What surprising lesson could a Mexican fisherman teach us about real wealth?

How much money do you need to be “wealthy”? As you can imagine, it’s a question many clients have pondered – yet the answer could surprise you.

It was one that sprang to mind while reading the excellent book “Enough? How Much Money Do You Need For The Rest Of Your Life?”.

Written by Paul D Armson, it’s a thought-provoking read that encourages the reader to consider wealth as quality of life, not assets and riches. You may already know that this is something we are strong advocates of, as our recent blog on ways to improve financial wellbeing reveals.

This is why we are offering copies of the book, which typically retails on Amazon for £10.99, for a reduced price. More details are provided at the end of this blog.

In the book, Paul tells the story of a poor Mexican fisherman who teaches a high-powered management consultant what being wealthy really means. Read on to discover the tale of the fisherman and recent research that backs up the moral of the story.

A management consultant asks a boatman: “What do you do with your life?”

The story starts with a management consultant who is on holiday in Mexico. During his stay he watches a local fisherman come to shore with a single yellowfin tuna in his small boat.

Soon, the pair start talking, and the management consultant asks the boatman what he does with his day. He replies that after an early morning fishing trip he returns to sell the tuna he’s caught that day, after which he has lunch, spends time with his beautiful wife and snoozes until early evening.

When his children arrive home from school, he plays with them and then has dinner with the family. Finally, he rounds off his day by playing guitar and drinking with his amigos.

“Why not catch more fish and be rich?” asks the consultant

On hearing about the Mexican’s day, the consultant feels compelled to offer advice. Instead of catching one fish, he suggests, why not stay out and catch more?

He explains that the fisherman could have a fleet of boats and may even be able to own his own cannery. That would mean he could sell his catch directly to retailers, cutting out the expense of the middleman.

Eventually, the management consultant proclaims, you’ll have thousands of employees and be a multi-millionaire!

“What happens then?” asks the boatman.

“You can relax, retire to a little Mexican fishing village and, in the morning, you can get up and go fishing for a yellowfin tuna and in the evening play guitar and have a few drinks with your amigos,” the consultant replies.

No matter how rich you are, you could already be wealthy

It’s a powerful reminder that while financial security is important, when you have enough money to provide the lifestyle you want, you’re already wealthy. Striving for more assets for the sake of having more may lead to unhappiness and stress.

This dovetails into recent research by Aegon, which reveals that financial wellbeing is about understanding what makes you happy and doing more of that, not simply having more. It’s backed by one of the key findings, which shows that a third of Britain’s top earners worry about money.

The Financial Wellbeing Index also suggests that higher lifestyle expenditure may create stress and pressure that results in unhappiness. It concludes that experiencing joy and purpose every day by living a life you enjoy is the real secret to financial wellbeing.

A financial planner can help you achieve this

A key message in Paul’s book is knowing whether what you have is enough wealth to provide the lifestyle you’ll enjoy. As he points out, many people don’t know. If you’re one, you could be under the illusion you need to continue working when, in fact, you could stop if you wanted to.

This is where a financial planner can help. They can do an audit on your wealth and confirm whether you’re able to live life in the slow lane, be that retirement, semi-retirement or taking a lower-paid job with less responsibility.

A planner can also use sophisticated income modelling software to ensure you have enough money to maintain your chosen lifestyle both now and in the future.

If you can’t take life more easily, a financial planner could help you get there

If you are not yet in a financial position to live life at a more leisurely pace, a financial planner could help improve your chances of achieving it as soon as possible. They can do this by helping you to:

  • Identify your goals in life and develop a wealth strategy to build the level of wealth you need to live the life you want
  • Carry out an assessment of your income and outgoings, helping you identify areas where you might reduce costs and save more for your future
  • Ensure you’re as tax-efficient as possible, so that you can save more quickly and achieve your ambitions sooner.

Get in touch

If you would like to buy a copy of “Enough? How Much Money Do You Need For The Rest Of Your Life?” for the reduced price of £3.99, please email hello@ardentuk.com or call us on 01904 655 330.

If you would like to discuss your wealth and whether it will allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you’d like, however that may look, please get in touch using the same contact details.

Please note

This article is for information only. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.

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