A friend came to me the other day asking about shares and to look into a new ‘share trading’ app he had seen advertised on Facebook. He explained that by investing in shares he could turn $250 (the minimum deposit requirement) into $900 in a matter of hours!
This had me thinking, do many people my age see investing in shares as a get rich quick scheme or a way to make a quick buck? From various conversation with friends and family members it seems that they do.
I believe this is the wrong way to think. Shares should be seen as an investment which is held for the long term, providing regular dividends and long term capital growth. We, as young adults, don’t need to find the next speculative stock which share price may double tomorrow.
We have so many years ahead of us that we should be more concerned about creating good saving habits, establishing a sound financial strategy and investing in the right kind of shares. These ‘right kind of shares’ will grow in the background without the need to regularly log onto a share trading app to see if your investment has double (or halved in value) and then quickly sell at the right time. These ‘share trading’ apps sound a bit like gambling to me!
We should be buying the right kind of stocks, holding them for the long term and reaping the rewards of compounding. The information evening that we host at Income Solutions every month (called Common Sense Investing) is a great place to start your long term journey and perhaps hear a new point of view.
Before I started working at Income Solutions in January of this year, I had absolutely no idea that I could invest my superannuation in shares, or that having a Financial Planner could help me in the slightest – when I had almost nothing in the bank. My super sat in a “cash hub” for years as I happily watched it slowly grow every time my employer made a contribution. For a few years I worked at universities, where I enjoyed 17% super contributions, and I remember thinking “how great is that, 17%?” It was pretty good, but it would have been even better if I had been educated on how to invest it.
According to mainstream society I should be married with a couple of children, have a mortgage, be taking the kids to music lessons or sporting games, and be drinking wine with other mothers reminiscing about the 1990s and how great it was in our 20s.
But what if you find yourself (happily I might add) single, childless, living alone with two cats, with just a little in the bank, and with a history of being a terrible saver and a serial mover? In the past twenty years, I’ve lived in almost ten cities and have started over again more times than the average person my age. I never paid much attention to saving money and I didn’t think about my super and how living overseas for 10 years would affect it. I also didn’t think about getting old; retirement was so far away that there wasn’t much point giving it a second thought.
What I’ve learned in the past nine months from working at Income Solutions is that you can be any age, with a little or a lot of money, with some knowledge of Financial Planning or none at all – and you will still benefit from professional, expert advice that can get you on the path to saving money, growing your super, and investing for the future. There is also no need to feel guilty for not owning your own home. In fact, it’s actually not the right path to take for everyone and you could be better off investing in other ways. Wow. Now I feel better – because I previously felt the pressure to get that home loan.
So what does a woman like myself need to do to get her finances in shape?
Find a Financial Planner who understands you as an individual
Make sure you have a bank account with a “money tracking” facility to help you budget simply and effectively – it’s actually empowering to discover where your money goes!
Work at having a “buffer” amount in your bank account at all times
Work with your Financial Planner to invest your super to help it grow
Get the right insurance in place to protect yourself
Listen and take on board the advice you receive from your Financial Planner – you’ll most likely learn much more than you thought you would
So, whether or not I’m a gypsy or a “crazy cat lady” (or both), I am now on my way to securing my financial future and feel safe in the knowledge that I will retire in 25 years or so with more than enough money to live on. When I stop working and wish to travel some more (or move interstate), I most certainly can – but much more comfortably than before.
Want to learn more about what Income Solutions has to offer women? We run free workplace information sessions called Income Solutions for Womenin the Geelong region. We’ll come to you. Tell your colleagues, boss, or HR manager about us and book a group session via our website. Coming soon to this blog section – a fabulous article (recently featured in RUBY magazine) by our Business Development Manager Alison Adams. You’ll learn how statistics show that we can be disadvantaged due to breaks in employment and lower super balances – but luckily there are ways to fix this!
In July, we offered an internship opportunity to Deakin Commerce student Danny Archer. This week we’ve said goodbye to him after seven weeks with us. The Income Solutions team in Geelong enjoyed having a new face in the office, and we were very impressed by Danny’s enthusiasm and how quickly he learned the “ropes”. We took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his experience as an intern with Income Solutions. (We’ll be advertising more internships soon, details at the end of this post!).
How did you find out about internships at Income Solutions?
I sent an expression of interest e-mail directly to Income Solutions explaining my situation at University, and my desire to obtain an internship with the purpose of gaining an advantage over my co-students by having real, professional experience in my penultimate year of studies.
Take us through the process of applying and being accepted.
Mason replied to my e-mail via a phone call advising me that Income Solutions were impressed with my informal application, and would like to organize a meeting to discuss the matter on a more formal basis. David (CEO) and Mason (Operations Manager) were present at my interview which I was made to feel very comfortable and welcomed in. We discussed my career-objectives, what I wanted out of an internship, what role they were prepared to offer as an internship and also my University layout moving forward.
What was your first impression of the office itself?
I particularly liked the open-plan design of the bottom level offices, giving the firm a tight-knit feel. The most impressive aspect of the Geelong office is the 75-seat Auditorium. A great initiative by David, I attended one of the Common Sense Investing Information Evenings which was held in the Auditorium, and it really reinforced how beneficial it is to the firm.
What was your first impression of the staff?
