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5 Lessons From Childhood

Our childhood lessons have a profound influence on our choices today.

October 5, 2023

As we approach Children's Day, a whirlwind of memories from our youth rushes back to the forefront of our minds. Those carefree days of playing in the park, whimsical dreams of the future, and lessons learned from scraped knees and storybooks seem almost ethereal now. Yet, these memories are more than just fleeting moments; they are foundational experiences that subtly shape our adult perspectives and decisions.

Much like the tender roots of a sapling that later support a robust tree, our childhood lessons have a profound influence on our choices today. Financial decisions, perhaps unexpectedly, resonate with this sentiment. As we delve into the world of economics and planning, it's enlightening to see how the guiding principles from our early days align with the intricacies of financial wisdom.


Lesson I: The Patience of Watching Things Grow

In the heart of every childhood garden lies the memory of planting a seed and eagerly waiting for the first green shoot to break through the soil. The daily ritual of watering, the anticipation as days turn into weeks, and the jubilation when a tender sprout finally emerges - it was our first brush with patience and the beauty of gradual growth. This experience mirrors the journey of investing.

Just as one cannot rush a seedling to become a tree overnight, investments too require time to flourish. The initial stages might seem uneventful or even stagnant, but with consistent nurturing and patience, the growth can be exponential. The financial world is replete with stories of investments that didn’t yield immediate returns but became immensely profitable in the long run. It's about understanding that good things take time.

Moreover, the maturation of investments isn't just about monetary gain. The process itself instills discipline, foresight, and a strategic mindset – virtues that are invaluable in many facets of life. The joy of watching our assets grow and mature is akin to the pride and satisfaction we felt when our childhood plant blossomed. The essence remains the same: nurturing with patience and reaping the benefits in due time.


Lesson II: The Importance of a Safety Net

One of the defining moments of childhood for many of us was the day we took our first wobbly ride on a bicycle. Those initial, unsteady pedals, where every push seemed like a potential tumble, were made significantly less daunting by the presence of training wheels. Those little wheels, often overlooked in our triumphant tales of cycling conquests, played a pivotal role. They were our safety net, ensuring that even if we swayed or lost balance, we wouldn't fall.

This simple childhood experience carries a profound lesson that echoes into our financial lives. Just as training wheels provide stability to the budding cyclist, an emergency fund acts as a buffer for our financial well-being. Life, much like those first rides, is unpredictable. We might encounter sudden job losses, medical emergencies, or unexpected home repairs. In such scenarios, having an emergency fund ensures that we can navigate these challenges without derailing our long-term financial goals or resorting to high-interest debts.

The essence of a safety net, be it training wheels or an emergency fund, is not just about protection. It's about providing the confidence to explore, take calculated risks, and move forward, knowing that there's a cushion to catch us if things don't go as planned. And just as we eventually outgrow the need for training wheels, a robust financial strategy aims to build wealth and security that diminishes our reliance on the emergency fund. Yet, its presence remains a testament to prudent planning and foresight.


Lesson III: Learning Through Exploration

Childhood was a grand adventure. Each day brought a new mystery, a new discovery. Whether it was venturing into the woods behind our house, building makeshift forts, or simply gazing at the stars, the essence of childhood was rooted in exploration. These adventures, filled with wonder and sometimes sprinkled with mishaps, were not just about fun; they were our first lessons in understanding the world, assessing risks, and adapting to the unknown.

Drawing a parallel to our financial journey, the essence of exploration holds true. The world of finance and investments is vast, offering myriad opportunities and avenues. Sticking to familiar grounds, much like never venturing beyond our backyard, might be safe, but it also means missing out on potential rewards. Diversifying investments is akin to those childhood explorations. By allocating resources across different assets or sectors, we not only spread and mitigate risks but also open doors to multiple growth avenues.

Moreover, just as every childhood adventure taught us something new - be it the discovery of a hidden stream or understanding the value of teamwork in building that perfect treehouse - exploring diverse financial instruments provides insights and knowledge. It helps us gauge market trends, understand global dynamics, and adapt our strategies accordingly.

