By John Benedict
Think about what matters to you and how those priorities show up in your life—in your relationships, work, home, and money. Nowadays, there are a multitude of choices and information telling us what’s “right.” But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to life or finances, which is why it’s important to make a plan that is true to you. Taking time to connect your money choices with what you believe in can lead your actions to match your words, allowing you to pursue higher levels of financial success in a way that feels worthwhile.
At J2 Capital Management, we work to support our clients by outlining their financial goals and matching them to their values so that they can enjoy a meaningful and purposeful life. To help make that connection, we’ve created a brief guide to help align your values to your financial goals.
Identify Your True Values
Start by separating your values into two categories: the values you were taught, and the values that truly make you happy. There may be some overlap between the two, but the goal is to find out if there is a difference between the values you think you have and the values that are truly meaningful in your life.
For example, you may have been taught to work hard and pour your soul into a corporate job that pays well, but maybe it’s not bringing you any personal satisfaction. In reality, you might find more fulfillment from a nonprofit job that pays less but whose mission and good work you believe in. To start this process, psychologist Jim Taylor recommends answering the following three questions:
- What do you choose to do in your life on a daily basis?
- What activities are you passionate about that bring you true joy when you participate in them?
- What experiences and people cause you to feel deeply engaged and connected to the world around you?
Digging into these questions can uncover the values you hold that truly fulfill you and bring joy to your life. If you’re constantly unhappy, whether that be from your job, your financial behaviors, or something else, this is a sign that you may not be living according to your true values.
Understand Your Money Mindset
You also need to take stock of your money mindset. Your money mindset has been cultivated from your life experience. You may have learned good financial habits from your parents. You may have even learned bad financial habits if you watched your parents fail financially. Whatever your experiences have been with personal finances, they are the key to understanding why you behave the way you do around financial matters.
Understanding your money mindset is important because it allows you to grow intentionally. Identifying a toxic or substandard financial mindset is the first step to changing that mindset. By knowing what you want to change, you’re in more control over how and when you change it.
Be Honest With Yourself
Here’s the hard part. You need to be honest with yourself about the alignment of your values and your money mindset. It’s tough to be honest with ourselves. It takes hard work. But it’s been said throughout history that self-reflection is one of life’s most difficult yet rewarding endeavors. (Socrates’ famous statement comes to mind: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”)
Reflecting and being honest with yourself about the disconnects you’ve identified will help you get on the right path to healthier behaviors and goals. If this process leads to greater fulfillment and an easier time reaching your realistic financial goals, it will all be worth it.
Sync Your Ideal Life With Your Lived Life
After all this reflection, your ideal life probably looks a bit different from your day-to-day life, your reality. To reach that ideal lifestyle, you must sync your “living life” with the values you identified that actually make you happy. Remember that these are the values that connect you to the activities, experiences, and people which bring you the most fulfillment.
Only then will you be able to develop financial goals that truly reflect your values. When financial goals are connected to your values, your finances become the tool that allows you to reach the real goal, rather than being the end goal in and of itself. From this vantage point, you’re ready to experience long-lasting happiness.
A Custom Strategy Aligned to Your Values
My commitment as a financial advisor is to offer guidance around your finances but also to connect them to the parts of your life that matter most. By considering your personal values and implementing them into your custom strategy, we collaborate to make financial choices that enable you to live life to its fullest potential. For further information, feel free to schedule a meeting online or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-641-4444.
About John Benedict
John Benedict is CEO, investment advisor representative, and portfolio manager at J2 Capital Management, a boutique financial advisory firm specializing in in-house custom financial planning, tax, estate, and investment management. With over 20 years of experience, John is passionate about helping clients navigate uncertain markets, reduce risk, and plan for a sound future. John combined his talents and passion in statistics and technical analysis to create J2’s tactical strategies, managing them since the beginning of the organization. He is known for being a visionary and continually looking for ways to improve J2’s services and strategies to better serve his clients. John graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in business administration and finance, and his thoughts on markets and technical analysis have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Investment News, and on Moneyshow.com. He was also a contributor to the book The StockTwits Edge: 40 Actionable Trade Set-Ups from Real Market Pros.
When he’s not working, you can find John boating or participating in water sports and spending time with his wife, Janine, and his three children, Jack, Alexis, and Saraphina. To learn more about John, connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also register for his latest webinar on What Makes J2 Capital Management Different From Other Financial Advisors.