Meeting the staff was the part of the Internship I was initially most frightened about. I wasn’t sure how they would take to having an Intern in the office, as I am the first, or how they would react to my inevitably repetitious questions about how to complete certain tasks and duties. During my initial tour of the office, every staff member I met welcomed me with a great smile and warm personalities, instantly minimizing the nerves I was feeling and making me feel comfortable from the beginning. Having this support from the staff, particularly the Associates with whom I worked closest with, eradicated any nerves I had about making mistakes on work as I knew help was always there when needed.
What kind of work have you been doing during the internship?
I began completing documents for client review meetings, Unit Calculation spread sheets, Share Dividend spreadsheets, Fee Disclosure Statements (FDS) and preparing the client(s) Portfolio Review files. I found this task very enjoyable and informative as I was able to learn a lot about Superannuation and Pension funds, share dividends and their distribution methods and also different types of insurances available to individuals and families. I was also able to sit in on a client review meeting with Dan, one of the Advisors, and an individual client, which was an experience I had looked forward to throughout the Internship. I really enjoyed being exposed to how an advisor-client meeting is held, and was also able to write the File-Note at its conclusion.
Have you been able to apply what you have learned from your Commerce degree during the internship?
I have been able to apply a considerable amount of knowledge learned throughout my Commerce degree into my Internship. The classes undertaken as part of my Financial Planning major obviously helped having a fundamental understanding of shares, property, cash, insurances, assets, liabilities and estate planning, which I was able to build on significantly during my time at Income Solutions. My Accounting classes also helped, in particular with my understanding of taxation in Australia which is a core component of Financial Planning.
The Advisers at Income Solutions are impeccably professional and have a very strong belief in the investment strategy used at the firm. My outlook on investing in either of the three asset classes has drastically changed due to constant teaching from the Advisers here. I tried to make use of their knowledge as much as possible and asked many different questions about what investment strategy would be best in many different scenarios..
Would you recommend us to other students who want to undertake an internship?
I would definitely recommend Income Solutions as a firm for any student to complete an internship at. The professional development I have been lucky enough to achieve here has exceeded all expectations I had prior to commencing the Internship, and is an invaluable asset I now have as I endeavor to complete my degree and apply for full-time positions post-grad.
Want to be the next intern at Income Solutions? Visit our Careers page and apply. Interview rounds begin in October.
We had BIG news in June. When you work in the world of financial planning, the media is always making news BIG …..generally BIGGER than it needs to be and normally peppered with their special brand of doom & gloom spin. So, BIG news is nothing out of the ordinary. This time, however the news was closer to home. Very close in fact because Nick Cooper, announced his retirement!
We must admit it didn’t come as a huge shock – Nick was already “semi-retired”, working 2 days a week. I have worked with Nick for 25 years and when he finally made his decision to retire it prompted me to think about the things I will miss about him when he’s gone. And some things I won’t miss.
I WILL miss Nick’s company.
I WON’T miss him hanging over the side of my desk to tell me EVERY “important” thing he can think of. Let me tell you, there’s a lot of “important” stuff happening in the world of Nick Cooper! And telling him to “go away” doesn’t even work!
I WILL miss Nick’s reliability and sense of duty – if something needs to be done, investigated or followed up, he’s the man to go to. Big or little job. Hard or easy job. He even normally does it without complaining.
I WON’T miss Nick’s singing and dancing. How does that man know the lyrics to every song that’s played on the radio? Worst still when he used to play the Moody Blues at ear splitting volume and sing along to that. Painful memories there for sure.
All jokes aside, Nick and I have worked together for a very long time and the thing I will probably miss the most is the ease of relationship you have when you’ve worked with someone for that long. We can’t offend each other – we’ve tried and it’s like water off a ducks back. We can have tantrums with each other and we don’t even have to apologise afterwards. We’ve built up a form of unspoken language where one look can say much more than words ever could. As Nick would say, “he’d get less for murder” or even worse “it’s like he’s got two wives, both telling him what to do”.
Amazingly, Nick has only ever had two jobs: starting as a young cadet in the RAF before transferring to the RAAF and achieving the rank of Flight Lieutenant; and financial planning, where humble Nick won’t give you any clues but he did achieve quite a few accolades along the way. Nick decided to start studying while he was in the RAAF and completed a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Accounting. Not too long after his studies were completed, he decided to leave the RAAF and try his hand at financial planning. Nick took a position as a junior planner at a planning firm in Dandenong, where he was taken under the wing of planner Dilip Dutt, with whom he remains firm friends to this day. Nick then decided that a tree change to Geelong was in order and took up a partnership opportunity with Geoff Peach in Lara (at this time he made the best business decision of his career by hiring me!). There has been a few business reincarnations along the way, eventually leading where he is today at Income Solutions. And it has been a ride with a few twists and turns – probably the biggest challenge being Nick’s horrific accident. Sometimes from bad things, good things can shine – Nick generally understates the severity of that accident but he was lucky to survive it. He displayed so many of his positive traits to get through that time – determination, strength of character, perseverance. Plus he proved what we all knew – his tough head was no match for a car windscreen! As he’ll readily tell you – he won that battle, not the car.
I know it’s with great pride that Nick will tell you that many of his original clients are still his clients today and they are the reason he’s stuck around for so long. While he’s sad to say goodbye, he’s confident he’s left them in good hands. All good things to come to an end and I’m glad Nick’s decided it’s time to do some things for himself. He’s going to tick off some bucket list items – a couple of cruises around this beautiful world we live in and if you’re travelling on the roads look out for the old bikie putt putting past you on his motorbike! Give him a wave when you see him.