Category Archives: investing

Lessons from the Past

Some of us have challenges when we reach those big milestone ages of 30, 40, 50, 60 etc.

We put pressure on ourselves about what we should have achieved and how much we should have accomplished.  There are pressures from the media on how we should look, how much we should have in the bank, how many investment properties and should have, how many places we should have visited and sometimes,  when we don’t meet these cultural criteria, we suffer.

Others set out on a journey of adventure – 40 things by 40!  Suddenly, they’re jumping out of planes, dancing naked in the moonlight and splurging on holidays they’d never taken…  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

The truth is anything can happen, at any age and any time; and there are no set rules.  No-one says you need to be 65 kgs, have 2.2 kids, a dog, a station wagon, and a house with a white picket fence, a $10,000 emergency fund and budding portfolio.  (Thank goodness, my station wagon days are sooo over!  And I think my cat is my 0.2 of a child…)

Learn from your past and look forward to a beautiful future.  End of story.

Today, be mindful about what you have already done so far in your life.  Really.  Truly.  What can you acknowledge yourself for?  Age is completely irrelevant.

In the wise words of Rafiki, “Oh yes, the past can hurt, but you can either run from it, or learn from it.”  (Thank you, The Lion King.)

Have you collected amazing memories?  Made a beautiful family?  Learnt a skill you’d always wanted to?  Paid off your home?  Are you content with your life?  Is real wealth to you a cuddle from a loved one?  Does giving make you feel successful?

What cool lessons we’ve learned so far.  I wonder what else the future has in store?

Suffering from Financial Insecurity?

“Financial Insecurity.”  Don’t worry, it’s not a communicable disease!

Are there parts of your life you feel insecure about as far as money goes?

Do you not know much about shares?  Do you find it hard to understand taxes? Do personal insurances like Income Protection and Life insurance confuse you?  Does the acronym ETF mean anything to you?  How much do your Superannuation savings interest you?

The world of finance can be pretty complicated and our education system certainly doesn’t help us get our head around what’s out there.

Which in turn begs the question:  If you want to learn more, do you know someone who can help you?

You might notice that one of the habits of people who are good with money (or anything for that matter) is that they aren’t afraid to ask for help.  They know what they know and they know what they don’t.  And that’s a gift!

There’s no need to have any shame when it comes to not knowing all there is to know about money.  You aren’t supposed to ‘just know’ how managed funds work, what shares to invest in, when term deposits are the best choice, or what types of investment  products exist… including those mysterious ETF’s!

Do you try and conceal some issues around money that you feel you should know?   Would you like to build up your knowledge repertoire when it comes to money?  Who do you know who could help you?  (This post is starting to sound a lot like 20 questions isn’t it??)

What is reassuring, it that you can build up your confidence as far as questions about money go.

These days, there’s online free courses.  Check out the ASX website.  Ask friends who you believe are savvy with money, or even chat with a financial adviser about what you’d like to learn.  Chances are they can recommend some good reading material for you to start with.  Even the ATO and YouTube have educational information and videos that you can use to start building up your knowledge base.

I’d love to hear what you’ve done to up-skill when it comes to your financial situation.

Come from a place of Abundance

Have you heard that some feel there are 2 styles of different approaches to life:

You can come from Abundance or Scarcity.

Those who think from a place of abundance believe that there are more jobs to be found, more partners to meet, more homes to provide shelter, more money to made, had, invested and earned, more happy people, more opportunities out there to seize, and even more time!  They believe that the more you give, the more you get.  They’re happy to share their knowledge, contacts and compassion.  They are thankful and confident people.

Those who think from a place of scarcity believe there are no more jobs to be had, they’re out of opportunities, there’s no more good partners to be found, and financially things will never get any better.  They avoid risk, view others as being competitors, and the more you give, the more it costs.  They are often suspicious and find it hard to build rapport.  They may be pessimistic about the future and fearful.

Our internal dialogue and who we see ourself to be influences every part of our life.  Our ideas around whether we will find a job, have children, discover a new partner, find a solution to our problem or sort out our financial worries is all influenced by how we feel.

Which camp is your thinking in?  Are you coming from a place of Abundance or Scarcity?

Look around at people you know and work or hang out with. It’s usually pretty obvious to pick out who’s operating from a place of lack or abundance.

Play a game for a week:  review some of the thoughts you’ve had or the decisions you’ve made, see where the thinking was based.

Start training your mind to see abundance in everything, not only financially (although that’s once place to start!)

