Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. So what’s this got to do with mastering your money and your skills?
Keeping things topical, this is really the story of the day. And given that I’m British, albeit one that now lives in Asia, I’ve been keeping close tabs on recent events.
The first thing I want to make clear is that this is not an opinion piece on whether the decision for the UK to leave the European Union was the right one or wrong one. There was a democratic process and it has played out. I’ll live with that.
I could try to go into the arguments for and against but, let’s face it, there are plenty of sophisticated opinions from sages far smarter than myself worth listening to.
The “all or nothing” nature of the referendum also means that you can find hundreds of columns of newspaper copy vehemently arguing viewpoints that sit poles apart.
This blog will never be The Economist or Wall Street Journal. So I would invite you to get a balanced viewpoint from different insightful perspectives.
The way I choose to look at the episode is the importance of adapting to change and taking control of your future. This isn’t just applicable to British people. It’s a way that we can all think about finance.
For example, plenty of people were shocked to see how volatile the UK stock market was on the Brexit news. That market sell-off and the decline in the value of the pound sterling came with the territory. That’s how the investment world plays out when the future becomes less clear.
But at the same time that doesn’t mean we should stick our collective heads in the sand and scream, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.”
Even if the outcome wasn’t what you had hoped for, it doesn’t mean you should continue to feed your opinion with so much negative energy that it prevents you from seeking out even the thinnest of silver linings.
From the Ashes of Disaster…
As bad as things got for many, even the 2008-2009 global financial crisis threw up opportunities. That might sound a tad insensitive and contrary to what many people felt on the ground. After all, they were bad times and lots of people lost lots of jobs and money.
But there were also those that realized that it was time to adapt to the new normal, upgrade their skills, do something different or seek out opportunities in a changing environment. People did get ahead during the downturn. Not just rich people. Ordinary folk as well.
It was also a time that you could buy investments far more cheaply than you could have even a few years earlier, in the knowledge that the bad times wouldn’t last forever. Maybe you see this perspective as the privilege of the few rather than the many. Maybe you’re right.
But if you are going to get anything out of such periods of negativity you have to be open to the idea of possibilities – that current circumstances don’t need to define you and your future.
No Brexit Crystal Balls
Who knows what the true impact of Brexit will be on global economies. None of us knows. But it’s always worth thinking that such times of uncertainty offer up opportunities that never would have existed otherwise. You’ve just got to be open to the idea.
Yes, things can get scary. That’s exactly why we need to take control of our money circumstances, whether you want to invest or not. You’ve got to be ready for whatever the world wants to throw at you.
That requires knowing what you want out of life, knowing where you are now, improving your skills and knowledge, and, importantly, feeling confident that you will have what it takes to handle life’s curveballs.
And that’s exactly what Brexit is for many – another of life’s curveball. Make sure you keep learning and adapting, whatever the world has in store.