Seasons Greetings! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I took last week off from blogging and instead decided to focus on pumpkin pie and football.
I have some things I'd like to share with you: a guide for how to talk about money, some humbling perspectives on wealth, and an eye-opening reminder that actions are more powerful than words.
Adam Harding, CFP / Smartvestor Pro
If this is your first time receiving this email, here's some background: "Three Things" is a quick weekly email to recap some things that stood out to me in the previous week. I try to find inspiration in articles, videos, images, and anything else that I can tie into a financial planning or investment tip. Let me know if there's something you'd like to see covered, or if you happen to spot something interesting which you'd like to share. I hope you find this insightful!
Article: How To Talk About Money
Via New York Times, Written By Carl Richards
Link: How to Talk About Money
I have a few professional mentors --some of them know they're mentors of mine and others, like the author of this article, do not.
Carl Richards is the best voice I've encountered when it comes to thoughtfully blending the analytical science behind wealth management and investment decisions with the human condition that dominates so much of our decision-making. I credit a lot of my financial pragmatism to his approach. Thanks for the mentorship by proxy, Carl!
(Carl's Website: Behaviorgap.com)
In this particular piece, Carl tackles a necessary truth:
We have to talk about money even if it's uncomfortable.
Money = Feelings... That's why it's hard; we don't like to talk about our feelings.
Carl walks through the following RULES for talking about money:
- No Shame, No Blame
- Focus On What You Can Control
- The Time Out Rule
He then proceeds to walk through WHEN and WHERE to talk about money, WHAT to talk about, talking to KIDS, etc.
I would not only recommend you read this article, but I'd suggest you bookmark it and share it with anyone who will listen.
The Key Takeaway?
Start talking, be respectful, and take the energy out of the situation by just starting.
Perspectives on Wealth
We're all residents of this planet, but instead of a global community of 7.5 Billion people, let's pretend we're in a village of 1,000 people.
Of the 1,000 residents:
- 350 are malnourished
- 330 live with no running water, sewer, etc.
- 250 are illiterate
- The median income is $3.30/day
- Just 10 residents make more than $34,000/year (i.e. the top 1%)
If you're reading this then there's almost a 0% chance that you're not in the top 10% of global wealth.
Say it after me:
...We just are. Feel grateful for what we have in this country.
You can go to this link to see where both your income and your wealth stacks up globally:
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
-William Arthur Ward
Company Value Statements
Company value statements define what’s important to a business and how it's conducted. Any branding expert will tell you it’s critical to identify and communicate core values to motivate employees and attract customers.
Here are some examples:
“Treat your customers like human beings…” – L.L Bean
“Listen to all ideas…” – Intel
“We must be good citizens…” – Johnson & Johnson
“Openness, honesty, integrity, courage, respect, diversity, and balance…” – Disney
"Respect. Integrity. Communication. Excellence." – Enron
Wait. ENRON? Yea, that Enron.
Here's the thing:
Companies can just come up with value statements and mission statements, regardless of what they're actually doing.
Actions + Culture beat Words + Statements every time.
That’s all for now, have great week!
Adam Harding, CFP®