Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge shift in society’s attitude towards health and wellbeing. We’re now generally more aware of the importance of good mental health and thankfully, there is now a greater number of options available for people looking for help.
From meditation apps to supportive techniques and advice on ‘self-care’, there are many different ways we can keep on top of our mental fitness – almost in the same way as we can our physical fitness.
But there is another aspect of mental health that isn’t as widely discussed, and that’s the link between wealth and happiness.
Money is of course top of the list when it comes to issues most people worry about.
Whether it’s regarding short-term finances or our long-term future, financial insecurity can cause serious anxiety and low self-esteem.
But even though it often seems tempting to ignore money worries, recent research suggests that tackling the issues head-on can actually make people feel better than not doing it at all.
And by this they mean something as simple as opening an investment account.
In Blackrock’s Global Investor Pulse, which each year asks what people think and feel about their financial health, they report that once people start investing, 43% feel happier about their financial future, 36% of people have a higher feeling of wellbeing and 19% feel less stressed.
The results say this is true regardless of wealth, age, gender or life stage. Even more encouraging is that new investors say the improvement in their mood is immediate.
For those of you who already have a financial plan, this may simply be interesting to note. I’d love to know if you feel you are happier as a result of knowing that you have a plan in place. And even more interesting would be whether – as the research suggests – this feeling was immediate.
But it may be more meaningful to people you know who aren’t currently investing their money. Currently 63% of British adults hold no market-based investments at all. The reasons range from finding it too difficult to understand and feeling as if ‘investing is just for experts’.
However, now might be as good as any to enter the market for the first time. And tiny steps can have a huge impact. Even investing small amounts of money can lead to a greater return than just having it in a savings account where interest rates are at an all-time low.
If you think it would be helpful for me to talk to anyone in need of a financial second option, then please pass on my details - I’d be happy to give them a call. Afterall, the results also say that 76% of investors who use a financial adviser report having a positive sense of wellbeing, and who am I to argue with that?!