Expert advice

Nov 03, 2016,10.21 IST

Coasting to cruising: 5 Tips to reach your financial goals

Ramalingam K

“A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline”, says Harvey Mackay. This quote is inspiring and is very appropriate for all of us who have financial goals to achieve in our lifetimes.

Mere sailing along or coasting does not help us to reach our destination. Purpose, and will to achieve, is the driving force, which will take us to our dream house or steer us through to a comfortable life after retirement.

More specifically, moving along in the right direction does not necessarily imply that the track is right. Not having specific goals can be compared to driving at night without headlights. It is an uncertain journey, and one is never really sure that they will reach the destination.

The following are the tips to be followed in order to cruise to the financial goals at the right pace.

1.    Destination Targeting:

It is often that people let the investments move along in autopilot mode. They put off setting a final destination simply because it requires more involvement and commitment. This sort of procrastination is detrimental because it delays the process of taking the next logical step. Holding back would mean that the cherished goal would remain distant and could move further away.

2.    Use a compass:

A compass assesses your position. In the same way there is a need to assesses the financial goals and plan accordingly. Prepare one taking into account all possible situations and possible ways.

3.    Map your current location:

While on an outing it is necessary to chart our position on the map so that we do not get lost in the wilderness. In the same manner while embarking on the financial journey it is imperative that we know our co-ordinates on life’s map.

Where we stand and where we want to reach on the financial front are important points of our financial life. Which financial peak to scale first and which one to be left for the end are decisions, which need careful thought, intense planning and neat execution.

4.    Know your destination:
While driving a vehicle it is imperative for the driver to know the destination, else the journey is purposeless. The same holds true for our financial journey as well.  

The ideal outcome that is desired should be clearly defined and etched in the mind. This planning of destination needs to be done meticulously and might require inputs from other family members of the individual.

5.    Set the pace:

The financial journey, unlike many other journeys, requires a head start. The sooner it is on track the better. An early start will also ensure that one reaches their cherished destination faster.   There’s no time like the present to start designing the financial future and making steady progress towards the goal.

From coasting and meandering on the financial path of life to cruising along at the right pace to reach the final destination, it takes a lot of maneuvering skill and dogged resilience. If required opt for a professional assistance, but do prepare a financial plan and stick to it.

The author is the Director and Chief Financial Planner of Holistic Investment Planners ( a firm that offers Financial Planning and Wealth Management.
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