With the festive season approaching one’s thoughts turn to what gifts to give people and of course ourselves, that little treat, as you deserve it. So how does financial planning come to mind—well if your portfolio has had a good year you can use the return you have made to pass on to friends and family and with perhaps some left over for those less fortunate than yourself. It is also a good time as the year-end approaches to consider what to do in the following year financially.
Giving gifts to children center round the latest toys, software of electronic gizmos—but are these the best options are likely to be discarded in favor of the remaining chocolates or sweets—even the packaging can seem more fun than the toy it contained how fickle are kids?
One thing that lasts longer and undoubtedly will benefit them in the long term is putting money aside for their future, be it education, first car or towards the deposit on their first house. Agreed it is a harder sell but if you can kindle their interest in what money can do by perhaps making an investment in something that they can watch and hopefully grow, it will pay dividends.
What about friends and family—well again most people prefer a gift but then again how many pairs of socks and scarves can you really wear at once? How about family members clubbing together to invest in a holiday home or investment property? This way it is possible with a holiday home for the family to meet up somewhere warm of the festive period or perhaps in the mountains if skiing and winter sports is your thing.
If it is an investment property then depending on how you finance the deal you could not only enjoy capital appreciation but also a low loan interest rate if you finance it in yen.
So that’s taken the kids and the family into account so what about those less fortunate than yourself. One easy way is to use some of the investment return you have earned throughout the year and give part of that away to your favorite charity or to some project that promotes sustainability. Your choice of home for your donation is vast and clearly you need to think of your own aims and those of the charity as to make the biggest impact you don’t want it to be spent on administration and salaries.
If you prefer to have more control over your investment decisions you can select SRI funds (Socially Responsible Investment) that way you can choose sustainable projects or environmentally friendly companies who have an eye for the future.
Alternatively, what about volunteering your time and talents? There are many organizations desperate for people to give their time to support groups or individuals. This is often the most rewarding experience as you can see the benefits of your contribution first hand.