Earning more isn’t the answer

When it comes to building your wealth, it’s not about how much you make, it’s about how you work with what you have. You do not need a larger paycheck, you only need to invest and use your money wisely. Yes, more money gives you a larger budget to work from but that simply needs increased consideration.

Here are some tips that will make it easier to build your wealth, even if you do not have a large income.

Adopt better spending habits

Using your money wisely begins with controlling how you spend. If you earn more, and you land up spending more (often on things you may not need), your wealth building plans will never come to fruition. It will simply be: more money in, more money out.

Good spending habits have a positive impact on your wealth building ability. Practically, this looks like a constant assessment, and re-assessment, of your lifestyle choices in order to spend less on current expenses to save more for future expenses. Essentially, if you spend less now, you will have more to spend later! Remember, it’s not about saving for something random; wanting to spend more later is only beneficial if you have a good handle now and what you might like to spend your money on later (like a holiday, car, wedding etc).

Track your spending

To help you adopt better spending habits, actively track your spending. This can seem scary at first, but ultimately this will help you make empowered choices about how and why you spend your money the way that you do.

Automate your savings

Automating your savings is a powerful way to build a large savings pocket without it feeling like a trying chore. When you manually pay into a savings account, you are more tempted to postpone or miss a month. When this happens, it’s easier to miss next month too… and so a pattern develops. However, if it comes off automatically, much like paying tax, you’re more likely to stick to your savings goals.

Seek professional advice

Key to building your wealth is getting professional financial advice. No matter your income level, you can still benefit from consulting with a professional.

Professional financial advice is about more than helping you set up an investment portfolio or sell financial protection products. As part of your financial plan, this advice should assist you with tax planning, goal setting, establishing meaning for your money AND… help you work with what you have instead of ‘always wanting more’ to achieve your goals.

Building your wealth depends less on how much you earn and more on how wisely you use your earnings. This means that when the time comes, or opportunity affords you a higher income, it won’t be wasted but will instead help you build into your own life and the lives of those around you – providing deeper meaning and purpose for your wealth!

Four often overlooked steps to reducing financial stress

A lot of people are quite financially stressed right now. It’s understandable – it’s been a hard few years for most of us, and the uphill climb back to a bustling economy, both locally and globally, is far from over yet.

Does that mean that we have to be stressed with where SA has been in the past five years? Not necessarily.

You can reduce financial stress with the following tips.

Step 1: Communicate

One of the biggest stressors that comes from money is the negative impact it can have on our relationships. Some of us have been shown by generations before us to suffer in silence and not share the money worries with those close to us.

The effects of that have a deep impact.

Here’s the thing – our partner, kids, parents, friends will always know. We are usually not even aware of the tense face we pull when our child picks the most expensive toy in the shop, or the frosty reception we give when our partner speaks about anything with an expense. The problem is that it’s not easy for them to be sure of whether it’s them or money that we’re frustrated with.

Having an honest, vulnerable conversation with loved ones about finances can be healthy for both family bonds and your bank balance. You might be surprised at how willing your other half supports forgoing certain expenses in order to keep your budget robust. Remember, if you’re anxious about your finances, the people around you probably are too.

Step 2: Get advice

When money is already tight, it may seem unthinkable to get a financial adviser involved. It is important to realize that it means you could end up spending a little more to get access to wealth creation strategies, ideas and investment opportunities that you were completely unaware of and could significantly improve your emotional, mental and financial position.

Going to a financial adviser has the same effect on your spending as keeping a food journal for your diet. With an adviser, you can increase your mindfulness to eliminate waste and focus your expenditure into what really matters to you.

Step 3: Be honest

We need to be upfront and honest in financial planning meetings and conversations. Speak up when it’s hard and you don’t feel ready to make changes. It’s important to talk about what we can no longer afford and what we’d like to achieve. Any change that happens before we are ready for it is often not sustainable.

It is these kinds of conversations that bring value to our financial journey and makes financial advice come alive. We can respond with enthusiasm, find new ideas and forger stronger relationships.

Step 4: Use this time to fine-tune and keep honing

Instead of seeing a financially stressful time as a never-ending pit, rather see it as an opportunity for new growth. Economic downturns, bearish economies, recession and all forms of headwinds always come to an end.

What they provide is the opportunity to get our mindset and wealth creation strategy into a lean, mean machine that will skyrocket when conditions improve!

