Kicking Assets
When it comes to your wealth, who is your Sensei?

Not too many people stride confidently into the dojo on their first visit – most often, even if they’ve studied a martial art previously, they’re conscious to get an idea of ‘the lay of the land’ as they take those first few steps onto the mats.

People come to the dojo for many reasons, sometimes it’s to improve their fitness, learn some skills related to self defence, or even to enforce a bit of discipline into their lives.

Interestingly enough, the same happens when people attend their first appointment at the financial planning office. They’ve come along to increase their financial fitness, looking to protect their assets or put in place some good habits with a goal of wealth creation.

In both instances, often people aren’t quite sure what to expect their first time through the door, or just how they’ll measure up to the ‘experts’ in the room around them.

Regardless of people’s prior experience, they know they may be about to learn something – and that can make them feel vulnerable. Both the dojo and the financial planning office should be safe places to learn and grow.

Something impactful that happens to students in the dojo, is observing the calibre of people around them. As a white belt, observing the skill, co-ordination and confidence of the higher coloured belts
inspires them; it shows them what is possible with some dedication, discipline and taking instruction form the sensei.

In martial arts, “Sensei” can be translated as “one who has gone before” or “born before,” implying someone with more experience or knowledge on a particular topic or field.

Coloured belts show others the what’s possible in the shorter term, a black belt instructor or sensei shows what is just beyond that … but even the sensei has an instructor. The sensei is putting in the hard yards on themselves, in order to continue to grow. And there are people with skills and knowledge in some areas beyond the instructor.

It is often said in martial arts circles that ‘black belt is only the beginning’ or the apprenticeship in martial arts. Martial artists are never ‘finished’ in their training, even the masters have masters, there’s always more to learn, refine and enhance. The same can be inferred in regard to personal finances.

When it comes to finances, some people feel well beyond ‘white belts’ or beginners with their money, having taken control of their budget and having an investment plan in place may them feeling quite accomplished.

Whether you feel like a white belt, coloured belt or even a black belt in managing your money, there’s always a benefit in finding a sensei to sharpen your technique, review your behaviour patterns and make you aware of things you may not be able to see for yourself in relation to your own wealth creation.

Regardless of which rank people feel is appropriate to their finances, there’s always more to learn.

A new perspective, an enhanced discipline, the introduction of a new facet or a new angle to look at a familiar aspect – anything is possible.

Remembering ‘even the masters have masters’ can ensure a ‘steel sharpens steel’ approach to money management – I invite you to join me on a wealth awareness journey as we get kicking assets.



Private Wealth Adviser at Shadforth Financial

Included in Financial Standards’ Power50 for 2023, and awarded Financial Adviser of the Year by Women in finance awards in 2022.

Certified Financial Planner

Contributes to the FAAA’s Certified Financial Planner education program, and Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning subjects with Kaplan Professional

Hold a second dan black belt in karate, and currently a student of Korean martial art, Hapkido.

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