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Traps in ignoring your own financial planning

Financial planning is a poorly understood concept that for many people is complex, too expensive and overshadowed by adviser mistrust.  Many avoid financial advisers because they believe that they will be sold a commission based financial product that they don’t really want, without being any better off financially.

So many people turn to family and friends for advice.  Often, they rely on flawed advice, and adopt a simplistic and less-than-ideal approach to household money handling.   The real problem here is that most Australians live from week to week.  It feels ok when things are going well (i.e. “What’s all the fuss about – she’ll be right mate!”), but there are some inherent traps in this approach:

  1. Although there are several basic, universal principles of personal financial planning, everyone has different circumstances; different goals in life; and a different attitude to investment risk.  So what works for one may not be right for another at that time, or indeed ever.   To get your planning right, there’s an order of doing things and none of those things should keep you awake at night.
  2. For many, their potential wealth is being leaked to banks through credit cards.  Ease of access to credit has led to instant consumerism and a shift away from a savings discipline.  The majority of Australians waste the opportunity to grow their wealth by spending everything they earn or, in some cases, by spending more than they earn.
  3. Most people are not prepared for the things that can go wrong, such as retrenchment, accident, or sickness.  One or more of these is bound to happen over the course of an 80-year life.  Without income, most can’t last more than a month without racking up debt.
  4. A whopping 80% of Aussies don’t adequately provide for the future, including retirement.  A lot of financial problems arise with an unexpected death in the family.  For example, two thirds of Aussies don’t have a valid Will, which means an eventual wrestle with State government intestacy laws, which assign money and property according to an unfriendly fixed formula.

The issue for most people is not that they don’t care.  It is that they don’t know.  People are simply unaware of what they don’t know and they don’t know who to trust to find out.  That is why it is essential to get information from someone trustworthy who does know.

Most financial planners out there are scrupulously honest and highly trustworthy.  I am one of them, and after almost 20 years in the industry, I have a large store of valuable knowledge, which I now share at low cost.

I have retired from public practice and started the innovative and unique MyProsperityForum.

It is a low cost way to access a highly knowledgeable financial planner and receive information, ideas, general strategies and guidance.  In the end, it is your choice whether you do it yourself or ask to be referred to an appropriate professional.  A critical element of the forum is that the general advice given is not tainted or biased by selling plans or financial products.  It is a safe place so give it a try.


Peace of mind … or fear disguised?

Business building tips Brisbane

We are prepared to pay handsomely for peace of mind.  Even though a peaceful mind might not be the ultimate outcome, we can still cross it off the mental list as one less problem to worry about.     Peace of mind is a perception of safety that offers some form of protection against any one of our many squillion fears.  An example would be buying security screens or life insurance.

Alternatively, it can come from reaching a goal and achieving something.  An example would be finishing university with feelings of pride and self-satisfaction, together with the belief that a degree is likely to ensure continuing employment.  The corollary of course could be viewed as a safety measure to overcome the fear of unemployment and financial loss.  Here we go with the fears again!  It turns out that fear in one form or another, drives us all and plays a big part in our buying behaviour.

Luck is the success you plan for

Business building tips Brisbane

When planning your 2012 resolutions, think about this!  ‘Luck’ is an unexpected outcome that befalls people who generally don’t act; don’t do; and love to procrastinate.  Luck plays no part in planning and operating a business or managing risk.  What appears to be luck to observers is simply what happens to people who act, do and persevere with it.   The more you swing the bat, the more you hit the ball.  Funnily enough, luck in business is actually the success you planned for, viewed through the eyes of self doubt.  If you can deal with your fear and believe in yourself, then most of the time, what might appear to be luck is no more than you should expect.

The mobile website revolution is just beginning

For the best business building tips Brisbane 0408 756 531

Before the iPhone´s launch, browsing the Internet from a mobile phone was more of a chore than a convenience.  That is not the case any longer.  The iPhone has changed the way mobile phones are being used to access the Internet.

