By: Bunmi Olayanju MBA, CFA
Every day, tourists and New York residents alike flock to the financial district in downtown Manhattan to view the “Charging Bull” – an iconic symbol of American capitalism. My daily work commute runs through this part of town and I am always intrigued by the number of people who stop by, regardless of time of day or weather condition, patiently standing in line, waiting for their turn to take pictures, resolutely intent on taking a piece of the bull with them.
There is often a healthy dose of optimism that greets a new year. We are bullish about the prospects for the year. Perhaps this is the year that a perfect combination of factors will lead us to financial paradise – the economy is growing at a fast clip, inflation is kept in check, there is political stability, our business idea takes off, we invest in that penny stock that generates super-sized returns and we get that promotion we’ve long been angling for!
If you have resolved to make 2019 a bull year – to own the year the same way those picture-takers in the financial district proudly take the bull home with them- you need to take action. 2019 is mid-way, decide to take charge of factors within your control rather than merely hoping external factors are favorable.
For me, a bull year is one in which
- I live within my means, that is, my income exceeds my expenses
- I live well – I meet all my financial obligations and enjoy a good quality of life
- I take prudent action that fosters my family’s future financial well-being
- I enjoy greater financial margin, a growing net worth, compared to prior years
- I give freely to support people and causes that are near and dear to my heart
American author and poet, Henry David Thoreau said “if you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” In other words, it’s great to be bullish about 2019 from a financial standpoint but don’t just fold your arms and hope for the stars to magically align in your favor. Make this a bull year by changing your aptitude with respect to money.
Are you merely working for money or do you know how to make money work for you? There are time-tested principles that govern money management and wealth accumulation. The more you understand and apply these principles, the better your financial standing. This year, take steps to become more money savvy – read books, attend seminars, listen to podcasts, consult with a financial advisor. In the words of Robert Kiyosaki, “it’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for”. Sound fiscal aptitude makes your money grow and stick around much longer.
Money calls for responsible stewardship no matter how little or how much of it you currently possess. Do you have a money game plan for 2019? Without a plan, you are leaving your financial outcome to chance. Take time at this time of the year to lay out what needs to happen for you to consider this a successful year financially. I have shared with you my personal definition of a bull year. What’s yours? Once you have laid out your plans, pursue them with vigor and enthusiasm. Do not merely hope this is a bullish year, seize the initiative and make 2019 a bull year!