Posted by Marshall Brentnall on 12 November 2013
Google the term “wealth creation” and you’ll be inundated with over 30,000,000 references. This is a stark contrast to the time when resources were limited, and it was difficult to access information about investment strategies.
Often the thought of financial planning can be daunting, or fall by the wayside when trying to keep up with other aspects of life. It may sound obvious, but if you never take action then how will you achieve anything?
Don’t get caught in one of these following barriers to achieving financial success.
Leaving it too late
The typical life story for an average Aussie or Kiwi is that we leave school or university and get a job. Generally in your early-twenties you have an income that is almost 100 per cent discretionary. Long term planning at this stage involves thinking about where you’ll go on a Saturday night. Any established savings plans are more likely for future consumption, typically a car or an overseas trip, they aren’t made with a specific investment strategy in mind.
However, as people partner up, have children, get involved with mortgages, school fees, careers… suddenly several years have gone by. During this time, while you may have concentrated on living life, you could have also missed out on countless investment opportunities. It’s important to start being financially responsible and savvy as early as possible, as investing takes time and it’s all about establishing the right behaviours.
Looking for the magic solution
Get-rich schemes rarely work, whether it’s pinning your hopes on share prices sky-rocketing or winning the lottery.
You’d be better off being realistic with your goals. There are many ways to achieve financial independence, you only really need one strategy and it has to suit your timeframe, budget and comfort level.
Think about it for a minute, have you ever caught yourself saying one of the following:
“I’m waiting as interest rates may go down”
“I would prefer to pay off my mortgage before investing”
“It’s best to wait until after the election”
“I would prefer to wait until my next pay rise”
The truth is that there will always be a reason (or excuse) not to invest. However, in reality these are limitations we place on ourselves.
Being bombarded by financial commentators, media outlets and social media channels has led to an information overload. As a result many people base their decisions on content that should really be viewed as entertainment or an advertisement.
One way to cut through this avalanche of information is to see a financial professional, who understands your background and situation, and can assist in filtering out what is irrelevant.
Not asking for help
It’s good to have the confidence in your own abilities, but sometimes it’s wise to get assistance. Whether it’s the sporting world, an up-and-coming entrepreneurship or global leader; all successful people have coaches and advisers.
For example, have you ever considered why Tiger Woods, arguably one of the world’s greatest ever golfers, needs a coach? It’s so he remains accountable, and achieves what he sets out to do. Coaches won’t tell us what we don’t already know, they just make sure we do what needs to be done.
So instead of debating which asset is better, looking for the magic solution or perfect time to invest, try identifying your goals and priorities and take actions to maximise the likelihood of reaching them.
Marshall Brentnall is a Director of Evalesco Financial Services, an award winning financial planning firm located in Sydney's CBD. With more than 15 years experience in the financial services industry, Marshall is committed to ensuring that his clients are making smart money decisions and taking steps to increase the likelihood of achieving their financial goals.