Welcome to another week of discussing matters pertaining to personal finance and wealth building.
Last week, I came upon some posts on social media showing how two different sets of friends were inspiring themselves with respect to money, travel, and life goals. In the first group, the focus was primarily about how much each friend earned and their availability for travel. The spreadsheet also listed options each person could afford such as type of flight (private jet or commercial) as well as their budget per trip. Although I personally found it elitist, my friend thought otherwise and believed it was motivational as it gave you an idea of what was possible.
The second group featured a set of friends from university who were invested in each other’s personal development and were always on the lookout for opportunities that could benefit a member of their circle. We both agreed that the latter group was one everyone should be intentional about cultivating irrespective of one’s age and status. In fact, we could readily point to several of such groups amongst people we knew.
In the 2 examples above, both sets of friends have been able to positively harness the power of community and its inherent impact on behaviour or outcome. The South African word “Ubuntu” which translates to “I am, because you are” best summarizes this.
I will like to share some ways our circle of friends can constructively influence our personal finance journeys:
- Accountability Partners: For many of us, our friends are the ones that can accurately help gauge how well we are doing with respect to our financial goals. They are the ones that can tell us when we are overspending or just being reckless with our funds. It is a good friend that can call you out on excessive spending or lack of savings or investments.
The best way to make this work is to regularly set out time to discuss or rub minds on matters pertaining to one’s finances within your circle of friend(s)
- Guiding Hands: In addition to acting as our mirrors, our friend(s) can also be the ones that will introduce us to beneficial opportunities for example, Nas the rapper who got the right head start with VC investing because of his good friend.
Sometimes, the guiding hands can even come from others within our inner circles who are not necessarily our friends. Several years ago, I watched a Harrison Ford movie titled Sabrina. In the film, he was the heir to a large business empire who fell in love with the daughter (Sabrina) of his father’s personal driver.
As is expected, they had their “happily ever after moment” but what left a lasting effect on me was the fact Sabrina’s dad became a millionaire just by observing the stock buying patterns of his boss.
According to the driver, his boss always bought shares on Monday mornings after reading the newspapers; so he always paid attention to the discussions he had with his stockbroker and ensured he did likewise. This went on for years till he became a millionaire himself.
- Confidants: As I had mentioned some weeks ago, being low key with one’s investments and activities is an attribute any astute investor should aspire to imbibe. That however, should not discourage us from having that one friend (or more) who acts as our sounding board for advice or reliable listening hear. Such a friend can always be trusted to keep our confidence or even hold our hands when things go wrong.
Sometimes, we can have joint ventures with our friends or even invite them to act as directors in our companies or even our business adviser/manager. Such an example is Maverick Carter, a childhood friend of LeBron James who later transitioned to being his business manager. Earlier in his career, LeBron had taken a decision to ensure that all his close friends had successful careers of their (with his assistance) as he did not want any of them to hang around idly. This arrangement seems to have worked for all concerned as Maverick was the one who sealed the deal that made LeBron a shareholder in Liverpool Football Club.
Based on the above, it is clear that the right set of friends or people is needed to have positive outcomes in one’s personal finance journey. This is because, many times we tend to mirror the saving or spending habits of our close friends just like Solomon once said, “the companion of the wise will be wise” and vice versa.
Till next week, stay safe and masked up!