Achieving financial freedom 

Achieving financial freedom 

What does financial freedom mean to you? The ability to travel the world and build a dream home? Or to be able to enjoy a simple but active retirement, and support some good causes?   We all have different desires and goals in life, but most of us share the dream that one day we would like to achieve our particular version of ‘financial freedom’. The challenge is that most of us don’t really know what it takes to turn our goals, be they vague wishes or burning desires, into reality.   However, with just a little bit of forethought, some expert advice, and by acting on that advice, we are much more likely to reach that goal of financial freedom.  Making the list  Your key ally in achieving financial freedom is your financial adviser, and amongst the most important things your adviser will need to know is what your goals are. So make a list and prioritise it. Which of your goals are essential, and which ones are you willing to compromise on?  Reality check   Just as we have different goals, so do we have different financial resources. One of the first things your adviser will do is run a reality check. Given your income and expenditure, job outlook, health and family situation, are your goals realistic and achievable?   Your adviser will also check if key goals are missing. For example, life insurance can be an essential tool for protecting your family’s future financial freedom, yet many people overlook it.  With the big picture now clear, your adviser can develop strategies that will bring that goal of financial freedom closer to fruition.   Perfect timing  When’s the perfect time to start your journey to financial freedom?  Today.   Because the sooner you get started, the sooner your goals will be achieved.   So think about your goals and desires. Importantly, write them down. Then make an appointment to sit down with your financial adviser, and take those critical first steps towards achieving your financial freedom.  The information provided in this article is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice.  

Building financial resilience 

Building financial resilience 

Resilience is the ability to quickly recover from setbacks, and while setbacks can come in many forms most of them will have a financial component. So what can you do to build financial resilience?  Expect the unexpected  Rarely do we get advance warning that something bad is about to happen to us, so the time to develop your resilience strategy is now. And while we don’t know the specifics, we can anticipate events that would throw our finances into disarray. A house burning down or a car being stolen. Not being able to work due to illness or injury. The death of a breadwinner or caregiver.   With some idea of the type of threat we face we may be able to insure against some of them. If you have taken out any type of insurance policy you’ve already made a start on your resilience plan.  Create buffers  You can’t insure against every possibility, but you can build financial buffers. This might simply be a savings account that you earmark as your emergency fund that you contribute to each payday. If your home loan offers a redraw facility you can also create a buffer by getting ahead on your mortgage repayments.   Buffers can be particularly important for retirees drawing a pension from their super fund. Redeeming growth assets for cash in order to make pension payments during a market downturn can lead to a depletion of capital and reduction in how long the money will last. By maintaining a cash buffer of, say, two year’s worth of pension payments, redemptions of growth assets can be deferred, giving time for the market to recover.  Cut costs  The Internet abounds with tips on how to cut costs and save money. In difficult economic times cost cutting can help you maintain your financial buffers and important insurances.   Key to cost cutting is tracking your income and expenditure and yes, that means doing a budget. Find the right budgeting app for you and this chore could actually be fun.  Invest in quality  There are many companies out there that have long track records of consistently pumping out profits and dividends. They may not be as exciting (i.e. volatile) as the latest techno fad stocks but when markets get the jitters these blue chip companies are more likely to maintain their value than the newcomers.  This is important. The more volatile a portfolio the more likely an investor is to sell down into a declining market. This turns paper losses into real ones, depriving the investor the opportunity to ride the market back up again.  The other key tool in creating resilient portfolios is diversification. Buying a range of investments both within and across the major asset classes is a fundamental strategy for managing portfolio volatility.  With a well-diversified portfolio of quality assets there is less need to regularly buy and sell individual investments. Unnecessary trading can create ‘tax drag’ where the realisation of even a marginal   capital gain triggers a capital gains tax event and consequent reduction in portfolio value.  Take advice  Building financial resilience can be a complicated process requiring an understanding of a range of issues that need to be balanced against one another and prioritised. Your financial planner is ideally placed to assist you in developing your own, personalised plan for financial resilience.   The information provided in this article is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice.  

Financial Success: More Than Just Money

Financial Success: More Than Just Money

When discussing financial success, many people tend to use the terms “rich” and “wealthy” interchangeably. While being rich is often associated with having a lot of money or material possessions, being wealthy is about having financial abundance that is sustainable over the long term. Being Rich Being rich is often associated with having a high net worth, a large income, or significant assets. It’s a term used to describe people who have accumulated substantial money or wealth. However, being rich does not necessarily guarantee financial success. Someone who is rich may have a lot of money, but they may not have the financial stability or security that comes with being wealthy. Being Wealthy On the other hand, being wealthy is a more sustainable form of financial success. Wealth is often created through long-term investments, passive income streams, and wise financial planning. A wealthy person has accumulated enough assets and income-generating investments to provide a steady income stream, allowing them to live comfortably without relying on external factors. Financial success requires more than just having a lot of money… it is about having financial security AND freedom: Financial security means having enough money to cover your basic needs and some comforts. Financial freedom is the ability to make choices based on what you truly want rather than being constrained by financial limitations. The path to financial success requires a good understanding of financial literacy, clearly defined personal values, a long-term perspective, and the ability to establish, and stick to, a strategic plan. Financial Literacy Understanding how money works, including managing, investing, and saving it, is critical to achieving financial success. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions about your finances and enable you to take control of your financial future. Personal Values Successful people achieving financial freedom often clearly understand what is most important to them. They know their values and use them as a guide when making financial decisions. This approach helps them focus on their priorities and avoid impulsive purchases that jeopardise their long-term financial security. Long Term Perspective True financial success and wealth isn’t built on the back of “get rich quick” philosophies. There is no “magic pill” for financial success; it’s a lifestyle, not an overnight fix. Building wealth takes time. It requires focus, discipline, patience, and long-term commitment. Strategic Planning Achieving financial success requires strategies such as creating a budget, investing wisely, and building passive income streams. Again, these are all strategies that require patience and commitment. It is essential to stay focused on your goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. While the above factors each play a critical role in your journey to financial success, the secret ingredient lies in defining what financial success and wealth mean to you personally, as someone else’s definition of financial success may look very different to yours. Some ways to achieve this are to: Assess your lifestyle – Consider what your ideal lifestyle looks like; where are you, who are you with, what are you doing? Define your values – Figure out what is important to you and define your values based on this. Your values can then provide a framework to make decisions based on what is important. Set Financial Goals – Be clear on what you want to achieve in life. You can then define your vision further by setting specific financial goals. If you are ready to start your journey towards achieving financial success, a financial adviser can help. They will assess your financial situation, identify your goals, and create a long-term financial plan tailored to your individual needs. With their guidance and support, you can take control of your financial future and achieve the financial security AND freedom you deserve. The information provided in this article is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice.    

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