What Do Millionaires Regret?

I recently read an interesting article that discussed millionaires’ number one financial regret. A poll conducted by the deVere Group found that failing to put in place a regularly reviewed personal financial plan earlier in life was the top regret for (57%).

These successful individuals understand that financial planning is important if you want to grow and protect your wealth. But, more importantly, I think that the millionaires surveyed recognize that a financial plan brings a great source of comfort and confidence.

As Nigel Green, chief executive of the deVere Group, said in a statement accompanying the release of the survey, “It’s clear that wealthy individuals value highly the benefits and opportunities that long-term financial planning brings them and their families, and that they understand the importance of routinely reviewing those plans to ensure that they always remain ‘on track’ to reach their financial goals.”

Green concluded that although the deVere Group focused on high-net-worth individuals, he suspects a survey of middle-income earners would produce results.

Thinking about the power of financial planning reminded me of a piece I read last year by Michael Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he detailed the challenges and benefits of providing financial planning to arts organizations. Writes Kaiser, “While most arts managers and board members don’t turn to financial forecasts when they are looking for a lift, I must admit that I find them inspiring. I find possibilities for change, growth and renewal in projections for income and expenses.”

Of course the same evaluation of income and expenses should be similarly inspiring for individuals who go through the financial planning process.

And, the way Kaiser sums up the benefits of financial planning for arts organizations goes double for individuals and their families. “Organizations that devote time and energy to developing strategic plans must have the courage to imagine truly different futures,” he writes.  “And the financial forecasts that should end every plan should reveal one aspect of this new tomorrow.”

That said, it seems what millionaires regret not having earlier in their lives is something anyone who works with a trusted financial advisor can possess — the confidence to dream big.

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