What a 700 year-old Castle Taught Me About Money
Created by: Jeff Bullock
I hope this monthly newsletter finds you well. Money management and finances can be complicated, stressful, and exuberant, and yet, they are so very personal. My goal with these letters is to give you a few ideas and principles that will hopefully spark thoughts, conversations, and potentially even nudge you to make small changes in the way you approach money.
A number of years ago I was traveling through Great Britain and visited Beaumaris Castle in Northern Wales. In the years since that trip, I’ve grown to love the history and story behind its construction and architecture. For its time, Beaumaris had a state-of-the-art defensive design. If you look at a picture, you will see a moat, a drawbridge, a small outer wall, a larger inner wall, big towers, and a firing platform. The design was a “walls within walls” plan, and some scholars consider it the pinnacle of military engineering for the time period. Beaumaris Castle wasn’t built to simply be another castle, it was meant to be a mighty fortress. Unfortunately, this fortress was never completed because improper financial planning led to money shortages and eventually to abandoning the construction. Ironic, isn’t it? What should have been a beautiful and strong fortress was derailed, not by poor design or engineering, but by improper financial planning.
There are a few principles and applications we can learn from Beaumaris Castle as it relates to managing money:
Principle 1: How to build a fortress: The principle of building a fortress, and not merely a castle, requires a “walls within walls” approach, or said another way, “layers upon layers” of defenses. The Beaumaris design was fantastic. Redundancy upon redundancy was thought of and (almost) built, creating what surely would have been an (almost) impenetrable fortress.
- Application: When building a financial plan or investment portfolio, the approach of organizing your money into “buckets” that have different jobs or intentions can help create these “layers upon layers.” Different types of buckets that could be part of your plan might be: a rainy day bucket, a short-term needs bucket, an insurance bucket, a long-term investment portfolio bucket, a college savings bucket, a retirement bucket, etc. Organizing with intent is the key to a proper plan.
Principle 2: Poor planning and poor execution usually leads to poor outcomes: We see in the example of Beaumaris Castle that fantastic intentions and designs can be derailed by poor planning and execution.
- Application: Successful financial outcomes are a biproduct of proper goal-setting, planning and execution; each of these pillars must be in alignment. It’s important to be realistic and understand that most financial goals take years, not months to achieve, but getting on the right path early can make all the difference decades down the road.
At Fidelis Wealth, we help you build your personal financial fortress. By implementing sound principles including planning, building, and using a long-term financial approach, we want to help you improve your financial situation, regardless of the current state.
Feedback from these newsletters is not only welcomed but encouraged. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com. If you think this might be useful to any of your friends or family, feel free to forward it to them.
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