Taking stock and talking stocks

Anyone with a mediocre knowledge of investing will be familiar with the term “stock”.  But few people are aware that there common stocks and preferred stocks. And they’re fundamentally different. Stocks have been traded for over 400 years – the first common stocks were made available in 1602 through the Dutch East India Company. They form the building blocks of our modern-day economy and have taken on personalities of their own. In a nutshell, here’s what we need to be clear about when it comes to working with preferred stocks and common stocks. Both represent a piece of ownership in […]

Three ways to survive a bear market

What do you do when a bear attacks? For many of us, we don’t live near any bears, so we’re likely to be unprepared. When it comes to a bear market, the situation is not too different. No one can predict a bear market, and for some it’s not even easy to recognise when a bear market begins and when it ends. The general agreement is that bear markets are characterized by a consistent drop in the market, accompanied by negative investor sentiment. The more we work with markets and investing, the more frequently we are reminded that emotions are […]

Planning reduces anxiety

We don’t plan because we fear the future. We plan because we realize we can enjoy today more by reducing the anxiety of tomorrow.  Most people accept that planning offers us a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. When we plan, we map out the possible steps of our ideal life journey before taking them. Some of our biggest fears orbit around the unknown, so if we can clarify what our future might look like, our planning will reduce our anxiety. Planning could be as large-scale as our long-term financial planning or building a family or business, but it […]

One of the worst things to plan for…

In Western culture we have become very detached from the cycle of life and death. Only those who work in specific industries will be accustomed to the fragility of life, but for most of us it’s something that will happen in the unforeseen future, so we try not to engage with it too often. The overwhelming emotional shock we feel when we lose a loved one, whether sudden or expected, is natural. Inside of this tumultuous time, we are faced with the reality that life goes on, and we have to engage with paperwork, practicalities and an often-times pragmatic process […]

What lockdown taught us about wills

When lockdown happened, it happened fast. For some, there were only a few days to prepare for an indeterminate time of severe restrictions. For others, they had more to do and less time in which to do it. Travellers were stuck abroad in foreign countries and had to follow equally foreign regulations. At times like these, risk cover and emergency funding are a crucial crutch when our finances and our freedoms are crippled. Granted, few people have such extensive financial resources, and many experienced an even more challenging time after the economy was halted. There are legal documents that can […]

Anxiety and our money

Most of us would gladly jump at the opportunity to have more money. Very few people are likely to say that they would prefer to have less money… One reason for this is that we can see how our future life and our current financial status are linked. And this leads to anxiety when thinking about financial futures.  Although it is not easy, it is beneficial to develop and maintain a positive outlook toward money to exercise greater responsibility for building our future financial stability. In a recent email, Carl Richards shared some of the following ideas on creating a […]

Let food be thy medicine

…and medicine be thy food. Hippocrates adopted this philosophy around 2400 years ago! Before fad diets and modern medicine, he recognised that food has the ability to keep us strong and healthy – both physically and mentally. A nutritious diet is fundamental to maintaining good health and well-being.  Just remember that eating healthy isn’t just about cutting out meat and “going green” but about getting a well-balanced diet of different foods (in the right amounts) to give your body what it needs.  While it may feel a bit expensive to maintain healthy eating habits, all it requires is a little […]

The next best thing for investors…

Ray Dalio is an American billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist who has served as co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates since 1985. As a thought leader and industry pioneer, he also founded the world’s largest hedge fund and firmly advocates that “diversification is a wonderful, mechanical, good way to reduce risk without reducing expected return.”  So – what’s the next best thing for investors in our current market turmoil?  Diversification. Whilst it’s been a long standing ‘good-practice’ in financial planning and investment management, investors still find themselves overloading in areas as they follow market sentiment and forget to apply […]

Who wants to save more?

This is not such an easy question to answer. Many of us may shoot up our hands, quickly realizing that what follows is a tough call-to-action: “Then start saving!” So we shrivel back and think we’ll rather start saving next month, or when we get our next increase. Others, already encumbered with tough monthly expenses, may take a slightly more cynical response off the bat, realizing that saving often feels like an impossible task in our current world-economy. But deep down, most of us want to save more. We don’t have to be sold on the benefits of saving. What […]

Why Mental Health needs our attention

The journey of developing your life can be challenging on your mind and overall well-being. Prioritizing mental health can help us build the resilience we need to find fulfillment at work and in our personal relationships.  Often we focus on physical health and the list of things we want to accomplish. It’s important to remember that our body and mind always work together. We need to take care of both! What is mental health? Being mentally healthy is defined by having positive characteristics in terms of how we feel, think and behave in daily life. It also influences our ability […]