Diversifying happiness

The ancient philosopher Aristotle came up with a single word for what every person wants: ‘Eudaimonia’.
Eudaimonia means happiness but more than that it alludes to a sense of fulfillment.

Many people have viewed financial planning as the management of financial goals and resources. Typical conversations would include questions like: “How much will my assets grow, how can I get X amount by the time I am this age and what will my retirement look like?”

Whilst these have been helpful questions, we are learning that they are only part of a fuller conversation. There are different questions that are starting to emerge in our conversations that are focussing more on meaning and purpose. They are not as easy to answer (sometimes they don’t need answers just yet…) but they help us frame the bigger picture of how we’d like to use our wealth for a fulfilling life.

It’s not only our wealth strategies that need to be diversified for healthy growth but our happiness strategy too.

This Spring, we suggest these happiness diversification exercises.

Exercise your way to happiness

Now that it’s getting warmer outside, it’s time to get our bodies moving again. According to a recent research study, exercise makes people happier than money does. People who stay active are better equipped to deal with stress and have less days when they feel down or depressed.

That’s not too say that too much exercise isn’t a bad thing – it’s important to have a balance and not over-exercise. Either extreme can be detrimental to our experience of happiness, but a healthy balance is a powerful way to experience eudaimonia.

Prioritise experiences and people over possessions

Invest in making priceless memories in life. Instead of buying that luxury car you do not need, try saving up for a family holiday. Going out with friends or family to concerts, movies or picnics are just some of the happy experiences you can give yourself in life. Prioritise taking walks in nature, reading a book or playing a game with your kids.

Believe in something bigger than yourself

As we spend time with other people outside of a working relationship, it becomes easier to see and believe in something bigger than our own reality. It’s not about faith or religion, it’s about connectedness. If we want to find more ways to invest in our fulfilment we need to experience generosity to causes that are bigger than ourselves.

Fulfilment, happiness and productivity should grow when we contribute to others. It’s a healthy circle of sustainable growth that is not reliant on market performance or bank balances. Being willing to ask bigger questions and find deeper meaning to our wealth is where we can begin to experience eudaimonia.

The seven habits of cyber secure people

It’s not for nothing that cyber crime and hacking was considered 2019’s number one “major risk” by the world’s largest insurer, Allianz, in their latest Risk Barometer Survey. These days, it’s not if the security of your electronic identity and assets will be tried by a criminal, it’s when.

While no one is completely guaranteed safe from a cyber attack, these seven habits will mean that you’ll be a harder target than someone else and so, by default, cyber secure.

1. Cyber secure people never use free WiFi
South African speaker and social media legal expert named Emma Sadleir has a wonderful saying: ‘when something is free, you are the product.’ Don’t ever use a network that you don’t need a password to log onto, or even one that’s free. Hackers often either set up their own (very legimate-seeming) hotspots or sit in an existing one waiting for prey.

2. Cyber secure people use two-bit encryption
The more encryption you can use, the better. People who are secure online use systems where they will be told of logging on to banking and all banking steps via email or SMS and get One Time PINS (OTPs) for everything. OTPs make use of two-bit encryption and if you don’t have the code, you can’t complete the transaction. This sort of security is far harder for a hacker to hack and so, usually, they won’t go near a bank account with two-bit encryption.

3. Cyber secure people never, ever, ever give someone else their login details
There is a chilling tale of a savvy business woman who was called by her ‘bank’. They had her ID number, they had her card number. They just needed her PIN, please. They even had a call-back mechanism which directed her to her bank’s authentic call centre. She almost fell for it. Here’s the thing – no bank will ever, ever ever EVER ask you to type in your PIN, say your PIN or write your PIN down. The same goes for your username and password. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the bank itself. Never write down, say or otherwise disclose those three things.

4. Passwords are never easily guessable with the cyber secure
Anything that could be guessed at by someone who isn’t your spouse or mother isn’t safe for a password or PIN, including your birthday, anniversary, year you were born, address or ‘1234’. That goes for your security questions that the bank asks you too. Don’t just put your high school or first job – someone could stalk you on Facebook and find that out. In fact, criminals use this trick all the time.

5. Cyber secure people have varying, different passwords
This one, many of us are guilty of. Not many of us have unsecure passwords like our birth dates, 1234 or the word ‘password’ anymore. We have one strong and hard-to-guess one with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols in it – but only one. It’s so much easier to just remember one password, isn’t it? But cyber criminals know that too, and so they know that they just need to get your details off one not-so-secure site and then it’s open sesame for everything else. So, use different passwords – completely different.

