I heard a great quote recently: bad things come suddenly, good things take time. When I thought about it, I realised how much it applies to everything in life. In so many areas of our life, it’s hard to stay motivated to keep sticking to a plan because it can take so long to see the effects. We start a new exercise regime, and the first week is mostly just pain without feeling as though we’ve actually achieved anything. It’s only after we string a couple of months together that we finally see some results. Good things, by their nature, are rare and hard to achieve, and in most cases are only possible with the compounding effects of time.
This also applies to a relationship with a person. As much as we might like someone when we first meet them, it takes years to build real trust. This example also shows how bad things can come suddenly; it takes years to build a good reputation and only seconds to ruin it.
Other than in extremely rare situations like winning the lottery, this also applies to retirement planning. If you have $500,000 in superannuation and need $1,500,000 to retire, there won’t be a quick fix. Getting where you need to be is going to take a lot of small, good, decisions over a long time. Making additional contributions to superannuation may not seem like it’s doing much in the short term, but making this ‘good decision’ every fortnight for the last 10 years of your working life can make a huge difference.
But remember, bad things come suddenly. It seems unfair, but making a lot of small good decisions still won’t get you there if you make a few bad ones. When you’re 25, you can afford to make a few mistakes. At 55, you don’t usually have that margin for error. You don’t have to get everything exactly right, but you can’t really afford to get anything wrong.
This is why we meet with our clients on a regular basis. We have to, given that our most valuable advice revolves around 2 fairly simple things; helping our clients stick to the plan and keep making those small good decisions, and helping them not to make that one big, bad, decision.
Written by Dallas Davison.
Dallas Davison, Michael Hogue and Ali Hogue.