The challenge in getting one’s financial goals structured is actually identifying the goals and hunting around for answers. Often the first challenge is to get in the right mind set to sit down and talk to your spouse or family about your short term and long term financial needs. These needs then develop into a goal which you wish to achieve, but people are limited by financial planning knowledge and even time.
Financial goals generally involve the growth and protection of your savings and enjoying your retirement – yes I am mentioning retirement because eventually that is the long term goal and if not, then it’s time to start planning your financial goals around your retirement. At JBS, we have a Retire Right program that aims to help you plan your retirement better.
There are multiple ways in which a person can overcome the hurdle of limited financial planning knowledge. Let’s look at some of the hurdles that we face and try to understand ways to overcome them.
Limited or no time to research investment options
In the financial world, time is money. It doesn’t mean you make this your full time job, but it is crucial to devote some time towards gaining knowledge on the instruments that will help you grow and preserve your hard earned money. Generally speaking, your investment options depend on your risk profile. As you can see in the graph, the types of assets your money can be invested relies on the relative risk you are willing to take on given the expected relative return. To help with the research, today there are numerous tools accessible on the internet, for example Yahoo Finance or Morningstar.
Source: Australian Investors Association
Lack of working knowledge of investment instruments
Once you have removed time to identify your present financial status and researched which investment options are out there in the market, the next hurdle arises in understanding the workings of that instrument or options. Some are straight forward, like a fixed term deposit while some might look complicated, like Exchange Traded Funds or Equally Weighted funds. It may look daunting at the start but with the help of the right tools and resources, you will be on the track to implement your financial goals. ASIC’s Money Smart website provides basic insights into the financial aspects that are vital to be understood, especially on the risk side of things, before venturing on your own. One of the best options is to have a financial coach by your side who will help you attain your financial needs. Have a look at what we at JBS have to offer in our Cash Coach program.
Waiting for the right time to invest
If you have never invested or traded before then it is imperative to at least not start at the wrong stage of the stock market cycle. However don’t waste time over thinking and analysing the situation. The earlier you start hitting your financial goals, the better it is. Currently the market seems to be performing well with the ASX200 Accumulation racking up a 4.8% return in the March 2017 quarter. If you look at Warren Buffett’s ‘Buffett Indicator’ (Total Market Capitalisation divided by the country’s GDP) for Australia, since post GFC, it has been treading around 96%, which indicates that the Australian stocks are valued more or less accurately and a big correction is not on the cards as per the market commentators.
Source: Eureka Report
Finding the right advice from the right people
In this fast paced changing world, it can be difficult to manage your work life, family, friends, travel and financial goals. MLC’s Q3 March 2017 Wealth Sentiment Survey found that after not having enough money to invest, self-doubt on how to invest and save money was the second reason why Australians did not reach their financial goals. Only one out of every four respondents on that survey had a financial plan. So find the right adviser whom you can trust and who understands your personal financial goals in order to avoid being that bracket of society.
Again, always seek advice from experts because you are dealing with your life savings.
– Aakash Mehta –