from a place of self-love and nurturing you.
Guideline 3 – Consistency is King or Queen
As soon as you have a saving, no matter what you do to earn that saving, then place those funds into the savings account immediately.
By making this the goal you focus your attention on and open your awareness to opportunities to make money and save money.
If you check it daily and keep track of it you will become addicted.
You need to see regular and consistent wins on the board to keep you focused.
Give YOUR goals the best rules and timeframe you can. You have nothing to lose.
The $1000 project sets to show you that you are not a victim of circumstance – you can get up and make it happen. You’ll need to get out of your comfort zone.
It’s achievable. It’s worth it. Even if it’s not always easy.
First step to earning extra money – brainstorm as many ideas as you can to earn more money. The crazier the better. Some of your crazy ideas could be cash cows. Think of things you can realistically do today.
Second – make a list of things that will make you money that inspire you. If you can come up with money creating ideas that you value and love it won’t even matter. Look for things that can enrich your life.
Money creation ideas:
sell old items on ebay, garage sale, etc.
Take on weekend work that doesn’t clash with your day job
Photography – develop and sell photography skills (if you’re talented)
Rent rooms or your home out
Offer experiences to tourists – surfing, pottery,
Rent your car out – good if you don’t use your car often.
Start a rental business. – rent out dresses and handbags for special events
Start a small business – start small, before you make any major commitment.
Proof reading work
Get paid to test apps
Money saving ideas
Enjoy night in
Research before you go to the store & save
Be mindful of gas/electricity/petrol usage
Look for quality over quantity
Change recreational spending habits
Swap or borrow items with friends
Carry a reusable bottle of water
Invest in slow cooker and cook in bulk
Take more public transport
Build capsule wardrobe – small collection of clothes you really love and can mix and match to change it up
Every time you make savings you MUST transfer it into your dedicated account
If you honestly reflect on what makes you happy in life you realise it has to do with connection. Connecting with loved ones. Creating a space with the people you love. None of that
Knowing you put in effort rather than paying for effort is long-lasting.
Canna Campbell’s FRUGAL FEBRUARY – how much can you save in the next month??
What did she learn?
A lot more about her value system
Spending more time in nature.
A lot more about her weaknesses and danger zones –
Eat a meal before you leave the house to avoid coffee &
Unsubscribing from fashion blogs
Avoiding shopping malls
Canna Campbell’s youtube video: How to manifest money
She holds a spiritual belief around money and how it flows,
The key is to look at money like energy and be open to the flow of money
You respect and appreciate it especially when it flows towards you; and
Show gratitude to what it helps you create.
You need to use your words in a positive and considerate manner
Grow, learn, become more self aware
Foundations for your financial future
When you are building a house (a house that can survive all weather conditions over the course of time) you need strong solid foundations. That way whenever these disasters occur your house will remain standing.
Building financial foundations in your life is very similar.
What should the top priorities be when laying the foundations for your future financial stability?
The goals you have set for yourself and the $1,000 project will always be your number one focus.
Having goals that matter to you and give you a sense of purpose and direction is essential for your happiness and energy for this journey.
How can you use the principles from the $1000 project to create long-term financial freedom??
Things you may like to add to your list of goals
Step 1 – reduce/wipe out toxic debt in your life
Car loans, homeloans, credit cards
Healthy debt is money you use to purchase shares, invest in companies, managed funds, etc – things that help build your wealth over time
Generally speaking if you borrow money to purchase something that generates an income (such as investment property) you can claim the cost of borrowing the money (ie. interest) off the money you receive. Debt has its place.
Ideally you want NO toxic debt and SOME healthy debt
Debt from worst to least worst
Priority 1 – credit card debt. The worst kind of debt you can have. Highest interest rate. Damaging to your credit rating. Hard to maintain or pay off. Credit card debt will negatively affect your credit rating. Pay this off as soon as possible. Not tax deductible, no capital growth or passive income gained.
