Creating Real Wealth

A young redhead boy is apple picking with his family in an orchard in autumn. He is smiling and giving an apple to his mother.

Income Solutions mission is to create wealth for our clients.
Wealth is the absence of financial worry, an income you don’t outlive, and a meaningful legacy to those whom you love.

Income Solutions MISSION STATEMENT

If you are healthy…. You are wealthy! And while this is a great sentiment and for any of us who have been experiencing illness recently it will certainly resonate. However, today we know that it is not as simple as this, as in recently quoted studies our health and wellbeing can be, up to a point, directly linked to our income https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/creating-wealth-that-creates-wellbeing/

We need money for our essential needs, and to participate in a community we need access to resources to make this possible, hence the creation of wealth in financial terms is required to fully embrace life in all its stages.

As it is Income Solutions core ‘Mission’ to create wealth for our clients, it is worth exploring the actual concept of wealth and how it might differ to simply being rich or having access to a high Income. The creation of wealth is working towards a sustainable income, as opposed to being rich and having access to money. Robert Kiyosaki, the author of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ has encapsulated this concept very succinctly in the following quote:

“The rich have lots of money, but wealthy don’t worry about money”

In our Mission Statement we make clear that we view wealth as being the ‘absence of financial worry’ and in the above statement by Kiyosaki he states that the ‘wealthy don’t worry about money’. Core to this is that fact that wealthy people work towards obtaining a long-term sustainable income, live within their means and save and invest money in income producing assets such as an investment portfolio.

Creating real wealth usually involves avoiding debt for discretionary spending and instead borrowing less than you can afford to buy income producing assets.

A formula for achieving an ‘income that you don’t outline’ is described in a video Titled ‘Your Tree’ presented by Income Solutions founding Adviser David Ramsay https://vimeo.com/460822636 Using the analogy of an apple tree to describe an asset, he explains that the income your asset produces, the ‘apples’ it grows that you have access to picking will serve you better than ‘lopping off a branch’, and thus decreasing the size of your principal asset. Having an asset that generates an income without eating away at the principal ‘the tree’ will ensure your asset stays in tack not only throughout your lifespan but also as an asset for future generations, thus creating a meaningful legacy for those you love.

At Income Solutions we believe achieving wealth is achieving peace of mind https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/avoid-shattering-financial-outcomes/ A mind free from financial worry provides real wealth for our clients as they can then focus on what they care about most.

Referenced for this article:

https://moneysmart.gov.au/grow-your-super/how-much-super-you-need

https://www.incomesolutions.com.au/family-tree-research-providing-lessons-of-the-past/

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

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/

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.

CREATING GOOD MONEY HABITS

If we become what we repeatedly do, poor habits can make us poor while “rich habits” can lead to wealth.

Sarah Berry, The Sydney Morning Herald

At Income Solutions we meet initially with our clients to plan and discuss their financial goals, these documented goals are updated annually and are an important part of securing their stated financial future. However, these goals are just one part of the puzzle, the money habits that we form over years and make decisions and choices about daily are a direct reflection of both our current and future financial situation.

A good place to start when looking a what a good money habits is, is to reflect on some of the money habits employed by financially secure people who:

~ Invest in themselves, they know the value of time and money spent on their education or self-development.

~ Live within their means or even under their means, knowing the freedom of not living from one pay day to the next.

~ Don’t borrow to fund a lifestyle or discretionary purchase.

~ Take calculated risks and opportunities when the evidence stacks up.

~ Start planning early for their retirement.

Starting today you can begin changing financial habits that will directly lead to a change in your current and future finances. James Clear in his New York Times bestselling book ‘Atomic Habits’ explains that small changes in our habits can have a big impact. Some of the strategies for change listed in his book include:

1. Know the difference between being in motion and acting

Motion is all about planning and learning and theorizing. Action is all about deliberate practice to deliver an outcome. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of being in motion, of fooling yourself into thinking you’re making progress towards something. Remember setting a goal to be a millionaire one day will count for nothing unless you act and form habits and systems to create this outcome.

2. Be aware that we live in a delayed return environment

In modern society, many of the choices you make today will not benefit or impact you immediately, an example of this is the habit of smoking, which will provide immediate gratification, but the health consequences may take years to manifest. When applied to financial habits, while some may spend years not saving or planning for their retirement the impact of this on their daily lives will not be immediately evident until they get closer to retirement and are presented with the impact on limited retirement funds.

“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they’re too heavy to be broken”

Bertrand Russell

3. Focus on who you want to become and the person you want to be

Make choices and set goals around the person you want to be. James Clear gives another example of this around smoking and when two people are offered a cigarette. One says, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit” while the other says “No thanks, I don’t smoke.” Once again, when applied to our finances do you want to be a person who is financially responsible and in charge of their financial future or the type of person who does not take financial responsibility seriously…. the choice is ours to make!

