Consistency over perfection

Over the past decade of working with clients, there are multiple occasions where talk of perfection has come up.

As someone who takes pride in their work and tries to do the best that they can, there is also a degree of this within myself – whether this be writing something, how a document looks or the words to use in an interaction.

But after reading several books regarding efficiency, systems and processes (I’m sure not riveting reading for some), as well as real life experience of seeing what happens in the world it has made me realise that being consistent is very often more effective than trying to achieve perfection.

Now that isn’t to say just because something is consistent it is automatically correct, but rather that doing something which is pretty much there or there abouts is nearly always a better approach and can potentially achieve better outcomes than delaying and/or aiming for perfection.

An example of this might be when exercising – partaking in something which you enjoy and are capable of on a regular basis seems would be better approach towards health than trying to follow a strictly regimented diet and exercise regime which has been designed for a world class athlete and only managing it for two weeks before giving up altogether.

This is also so often the case when it comes to personal finance.

The truth is that one should not aspire to account for every single penny they spend and document this meticulously, but rather have a grasp of income and expenditure and know that this is realistic and affordable to them over the long term. This is why we will often include an item line of spending that cannot specifically be accounted for in expenditure and include this within our financial forecasting.

Rather than trying to identify the perfect time to invest a sum of money, move money in and out of financial markets or concentrate holdings on one specific asset type or geography, one should aim for a consistent long term approach that is realistic, achievable and is manageable within their current position built around a financial plan with realistic assumptions.

Consistency over perfection!

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.