In essence, diversifying our financial portfolio is a nod to the explorative spirit of our younger days. It's about embracing the unknown, learning from every step, and maximizing the potential of our resources. Just as we wouldn't have wanted our childhood to be limited to a single experience, our investments too deserve the breadth and depth of exploration.


Lesson IV: Listening to Trusted Voices

Every child, amidst their adventures and misadventures, has that one voice – or perhaps several – that they trust implicitly. It could be a parent soothing away nightmares, a teacher explaining the wonders of the universe, or a grandparent sharing tales of yesteryears. These figures, our early mentors, offered guidance, wisdom, and sometimes, just a listening ear. They helped shape our worldview, taught us right from wrong, and often provided clarity when we felt lost.

Fast forward to the intricate labyrinth of adult financial planning, and the need for trusted voices becomes even more paramount. The financial landscape is complex, filled with jargon, myriad investment options, and constantly changing market dynamics. While it's possible to navigate this on our own, having a financial advisor is like having that trusted mentor from our childhood, but tailored for the world of money.

Financial advisors bring to the table a wealth of experience, expertise, and most importantly, an objective viewpoint. They can analyze our financial situation, understand our goals, and chart out a roadmap that aligns with our aspirations. Moreover, in moments of uncertainty, much like our childhood mentors, they offer calm, reasoned advice, steering us away from impulsive decisions that might derail our financial journey.

But perhaps the most significant parallel lies in the comfort of knowing someone has our back. Just as we took solace in our childhood mentors' guidance, trusting a financial advisor gives us the confidence to make informed decisions, explore new opportunities, and build a secure financial future. It's a reminder that while the journey might be ours, we don't necessarily have to traverse it alone; trusted voices, both past and present, are there to guide and support us.


Lesson V: The Value of Consistency

There's a certain magic to childhood routines. Whether it was practicing the piano every evening, diligently doing homework, or even the simple act of brushing our teeth before bed, these small, repeated actions formed the backbone of our younger days. At first glance, they might have seemed mundane or even tedious, but over time, they bore fruit. The once-jarring piano notes transformed into melodious tunes, consistent study led to academic achievements, and those nightly brush strokes ensured a sparkling smile.

This principle of consistency, rooted in our earliest habits, finds a profound echo in the realm of financial planning. Just as a single piano lesson or a lone homework assignment doesn't lead to mastery, a one-time investment or sporadic savings won't build substantial wealth or security. It's the consistent, disciplined approach to savings and investments that truly makes a difference.

Regular contributions, even if they're modest, to savings or investment accounts leverage the power of compound interest, leading to exponential growth over the long term. This disciplined approach ensures not only monetary accumulation but also inculcates a habit that shields us from impulsive financial decisions. Every consistent step, no matter how small, paves the way for a more secure and prosperous future.

In essence, the same perseverance that enabled us to perfect a song or score well in exams is what drives financial success. It's a testament to the timeless truth that while occasional bursts of effort might lead to short-lived achievements, it's the steady, consistent grind, be it in childhood practices or financial endeavors, that yields lasting and meaningful results.

Book an appointment with me now to kickstart your savings and investment journey.


Life is a beautiful tapestry, where threads of our past weave seamlessly into the fabric of our present, influencing the patterns of our future. As we reflect on our journey, it's evident how the playful lessons of our childhood reverberate in the sophisticated decisions of our adulthood. The echoes of those early days - the patience, the exploration, the trust in guidance, and  the value of consistency - find resonance in our financial endeavors.

As we move forward, may we do so with the insights of yesteryears lighting our path, reminding us that every choice we make, every step we take, is a stitch in the rich, unfolding narrative of our lives. And in this delicate balance of cherishing the past and embracing the future, lies the true essence of a fulfilling journey.


Junwen Chen

My mission is to educate and empower people to design their lives so that they can live in abundance.

Let me partner with you, to design and nurture your dreams and ultimate life goals.


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