Monday, March 29, 2010

Creating One's Financial Future

"When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." ~ John M. Richardson, Jr.

One's financial future is too important to leave to chance. Although it is impossible to predict the future exactly, it is very possible to steer the future towards favorable financial scenarios by the choices made today. Here are some of elements I believe are important for creating one's financial future.
  • Define the desired outcome. Is it a million or, perhaps, a billion dollars is savings? Retirement at 40? No debt? Vacation homes? Whatever is one's goal, it should be defined in concrete terms. For example, it should be more specific than "being rich."

  • Identify what can be done to achieve the outcome. When traveling, there are many paths to the same destination. Similarly, there are many approaches to achieve a financial goal. For example, to get $1 million, I could choose to marry someone with a million dollars, win a major lottery prize or save an average of $50,000 for twenty years.

  • Choose an direction that maximizes the probability of success. In some cases, that may require leveraging one's skills, interests and experiences. In other cases, it may require enlisting the involvement of other's expertise. In all cases, it requires developing a plan.

  • Execute the plan and measure progress. If the desired outcome is getting closer, keep executing. If there is not sufficient forward movement revise as necessary, starting with the first bullet point.
  • Of course, taking these steps doesn't necessary guarantee a good financial future. Even the best strategies and plans can sometimes fail. However, using these steps can increase the chances for a favorable financial future, which is better than just hoping and waiting to see what happens.

    For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday for a new segment.

    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2010 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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