- Date : 14/12/2018
- Read: 5 mins
Want to learn financial discipline and goal-setting from Santa Claus? Read this.
As the December chill sets in, streets will be lit up in festive lights, and storefronts and window displays will shout every cliché of winter joy as red becomes the dominant colour of the season. After all, ’tis the time to be jolly. Ho ho ho!
Santa’s story is well known, as he magically moves across the entire globe in one night, on his flying sleigh hauled by reindeer. Though the persona and stories are make-believe, there are some important life and financial lessons one can pick from St Nick.
So here are seven things Santa could teach you if he were your financial advisor by day:
1. Set your goals
No bad weather or narrow chimney can hold Santa back. Just as he makes it to every house on the eve of Christmas without fail, you too need to prioritise your investment goals.
For your investments to deliver the goods, you need to chart out a proper structure for your short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Figure out your risk appetite, assess the monthly allocation across different vehicles, and finally stick with it from month to month.
Santa’s list is ever-growing, and so are your needs and responsibilities, which make it imperative for you to monitor and reassess your investments as you go along.
2. Do your research
Santa is always prepared. He knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice; have you been equally proactive with your investment choice?
Performing due diligence is half the battle won. Spend time doing your homework on various investment schemes. Speak to investment professionals, friends and peers, read company reports, and follow updates via business papers and TV channels.
Santa isn’t scampering around to look for the right address at the last moment, and neither should you have to make uninformed decisions regarding your investments if you’ve done your investment preparation right.
3. Be yourself
Santa has a personality like no other. He proudly struts about in his red velvet suit and distinctive white beard, spreading joy around town.
Similarly, you too need to embrace your financial personality. Invest only if the option seems convincing to you and suits your pocket. Consider others’ opinions, but don’t let them sway your judgement. Ultimately, you have to live with the decision.
You don’t want to spend sleepless nights tracking daily charts of investments you’re not convinced about.
4. It’s never too late to start
Scrooge turned from a miserable miser to a community champ, the Grinch went from envious green to hearty red, even Santa became Santa after his beard turned frosty – which is why he’s also sometimes referred to as Father Christmas.
We all have different paths, different objectives, and different hurdles to cross. It’s never too late to start your investment journey. Whenever you start – that is the right time.
Once you have the resources, it’s prudent to plan right away. Wasting any more time is criminal and only delays you from reaching your goals.
5. Reward good behavior
Everyone wants to be on Santa’s ‘nice’ list because the rewards speak for themselves. Reinforce that good behaviour with your investment practice. As long as it doesn’t drastically modify your portfolio and risk allocation, keep re-investing in instruments that are tried and tested and are known to work for you.
If you’ve been diligent, go ahead and reward yourself. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. What’s the point of seeing your investment grow if you don’t get to reap the benefit?
Remember, all gains you see are notional or unrealised. Indulge occasionally, take a vacation with your family or do whatever makes you happy; and you will return with renewed vigour to your investments.
6. Identify star performers
If you are Santa, your investments are your reindeer that take you to your investment goals. While all of the other reindeer weren’t happy with Rudolph on the team, Santa understood the potential, and eventually it was Rudolph’s bright nose that led the way on a stormy night.
Just like Santa, don’t let periodic vagaries unsettle you. If you’ve identified the right investments and nurtured them well, sooner or later your decision will pay you back.
7. Be grateful
Santa always spreads the message to be good and kind. We need to be considerate and thoughtful of how and what we do. Don’t let greed drive your investment decisions; after all, there’s only so much money one can spend in one's lifetime.
Investments are a tool to make money and money is a tool to fulfil needs and desires. Be grateful for the opportunities you have and the resources you can provide for your family. But every once in a while, be like Santa and do something to put a smile on another’s face.
We wish you prosperous times. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!