We all dream about lounging on the designer couch in the beautiful house, filled with natural light, reflected in the infinity pool that spills over into the waters of Tamarama. But how do we get there?
The problem is that we limited by what we can earn.
We have heard the saying ‘you have to make your money work for you’. Great, but how? The solution is drowned in complexity and jargon. As we don’t understand how it all works, the risk of taking action is huge. So, we just do nothing or worse take some advice from completely the wrong person which leaves us worse off.
I am always amazed that I have clients with multiple millions and others who are just starting off yet the feeling is the same. Everyone has different dreams, they know there is a better route to achieve them than self-inflicted slavery but WHAT?
My interest in investing started as a little girl when I used to chart the share prices for my dad. The huge graph paper, which was almost as big as me, and the prices that went up and down – it was all very exciting. From there I went on to study investment, first locally and then a post grad in the US. I have seen it all from the exuberance of the dot com boom to the lows of the GFC to the Trump rally.
There is no magic formula but there certainly are key principals. If you stick to these, you can make your money grow (and grow)
Let’s cut the male jargon of the investment industry and talk about investment in feminine terms that we can relate to and understand.
- Don’t bet it all on the house
Australians, especially women, have an absolute love affair with property. On the one hand – as an investment it has been a phenomenal success, on the other, we can touch it, we can see it and we can relate to it (not like other investments which seem so much more obscure). There are structural aspects which favour Australian property – lack of supply, growing population and tax incentives. But, when I hear statements such as ‘it can never go down’, I can literally feel the wrinkles deepen on my forehead. While, I completely understand the importance of a home, the Sydney property market has gone up 100% over the last four years and to expect it to continue at this rate would be foolish. When you think in terms of an investment, you need to broaden your opportunity set and not put all your eggs in one basket.
- Sometimes you need a swimsuit others a jacket
We have different clothes for different occasions and we need different investments for different market climates. Think of investing like a weekend in Melbourne – it can be hot cold and raining all in one day so you need to pack with this in mind. Investing is pretty similar – there are so many factors that affect individual prices over the short term that the mood can be hot or cold and shift rapidly in either direction. You need an investment portfolio/super fund that is well diversified by type of investment, by country and by industry.
- Sip your single malt slowly
I have always been a whiskey drinker. If you drink it slowly, it’s pretty classy, if you down it, you are pretty much trashed. With investing, you need to be patient, one sip at a time will lead to long-term wealth. As mentioned before, prices move up and down and quite unpredictably. The queen of the investment game is the woman who can stand her ground. By investing slowly and consistently you will always win.
- Get good advice
Points 1-3 may sound great in theory but to implement them, you may need some help. Choose the right person. A good financial advisor is one who takes the time to really understand you and what you want, explains the strategy in terms that you can understand and is backed up by the appropriate qualifications and experience. Be careful of this last one – most financial planners have a background in risk rather than investment (it’s like asking your doctor for travel recommendations).
By sticking to the key principals, I have seen with my clients that they can achieve far more than what they ever thought possible.
Stop dreaming, get your but into gear, get advice and get a strategy to get what you want.
Marisa Hoffenberg, Bcom, CFA, DFP