What can politics teach us about personal finance and success

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The lack of a clear vision for Australia has arguably led to the downfall of the now former Prime Minister Abbott after less than 2 years into his first term.

No matter what your political persuasion or level of (dis)engagement with politics, five Prime Ministers in five years contrasts starkly to the almost 25 year combined tenure of Hawke, Keating and Howard. 

A lack of vision and clear game plan for the future leaves a vacuum that someone else will fill for you. We argue that a lack of vision can also lead to unfulfilled potential in your own financial future. In our experience, those that have a vision and road map for their future (let’s call it a living ‘Financial Plan’) are better able to capture the ‘prize’ than those that have not articulated a personal vision of their future.  

"Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision." — Anonymous

The narrative of Abbott’s Prime Ministership was reactive, subject to attack of the political noise of the day and caught up in relatively small issues (eg, knighthoods and helicopters). Ultimately it cost Abbott his political career; a potential unfulfilled.

Similarly, when we see people who do not have a vision and road map for their own future, or personal financial plan, they are more likely to be reactive to issues outside their control and spend more energy worrying about the latest short term fall in investment markets rather than what they are trying to achieve which, ultimately, leads to unfulfilled financial potential.

So what does this have to do with your personal wealth management?

As specialist Financial Advisers, we see the successful and not so successful outcomes of investors’ decisions – particularly during periods of high uncertainty like the current. Unless you want to rely on ‘luck’, we believe in spending more time reflecting and shaping your own vision before spending time reacting to the investment happenings of the day. 

  • What is it you really want your money to do for you?
  • Do you want to make work optional? When?
  • More time for family?
  • Fulfil those experiences on your ‘bucket list’?
  • And what legacy do you want to leave?    

In life, as in politics, those most likely to maximise their potential have a clear vision of the life you want to lead. A successful framework should be flexible enough to grow with you. The benefits of formulating your own life vision include:

  • More confident to deal with change/the future/uncertainty
  • Make better investment decisions in your long term interest
  • Find your true north
  • More rewarding relationships

Who wouldn’t want that?

Start with why

Most come to the realisation that ‘money’ is an enabler to achieve what is important to you. It’s a tool for you to control, and not the other way around. But how many of us actually write down our dreams and goals, our own life vision, and work out a game plan to help achieve this? 

It’s not easy to do. It takes time, clear headspace, and an open and honest conversation with yourself (and key family members). It is also hard to articulate in a vacuum which is why we suggest articulating your vision during a conversation with someone else so you have to talk it through out loud.  Of course, it is important to continue to revisit your vision and game plan, and make sure it remains relevant to life’s changing circumstances.  

"Vision without execution is hallucination.” — Thomas Edison

Let’s learn from Abbott’s experience. The more you take the time to define your life’s goals, and commit to this vision, the more likely you are to achieve what is most important to you. Collaborating with a professional Financial Adviser, who offers independent perspective and accountability, can help.

About the Author

Angus Dockrill is a professional Financial Adviser for successful people and their families in the Sydney area.   

IMFG is a financial services business with a difference. Our clients are supported by a team of specialists, not generalists. We believe that the most successful people have their financial house organised within an elegantly simply framework aligned with their dreams, vision, values and goals.

Identity McIntyre Pty Ltd and its specialist financial advisers Scott Douglas, Angus Dockrill, Dan Blatch are authorised representatives of Apogee Financial Planning Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee Registered Office at: 105 - 153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060. These representatives are trading as IMFG.

This article is intended to provide general information only and has been prepared without taking into account any particular person's objectives, financial situation or needs. Persons should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to their personal objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend persons obtain financial advice specific to their situation before making any decision regarding a financial product or decision.


Identity McIntyre Pty Ltd and its specialist financial advisers Angus Dockrill, Scott Douglas, Dan Blatch, Lisette Walsh, Vince Dore, Sangram Rana, John Foley and Matthew Bull are authorised representatives of IMFG Pty Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee number 527657 Registered Office at: Level 8, 171 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000. These representatives are trading as IMFG.

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