Examined Lives – understanding risk through life planning

The whole topic of risk-taking is central to business and investing.  But what IS risk?  It’s more than just a technical measure of stock market volatility.  As individuals, we experience it as a feeling of uncertainty or anxiety in response to possible future events.  When it comes to the risks of investing, the feelings get more complicated because they’re tied up with our hopes and dreams for the future. When we invest, it’s ultimately to deliver quality of life at some point in the future.  In short, we want to buy some future happiness.  But do we actually know what will make us happy in the future?  The latest research in the field of positive psychology shows that we almost certainly have no idea.  I take a look at this fascinating research and its implications for financial planning in my new article, “Examined Lives”.

Excerpt: “Let’s compare two different people: one wins $1 million in the lottery, the other has an accident and loses the use of his legs. Which one will be happier with their life 12 months after these events? That’s easy. The lottery winner, right? In fact, research on actual Illinois State lottery winners and new paraplegics reveals an astonishing result. Members of both groups are equally happy with their lives a year later. Honestly! This wasn’t just one quirky bit of research, either. Dozens and dozens of well-designed studies have reached the same conclusion: We don’t have a very firm grasp on what truly makes us happy.”  READ MORE


About George Kinder

George Kinder is known globally as the leading thinker in the financial Life Planning movement, dedicated to deliver freedom with integrity to consumers worldwide. Also known for his photography, poetry and spiritual wisdom, he is described in Professional Adviser's annual review of the "50 Most Influential People" in the world of financial advice: "George Kinder, Founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning, is widely recognized as the pioneer of the life planning model. The creator of an original concept which puts peoples' core life values at the heart of the advice process, he is a true visionary. His institute's training, which focuses on the human aspect of planning, is regarded by advisers as the gold standard. A life sector legend, the Harvard-educated industry veteran has been an adviser and tax planner for over thirty years and has won many industry awards. Kinder is a regular on television and radio as well as a keynote speaker at industry events and conferences and his knowledge and know-how of the life sector is second to none. But Kinder's expertise stretches way beyond the adviser realm - he is also an artist, photographer, poet, spiritual leader and author. " Kinder's website www.kinderinstitute.com/dir lists nearly 2000 advisors on 6 continents and in 23 countries who have taken his programs. He views his mission as bringing a deserved reputation for integrity back to the financial services sector and making the core ethos within financial services the delivery of a process for freedom to every human being on the planet.
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