As we prepare for another Christmas of festivities, family and fun, once again I reflect on the past 12 months. 2016 was a very interesting year, it had its challenges but they came with some important lessons which will propel us forward in 2017. 2016 was the year of:
Expect the unexpected
In June this year, the United Kingdom held a referendum to decide if they would leave the European Union. 90% of economists predicted that they would vote against the exit and the days leading up to the referendum saw increased volatility in share markets as investors grew concerned about the uncertainty ahead. Following the vote in favour of “Brexit”, share markets fell, the UK pound plummeted and safe haven assets such as the Japanese Yen, highly rated government bonds and gold all rose in value. By mid-July share markets had largely brushed off any negative Brexit effect. The long term impact of Brexit is still unknown and we expect to see continued volatility due to the uncertainty.
In November, the US held their presidential election. No-one really thought that Trump would win, however most economists were bracing for the worst, as they did not want to repeat their error on predictions for Brexit. Initially markets fell due to fear and uncertainty, however by late afternoon on Election Day (Sydney time) markets embraced Trump’s election and the Republican Party’s clean sweep of Congress. This upbeat mood continued in the weeks following the election. Over this time, share markets posted further gains while bond yields continued their upward trajectory.
Self awareness and personal development
In January, my assistant Monika joined me. I hired Monika for her past experience in the industry but also because I could see how different we were and I hoped that we would compliment each other and boy was I right. Monika has been a wonderful addition to the Jenbury team and has brought many new initiatives and improvements. However, working with someone so different from myself brings challenges and I spent a good deal of time figuring out who I was so that I could impart that to her and help her understand how we would work best together. Together we have made many wonderful discoveries and I believe we have both grown as people.
One of the lessons I learnt was “Strive for Excellence, Not Perfection”. I have a tendency to be a perfectionist, which is great as I work hard to get something right, however it also means that I am never really happy with the result as I keep shifting the goal posts. Changing my expectation to excellence instead of perfection has allowed me to embrace lots of new things and helped me feel good about what we achieve every day.
I also learned the true definition of introvert vs extrovert. I used to think it was shy vs outgoing but in fact the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is the way we direct and receive energy. An introvert is energised by spending time alone whereas an extrovert recharges their energy from being around people. This has been important to understand and accept.
2016 saw the loss of some amazingly talented and wonderful people. To name a few, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Mohamed Ali, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Leonard Cohen, as well as one of our dear friends Glenda and a couple of our lovely clients, Max and Jenny.
The world is a slightly worse place for the loss of these beautiful people and they will be remembered dearly.
Where there is death there is life. I was made an aunty twice more this year with the birth of our niece Isla and my best friend’s son Cooper. I treasure my time with them and seeing them grow. Being an aunty makes me a better person.
My beautiful dog Ollie was diagnosed with Lymphoma in October. It is low grade cancer so he could live out his life naturally and (thankfully) he has no symptoms. However, we have found out that there is such a thing as a Vet Oncologist and the beautiful Laura Brockley at Victorian Animal Cancer Care is amazing and so good with our Ollie. If he has to have cancer he could not be in better hands.
And lastly, but most importantly I have discovered Jeggings. I love the look of jeans (when in a casual setting) but have never found them comfortable. Leggings, on the other hand, are incredibly comfortable but are not really pants. I recently discovered Jeggings, which are essentially leggings made to look like a pair of jeans.
All in all, 2016 has been a good year. I believe that what doesn’t challenge us doesn’t change us. I look forward to all that 2017 has to offer.
If you, or someone you know is looking to start their journey to financial freedom in 2017, please put them in touch with us, we can have a 10 minute chat with them on the phone to determine if we can help them and if they feel comfortable with us and then we can book an initial complementary discovery session so that we can get a better idea of what they need from us.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing and fun break.