We all hope that you had a lovely Easter weekend. For me, it was a busy weekend in the garden, but also quality time with Digger (aka David/husband), the girls and, of course, Poppy our dog!
There’s no doubt the news in term of human cost, infections and losses is extremely sad and, for many of us, frightening. However, amongst all the bad news, there is some good news to be had. We saw a steadier week for the FTSE100, trade data coming out of China is surprisingly strong and a deal was reached at the OPEC+ meeting on Thursday.
However, for those of you following our end of the week “Good News” social media posts, my particular favourite this week was the announcement by Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister. Providing reassurance to the children of New Zealand, she confirmed that the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny should be classed as key workers, but to be very understanding that they may be busy with their own families and that there might be some improvisation required.
If you haven’t seen the clip, you can find it here.
I really believe that we can find happiness in the simple things in life. I love the Mexican Fisherman story by Heinrich Boll. For those of you that don’t know it:
An American businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.
“How long did it take you to catch them?” The American asked.
“Only a little while.” The Mexican replied.
“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The American then asked.
“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The Mexican said.
“But,” The American then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”
The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you could buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”
“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”
“But what then, senor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”
“Millions, senor? Then what?”
The American said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”
And to sum that up, I love this quote by Bertholt Brecht – “Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels”.
As hard as it might be at the moment, make sure to watch out for the things to be grateful for every day.
Stay safe and keep well.
Best wishes from Nicola and all the team at Jane Smith Financial Planning