With the iPhone’s large, multi-touch screen, mobile internet browsing is rapidly becoming a viable alternative to computer monitor-based browsing.

In addition to a website that displays optimally on large LCD monitors, the internet component of your business will now require and a different website that displays optimally on a mobile phone screen.  The idea is to design each to suit the medium on which it is being viewed.

Although each website design will need a different approach, the goal is still the same – to drive visitor action, whether that is to make a phone call, submit a form, or buy a product.

Consumers are changing the way they make purchasing decisions.  They are already using geo-location facilities to find their nearest shop and using apps to compare prices, find local discounts and check inventories.  It is often faster to scan a barcode or check a mobile website for product information than to ask a store assistant.

This rapid change in consumer buying behaviour means huge opportunities for tech savvy retailers and internet marketers.

More business building tips Brisbane next time!

Gary

gary@garyweigh.com

Female entrepreneurs rule!

Here's to female entrepreneurs!

Business building tips brisbane

Entrepreneurs are starters and builders of business who are good at enlisting others in their cause.  Traditionally the majority of entrepreneurs have been male but more and more females are taking on new business startups and succeeding. 

In my experience, female entrepreneurs are not better or worse than males.  They are different.  It is the biological and neurological differences between males and females that translate into different approaches to business startup and growth.

For example, walk into a female’s office and the décor is a little softer and a little more welcoming.  The space is a more organised and there is often evidence of a balanced life outside work.

In my experience, females are good listeners – the best listeners.  They tend to listen first and talk later, after they understand the need or issue.

Women can be very shy but once engaged in a conversation, they are much more social, and network really well, particularly with other women.  It seems to make no difference whether it is play group or a business breakfast women are capable of networking with each other many times faster than males. 

In general I have always found a higher level of empathy among females.  It seems to go hand in hand with their willingness to engage and listen.  For mine, they are much better at putting themselves in another’s shoes, taking a genuine interest and taking the time to understand.

Women really get it!  They know it’s about socializing.  They know it’s about listening, really listening; starting conversations, interacting, bringing people together and collaborating with each other.

Moving away from the socialisation aspects, one of the biggest differences I have noticed is that females ask for advice and heed good advice much better than males. 

They realise that they need help in certain areas and not afraid to ask.  They are very diligent with planning as well.  It is part of the need to be organised and knowing what is happening day to day.

Until next time

Gary

#1 in business building tips Brisbane

Call Gary direct on 0408 756 531

or email gary@garyweigh.com

Check my other blog site http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com and learn how the secrets of Aikido can be applied to your business.

Business building – non-conformity wins the day

Save the TALL poppies

Looking for business building tips Brisbane? Try non-conformity!

In the area of career and vocation, conformity is getting a job, commuting to work each day and putting in a solid 8 hours or a stressful 10 hours, and doing much the same thing next day and every day after that until retirement.  That’s what the vast majority of the working population does.

So many entrepreneurs choose to start a business specifically to get away from the herd mentality.  They have a good idea; come across an opportunity; and give it a go.  Money is usually a problem but as far as escaping the rut, the commute or the unreasonable boss goes, there is nothing to lose.

In Australia there is a social phenomenon where people of talent and achievement are resented and criticised if it is popularly perceived that they regard themselves as being a cut above the average Australian.  It is called ‘the tall poppy syndrome’.

That is why many successful Australian entrepreneurs carefully craft their image as that of an ‘Aussie battler made good’, insisting that they are still Aussie battlers at heart, and always championing the cause of the everyday Australian.

I will continue on the need for a powerful business mind in my next business building blog.  For more on breaking free of herd thinking, check out my Aikido Secrets blog at http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com/

Remember that Ai-ki mind power is good for business.  If you are looking for your own Personal Ai-ki Mentor to guide you into a powerful business mind, and help you’re your business education, check out my previous blog below and drop us a line at coach@garyweigh.com

Until next time!

Gary

Drawing up your personal expense budget

Do you seek financial wellbeing?  Last time I talked about the income side of your budget.  Now let’s continue with the expenses side of your budget.

