Archive for February, 2015

The Wisdom of the Ant: Economic Empowerment through Intentional Wealth Creation and Planned Wealth Transfer to the Next Generation

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8) The ant has often been used as an example of great industry and diligence. Even without any type of guidance, the ant does what is necessary. The ant does not wait until winter to gather its food; instead, the ant plans throughout the year for winter by gathering its food early.

Proverbs tells us that we should consider the ways of the ant and be wise. We should imitate the ant in not only our professional lives, but also in our personal lives. We should not wait until our work is being overseen to begin doing what is necessary, but rather we should take the initiative to plan ahead for what is necessary.

Often times, we look back with regret because we did not specify our financial destination and plan our financial steps before proceeding on our financial journey. Do not become the financial sluggard; empower yourself and your loved ones by developing, implementing, and monitoring your financial plan.

Financial Planning involves the analysis of your current financial position in order to predict your short term and long term needs (Investopedia). It is a method of planning in advance to help you reach your short and long term financial goals. Financial Planning can actually be summed up in 5 simple steps:

1. Find a financial planner who meets your specific needs.
Everyone’s financial situation is different. Different planners work better in different situations. Find one who will service your particular needs at a reasonable price.

2. Come up with a list of short term and long financial goals.
These goals could involve being able to send your child to college, saving for retirement, investing in rental real estate, reducing your tax liability, leaving behind money for your family, buying that car you’ve desired since you were 15, etc. Anything that you are even considering doing financially should be put on this list and given to your financial planner.

3. Meet with your financial planner to determine how you will reach your goals.
After evaluating you current financial position and reviewing the list of goals that you have set for yourself, your financial planner will assist you in setting up a “roadmap” to your goals.

4. Implement your financial plan.
Now that the goals have been set and a way to achieve them has been established, it is time to start putting your plan into motion. Setting up goals and determining the plan means nothing if you do not follow through with it.

5. Continue to meet with your financial planner on (at least) a quarterly basis to monitor your plan.
Meeting with your planner on a regular basis is one of the most important steps. Having to meet with your planner regularly gives you someone to be accountable to, other than yourself, for meeting your goals. It also allows you and your planner to make any necessary adjustments to your plan based on how well or poorly you’ve done thus far.

While financial planning may require extra work on the front-end, it does eliminate the added burdens later, usually brought on by a failure to adequately prepare for the future. It is time to stop sitting idly by when you could be preparing for the future; it’s time to imitate the ant and consider its ways. The ant does not wait until winter to gather its food, so you should not wait until you’re in a financial bind to start planning for the future. The time is now!

To begin working on your financial plan, please call Memphis Consulting Group, LLC at 901.791.4643 or follow the contact link at the top of this page.