Broker Check

How You’re Thinking About New Year’s Resolutions

January 21, 2020

Resolution can simply be defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. According to a YouGov poll, the most common aspirations or resolutions for 2018 in the U.S. were to eat healthier, get more exercise, and to save more money (Statista, 2018). Like most people, I too look forward to a fresh slate or a New Beginning. Especially after a couple months of overindulgence in food and shopping! It should come as no surprise that the New Year’s Resolution is the Grand Daddy of them all! But what do the statistics show? University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals (Brain, 2018). I was surprised by that number…I actually thought the number would be lower! Whatever the exact number, it is fair to say that most Americans will not achieve their New Year’s Resolution.

One of my favorite quotes from an unknown source is, “Something that works is infinitely better than something that theoretically works.” Theoretically, we can all take the opportunity of a New Year and, with perfect discipline and unfailing willpower, achieve our New Year’s Resolution. But the statistics for success are definitely not on our side! We cannot ditch the Resolution, making a firm decision to do or not do something is essential. We can, however, ditch the importance of the timing, and add what I consider to be an essential component. I am far from an expert in regard to healthy eating and exercise, but I am an expert in saving money!

One overwhelming personal observation I can share from years of helping my clients manage their money is that after working with me, the vast majority who are in the accumulation phase, save more money after meeting me than they were saving before meeting me. It really is as simple as that. I don’t mean to underwhelm you and could pontificate about how to perfectly do that or debate the merits of one financial tool over another, but at the end of the day, “Something that works, is infinitely better than something that theoretically works”. If you have goals or ambitions related to money, I would encourage you to reach out to a professional who can help you achieve those goals. If you don’t already have someone you trust or are seeking a second opinion, I would welcome the opportunity to earn the right to be your financial advisor.