Accountability issues

We all have good intentions around our wealth and money.

And yet, most of us never get to reach our goals. Other things  tend to get in the way and we get to another January 1, review out New Year’s Resolution, get into gear, and give it our best shot once again for a couple of weeks.

One of the best things you can do for yourself however, is find someone to be accountable to.  Can you think of a friend, colleague, professional or family member who is not going to let you give up on your goals and will keep you accountable?  Who do you know who will check up on you, getting you to raise your standards and reach those goals you’re setting?

People who get to reach their goals, often will set up consequences for themselves should they not achieve them.

For example, if you don’t start the regular investment plan you wanted to by a certain date, tell a friend you will donate some money to their favourite charity and make it painful! $1,000 not $10.  Drastic times call for drastic measures!

Set a goal and set the time frame.  Just pick one thing that’s been on your financail bucket list for a long time.  Should you pay off a credit card?  Can you put extra on the mortgage? Start saving for that holiday you’ve always talked about? Will you start an education fund for your kids?  Find that investment property you’ve been talking about?  And by when?  You need a realistic deadline to achieve your goal!  One month?  One year?

Choose one goal in the area of your personal wealth that you’ve wanted to achieve for years.  Then decide, when you’d like to achieve it by, and who is the best person you can ask for help from. Send them an email or call them today and have a chat about what you’d like to do.  Maybe it’ll work both ways and there’s something they’d like to be kept accountable for too.

How’s that for a win-win?  I’d love to hear what you come up with.  And if all else fails – I’m here.  Tell me and I’m happy to keep you accountable!

The Thief of Time

Do you have an issue with procrastination?  Do you often put off until tomorrow what could be done today?  Is there a particular area in your life that you constantly procrastinate on?

Choosing not to take advantage of the opportunities available in investment world and constantly putting off starting, can be a great source of procrastination for some.  Even if we have the best of intentions, we can be merrily led down the garden path of postponement, especially with all the noise and conflicting news going on in the media.

Any slight breeze of a downturn, or rustle of doom can easily spook a big investment decision and when you add a touch of worried advice or hyper-concern by those we love, procrastination blooms in all miserable glory.

However, if you do have the intention to start investing, whether in property, the share market or managed funds, along with the research and knowledge to back it, the hesitation gap provided by the fearful usually generates the best market opportunities.  That’s often when you need to make that gutsy decision the most.

Always remember, that the best way to start something, is to begin!

Make sure you don’t get caught up in all the hype out there and take the appropriate steps to invest in your future now.  Most long term investors will tell you that it’s not about timing the market, but time in the market.  Will you be bold enough to make the decision to invest?

Advisers can be a great tool to assist you in implementing your portfolio and helping you past the procrastination blues.

Could you be an Investment Addict?

Does the idea of having to appreciate long-term value in an investment bore you?

Do you just love the idea of instant gratification?

And which is a better guide to good money management?

Do you know how to use a credit card responsibly or have a plan to stay on track with your retirement savings strategy?

Our minds crave short-term wins over sticking to a long term plan everyday.

It’s also why the Bounty bar at the service station looks so much better when we’ve decided we want to lose a few kilos.  The immediate buzz is what we’re after!

When a smart money move pays off and we manage to make a great gain, we get an emotional high that leaves us wanting more.  It’s what neurotransmitters in the brain are wired to do, and why so many of us chase the ‘good feels’ or ‘warm and fuzzies’ we get when things go our way or we have a win.  We all love the fist-pumping action of a win!  And why we can get a little teary over it too.

The danger is when chasing this feel-good emotion trumps our better judgement, possibly tempting us to sell additional shares perhaps, even if it would be better to keep them a while longer or maintain the hold, rather than sell for the buzz we’ll get from netting a quick gain today.

So the next time you’re craving a neurotransmitter high of the investment kind… set up a way that will help you vet the idea first, such as making it a joint decision with your partner or financial adviser first.  Or even simply sleeping on it.

Someone who’s not emotionally involved can bring you back down to earth, give you the reality check you may be needing, and help you model different outcomes, like how much extra money you may be able to earn if you keep your investment in the market another  or two, or five or ten years.  Alternately, selling may be the best idea and you’ll get the green light.

But if it doesn’t work out, and you’re still after that neuro-high, carve out a small portion of your portfolio that you can play with in order to gratify your need to tinker in the market, and feel the rush.  This way you won’t endanger your portfolio as a whole.

Do you keep a part of your funds aside for riskier investment options?