Good luck = the absence of bad luck

I've already said that if you're reading this blog, you're probably incredibly lucky - by virtue of being born, and of the time and place of our birth. These things were out of our control, but in the broader context of human history, we've won the lottery. 

I think it's also worth pointing out that one of the best forms of good luck is the absence of bad luck. 

I'm a lucky person. There are certainly a few positive things that I can put this down to. But as much as any of these things, it's because I've had very limited bad luck in my life. I've been fortunate enough not to have any major health issues. No one close to me has suffered any major misfortune. My life hasn't been shaped by tragedy in any form. 

I like thinking in terms of "luck" rather than "risk" because talking about being lucky has positive connotations, whereas talking about managing risk connotes focusing on the downside.

And it's important to focus on the upside of uncertainty. But we also need to try to limit your exposure to bad luck. The defensive side of managing luck is every bit as important as the offensive side of courting luck.

As Kenny Rogers sings in "The Gambler", "You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run". It's great to have a few good hands. But if you want to win, you need to walk away from the table a winner. 


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

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