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Two Simple Steps to Building Wealth

“Never Spend all that you earn.
Always borrow less than you can afford.”
~ Peter Thornhill

The above advice has never been more relevant in the current climate of the rising costs of living and interest rates. However, it doesn’t really matter what the current financial parameters, if you keep spending more than you earn, borrow to the brink of what you can afford and don’t invest wisely and with expertise to help your money grow, most likely you will eventually run out of it!

This is not only great financial advice for people on low or restricted incomes, but people on higher incomes can also often be tempted to spend more than they earn and think it will not catch up with them, however the law of mathematics ensures that it usually does! This same mistaken confidence can also propel people into borrowing to the very limit of what they can afford rather than borrowing enough for what they need, forgetting that interest rates over the long term will not remain static but will steadily be adjusted both up and down over the long-term.

By adhering to the above simple two financial principals, you may be able to develop plans to invest in both yourself and to begin establishing investment plans and goals. Secondly, by borrowing less that you can afford you further free up income that would be going towards interest payments and have the peace of mind of not being under financial stress each time interest rates might rise even .05%.

At Income Solutions it is often stated that an investment in yourself is the best investment you will ever make https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/the-best-investment-you-will-ever-make/
Mindfully using some of your savings to invest in your career, education or general wellbeing will improve your focus and give you the tools to work towards your long-term goals. Working in partnership with our clients we have never come across anyone who has told us they regret studying or training to improve and update their qualifications or skills.

Also, consider making your money work as hard as you, history and figures show an investment in a balanced share portfolio (SP500*) over the last 20 years will provide larger returns than simply parking your money in a savings account or term deposit:

– $10,000 invested over 20 years in shares (*SP500) = $50,913.05 ~ a return of 8.06%
– $10,000 invested over 20 years in term Deposit = $18,208.00 ~ assuming a 3% return
(3% is generous considering the current Term Deposit rate is approx. 1% and less for funds over $250,000)

And while past performance may not be a predictor of future performance, history can provide us with a guide to make informed decisions and choices. For further information refer https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/e-book-Investing-a-little-a-lot.pdf

As a client of Income Solutions you will be provided with a proven and successful investment framework that has been developed over 30 years together with qualified and experienced expertise from financial planners and advisors who are licensed and compliant to the highest industry standards.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.officialdata.org/us/stocks/s-p-500/2001?amount=10000&endYear=2021

https://moneysmart.gov.au/saving/compound-interest

A Road Ahead for Shares

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May Newsletter 2022

The weather is cooling the economic and political landscape is heating up. All eyes are on the current interest rate rise as the federal election campaign shifts into top gear ahead of the May 21 polling day.

Our May newsletter provides an analysis on the outlook for shares and what can be expected of the market into the future, tips to increase the important social connections within our lives and an interesting article on the succession planning issues facing farmers.

Click on the link to enjoy reading this May Newsletter :
https://mailchi.mp/9ab81d169108/a-road-ahead-for-shares

Emotionally Handling Downturns

“Long-term investment success is almost totally a function of how one emotionally handles declines in the equity market, as opposed to how one’s portfolio handles them.”
– Nick Murray

The above quote by Nick Murray obviously refers to the ups and downs of the share market and our individual responses to fluctuations and downturns. However, upon reflection this might also be a metaphor for a broader life lesson that investing in the share market might have to teach us, regarding staying focused and sticking to our plans even when presented with unforeseen challenges and changes.

When Nick Murray refers to emotionally handling declines in markets and investments, it is an opportunity to reflect on what attributes he may be referring to:

– Focusing on the facts and what you can control
– Keeping things in perspective
– Committing to a plan and long-term objectives
– Ignoring or filtering the noise of the 24-hour news cycle and fact checking information
– Remembering the lessons that history has taught us
– Diversifying to ensure our ‘eggs are not all in the one basket’

While the above are qualities that can lead to increased investment outcomes, they could also be useful qualities when applied to our approach to life more broadly, and specifically if we perceive certain areas of our lives may be causing us stress.

Our approach to investing in the share market may provide us with an emotional template for other areas of our lives, providing clarity of thought no matter what the situation.

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life,” and if we are to learn from history this statement bears truth. The parameters around investing and the share market will always change over the long term, and it is simply not realistic to think that as a long-term investor we will not be presented with a every changing landscape.

The ever-changing landscape we incur in the share markets may be different to relationships, employment or business variances, but our approach to these situations can be similar. By keeping things in perspective, understanding our long-term objectives, and filtering out ‘noise’ from whatever sources that are not helpful can provide us with the ability to think and make decisions with clarity, while armed with the facts to make the best possible choices.

Feelings and emotions can be a surprisingly powerful tool when we wield them correctly, however the trick is to not let your emotional matrix override your logic, whether it be in your personal, business or investment sphere. Stopping for a moment to recognise and admit to yourself that you are feeling fearful or frustrated allows you to judge whether you are best placed to make decisions or act in that moment, or admit to yourself it may be better to think through the situation and make a decision at a later date when you are not clouded by negative thoughts and fears.

