It is amazing how I have spent most of the time today building an electronic japan city. Being hooked and called an addict to the latest game I downloaded, I literally was multitasking the whole day managing roads, shop sales and kiddish stuff that people do when they download games onto their iphone. Being mobile and having your best mates playing neighbors didn't really help because you spent most time talking about strategies, asking for helps and in the game jargon, sending tourist to aid each other.
I told myself, since I spent so much time playing and injecting efforts to lift my spirit - I should balance it equally with work, or rather something else more productive. So in the last hours before I head to bed, I read. Personal Money magazine.
So here comes the boring and dry stuff, but it is really worth the read.
After reading an article nicely written on couples, I realize how much investment and future plans as well as goals in managing financial is important. I remember back in the days when my partner use to tell me about joint accounts, sat me down calmly alerting me about expenditures and planning future - I would always nod in agreement, but missing in action. We did not really had the true intention or actual methods to lay it all down in plan.
The world no doubt is changing, with major trends and movements - lifestyle has been more expensive than ever. Sometimes luxurious!!! Not to mentioned about elevating it, sustaining it is a problem to many people and being a couple makes it even more tough. It is worst when you are with someone who doesn't understand and share the same ideologies as you are.
With the current political arena Malaysian is facing, the government is not exactly helping too. Screw the helicopter view that our PM is trying to bring in more FDI for a better tomorrow. The gap and barrier between the high rollers and low earners are too wide for any benefit. Not to mentioned how labour and market expectations have structure social constrains onto individuals in both the workforce and personal living, we are still fairly far behind. Should I even begin with corruption?
Back to the article, in summary two is better than one. Seeing my father joining forces with his brothers, grandma supporting my uncles and aunties in their investment and mum's recent entry into my business life has certainly help and ease the difficulties faced. The article which focuses on couple talks and plans for money highlights the importance of understanding each others' spending traits, habits and personality ("ies" if any!!!) by having proper planned future strategies, goals and agreed process to reach those miles.
Couples are better off with having three separate pots; one shared and two individual to maintain autonomy that allows both party to play equal CEO roles in healthy management for decided joined financials. Of course, debt is a different story and I strongly suggest (not that I am any professional wealth advisor) that individual settle that in a different pot without involving the other partner. You wouldn't really want "kind-debts" right?
So, if you reader are out there. Remember to practice heart to heart talk about managing your financials. Few summary pointers;
- Converse, listen and care in the right, comfortable situation
- Avoid setting expectations and dreams, be realistic
- Treat pots and goals like business partners - the more formal, the safer and better
- Be empathy and do not discriminate as each individual is different
- Invest together is risky, but managing risk is often a learning process
- Commit to your goals and intended investment
- Always set a withdrawal mechanics that does not hurt anybody
In conclusion, couples can maximize their potentials in investing together when both party can calculate each other fits and misdemeanors as potential risks. Love should always be the driving force for the goals but never NEVER the reason for investing. A piece of advise, if your relationship is only 1 year old, don't bother taking a 80% commitment of funds to your partner. What I am trying to say is that, the longer the relationships, the higher guarantee for safer returns. Not that I endorse quantity of time, but you need to know what is best and IT TAKES TIME. If possible, equate love out of the topic.
Hope that helps.
Now I need to find someone who have the same goals with me to start off but first, Japan Life!