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

James Clear

4. Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement

The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous”— James Clear

5. You do not rise to the level of your goals but your habits and choices

Think of this, many people will have a goal to be financially secure by the time they are 40 and perhaps even retired at 50, but only a small percentage will achieve it. People can set out with the same goal, but the goal is never enough because it is the actions, habits, and choices that we make along the way that will reflect whether the goal is achieved or not.

At Income Solutions we will support you in creating systems and money habits that you can implement to propel the outcome of your financial goals.

References:

https://medium.com/tom-thoughts/i-finally-read-atomic-habits-here-are-my-top-5-takeaways-57dd6f904ab4

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/younginvestors/08/generation-y.asp

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/seven-secret-habits-of-selfmade-millionaires-20160404-gnxs4m.html

PLANNING A HOLIDAY POST PANDEMIC


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From the 1st of November you will no longer need an exemption to travel overseas, and with recent research showing that 44.4% of people are including planning for a holiday in their financial plans this is good news. However, there are some post COVID travel considerations to take into account:

~ Sydney, Melbourne, and Darwin are the only cities operating international flights from November 2021. Although not confirmed other states will open to international travel once they have reached 80%.

~ For those that love to take to the high seas, cruises will be returning next year although no official start day has been confirmed.

~ Qantas is currently operating three weekly return flights between Sydney and London and Sydney and Los Angeles

~ The following highlights how destinations are staggered over varying timelines, and you will need to check with travel agents or airlines for updated destination dates. Some examples include Singapore November 23, Delhi December 6, Fiji December 7, Vancouver December 18, Tokyo December 19, United States December 20, and South Africa 5 January.

It is expected that masks will need to be worn throughout the duration of the flight.

You will need to be fully vaccinated to travel overseas with a vaccination certificate downloaded through your myGOV account that will require your passport details, this will supply you with a QR CODE that border officials will scan to verify your vaccination status.

The COVID testing mandates will differ accordingly to the country you are visiting, an example being that the UK will require you to book and pay for a PCR test before you depart and then take the test within 2 days, and the US requires a negative COVID19 test before you travel there!

When returning to Sydney or Melbourne you will not be required to quarantine, however this may differ from country to country so you will need to find out what the quarantine requirements may be for the country you are visiting.

While there is a little more to consider with post pandemic travel let’s not forget there can be nothing like a holiday to help us feel more relaxed and give us a break from our everyday lives, something we may very much need after the challenging times we have been experiencing over the last few years.

We know that having a break, whether it be from work or just our regular routines, tends to improve our wellbeing. It can offer a circuit breaker from some of your stressors, give you a new perspective as you take in new surroundings, lighten your mood as you do things you enjoy, give you a chance to spend some quality time with loved ones and simply recharge your batteries by sleeping in and taking it easy.

Planning for a holiday in post pandemic times may not only require a financial plan to budget for expenses but also careful consideration relating to restrictions, Covid testing and quarantine requirements. But when you look at the benefits this may well be worth the little extra effort? Wherever you decide to travel, whether it be Australia or overseas, the other side of the world or maybe just down the road, enjoy your well-deserved break and recharge your batteries for an exciting year ahead.

INCOME SOLUTIONS FINANCIAL PLANNING GEELONG

contactus@incomesolutions.com.au

References:

https://www.mamamia.com.au/international-travel-australia-2022/

Savings and Holiday Fun in 2021!

While focusing on our financial goals over the next 12 months, it is interesting to look at ways in which recent turbulent times have impacted our future savings plans. Recent research shows (1), there is an increased number of people prioritising being more frugal about their lifestyle choices; 44.7% in 2021 vs 30.8% is 2020. Unpredictable times has encouraged more of us to increase savings and pay down debt, together with creating a budget to understand what we are spending, saving and earning; 38.6% in 2021 vs 23.2% in 2020.

However, while increasing savings is the number one financial priority over the next 12 months for many people, research shows (1) recent newly found freedoms now has many people planning for a holiday as the number two financial goal:

It may be interesting to benchmark our own personal goals against the broader results revealed in the above study. Have you found the uncertainty of pandemic times has you wanting to invest more of your income in savings and seeking broader long term financial security while planning for a rainy day? Also, has the easing of restrictions suddenly motivated you to start planning a holiday?

The constantly changing times in which we live should provide us with the impetus to be reviewing and redeveloping our financial goals regularly, to ensure our goals are current and an accurate reflection of what we value and how we want to live both now and into the future.

Contact us at Income Solutions for the tools and guidance in ensuring your financial goals meet your current and future needs: contactus@incomesolutions.com.au

(1)
https://fpa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/2021_FPA_Money_and_Life_Tracker_Freedom_Edition.pdf

INCOME SOLUTIONS FINANCIAL PLANNERS GEELONG

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