Image credit: Jesse Bowser

Why we started this…

Staying out of debt and saving money for the future are pretty universal goals. We all understand this, in theory, so why does something seemingly so basic feel so bloody difficult to put into practice?


Saving money requires constant thought, discipline and action. And putting the commitment in now, for a reward that will only come further down the road, is just not a natural mindset to get into. But when the reward is the promise of a better, more meaningful, less stressful, more fun-filled life, most of us should be willing to at least try and make the effort right?

The problem is that when we actually try to work out what our options are we find ourselves swept up into a maze of industry jargon and new investment technology all competing to get us to invest our hard earned money in the next bigger, better, shinier and, amusingly, less risky thing. Just stop and think about that for a second – if you have little or no savings to speak of, have expensive debt that you are trying to wrangle and little understanding of or interest in risk based investment products and strategies – does it make sense to ignore those yokes around your neck and start investing (however slick the pitch and the technology might seem)?

There will always be a minefield of conflicting opinions and advice when it comes to different saving and investment options, techniques and technology. It’s a matter of priorities. It’s a matter of starting at the start and building the foundations for a better future. So let’s start with something simple and that I think we can all agree on: saving money matters, and your future depends on it.

For Me, It’s Personal

I was torched by dodgy financial “advice”. Maybe – like a lot of people – I would’ve just rolled over and taken it if I was the only one who had suffered, but my wife and three young children paid the price too, and I am not okay with that. Not at all.

I would consider myself more financially literate than most – not because I’m smarter than most, but because I worked for a multi-national financial institution for 11 years. So when I got sucked in, I felt even more stupid and embarrassed about it. How could I have let that happen to me? To my family? As time went on, though, what really started to burn me up was the realization that the financial “advice” I’d received hadn’t been advice at all. I was sold product, and it was the wrong product for me, at the wrong time, using money that I didn’t really have.

So, if I could get burned by people who claimed to be looking out for my best interests, I thought: what hope is there for everyone else?

A Wealth of Hopes and Dreams

The way I see it, the financial industry in general presents savings and investments as a complex and mysterious world that can only be interpreted by the professionals. Typically they use dry, technical, mind-numbing language that has nothing to do with your personal goals and aspirations. It all seems to be about them telling you how clever they are, and pushing you towards a certain product.

It feels as if you’re on the outside, looking in at all these clever industry pros and their advanced theories and technologies. Blinded by smoke and mirrors, you feel like you have two choices: you can either trust the experts and bow down to their superior wisdom, or give up and walk away, because the pathway to a better life and a brighter future seems far too obscure and risky for you to navigate yourself.

But let’s dial it back and remind ourselves what it’s really all about. The bottom line is that we want to save money for the future, and give ourselves the freedom to live the lives we choose to live. It really is that simple, and that universal. When we strip away the fancy buzzwords and grand investment schemes, it comes down to knowing what we value in life, and making sure that our finances match up.

Otherwise what’s the point? What are you saving for? I’m going to put it out there that most of us don’t think about savings and investments because we’re passionate about interest rates and returns, or even because we want to be super rich…

We do it because we’re looking ahead to all the things we hope for, dream of, and aspire to. Maybe we want to save because there are places we want to visit, and things we want to see and do. Maybe it’s because we want a new set of wheels. A new vintage acoustic guitar. Maybe we want to save because, one day, we’d love to own our own house. Maybe we’re simply sick of living pay-check to pay-check and being stressed about our financial situation. You get the picture – the list goes on. But I reckon we all should save because we want the freedom to choose our own future, rather than being held back and pushed down by financial strain.

And yes, while we all want a wealthy future, for most of us, that’s not just about money or material possessions. So what if we think about “wealth” in terms of a future rich in opportunity, adventure, security and freedom – for us, and for the people we love?

Now, it all becomes about re-shaping your own story, and living the life you dream about. By challenging the idea that we should somehow be afraid of, or confused by, wealth creation, as if it’s an arena reserved for the most affluent, we are empowering each other to make our own choices and find our own happiness.

Everyone’s Story Is Unique

I believe that the starting point is as basic and as life-changing as developing a habit of saving, so that it’s built in to your everyday lifestyle. This will be the bedrock of your financial well-being.

So the starting point doesn’t need to be complicated or daunting, and you don’t need any expert advice from those “on the inside”, because no-one knows more about the life you live – and the life you want to live – than you.

At its heart, that is why I and my co-founder started WealthNation. It’s about giving you the simple tools to get into the life changing habit of saving – so that you can do more of the things in life that make you happy.

But I want WealthNation to be much more than just a product. I want to start a movement where we share the journey, celebrate and share each other’s successes and keep each other accountable. And as more and more of us are empowered to take our future into our own hands, and released to follow our dreams, I believe that the world will see more innovation and less stagnation, more freedom and less debt, more community and less isolation, more happiness and less anxiety.

If we keep it really simple, and focus on that bigger, brighter picture, we can achieve this. Your drive and energy to change your world will start a movement to change the world.

You don’t have to earn your way in. You don’t have to have a certain amount of money or status. If you want in, you’re in. A movement doesn’t start with one maverick; it starts with people who share a vision of how things could be, and are brave enough to go after it.

You’ve found us right at the start of something – so come on, be part of the revolution and re-shape your future.

We’ll be with you on the road – all the way!

JK


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