3 steps to face change with serenity
The reflection on our resistance to change (often mistakenly attributed to Albert Einstein) that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results” applies to many aspects of our lives today. Through the Coronavirus pandemic, drastic change has been imposed on the world almost overnight; suddenly more than 90% of the world’s population faces major travel restrictions, more than 33% of employees in France are in temporary unemployment, whilst in the USA more than 17 million workers have enrolled for unemployment in the last month. Fortunately, the support of central banks is unprecedented and there is a more positive economic outlook for future months.
Animals, birds and plants evolve over millions of years to adapt to changing environmental conditions, yet as human beings our personal challenge is to face new circumstances with a major impact on our lifestyles over the course of a few short months or seemingly endless years. From the tragic loss of loved ones, to unemployment, or breakdown in relationships and potential bankruptcy to “simply” learning to live very differently; many people are currently enduring hardship and anxiety, with limited resources.
In the world of Piguet Galland we have the privilege and responsibility to support our clients throughout their life projects, even across troubled terrains, so I’d like to share three tips to support you as you face tough decisions or seek solutions in a changing environment, to help on your path to long-term serenity.
- Embrace change, it may be tough but if change is inevitable then resistance would sap valuable time and precious energy; rather seek new sources of support for the evolving circumstances. You may have a sudden urge to hide from the outside world, but actually taking the opportunity to adopt new ways of managing any aspects which are in your control (such as personal finance, fitness, nutrition) may have a revitalizing effect. Through my work, I see the difference that having a proactive approach to finance brings. In an economic environment of low interest rates, savers took an increasing interest in the stock exchange in recent years; yet some busy professionals, preoccupied by professional commitments in 2019 missed opportunities to invest in rising markets, while the Piguet World Equity fund achieved a performance of + 25.5%. Since markets have fallen the current situation offers new opportunities to invest with a long-term view; it’s a good time for people to embrace change by adopting a fresh investment strategy.
- Build a plan for the future. Taking your projects into account, assess the income, organisation and investments necessary to support your goals in the next 5, 10 or 15 years. It’s essential to take a holistic view of the situation integrating international assets from real estate and mortgages, entrepreneurial ventures, family, retirement savings and investment portfolios, then factor in personal life projects, hopes and dreams to produce your own unique equation. Developing a detailed financial plan will enable you to efficiently manage taxation and savings, envisage succession planning, retirement, property ownership, entrepreneurship, or take measures to protect your loved ones in case of serious illness. Your plan may then evolve over time to account for unforeseen events or external changes in taxation for example.
- Secure your assets: the key here is to ensure that your plan is sufficiently robust to protect your capital and favour its growth. Your personal investment portfolio may be scaled for your circumstances, ensuring the liquidity needed as your projects evolve; it should be designed taking into account your preferences, attitude to risk, constraints and goals. Above all you must choose a sturdy financial partner; at Piguet Galland our clients benefit from the backing of our shareholder BCV (Banque Cantonale Vaudoise) which is rated amongst the world’s 15 strongest banks.
I believe that finding the courage to take a positive view of change is accepting to expand your comfort zone (moving to a new country, ending a toxic relationship, launching an entrepreneurial venture); interestingly the etymology of the word “comfort” brings us back to the latin roots “with strength”. As Antoine de St Exupéry wrote of cultural disparities in Le Petit Prince « Différent de moi, loin de me léser tu m’enrichis » (“Different from me, far from prejudicing me, you enrich me.”); the same is true of situations, we learn valuable lessons by facing adversity, by accepting to find the strength to step outside our former comfort zone. March 2020 saw stock markets plunge, at the same time mindfulness apps such as Headspace multiplied new users by 20, the market for online fitness coaching grew substantially, pharmaceutical companies launched vast R&D initiatives with 7 vaccines for Covid-19 already tested on humans.
Many people hope that a positive impact of the sanitary crisis will be a greater focus on sustainable economics on a global scale. On a personal level we should all ensure that we take the steps to protect our own fortunes; consider time as your most valuable asset, as Virgil wrote “audentes fortuna iuvat” “fortune favours the bold” so embrace change with strength as you expand your comfort zone and don’t hesitate to seek expert insights to ensure you the find the solutions to succeed in your (revised) projects.
Senior Wealth Advisor
058 310 44 17
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