Financial Progress - Over Time

When I first saw this picture, something clicked for me.

I had recently published a blog post that was titled “Slow Progress is Still Progress”. My daughter and I had seen a man walking and she observed that he had only moved a short distance since we had first seen him, and I reminded her that “Slow Progress is Still Progress”.

As I’m in the process of building a business, this is even more paramount for me to understand. The way my business will be built will be incremental changes over the long term – that way, it will also be more sustainable.

These are some of the key concepts that I teach my financial clients as we are creating financial plans or working on their investments. Wealth is not built overnight, and it is the slow and steady progress that usually lasts. I read something recently in “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel. The author explained that $84.2 billion of Warren Buffett’s $84.5 billion net worth was accumulated after his 50th birthday. That’s almost hard to believe. He started investing at age 10, and it was the consistent habits that he had created in the many years that has propelled him to where he is today. But he didn’t see the growth until 40 years after he started. Incremental change – over time, then compounded and multiplied.

Those people who receive a lot of money in a very short space of time, are usually not prepared to handle what it means – and end up spending it just as quickly as they received it. Think of most of the lottery winners you’ve ever heard of. Sometimes, the steady earnings and growth are more meaningful in being able to retain more over the long term.

Bill Gates once said, “Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, and underestimate what they can in 10 years”. I’m likely one of those people. I started tracking my assets on a quarterly basis in 2009 – I had a specific purpose then. The change over each quarter has been incremental. But, when I look back over the now 12-year span, it is incredible to see the growth – and this is likely the reason the above chart resonates so much.

How can we work together so that I can help you to be focused on the small, but incremental changes that will impact your overall life?