It also has a positive impact on your attitudes. Often to pay off debt we have to overcome a number of emotions: shame, guilt, disgust. Carrying around these feelings isn’t good for you.
Priority 2 – personal loans/car loans. High-interest rates, harmful to financial attitude, negative impact on your credit rating. Usually used to purchase a depreciating asset. Save on interest and pay it off quickly using the $1000 Project. Eg. if you have a 5 year loan of $7000 and can come up with 3 parcels of $1000 in a year you could pay off your loan 1.5 years early saving yourself $4000 in interest!!!
Priority 3 – student loans and hecs debt. Many people are complacent about putting attention on their student loans. This is an indexed loan. Compulsory repayment rate is 4-8% of your income until it is paid off. Having large amounts of student debt can reduce the amount of money you are allowed to borrow.
Priority 4 – home loans. If you are paying principal and interest it is better, however the interest is still. Pay it off as quickly as possible. Having a 30 year loan and paying it off at a minimum is going to cost you a lot of money. You could save yourself $100,000s and pay off the loan 10 years in advance!
Priority 5 – emergency fund account. having an emergency fund account can save you from reaching for a credit card or personal loan. Having a nice amount in savings can help to reduce the stress in your life. In Canna’s opinion – whatever will work for you. Someone young with few responsibilities may like a small amount – a family may want 6 months worth of savings.
Priority 6 – wealth creation. The best place to start is to work out how much money you need to live the life you desire. First write down all of your living expenses. Keep a spending diary for a month or check your bank statements carefully. Check the TRUE cost of living. This can be enlightening and painfully grounding. Then dream of your IDEAL LIFE and allow that to guide what you keep in and what you let go of. Know your MAGIC NUMBER. As soon as you know it – start working towards it immediately. Start investing in passive income and watch it grow over time towards reaching your goals!!!
Work because you choose to not because you have to! Imagine how great that would feel.
Building naturally growing passive income is a great financial goal to have.
Passive income allows freedom to work when and where you like. To give to charities. To go on holiday. Freedom to walk away when something is not working for you.
Canna’s passive income investment strategy is investing in shares – with a focus on Blue Chip shares.
What is a blue chip share?
Shareholdings in a huge company with an excellent reputation. These are typically large, well-established, and financially sound companies that have operated for many years and that have dependable earnings, often paying dividends to investors.
Understand the basics –
Check out the share trading course you can take for free through the ASX below:
Canna suggests turning to ETF’s (exchange traded funds) or LIC’s (listed investment companies) if you do not feel confident with your knowledge of companies and the markets.
Another similar option is managed funds.
The key is be clear on the following:
What are your goals?
What is your timeframe for investment?
What is your risk appetite?
This will help direct where to invest to reach your financial goals.
When you start investing your risk appetite may be a lot lower than as you build your wealth you may have increased funds to allow for a higher risk appetite. As you grow and diversify your investments you reduce your financial risk and can weather losses in one or two investments better.
Never stop growing your financial knowledge and experience.
Rest Revive Reward.
If you set yourself a powerful enough goal you will develop your resilience and endurance.
It can be consuming. Ticking the parcel off the list.
This week we are talking about self-discipline as discussed in Extreme Ownership: How Navy SEALS lead and win by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.
It’s no surprise that the key principle expressed by the book is…. Extreme Ownership.
What does that mean?
It means not making excuses ever. Never blaming others. Owning your failures wholeheartedly and when working in a team, encouraging and cultivating a team culture where each member takes complete ownership for the success of the team.
The book goes through a number of key principles of what extreme ownership looks like which we will discuss further below.
no bad teams only bad leaders – if your team isn’t performing, you are responsible for the failure of the team. you need to go back to the drawing board and do things differently.
In order to achieve you need to believe achievement is possible. You have to believe first that what you want to achieve can be done.
Keep it simple. Simple communication. Having a clear mission that everyone can get on board with is important for free flow of communication. If it’s too complicated you will lose people and you will lose your way.
Have a plan. Be prepared for the plan to change.
