Aren’t you extremely worried? This is the question that I got asked by someone last Tuesday. I responded with the one eyebrow up, slightly perplexed look. So, he went on a little more tentatively – being a financial planner, with all the volatility.
To which I then responded with the ‘fearless girl on wall street’ hands on hips pose. Not as a stance for feminism, but more to stand up for what I believe in. Being a financial planner does not mean that I take on all your financial worries (a fast route to a horrible death), but rather that I structure things appropriately so that we don’t have to worry.
How do I do this?
Step 1: Get your risk profile right
This is by far the most important step when creating any financial plan. I look at your age, assets and liabilities, income and expenses and attitude towards risk to determine how much risk is appropriate for you. All markets – shares, property and even designer shoes experience volatility and periods of negative results. While today it may be caused by Kylie Jenner’s tweets, this behaviour has gone on since the beginning of time, so we can hardly be surprised by it.
When I design your financial plan, I ask 3 questions:
- What is expected to happen?
- What is the worst that can happen?
- If it does happen, will you have the ability to recover?
While I don’t design a portfolio based on the worst-case scenario – that would be like never wearing heels – it is important to take it into account.
Step 2: Diversify
I am not going to use the ‘all eggs in one basket’ analogy. When was the last time you carried eggs in a basket? It sounds great, but let’s look practically at what this means for most Australians.
You can’t have all your investments in Australian property or Australian property and shares. Whether by intention or default, having property in Sydney has been an amazing investment with a market that has gone up over 90% in 5 years – but to expect it to continue at this rate would be foolish. 2018 is already looking week with clearance rates dropping significantly. If you thought that you had some diversification by holding shares on the ASX – the ASX is dominated by banks and surprise, surprise their primary exposure is to retail mortgages.
To have a diversified portfolio, you need investments with different risk exposure – bonds, infrastructure, global equities and global property. I won’t go into the detail – to much info for this little article – please get in touch to learn more.
Step 3: Focus on value
Don’t choose an investment based on price. Cheap products are usually cheap for a reason. I have always considered myself a savvy shopper –only buy quality products, but get them on sale.
Get these three steps right, and there is no reason for me or you to lose any sleep over money. Regardless of the headlines, you can continue your day in the calm collected manner as you have the day before (wink,wink).