"May you live in interesting times"

First Brexit. Then Trump. 2016 has been a year of unexpected events.

This is the last snapshot I could source of the major prediction sites regarding the US presidential election before polling started:

 Source:  The Upshot  website,  New York Times

Source: The Upshot website, New York Times

Of course, none of these sites say a Hilary Clinton win was 100% certain. And even events with a 1% or 2% likelihood have to happen 1 or 2 times out of 100. But like many, I was blindsided and completely astounded by the outcome.

In my eyes, and the eyes of many, the prospect of a Donald Presidency a year or two ago would have been laughable. It may even have been laughable a month or a week ago or three days ago.

What events like this really telegraph is that we live in an uncertain world.

We have to make predictions, and we have to put our money where our mouth is. When we decide to embark on a career, or start a role in a new organisation, or begin a business, we're trying to predict what will work out best for us. We do the same when we enter into relationships, buy houses, and have children. 

It's valuable to try to try to think of scenarios - possible, plausible, probable, preferable, and wild card futures. But to forecast with certainty what the world (or our personal lives or the lives of our loved ones) will look like in one or 10 or 100 years is in some ways an exercise in folly. 

What I'm really saying is that uncertainty is a core part of the human experience. And if it hadn't been clear to my generation before, it should be now.

Acknowledging uncertainty, and developing personal and professional strategies for dealing with it, as important as ever.

We need to manage risk. And we also need to throw our hat in the ring and be exposed to good fortune. Donald Trump wouldn't be president-elect if he hadn't given it a go.

Sonnie Bailey

Sonnie is the founder and principal of Fairhaven Wealth.

Before founding Fairhaven Wealth, Sonnie worked in the legal and financial services industries for over a decade.

Sonnie first became involved with financial advice as a specialist financial services lawyer. For many years, he was an “adviser of advisers”, reviewing thousands of advice files prepared by hundreds of financial advisers, and providing feedback in relation to the quality and appropriateness of advice; industry best practice; risk management; and regulatory compliance. He has published work in industry publications and spoken at various financial advice conferences.

Sonnie has also worked with banks, investment management firms, insurers, and derivatives providers.

Sonnie has worked as a private client lawyer, focusing on succession, estate planning and trusts. He ran his own legal firm in Australia before relocating to New Zealand. He has also acted in independent trustee and company director positions.

Sonnie is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and manage the risks to which they are exposed.

He has written extensively on his blog, New Zealand Wealth and Risk, which can be found at www.wealthandrisk.nz.

Sonnie is married to his wonderful wife Chrissy, and has two young children, Ben and Anna.