As Halloween approaches and little ones begin dreaming about the baskets full of candy bars and chips that they will soon accumulate, I found myself thinking back on the times I used to ‘trick or treat’ as a kid.
One fond memory I have is running door to door with a mission to collect as much money for UNICEF as I could. Don’t get me wrong, the candy was my main motivation, but as someone who has never been a big chocolate eater, I used to enjoy the competition that my friends and I would have to see who could raise the most money each year.
We’d all find an old shoelace and tie the bright orange UNICEF box to ourselves, like we were wearing the latest fashionable necklace, then run around collecting pennies until we absolutely couldn’t bear the weight of it anymore. It was almost as much of a tradition as collecting the candy itself. Neighbours would load up on treats to give out and have a bowl full of pennies sitting at the front door to give out along with the expected treats.
As I sat dwelling on those fond memories, curiosity got the best of me – What ever happened to UNICEF?
It turns out that while UNICEF is still very much alive and active, the Halloween, bright orange box, fundraiser was cancelled in 2006. While I was looking into it, I found out that this initiative used to raise on average $3 million per year in Canada. At first, I thought I read it wrong. They collected $3 million all in a single day. All from collecting unwanted pennies!
What struck me was how something, seemingly so small, could make such a difference. While we only collected a handful of dollars each (at most), those contributions added together made a significant difference.
As an investment advisor, I often help clients to create and implement plans that help them make smart choices with their money and achieve their goals. An argument I frequently hear when beginning to implement new strategies is ‘why bother starting something so small because in the end it won’t make a difference’. And I believe that is simply not the case.
Every step taken, no matter how small, makes a difference. Every dollar saved (or every penny saved in the case of UNICEF), makes a difference. Starting small is better than not starting at all and shouldn’t be a sign of failure. It should be celebrated. Because you are now one step closer to realizing your end goal.
Something is better than nothing.
Wade Bedard CIM
Associate Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor
Manulife Securities Incorporated