Stanford University Insights

Below is some interesting content on storytelling, design thinking and innovation that Gold Leaf financial adviser Mary Campbell learned when she attended a Strategic Leadership Program at Stanford University last year.

With insights from Stanford, as well as feedback from our clients, we continue to innovate and improve the financial planning services we provide to clients.

Empathy and design thinking

We approach financial planning focussed on you and your story. Your hopes, your goals and your dreams. We feel privileged to help you on your journey. The financial world can be daunting and complicated so at Gold Leaf Financial we explain everything in easy to understand language, and we welcome questions. We make organising and managing your finances easier and you can relax knowing you are working with an expert. Our clients are sometimes surprised to find it is a more enjoyable experience than they expected because as it is all about you, your values and what you really want in life.


We all enjoy hearing stories from family, friends, movies, art and books. Stories can help us better understand financial concepts and our personal finances. For example, dollar cost averaging can be a useful way to invest over time. The way it works is more closely compared to going shopping. Imagine you did not know when the next sale was on and you needed to buy clothes for your new job starting in a few months. If you buy all the clothes at once, you may get lucky and buy them all on sale at the best price, or you may be unfortunate and buy them when they are most expensive. What if instead of guessing, you worked out how much you wanted to spend in total and averaged it over each fortnight. So each fortnight, if prices are high, every $100 will buy only a few items. If prices are low, each $100 will buy many items. Buy spending the same each fortnight, you are forced to buy more when the price is low and less when prices are high. Dollar cost averaging is investing the same amount at regular intervals over time, avoiding guessing, and buying more when company prices are low.

Making a change

When we are thinking of trying something new, we may be afraid of the consequences of making a wrong decision.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” - Henry Ford

With your finances, it can help to have advice from an expert about the potential benefits and the potential risks of different options. We help our clients better understand their financial options in the context of their personal values, so they can make informed decisions.

Before making a big financial decision, we suggest seeing if you can test out the water first. For example, if you are thinking of starting a business, you could start part time to see if you like it and if it will be profitable, before you quit your full time job. If you are thinking of selling your home and retiring to a house by the sea, you may like to keep your current house and rent it to tenants, and rent a house by the seaside to live in. This way you can see how you like the lifestyle, access to services and become part of the community. Then you can decide if starting fresh and seaside living is for you or if you prefer to live in the city within your existing community. Selling costs and state stamp duty is tens of thousands of dollars, so by trying before you make the big decision can make a big impact on your finances and your options in the future.

#bigfinancialdecisions #empathy #designthinking #StanfordUniversity #healthcare

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