At Income Solutions we believe that the best way to ‘emotionally handle’ your finances and investments is to adhere to a structured process and plan that reflects your individual circumstances and long-term goals.

Referenced for this Blog:

https://www.brewin.co.uk/insights/tips-for-keeping-calm-during-market-volatility

https://wrightfoundation.org/get-out-your-feelings-stop-holding-back/

#blog #financialplanners #incomesolutions #nickmurray #emotions

Social Media and Unlicensed Financial Advice

“Receiving advice from a qualified professional is almost always going to be a better option than trusting an amateur dishing our stock tips in a video synched to the latest rap tune”
Aleks Vickovich, Wealth Editor ~ Australian Financial Review March 22,2022

ASIC (The Australian Securities and Investment Commission) is concerned about the unlicensed financial advice that is being posted by ‘Finfluencers’. Most influencer’s post information and advice about money and investing on a variety of social media platforms, however they usually do not have a financial services license.

It is not only ASIC who is speaking out about the dangers of unlicensed financial advice and social media content, Judith Fox, CEO of Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association has also welcomed more stringent compliance regulations for ‘Finfluencers’, pointing out that investors have absolutely no recourse if they are burned by the advice given.

A worrying trend has developed where some ‘influencers’ will talk about stocks that they themselves own, their followers will then buy the stock themselves at a higher price, and then the ‘influencer’ will sell their stock at the higher price, leaving others with worthless stock! This practice is now known as ‘pumping and dumping’. Further, many are paid by financial services organisations to promote their products and services and they are under no obligation to disclose conflicts of interest or the fact they are getting paid to promote or advertise products.

When comparing unlicensed and licensed financial advice it should be noted that all licensed advice is given by individuals who have a relevant bachelor’s degree, and often further specialist training, subscribing to arduous licensee training, compliance, insurance and dispute resolution requirements.

It is the Law that financial advice is only given by a licensed financial adviser whose clients have access to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and ASIC, who will ensure compliance and auditing obligations are meet. Accountability for stock and investment advice can be enforced when dealing with a licensed financial adviser.

On the other side of the equation, those giving financial advice on social media platforms who are not licensed are breaking the Law but it is often difficult for ASIC to hold them accountable for the financial advice they are giving, which allows for very little readdress for those investing their money based on this online advice.

At Income Solutions, we believe that obtaining compliant and specialist expertise to create wealth is key to ensuring the money you invest is appropriate to your individual circumstances and goals, is secure and invested for maximum returns within the principals of best practice.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-06/brt-finfluencer-crackdown/100965298

https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/articles/regulatory-risk-and-finfluencer-engagement-for-company-directors/

https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/asic-finfluencer-crackdown-curbs-social-media-finance-posts-20220408-p5ac2n.html

https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/finfluencer-crackdown-highlights-ludicrous-advice-laws-20220322-p5a6t1

Creating Wealth that Creates Wellbeing

The application of an investment framework and structure to wealth creation is important, however it is worthwhile remembering that the vision for investing is more about a person understanding their own values and what it is that makes them happy and fulfilled individuals.

In an Australian Unity Report titled ‘What Makes us Happy’, a Golden Triangle of 3 elements for happiness is outlined:

– Strong personal relationships
– Financial Control
– Sense of purpose

The research shows that it is a balancing act, as any single element in isolation is not enough to achieve overall personal wellbeing.

Closeness and support from people who remind us we are loved and valued provides us with the emotional resources to deal with life’s messier moments.

The power of money to impact our wellbeing lies in its capacity to alleviate stress and provide an environment that makes us content and secure, and while income up to $100,000 can be directly linked to wellbeing after that money and wellbeing become less intertwined.

Awareness of what we care about most provides us with a compass to achieve a sense of purpose. Is it a job that provides not only financial security but also an opportunity to make a difference and help other people? Is it volunteering at the local surf lifesaving club? or deciding to invest either time or money in your children’s or grandchildren’s education?

As noted, it really is a balancing act that can lead to internal conflict if we make decisions to enhance or favour any of the above elements over another. An example of this may be having a strong sense of purpose to create a beautiful garden while neglecting the fact that doing this everyday may not provide us with the required income to achieve financial control. Or accepting a highly paid position that requires a lot of travel at a time of our lives when we may wish to spend more time with family.

At Income Solutions we embrace a financial planning process that ensures that the creation of wealth reflects not only financial goals but also an individuals’ sense of purpose and values, leading to a more comprehensive approach to achieving not only increased financial security but continuing personal wellbeing and happiness.