6. Cyber secure people are wary of personal info on groups
Those not-too-safe sites we just mentioned? Well, few are as unsafe as groups on WhatsApp, Facebook and Telegram. Especially not those really large ones where you don’t know each individual on there very well. We don’t care if it’s the church group or the over 70 year-olds’ group – don’t send any personal info including bank details and your address. You never know who is part of the group and looking for information.

7. … Or Gmail
This may come as a shock, but some cyber experts consider Gmail accounts easily hacked and not too safe. The extreme popularity of them might be one reason but, just to be safe, do not send sensitive information over Gmail if you can help it.

Remember, we can’t be 100% secure online as new hacking techniques are being unceasingly developed – but we can be mindful of our online security. If you are ever in doubt, update your passwords.

Tips for a less taxing tax season

‘Tax season’ elicits in most people the kind of shudder you’d imagine ‘open season’ to elicit in hunted animals. We all hate doing our taxes and, because of this, we often postpone the inevitable, sometimes with horrible consequences like penalties and waiting hours at SARS.

Here are a few tips to make submitting tax returns a little less painful, not to mention less confusing.

Basics first
The first thing to deal with is how to best go about it. Our advice: book several hours for sorting out your taxes and put it in your diary along with business meetings and other non-negotiables. Just get it done. There’s a lot to be said for using a professional consultant to complete your tax return for you – they will sort everything out, giving you peace of mind, and work with a savvy eye on new regulations you may not know about and exactly how to get you the lightest tax bill possible.

Be systematic
If you do decide to file your tax return yourself, it helps to be organised. This is one time you really don’t want to overlook the details. Do one type of tax at a time (if doing more than personal income) and go logically through everything from mileage receipts to various tax exemptions, one by one. It will offset any feeling of a never-ending task – a sure way to quit early.

And, pay the price when the taxman comes around. Remember to account for medical aid schemes – you as the main member can get R310 back from SARS, plus another R310 for a dependent and R209 each for any other dependents after that. Every bit helps…

Don’t forget the expat factor
Again, if you’re doing your returns yourself, it pays to keep abreast of recent changes. A few months ago, the Reserve Bank changed the laws around taxes to be paid if you are out of the country a certain amount of time in the year. If you are working more than 183 days in a 12-month period, including a continuous period of more than 60 days, you won’t currently be taxed for it in SA – but that changes soon. For those who’ve been overseas extensively, it may be worth checking in with a professional whether or not you’ll be back-taxed for that, and how the new law could benefit you.

Self-employment schemes
If you are a contractor, freelancer or any other type of self-employed individual (bar the owner or founder of a business that is not a sole proprietor), then you technically have a non-salary income and can claim expenses on that. This includes things like the bill for a cellphone used for work, office supplies or stationary and even the rent and overheads of an office if you’re renting one. Just remember to be thorough – if you’ve invoiced more than one different company or person in the tax year, you have to declare each and every client.

Commission enquiry
If you’re a real estate agent, sales rep or anyone else that gets commission in addition to a salary, you can claim on any commission-related expenses, like airtime used for work and petrol. Many people know this, but did you know that you can also claim travel-related expenses that aren’t only limited to fuel? Even things like flights for work are deductible, which can be a real boon for jobs that are usually very heavy on travel.

Finally, reward yourself
There is no end to what people can do when they’re motivated – and it’s a powerful tool you can use come tax season. Reward is a great incentiviser, so motivate yourself by deciding what a tax rebate will go towards, should you get one. Then keep your eye on the prize.

It’s all the little things that make it less taxing, so go easy on yourself and take it one little thing at a time, and start early.

Running on empty – is it time to fill up your tank?

Are you the type of person who

  • puts in a little petrol here, a little petrol there, or
  • enough to last you the week based on calculations you’ve done of what you need, or
  • are you someone who fills your tank up every time you visit the garage?

The petrol price has become a touchy topic, with all the gruelling petrol price hikes South Africans have endured, but actually your petrol tank philosophy can reveal a lot about the kind of life you lead.

Whilst filling up your tank of petrol has physical costs and constraints, filling up your life thank can cost considerably less than your monthly fuel-spend.

Which mindset are you?