Before you start make sure you have your file of bills paid.

As I said last time, you should start with an annual budget, and break it down later to a monthly budget.   Be aware that you will have expenses that are paid yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly.  There will be other outlays by cash or card that you might make on an ad hoc basis (e.g. personal items or eating out)

You will need to convert all of your expenses to annual.  If you are using the FIDO budget planner http://www.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byHeadline/Budget planner, you will find that the ‘On line’ and ‘Excel spreadsheet’ versions have a payment converter (in blue).  Use that to convert your expenses to annual.

Expenses

There are 10 broad categories:

1.      Housing

2.      Utilities

3.      Transport

4. Food

5.      Education

6.      Medical

7.      Maintenance (child)

8. Personal

9.      Other

10.  Loan Expenses

The highlighted categories are areas of largely discretionary spending, where your costs may have blown out in the past.  These are prime areas to tighten your spending.

If you are using an electronic version of the FIDO Budget Planner, your sub-totals and totals will be calculated automatically.

Now that you have completed the first pass of your budget we will review it and find ways to refine it.

For more Brisbane business building tips and financial wellbeing articles go to http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

Gary

Drawing up your personal income budget

General advice warning:

The article below is general advice only.  It is not personal advice tailored to suit your individual needs and therefore, you should consider whether this advice is appropriate for you.

Here is one of many good business building tips Brisbane people can use.  The beauty of doing a household budget is that it gives you a good indication of how much money you must generate to finance the life you want for you and your family.  This financial wellbeing advice applies to employed people too.

Now I want you to sit down and prepare your own household budget!  It really isn’t that much different to doing a business budget.  If you have never done a budget before, it will take about an hour.

Before you start, get out your file of bills paid and also find your tax records for you and your partner.  If you are employed, go to your tax records or at least find a recent pay slip or PAYG summary; as well as any details of Centrelink payments, investments and any other income received.

You can use any good budget planner.  If you want to see (and use) a comprehensive personal budget planner, go to FIDO’s Budget Planner at:

http://www.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byHeadline/Budget planner

As a start, I would do an annual budget, and break it down later to a monthly budget.   By doing an annual budget first, you should pick up all income and all expenses, including those once a year payments like home & contents insurance and vehicle registration, plus those quarterly bills like rates and water charges, together with your regular monthly commitments like mortgage repayments.

Start with income

The figure you need is Income after tax.   This comes from your most recent tax records, or if things have changed since then, you can make estimates using a recent pay slip or PAYG summary.  But remember, these employer generated documents represent tax deducted by your employer, not tax ultimately paid by you.

It may also be the case that other payments besides income tax, such as like superannuation and health insurance are also deducted by your employer from your gross salary.   Don’t count these expenses twice!

When you get to the relevant expense line item in your budget, make sure that you don’t deduct them again.  If you do, make sure you add those amounts back to your after tax (cash in the hand) salary.

Don’t forget Centrelink payments, rent from boarders and any part time income that you earn.  Include interest from bank accounts and term deposits, and dividends from shares etc.  If you are including rent from an investment house, you will have to deduct all associated expenses first.  These may or may not be more than the rental income.

If you are self-employed, you should probably consult last year’s tax records or ask your accountant to tell you.  It may not be immediately clear.  Please don’t confuse it with total money actually received or amounts that you take out of the business from time to time.

If you draw a salary from your own company, that is only part of the story.  There is still your profit (or loss) to consider as well.  Unless you have very good accounting skills, it is best to speak to your accountant.

For more Brisbane business building tips and financial wellbeing articles go to http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

Gary

Gary Weigh, Financial Planner, Director, Gary Weigh & Associates Pty Ltd ABN 41 084 228 679, Corporate Authorised Representative (No.256617) of The FinancialLink Group Pty Ltd ABN 12 055 622 967, Australian Financial Services No.240938

Start with a wealth grower’s budget

General advice warning:

The article below is general advice only.  It is not intended to be personal advice tailored to suit your individual needs and therefore, you should consider whether this advice is appropriate for you.

