Fundamental Concepts For Financial Success

Fundamental Concepts For Financial Success

In today’s world, where headlines can change as quickly as the weather, it’s essential to anchor yourself with fundamental financial concepts that endure through market highs and lows. Nelson Financial Planning encapsulates these principles in our new book, Next Gen Dollars and Sense. This guide distills decades of wisdom into an easy-to-read, common-sense approach to financial planning, equipping you with useful knowledge and tools for navigating this complex topic. Here are five core concepts highlighted in the book that are essential for anyone looking to build a secure financial future.

Time in the Market, Not Timing the Market

The concept of “time in the market, not timing the market” is one we talk about all the time here at Nelson Financial Planning. A notable example is the period spanning 2007 to 2023, encompassing the housing crash and financial crisis of 2009 and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to early 2023. Despite challenges, this 15-year period ended up being lucrative for those who stayed invested.

This demonstrates that a steadfast presence in the market, rather than attempting to predict fluctuating outcomes, can yield a healthy return. Many people are surprised to learn that investors experienced a 9 percent annualized return from 2007 to 2023, transforming $10,000 into $35,000 over 15 years. That’s not too shabby.

Pay Yourself First

Another fundamental financial principle is to pay yourself first. This means putting a portion of your income into savings or investments right out of the gate, as opposed to investing whatever you happen to have left at the end of the month. This strategy ensures your future financial health, but it requires disciplined budgeting. Next Gen Dollars and Sense is chockfull of helpful resources, including a comprehensive, downloadable budget spreadsheet to help you establish and track your budget from here on out.


It’s a common misconception that being consistent is difficult, but consistency is often easier than inconsistency—you simply need to do the same thing again and again. This theme is discussed extensively in Next Gen Dollars and Sense. The book champions the simple yet profound concept of repeating yourself over and over once you pinpoint successful financial behaviors.


Diversification is fundamental for prudent investing. This concept refers to spreading investments across a broad spectrum of asset classes, including stocks, bonds, and cash, to mitigate risk and capitalize on growth opportunities. True diversification goes beyond accumulating a random assortment of assets you don’t really understand. Instead, it involves a strategic allocation that reflects a balance of growth potential and risk mitigation. This balanced approach ensures stability when the market is volatile while allowing for consistent growth over time.

Be aware that diversification is not about chasing the latest investment fads—it’s about adhering to time-tested principles that safeguard and grow your wealth. The aim is to construct a resilient portfolio capable of weathering market fluctuations and positioned for long-term success. The best way to achieve such diversification is to work with a knowledgeable financial planner.

Ignore Your Neighbor

Looks can be deceiving. True financial success is less about ostentatious displays and more about the silent, steady accumulation of wealth through wise investments and prudent financial decisions. So, rather than being swayed by others’ perceived success, you should focus on your own path. This principle helps you remain steadfast in your financial strategies, regardless of the outward appearance of wealth or investment trends among your peers.

Set a Course for Financial Success

At Nelson Financial Planning, we prioritize educating our clients on sound financial concepts to help them pave the path to success. Founded in 1984, our legacy as a trusted financial fiduciary underscores our commitment to your best interests. With a wide range of services—from retirement planning and wealth management to comprehensive tax planning—we offer a one-stop solution for all your financial needs.

If you learned something valuable here and want to delve deeper into the fundamental concepts for financial success, check out Next Gen Dollars and Sense on Amazon. You can also request a copy of the book by filling out our book request form. Our goal is to help you change your life with a successful financial plan that provides peace of mind for the future.