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By: Sam Instone

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October 9th, 2016

It's time to let go

Featured | Financial Education

It's time to let go

[Estimated time to read: 5 minutes]

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realise that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” 

- Behavioural Science academic Dr. Steve Maraboli

Are you tied to your financial past?

Like you, some of our clients were initially simply subscribers to our blog.

  • Some signed up because they realised they didn’t want to be financially disempowered through a lack of knowledge;
  • Others subscribed because they realised previous financial decisions were wrong;
  • And the majority asked to receive it because they realised they hadn’t yet found the answers to their financial planning questions…

Realisations like these are hugely positive…

Given the taboo around talking about money, credit must be given to anyone who faces these difficult realisations, and looks for the right type of help with their planning and decision-making.

We know that many of our clients choose to ask us for help because:

  • They’ve been badly advised in the past;
  • They’ve got poor performing investments;
  • Their savings are failing them;
  • They know their portfolio should be making them more…

And we never underestimate how hard it is for our clients to commit to making the positive changes we ask them to.

Holding onto grudges

But as hard as it is to seek answers;

As hard as it is to ask for our help;

Taking the next step can prove even harder…

It hurts to let go, but it hurts more if you hold on

The first thing we do if you ask for our help is review your current financial position:

1) We X-ray your portfolio;

2) We diagnose any problems – for example, hidden charges, agent’s commission, poor asset allocation, underperformance;

3) We prescribe your personalised solution to improve your returns, reduce charges and enable your direct access to your funds without penalty, cost or delay.

Request your free investment portfolio today »

And sometimes we ask you to let go of previous toxic financial commitments.

Letting go, cancelling an underperforming expensive policy, starting a lower cost and much more flexible policy that will give better growth in the long term, shouldn’t be hard.

But for all of us, letting go can feel like the hardest thing in the world…

Psychologist Judith Sills explains why:

“At its deepest level, the prospect of letting go forces us up against our three strongest emotional drivers: love, fear, and rage.”

Maybe you don’t want to let go because you loved the idea of the promised returns, that have actually failed to materialise.

Maybe you don’t want to let go because you’re afraid of how much money you’ve already lost, and you’re anxious that you’re about to make an even greater financial error.

Maybe you’re too angry to let go, because you’re raging against the salesperson who advised you so badly.

You blame them.

You blame yourself.

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You’re stuck in this negative place.

The truth is, while it hurts to let go, it costs you more, both figuratively and literally, if you hold on.

Your pain will leave, but only when you let it go

You made your financial commitments in good faith.

Perhaps you trusted someone you thought was a friend to advise you, and they let you down.

Maybe you think that if you just hang in there a bit longer your policy’s fortunes will turn in your favour.

But the truth is, if you don’t let go you’re tying yourself to past financial disappointment, and in so doing you’re stopping your potential future financial success and compounding your losses.

On an emotional level, if you don’t let go of your financial disappointments or mistakes you will leave no room in your heart and in your life for the new, the positive, the possible.

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And on a purely practical level, if you don’t let go when you’re best advised to do so, you will have insufficient funds to commit to a better solution, and you will have no opportunity to build a better financial future.

How to get past your past

The sentiment of first letting go in order to move on doesn’t just apply to financial decisions.

Writing in the New York Times earlier this year, certified financial planner Carl Richards from Behavior Gap wrote:

“We have only so much time. We only have so much energy. Do we really want to invest any of our precious resources – financial or otherwise – into something that will return nothing but misery?

“My question for you is, “What’s one thing you can set down this week?”

“Go ahead and pick something. A fight with your spouse, something a politician said, your team losing the big game. Pick it, drop it and then pause. For just a moment, simply pause and savour what it feels like to no longer carry that burden and pay that price.”

If you accept Carl’s challenge, no matter how small the hurt you set down I bet that:

  • the power you will feel;
  • the energy you will save and;
  • the space you’ll create in your life…

…when you let go will make you feel fundamentally and discernibly better.

Now consider how much better you will feel when you invest in letting go of:

  • The hurt and anger you feel towards the salesperson who you thought was your friend;
  • The disappointment and regret you feel about your underperforming investment;
  • The self-blame and frustration you feel for making a bad financial decision.

Behavioural Science academic Dr. Steve Maraboli says,

“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.”

If you have a financial concern that’s affecting your life it’s time to do something about it.

The good news is that good investment is easy if you have professional, un-conflicted advice on how to do it.

We can help you forge a better financial future, even if that involves supporting and enabling you to let go of a poor financial past.

Email Sam Instone

About Sam Instone

Sam Instone, CEO at AES International, is passionate about positive change and ensuring expat investors get the best results.

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