What “green shoots” in your garden can teach you about growing your wealth

In 1991, when the UK was in the midst of a recession, chancellor Norman Lamont urged the country to be optimistic about the future. At the Conservative Party conference, he reassured his colleagues that recovery was on the way and the “green shoots of economic spring are appearing once again”.

This phrase has since been adopted into the public lexicon and, as the UK fell into another recession at the end of 2023, we are all hoping to see those green shoots appear soon.

As we enter spring, you might be looking for those early signs of growth in your garden too. If so, there are several important jobs to do in the coming weeks to encourage your garden to bloom, and many of them are similar to the work you do on your financial plan.

Make a plan for the season ahead

Making a plan for the season ahead is crucial if you want your garden to thrive. For example, if you sow seeds at random before preparing the soil your plants won’t grow properly. Additionally, you may need to consider where you place certain plants as each variety has its own preferences about sunlight and drainage.

It could be beneficial to sit down and plan exactly what you want to plant and understand the care needs of those varieties before you do anything else. This could help you make the best use of the space you have and ensure that your garden is healthy.

The same is true of managing your wealth. You may benefit from setting clear goals and determining what action you need to take to nurture those aims. It could also be useful to spend time learning about important financial concepts such as budgeting, tax relief, and investing.

By thinking about your goals and educating yourself, you can determine what steps you need to take to achieve your financial aims. For example, how much do you need to contribute to pensions and savings each month to meet your retirement goals?

Conversely, without a clear plan in place, your financial behaviours might not align with your medium- to long-term goals.

Spring clean your garden

After a long winter, you may need to spring clean your garden. Simple tasks such as cleaning out your greenhouse or planters, raking away dead leaves and vegetation, and maintaining tools puts you in a good position to start preparing for spring and summer.

Similarly, now may be a good time to spring clean your budget, particularly after the start of a new tax year and several changes to significant bills. You can find out more about this in our article on five important changes you may need to make to your budget.

Spring cleaning your budget creates a good foundation so you may be better able to grow your wealth by contributing to savings and investments.

Sow seeds and plant bulbs

Once you’ve tidied your garden and made a plan, it’s time to start planting. Many fruits and vegetables should be sown in spring, as well as certain flowers.

When you made your plan for the garden, you likely thought about what you’d like to achieve. For instance, you may designate a portion of the garden for growing vegetables and then create some beds for attractive flowers.

This gives you a diverse range of plants in the garden, each serving a different aim.

The process of sowing seeds and planting bulbs is much like investing. You may choose different types of investments depending on your unique financial goals to build a portfolio. Then, you nurture those investments over time and watch them bloom.

“Deadhead” your flowers

Some plants that you sowed earlier in the year may have dead flowers on them. It’s important to “deadhead” – trim off the dead flowers – so they don’t take energy away from healthier parts of the plant.

This allows the leaves and stems to continue growing and encourages more flowers in the future.

It may be useful to follow the same process with your investment portfolio from time to time. If certain investments are not performing as you’d hoped, it may be more difficult to reach your financial goals so you may want to trim away these inefficient parts of your portfolio, just as you would when deadheading flowers.

It is also an option to cash in investments and divert those resources elsewhere, so your portfolio flourishes. Sometimes, you may adjust your holdings to reduce the level of risk you adopt too.

If you are unsure, seek professional advice before making any changes to your investments to ensure your portfolio still aligns with your financial goals.

Protect your garden from pests

Insects and other pests can ruin all your hard work if you don’t take steps to protect your garden.

You can do this with naturally pest-repellent plants including:

  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary

Using these plants to create a border around the garden could repel insects without the need for potentially harmful pesticides.

You can also use row covers with a mesh to protect your plants while they are growing. You’ll need to remove these when your plants begin to flower so insects can pollinate them.

It may be beneficial to put these protections in place ahead of time, so your garden is prepared. It could be important to do the same with your wealth too.

Unexpected events such as a serious illness that means you can’t work, or a sudden death in the family could affect your ability to cover your living expenses and contribute to savings and investments for the future, and the right protection could prevent this.

For example, life insurance may provide a lump sum that your family could use to pay off the mortgage, cover funeral expenses, and contribute to retirement savings.

Additionally, income protection may allow you to continue paying your bills and contributing to savings and pensions, so you might still meet your financial goals, no matter what happens.

Get in touch

For financial advice or to speak to your usual adviser, get in touch or email us at advice@milstedlangdon.co.uk.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients 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.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates, and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts. 

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

Posted in Financial Planning.