Financial wellbeing starts with a household budget – what you earn after tax, in your hand, minus what you spend.  The budget is a simple and very effective financial strategy, but it gets bad press because people know that, like going on a diet, they must be disciplined.

People also assume that after the budgeting process is complete, they will have less money to do the things they want to do.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It is likely that after you plug a few spending leaks, you will have more money available.

Budgeting is like losing weight.  If you treat it as going on a diet, the old habits will return as soon as you stop the diet.

The trick is to think of budgeting the same way as you would think of permanent weight loss.  That is, make some permanent lifestyle changes – small changes, bit by bit!

A useful business building tip in Brisbane is to prepare yourself a wealth grower’s budget!

So what is so special about it?

  • A wealth grower’s budget is a state of mind, not some new fangled budget tool that will instantly solve all your problems.  Actually any decent budget tool will suffice.
  • A wealth grower’s mind allows you to pin point those areas where you currently spend your money that has no meaningful effect on your life.  That money can be redirected to where it will have meaningful effect and positive impact on your life.
  • A wealth grower’s budget is not one that creates a bit more spending money.  It is one that gets you closer to your goals in life; those things that are really important to you.

For example, you might decide to spend less on eating out and divert that money to your ‘long term / not to be touched’ savings account.

Here’s another important point!  You must become a saver before you can become an investor!

Your wealth grower’s budget is the tool to help you do that.  If you have no savings, then you will be forced to borrow 100% of money you need to invest.  That strategy carries serious risk at the most dangerous level.

You will find a very good (and very comprehensive) budget planner (FIDO’s Budget Planner) at the ASIC website.

There are three versions to choose from

(a)    the online version (flash player required), or

(b)   the Excel spreadsheet version, or

(c)    the print version

Go to http://www.asic.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byHeadline/Budget planner

For more reading about financial wellbeing and for more useful business building tips in Brisbane, go to http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

Gary

Gary Weigh, Financial Planner, Director, Gary Weigh & Associates Pty Ltd ABN 41 084 228 679, Corporate Authorised Representative (No.256617) of The FinancialLink Group Pty Ltd ABN 12 055 622 967 Australian Financial Services No.240938

Think like a ‘wealth grower’

I have said it before and I’ll say it again, there are a few positive money habits that you need to adopt before you launch headlong into planning your financial wellbeing.

Forget the millionaire mindset!  You shouldn’t think that you have to be a millionaire to achieve financial wellbeing.  Making small changes and taking small steps is what’s important.

Here’s a Brisbane business building tip! Just do what wealth growers do!  For a start, they don’t live on credit card debt while spending everything they earn.  While wealth growers are quietly growing their wealth crop they don’t splash money around and they don’t try to keep up with the Jones’s next door.

Wealth growers grow wealth by observing a few simple rules:

  1. They don’t spend more than they earn so they do not incur personal debt
  2. They are more comfortable with cash or a debit card rather than a credit card
  3. They don’t buy new; they seek out quality and quality secondhand is fine
  4. They do not succumb to social pressure, herd mentality and impulse buying
  5. They factor both the short term and the long term into their thinking
  6. They put money away regularly into long term fund and allow it to do its work
  7. If they want to buy cars and holidays etc in the shorter term, they start another savings / investment fund for that (i.e. they don’t dip into the long term fund)
  8. They don’t waste money on things that depreciate in value; They buy things that are likely to rise in value

Adopting the wealth growers’ rules will be your way forward also.   Start by paying off your credit card and cutting it up.  Get a debit card and re-introduce yourself to the concepts of cash and saving.

If you get into these simple habits, you will be well on your way to financial wellbeing.

To read more Brisbane business building tips on financial wellbeing, check out this article “Seek life’s broader wealth solution” at http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

If you want change to a calm martial mindset, then try Aikido at http://www.griffithaikido.com.au

Until next time!

Gary