Referenced:

https://www.australianunity.com.au/-/media/rebrandcorporate/documents/annual-reports/wellbeing-index/what-makes-us-happy-2015.pdf

Risks Associated with Online Trading Platforms


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“Everyone is entitled to take risks. However, we advise first-time investors to focus on long-term goals and not make rash decisions based on a fear of missing out on market falls or gains. We also recommend learning about trading before you start or getting advice from someone you trust.”
Quote: Greg Yanco, Executive Director, Markets at ASIC

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission is concerned about the number of investors using online trader platforms who are unaware of their risk exposure. While it can be seen as a positive development that more people are taking an interest in the markets, it is important the inherent volatility and complexities of the market are fully understood before handing over money to trading platforms, especially first-time investors.

At Income Solutions, we believe that the recommendation made by ASIC Executive Director Greg Yanco, that people learn and educate themselves in understanding the share market, together with getting financial information from a trusted advisor has the potential to not only save you money but increase your investment portfolio into the future. To demonstrate this point, at Income Solutions when working in partnership with our clients to develop a financial plan, one of the important financial strategies that we ensure they understand is the difference between Speculation and Investing https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/the-difference-between-investment-and-speculation/ as research shows that applying this financial strategy potentially increases long term financial outcomes.

There is currently a lot of misinformation around trading strategies online that are the result of online scams and unlicensed advice, or the product of social media campaigns where trading companies are sometimes paying for favorable comments on forums such as Reddit or Facebook. For these reasons financial advice and education needs to be supplied by licensed and credentialed financial advisors who are regulated through ASIC and meet stringent compliance obligations and requirements.
While online trading may be a relatively new financial option, the Aesop’s fable written in the mid-6th century comes to mind of the ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_svBrlehmMo
The ants demonstrating that a consistent and considered approach to planning for winter (or your financial future) brings about the best results rather than the ad hoc approach of the grasshopper who wanted quick outcomes without a lot of planning or effort.

While an online trading platform may be a convenient and quick vehicle for people to ‘have a crack’ at owning shares, it is worth considering whether this approach is what is needed when planning and investing in your financial future. While it may take a little longer developing a financial strategy and plan and stopping to seek compliant and trusted financial advice the outcomes in the long term may well prove to be worth it.

Referenced for this article:

https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/news-items/first-time-trader-be-aware-of-the-risks/

COHESIVE FINANCIAL PLANNING WITHIN A RELATIONSHIP

For some people engaging a Financial Planner is a something they undertake alone but for others it may be a joint decision which includes their partner or spouse. A financial planner can be a direct link between a financially happy and successful relationship, providing an open transparent platform for financial discussions and goals.

Meeting with a Financial Planner can provide couples with the time and opportunity they need to discuss such topics openly and transparently as credit card debt or planning for retirement. These topics may sound trivial, especially earlier in the relationship, but they are important and in fact if not addressed have the capacity to cause stress that can lead to relationship break downs. A good Financial Planner can play a key role in ensuring a successful financial partnership within a relationship.

At Income Solutions, when working with couples who are planning their finances together, we have observed some of the following ways in which they successfully navigate their financial partnership:

– Both people commit to having at least a basic understanding of financial literacy and general overview of their financial situation.

– A budget, setting goals and managing debt is done jointly, with both being aware of their expenditure and income.

– Annually attend financial planning meetings together to ensure they create and monitor their financial ‘big picture’, communicating and recalibrating over the length of their relationship.

– Understand that their Financial Planner can provide them with a neutral and financially best practice perspective when they are required to make decisions that involve their money.

Sharing our dreams and aspirations with our life partner can be one of life’s most exciting adventures, but remember statistics show that it is important to have that often hard ‘money talk’ earlier in the relationship, as it will provide the framework to face the many financial challenges and opportunities that may present themselves over the years.

When assisting people with their financial partnerships at Income Solutions, we are presented with a range of individual complexities, life stages and situations, however the common denominator of transparency, communication and good financial advice applies whatever the state of their individual financial affairs.

Referenced for this article:

https://www.investopedia.com/financial-planning-can-save-marriage-4684269

https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/money-tips-financial-planners-always-give-to-couples?r=AU&IR=T#share-financial-responsibilities-6

https://www.financialplanningforcanadians.ca/financial-planning/financial-tips-for-couples

The Power of Striving

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho

Striving to be better, either in our career, health, finances, or personal outlook doesn’t just change and improve ourselves as individuals, it makes the lives of the people we love better and makes our interactions with those that we are connected to better as well.

The positive focus you generate when embarking upon striving for improvement in no matter what aspect of your life, has the effect of consciously or subconsciously providing inspiration to others.

When applying this concept through the prism of striving for financial security we can provide examples of how this affects other people:

– The negative impact of financial stress on family life is well documented and by striving to be financially responsible and working towards financial independence we can create a more harmonious family environment for ourselves, partner and children.

– Being financially independent gives us the freedom to contribute either our time or resources to causes or people we are passionate about helping.

– Focusing on improving our financial situation and planning long term for our retirement frees up limited community and government resources for people who do not have the capacity to do similar.

The examples, when applied are broad and varied, but striving to be better in whatever areas of our lives we wish to focus on has the wonderful corresponding effect of also changing and improving the lives of others around us, making the act of striving a powerful act of love for either family, friends, or our community.

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