Cultivate and encourage a culture of extreme ownership.
Finally – and this is my personal favourite – Jocko Willink reminds us that ultimately discipline = freedom.
Discipline is waking up early, doing the hard yards, consistently showing up but when we are disciplined we buy ourselves freedom in our lives.
Discipline is the pathway to your freedom. What a great motivator to stay on track.
Is less really more? What would your life be like if you had less? This week we deep dive into the benefits of Minimalism. What is minimalism all about? How does it work? We have called on experts in the field to explore the topic in greater depth.
BELIEF: That more is better. That happiness is something that can be purchased with a credit card.
Minimalism – Getting Started…
REALITY: Minimalism brings freedom and allows people freedom from consumerism. Allows relationships to prosper and deepen because caring for others becomes less about what you can buy each other and more about valuing the people and the experiences you can share with them.
Allows for life to slow down, become unencumbered, only keep what you need and live life intentionally.
Minimalist life is consistent and holistic. Counterculture.
KIKU KATANA’s ACTIONABLE STEPS
List current commitments you have
Set priority from most to least essential
Eliminate the least essential in sequence
Start the process every month up until the point where you are ONLY doing things that give the most value.
Say “No” to the things that do not move you in the direction you would like to go
Sincerely ask yourself if you honestly NEED something?
MARI KONDO’s STAGES of ‘getting your house in order’ both physically and metaphorically:
Before you start – VISUALISE YOUR DESTINATION
Begin by identifying your goal. Why did you pick up the book? What do you hope to gain from tidying? Visualise the ideal lifestyle you are hoping to attain.
Kondo notes its important to finish discarding before you start tidying.
She uses a method she has created herself starting with clothes, then books, kitchen and bathroom and finally miscellaneous items.
Josh – remove one item per day until you month’s later find yourself in a decluttered home.
Ryan – have a packing party and then only retain the items you used in the first 3 weeks. discard the rest.
Minimalism is an artform. A way of life. It is about intentional living and making sure everything has a place, is being used, nourished and loved. Likewise by surrounding yourself only by things you love, need and use regularly you are loving, nourishing and nurturing yourself, your soul, your life.
It’s about self-respect and self-love and along with that come a number of hidden benefits – increased coffers due to less spending, less weight, increased productivity, clarity, a sense of direction, purpose meaning.
I don’t know about you – I am sold.
Check out each authors title at the following locations:
This week we are discussing On Fire by Thomas Cromwell… his review of the FIRE movement – Financially Independent Retire Early
This week we are discussing “On Fire” by Thomas Cromwell.
Tom Cromwell professes to be a financial planner. His credentials are vague. In On Fire he reviews the FIRE movement (which stands for Financially Independent Retire Early).
The core objective under the movement is to release yourself from the shackles of debt and achieve Financial Freedom.
Sounds Great! I am sold. Where do I start?
Tom’s narrative suggests that entering into the world of FIRE is not for the fainthearted. The key requirements to achieve success:
The earlier you start saving with the utmost discipline in execution of your strategy the more likely you will reap wonderful returns at a younger age. He suggests you need a plan and you need to consistently stick to the plan and not be swayed by emotion or the volatility of the market.
The idea behind FIRE is to live frugally, save as much and invest as much as you can starting from as young as possible. It’s important to know your numbers – How much do you need to retire? What kind of lifestyle are you hoping to achieve? etc.
Diversification of investments is the key – though the book is heavily swayed towards stocks and buying shares. He notes the share market has on average over the past century returned 9 or 10 per cent consistently.
Index funds are safer because they reflect the overall market. If you want to invest in individual shares you need to do your research.
Overall I found the book insightful. I am definitely seduced by the idea of Financial Independence and Financial Freedom.
Next episode we are discussing Minimalism!! Can’t wait.
Disclaimer: This content is a personal opinion only and in no way constitutes financial advice and should not be relied on. You should always complete your own research and seek advice before investing or making important financial decisions for your situation.