There is a concept called the ‘poverty mindset’ which was pioneered some years back. People who are afraid of spending money to the point of being illogical, are often suffering from it – and don’t know it. This mindset causes us to operate from pay-cheque to pay-cheque and constantly feel like we don’t have enough money, time or energy.

It often means that we’re constantly chasing ‘the next big thing’ and not spending enough time enjoying who and what we have in life right now. We have the perception that because we’re so busy, our lives are full – but in reality, our lives are constantly running on empty.

The first step in filling up your life tank is to have a desire to change your mindset.

A plan to change

A desire to change is a powerful step in a joy-filled future, but without a plan to see that change come into fruition, the desire will wane and you will continue to run around on empty. To overcome the inertia of this mindset, you need to create a plan. A plan to think about yourself differently, to be actively mindful and change behaviours (and spending patterns) in your life that are causing you to miss out on the joy of the present.

A partner to change

Of all the activities in life, change needs the most fuel and can be the most difficult. Think about it – how stiff are your muscles after doing a workout you’re used to? And if you do a completely different exercise, even if it’s less lengthy or strenuous? How tired and stiff are you afterward?

This is where coaches prove their value – when you feel like quitting, they motivate you to continue through the change process. When you reach a plateau, they help you identify, plan for and achieve the next level. With your financial journey (and it’s intrinsically linked to your life…), having a financial adviser that you trust is the best partner to change.

Life is too short to run on empty.

5 ways to keep you and your money warm this winter

It’s a cold world out there this June. As the thermometer temperature drops, the price of fuel and cost of living keep rising… but it’s not all doom and gloom.

Here are five ways to manage your finances a little more wisely and warmly:

Drop the bouquet

The average South African home is way too glued to the TV for their physical health – and financial health too. If you love your screen time, drop your exorbitant DSTV bouquet and look at Netflix or Showmax (or another provider) and honestly stack up the costs side by side. You’ll never go back to DSTV again. If you like to watch live sport, consider watching these matches at friends houses, or at your local pub.

Phone it in

Remember your old flip phone from years ago – the one that you (and everyone else) thought was impossibly cool? Well, that’s how all phones are going to look someday. As part of your winter finance warming, review your cellphone contract – but don’t upgrade. If there’s nothing badly wrong with your phone and it works okay, do not get a new one, no matter how shiny and awesome that new one is. One of the most powerful first steps of red-hot finances is to stop changing your phone every 18 months.

Get car smart

The ever-increasing fuel price is one of South Africans’ biggest bugbears – and expenses. Get smiles for miles when you become more creative with your commute or other transport needs, by setting up a carpool with, for example, work colleagues or parents in your area with children at the same school as yours.

Another thing to do is check with your bank at which fuel stations you can get banking points, such as eBucks or Discovery, when filling up. Then only go to those stations if you can help it, to get a marginal amount back a month. Hey, every bit helps…

Insure you get the best

One of the first things that go out of the window when budgets get tight is the so-called ‘grudge purchases’ – chief among those, insurance. But in this case, it really is penny wise and pound foolish to drop your short term insurance when the purse-strings are pulling tighter. Plenty of families have gone from wealthy, or even comfortable, to dire straits because they cancelled their insurance and then misfortune struck.

Most South Africans appreciate the value of car insurance, considering our road death statistics and the colourful manoeuvres taxi drivers pull on a daily basis, but don’t value other forms of short-term insurance.

Are you covered for household burglaries, technical problems with your phone, a handbag getting stolen, losing your motorbike keys? All these things are vital, so in reality, you cannot afford not to be insured.

However, that doesn’t mean all insurers are created equal, or the same price. Ascertain what your insurance needs are and which option best covers them and dig into the best deals you can get on insurance.

Just because you can’t afford not to have it doesn’t mean paying more than you should.

Whatever you do, don’t stop

If insurance is a grudge purchase, this next one isn’t a purchase at all – and often gets pushed to the back of the priority line until it’s much, much too late. Do not, we repeat, do not try to help out your budget by not saving for retirement. The thing with retirement is this: there will never be a better time. That’s because of compound interest – you’ll never get a better return on money invested at a later date, even far larger sums of money, than a small amount invested now. So, don’t skimp on modest sums for retirement now, and you won’t have to skimp on everything for up to twenty-five or more years of your life. Seriously.

To keep it simple, here’s a motto you can use: don’t stop saving unless you’re retired and, if you are already retired, don’t stop saving.

Keep these things in mind and you’ll have a financially toasty winter season. Enjoy!

