5 of the best Steve Jobs quotes to teach you about managing your money


On 16 September 1997, Steve Jobs, the co-founder (and arguably face) of technology giant Apple, returned to the company as CEO after a hiatus of more than a decade. 

Regarded as one of the greatest innovators in the history of technology and business, Jobs created and presented many products and services that have changed the world. From the Apple Mac to the iPhone, you’ve no doubt come across his work in almost half a century of the company’s operations.

Jobs is undoubtedly one of the most successful businessmen in history, and has offered many pearls of wisdom throughout his illustrious career that have given an insight into his unflinching mindset.

So, 25 years on from his well-documented return to the company he co-founded, here are five of his best quotes that can teach you about managing your finances.

1. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”

While he may have faced many detractors in the course of his career, one criticism that can never be levelled at Jobs is that he didn’t use his time effectively. 

Jobs could easily have looked at the progress of his competitors relative to his own heady success and taken his foot off the gas. Yet instead, he chose to continuously innovate and blaze a trail. He knew that the best time to get ahead of his peers was the present.

When it comes to money management and financial planning, your approach should be just the same. There’s rarely a better time to start planning than as soon as you possibly can. 

The earlier you put everything in place, the sooner you can have the peace of mind that your money is suitably organised for your needs. 

Take Jobs’ approach and make the most of your available time.

2. “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice”

In a similar vein to starting the planning process as soon as you can, Jobs also has his finger on the pulse of the immense value that comes with making decisions on your own terms.

While it can often feel like you’re competing with everyone else, money management is actually a deeply personal activity. Indeed, organising your finances is ultimately about letting you and your family live the type of lifestyle you want.

Jobs fully understood this, ignoring those that thought his ambitions were unattainable or crazy. Instead, he set about building a business that he knew could be successful. 

For you, setting goals for the future can make a significant difference here. Knowing what you’re working towards can refine your thinking and give you a focus for what you’re doing with your money.

That way, rather than being sucked into the echo chamber, you can put your energy into achieving those targets.

Ignore the multitude of voices telling you how to manage your money or what you should want out of life. Carve your own path based on what gives you the most satisfaction. 

3. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards”

As an inventor, Jobs’ career has revolved around finding out what’s missing and then creating it. And, as he correctly notes, the true impact of his work can only be properly assessed when you look back on it.

For example, the smartphone may be ubiquitous in daily life now. But, before he presented the first iPhone at the Macworld 2007 expo in San Francisco, the concept was entirely unthinkable. It’s only in retrospect that an all-in-one device like this seems obvious. 

This quote informs a great deal about your money, specifically around investing. Indeed, the lesson to learn is simply that past performance does not necessarily provide any indication of future performance. 

When designing an investment strategy, historical performance is often a factor worth taking into account. In the case of the equity market, for example, looking at how it has performed over long periods and during difficult market conditions can give you a rough idea of what might happen in the future.

However, the past performance of specific individual companies or market trends are not going to be relevant factors, as these elements can change rapidly. This makes it practically impossible to identify companies that will beat the market in advance of it happening. 

As a result, designing a portfolio that exclusively revolves around this is like taking on the impossible task of trying to connect the dots looking forwards, as Jobs puts it.

That’s why we pursue a low-cost, whole market-based strategy when you work with us at Britannic Place.

We take an evidenced-based approach to the investment portfolios we design, incorporating multiple factors to inform the way we invest your money.

Taking the academic evidence into account, we meticulously create strategies without trying to join the dots first.

In doing so, we can target returns that ultimately help you to live your desired lifestyle, rather than just trying to beat the market. 

4. “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”

This quote shows you the value of continuously re-evaluating and assessing the choices you’ve made with your money.

In his 12 years away from Apple, Jobs didn’t sit on his hands and wait for the call to come back. Rather, he built a new company, NeXT, and poured his genius into it until he returned. 

Financial planning is just the same. Your plan isn’t set in stone, it’s a living concept that can evolve and change with you.

Rather than being a static concept that you only look at once, your plan should grow and adapt as your circumstances change. You might find that there are other things you want to achieve by the time you retire, or even that you no longer feel the need to meet certain targets.  

Whatever the change is, you’re always free to keep looking until you’re satisfied with the way your finances are organised for your future. 

5. “We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and everyone should be really excellent. Because this is our life”

Perhaps the most important lesson to learn from Jobs, this quote shows the incredible value of choosing goals for your future.

When you reach retirement, you’ve already put the hard work in. You’ve earned your money so you can enjoy the kind of lifestyle you want, whatever that means to you. So don’t let that go to waste by not preparing properly for it.

That’s why, when you work with us at Britannic Place, we’ll always start with your goals for the future before we talk about your finances. Money may be the method you’ll use to get there, but the true essence of financial planning is using that money to achieve your ambitions. 

After all, as Jobs himself put it: “We’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So, it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” 

Get in touch

Want to check in on the progress of your financial plan? Get in touch with us at Britannic Place.

Email info@britannicplace.co.uk or call 01905 419890 to speak to us today.

Please note

The value of your investment 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.

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

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