Pattie's Blog: Staying fit, both financially and physically
A pack of runners during the annual GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010.
Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012 9:55AM EDT
It is the time of year when we all want to be outside enjoying the summer and the opportunity to be more physically fit.
That gets me thinking that health and wealth go hand in hand, so I thought it would be fun to do some financial stress busters!
Express your stress
Talking to someone about your concerns and financial anxiety could help you to relieve it. Consider opening up to your partner or spouse and your financial planner or advisor about your money concerns and jointly work on a plan of action to combat them.
Develop a plan to monitor your stress and financial progress
Monitoring your overall stress level will help you take note of any early warning signs such as: reduced energy, sleep difficulties and headaches. Similarly, by developing a customized financial plan you will be able to measure whether you are on track to meet your goals and take proactive measurers where necessary. An experienced advisor or planner may be able to help by reviewing your overall portfolio in light of your personal financial situation and helping you set achievable goals based on your risk tolerance.
Budget time for exercise and your finances
Many studies show that daily exercise, besides helping maintain a healthy body, also increases confidence and self-esteem while reducing tension. Similarly, developing the discipline to budget your spending will help uncover opportunities to cut back on unnecessary expenditures and increase your savings.
Detox your body and your liabilities
Green tea and blueberries contain antioxidants that help flush toxins out of your body and are known stress smoothers. Due to the negative effect of compounding, high interest debt is toxic for your financial health. For example, a credit card with an original balance of $5,000 and interest of 18 per cent per annum: If you make only the minimum monthly payment of 3 per cent, or $10, whichever is greater, it would take almost 19 years to pay-off and cost you $4,800 in interest. Rid yourself of all bad debts such as store credit cards by consolidating your loans or taking out a line of credit.
Keep a balanced perspective in both life and your portfolio
I find that one of the most effective ways of relieving stress is to spend quality time with my family. Make it a point to maintain a good work-life balance. The same balanced approach applies to your portfolio.
During bull markets, the euphoria of making money trumps the fear of losing money as people believe they can handle more risk than they truly can. In today’s markets however, that simply is not the case as many investors are sitting on cash waiting for the right opportunity to get back into the market. Not only are you not making any money, which is stressful enough, but sitting on cash is costing you money after taxes and inflation. For many investors a good place to start is with some exposure to bonds and stocks and the distribution can be driven by your time horizon, return expectations, age and risk tolerance. Like most things in life -- balance works.
Stress is often underestimated. It does not discriminate and can take its toll on you and your portfolio. Try a few of these tips to help eliminate your financial stress and strap on your sneakers to reduce your physical stress. I’m off for a run.