Delicious savings – how to eat for a week on four meals

With tough economic times all around, a lot of us are trying to cut unnecessary expenses. Be that as it may, we still need to eat and feed our families. Yet who has the time to play chef and work a fulltime job? And who wants to eat mediocre meals just because the economy is in a slump?

Enter the power of three – how to ensure meals for a week with minimum effort. It’s all about selecting three dishes that are low maintenance to cook, able to be made in large quantities and also be to be frozen and reheated… yet are still big on taste. One great meaty supper that transforms into two days’ school sandwiches as well, one that can be reinvented into finger food tapas on the third day and one versatile enough to be reinvented into a whole other dish come day five.

And all with room enough for leftovers.

Sound cost-effective? We’ve collected four inexpensive meal ideas that meet all these standards, leaving your tummy satisfied and your wallet untraumatized upon your next grocery jaunt.

Meal 1: Roast chicken, veggies and rice

A classic family meal, the decent-sized roast chicken easily feeds four people. Make extra and use leftover white meat for chicken mayonnaise sandwiches for school and chicken salad for the adults. Use the leftover rice and bits with skin to make a fantastic, Asian-inspired twice-fried rice and sweet, sticky chicken with the help of simple fridge staples like chutney or balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Rice, if sealed, is superb the next day – just like pasta or slap chips, so go wild. Save the carcass and you can even make soup from it, if you’re so inclined.

Meal 2: Brisket and boiled potatoes

If you want something a little more special during the week, look no further than the all-star cheap meat cut classic, the brisket. Have straight-up brisket with boiled potatoes on day one, reinvent the leftover on day two with a sticky glaze and turn leftover potatoes into creamy mash and then take any last bits and turn them into a stew. Delicious!

Meal 3: Pulled pork and veggies

Pork is still cheaper than other meats like steak or salmon, and a good pulled pork recipe will mean minimal handiwork – you just leave it in the oven for a few hours. With vegetables, it’s a decently healthy meal with one serious upside – pulled pork has got to be one of the most versatile meats on the planet. It can be reinvented into tacos, salads, sandwiches and even scrambled eggs. Unlike other practical bulk meals, it’s polished enough to serve to guests as well.

Meal 4: Lamb stew

Who doesn’t love a great lamb stew? Because it’s stew, you can buy a fairly cheap cut of lamb in generous quantities at a decent price and can make tons of stew easily. The ‘easy’ part is the best part, because lamb stew in a slow cooker means very little work. You fry up the meat and chop veggies and simply leave it for eight hours while you go to work. Freeze half for an instant dish that is hearty, healthy and super quick to reheat.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

Your starter guide to alternative investments

In the wake of very lacklustre JSE performance and plenty of uncertainty, many investors have started considering thinking… alternatively.

In a nutshell

Alternative investments are different to the standard stock market approach; investing in assets outside the usual asset classes or in companies outside of the JSE-listed crowd.

But can you invest alternatively? The first thing to note is that, like anything bespoke, alternative investing is far more expensive and less easily accessible than good ol’ equities. However, if you have significantly more cash than the average Joe and the financial know-how these alternatives can easily outperform the normal market.

Assuming you can, should you? Here, we break down some of the main and most popular alternative investment options:

Hedge funds

Hedge funds are by far the most common and easily accessible of the alternative investing options. Due to this, they enjoy better regulation and options than other alternative asset classes. They are smaller, boutique funds often operating with much higher fees than traditional equities investing. But hedge funds routinely beat equities in the returns stakes, although not as handily of late.

The phrase ‘hedging your bets’ explains what hedge funds do well – hedge funds have a unique ability to ‘hedge’ themselves so that the investors behind the hedge fund manager can do well whether a stock appreciates or depreciates.

Hedge funds are essentially an exclusive pool of investors aggressively investing in a variety of opportunities not often available to the mainstream market. This can suit investors who have money to spare (the minimum investment requirement for most funds is high – sometimes R1 million just to get in the door) and want a long-term investment vehicle that’s safer than the stock market that offers similar or higher returns.

Venture capital and private equity

Usually only available to private equity of venture capital funds themselves, this is long-term investment in promising businesses near the beginning of their lifespan, with a view to share in their success later down the road when the company is turning a profit.

Venture capital investing, specifically ‘seed round’ investing during which the company invested in is very young, is typically a long relationship with the funder in an advisory role to the business and an aid in growth.

