With interest rates at abysmal lows, it can be a challenge for many Canadians to receive investment returns that beat inflation; formally known as positive real interest rates. This has led many investors to chase investments that may be inappropriate for their personal situations. To add to the trouble, financial professionals will often push their clients to chase positive real interest rates at the expense of non-monetary benefits like safety and ease of access.
While it is mostly true that we should aim to have positive real interest rates, there are many instances when this is not true. Many times during our lives we will need to receive non-monetary benefits. Safety, stability, ease of access and lack of product restrictions all offer value. We can empower ourselves by recognizing that it is perfectly fine to embrace these non-monetary benefits and that the choice is ours to make.
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Many financial professionals obsess over monetary returns and will often brush aside non-monetary concerns. While this perspective can be helpful, it is only part of the overall investment decision that needs to be made. All individuals have varying non-monetary needs and wants that need to be taken into consideration.
Ultimately, these non-monetary demands offer personal value to the individual. For example, there are a very large portion of the population that are not prepared to take risks and value investments that offer security and stability. In this case, these concerns offer value that outweighs the monetary losses from their investment choices.
Many other instances exist when non-monetary value is typically very high. Such as when we are going through life changes, moments of financial unknowns and have suffered from previous financial losses. Also, certain financial products may have conditions that affect its perceived value, like being inaccessible, unethical and more.
Another big example is when we encounter changing and unknown periods in life. For example, starting a business will present an unknown future financial situation and you will likely value safety over high returns.
Overall, it’s important that we understand that investing is more than just the monetary value that is so visible. Respecting other values allows us to make broader and healthier financial decisions.
How To Value?
When we include non-monetary concerns into our investment choices we can employ a decision making model that helps guide our choices. To do this, we can simply compare our investment choices and make a decision on the results. Simple online investment tools can be used to determine what your monetary return will be – such as this one.
Once we estimate the monetary difference between investments, we need to try to compare the difference in dollars to the perceived value of our non-monetary concerns. The decision will come down to something like this; is the stability offered equal to the $500 difference that I may get from the riskier investment? Ultimately, the answer to this question is up to you and what you personally value.
At first, It can be difficult to value our non-tangible values because they have no dollar value and are abstract. However, this skill will quickly develop and will empower you to make broader investment choices.
Broadening our investment decisions to include non-monetary values will help lead us to healthier and more stable investment choices. With a simple comparison model in mind, we begin to maximize our investment value and incorporate all of our needs.
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