Pay down your mortgage quickly, stick to managed funds (passive ones, if possible), and reduce your spending to a bare minimum.

Some people will find this pleasing, and others, let’s be honest a bit bland.

Financial advice is only every useful when it’s fresh.

Take an old tip or trick you learn (or worse, from someone else), then apply in your life at the most inappropriate time, and you could get terrible results.

My guest has evolved her views on personal finance over time, which I admire as a sign of an open mind that all of us, including myself, should strive to cultivate. When is a good time to buy a first or subsequent home? How much debt is ‘too much’?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a single, accurate answer to questions such, “When should you invest?”, “Where should I invest” or “Should I diversify or concentrate?”

Truth be told, you’re just like me in that it’s possible your opinions will evolve over time. In fact, if you’re opinions change, you risk using a mind with old ‘software’, completely unable to adapt to the new world we’re heading into.

In ancient times, wineskins were constructed of animal intestines, but they had short lifespans, needing to be replaced when a new batch (often still fermenting), was added. The gases created by fermentation would cause the skin to burst when fresh wine was added to an old wineskin – imagine the stress this caused to early alcoholics! In the wealth-building space, I think this highlights the significance of being receptive to new ideas and ready to let go of outdated paradigms in order to prevent self-destruction. We must change and accept new ideas, just as old wineskins needed to be replaced with new ones to hold new wine.

Maybe this is why partnerships often falter, why the workplace can feel like a black hole at times, and why friends can feel like a drag when you’re trying to accomplish something new?

The same holds true in this context; rather than becoming more dogmatic as our understanding of investing and expanding money evolves, we should be open to multiple perspectives. For my part, I’ve been devoting a lot of time and energy into learning everything I can about personal finance in preparation for the inevitable future times when the world shakes more than it does now.

In the middle of a world that seems to be spinning out of control, there is something tremendously freeing about placing your attention on the things over which you have some measure of control over.

Frances Cook is a multi-talented individual: she’s written two books, hosts a podcast called Cooking the Books, often speaks at events, and is genuinely fascinating to follow online.