Private equity, although often grouped with and sometimes mistaken for venture capital, is different. Private equity often buys out these companies wholly or in part and so is the primary decision-maker, rather than the advisor.

This is attractive because private equity traditionally outperforms equity. Options here are limited to those with a private equity fund registered with SAVCA.

Socio-economic investments

Even more rewarding than the idea of private equity can be socio-economic investing – which is putting in finance and sharing in the returns later, not in a company, but in the country. So-called ‘impact investing’, these investment alternatives address issues in society like infrastructure, education for lower classes, renewable energy innovation and the creation of low-cost houses, to name a few examples. Few funds offer such options as it’s still a relatively new concept for SA, but it’s a great vehicle for those who can access it and are looking to improve and contribute meaningfully to the world while making returns on their money at the same time.

It’s important to remember that alternative investing is generally more difficult, exclusive, expensive and time-consuming than the well-oiled default of listed stock market options or old-favourite vehicles like unit trusts. They’re also newer here in south Africa, with less variety and regulation for now because there is simply less demand. But if you’re something of a pioneer and you want something very long-term, it may be worth a try. Just be sure to talk to your financial advisor and consult your personal financial plan before making any sudden movements.

Mindfulness matters: how about a quarterly review?

Earlier in the year we spoke on the importance of mindfulness in our busy, digital world. Unfortunately, many of us have grand intentions at the beginning of the year, eating healthily and meditating and generally trying to get the year off to a good start, but after a few weeks that dedication peters out.

Businesses (and some individuals) like to run quarterly reviews on performance, such as how your investments performed in the first quarter. Why not do a quick lifestyle audit as well? How mindful are your various choices and can you regain the passion you had for these goals when the year began?

The benefit of quarterly mindfulness checks

The traditional New Year’s resolution actually puts a lot of pressure on oneself – the unreasonable expectation for someone to drum up enough passion, willpower and enthusiastic discipline in the beginning of a year that must last them 12 months. How many of us would consider operating companies that way? Or expect our financial advisor to know exactly how to help us all year through various changes after only one short chat in January? Far more reasonable is the idea of making the decision to effect small changes day by day, in the moment, and to schedule a loose quarterly check-in.

If you think quarterly mindfulness check-in’s are a good idea but don’t know where to start, or perhaps even what mindfulness really looks like, here are some questions to start you off:

Question 1: Do I spend my time and thoughts on what really matters to me?

Mindfulness posits that both the past and the future don’t exist and all you have is now. So, in the now, what kind of life are you living?

Many of us sweat the small stuff by fixating on things which aren’t our true priority, like stressing over our golf handicap or our waist size when what we truly care about is being a good parent, for example.

Stephen Covey in his classic The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People puts it this way: ‘imagine your funeral in detail. Your wife, children or family, work colleagues and a group you belonged to are all going to say a few words on what you achieved in your life as an individual, a family member, a worker and as a member of society. What would you want them to say? Are you living that?’

Many of us aren’t. For your lifestyle audit, jot down in a notebook what you think on and how much time you spend with your family vs work, on Facebook vs reading a book, outside versus inside etc. Are your thought and time investments reflecting what is truly valuable and meanginful to you? What could you do differently in this next quarter?

Question 2: Am I spending my money on what really matters?

Similarly, how are your funds being spent? Many of us spend significant funds on mindlessness which has a numbing effect, like too much junk food, retail therapy and empty entertainment. Mindfulness is about looking at what you really love and spending money on that – like on a family vacation or yoga lessons. It’s also about investing in things which will increase your mindfulness and mental ability, like books you can learn from or a stimulating new hobby. Spend less money and time on mindlessness and more on the opposite, and you’ll naturally find yourself feeling more energised, present and awake.

Question 3: Am I investing in myself as an asset?

Time and money are important resources, but they mean nothing without the capacity to use them wisely. How well are you feeding your body? How well are you feeding your mind? Are you getting the medical recommended amount of sleep and exercise for a healthy life? In short, are you adequately maintaining the asset that is you?

Almost all of us can improve in some way in this arena and are often set off course by the distractions that life presents. Set yourself some goals to carry out in the next quarter. These are most effective when small and simple, like unplugging from all screens and electronic devices 30 minutes before bed or like spending 5 minutes a day sitting outside enjoying nature when you have your tea.

Pick a couple and go for it.

Happy mindfulness!