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Welcome to my financial planning & business planning Australia blog

business coaching Brisbane7 Handy hints for personal insurance

  1. Be careful buying personal insurance without advice; some cheap life insurance policies pay only if you die by accident (only about 20% of deaths are caused by accident)
  2. Unless you are personally underwritten when you apply, do not assume you are covered for pre-existing medical conditions
  3. ‘No medicals’ insurance could mean that the insurer starts asking questions to determine payment (if any) when you make a claim
  4. It is a myth that applying for insurance means having a medical. Most people are insured on the basis of their medical disclosure in the application and a report from their family doctor (you give written permission for the insurer to write to your doctor in the application form)
  5. If an insurance company wants any medical testing done (commonly a blood test if anything) they will pay for it and will arrange to send a medical professional to your door at your convenience
  6. Never assume you are uninsurable.  An insurance underwriter may exclude some insurance but not all; or exclude certain pre-existing conditions; or increase the premium to reflect higher risk
  7. If you are thinking insurance, think trauma insurance because suffering a serious illness (e.g. heart attack, bypass surgery, cancer, stroke) is statistically your most likely health event

 A good adviser will tell you what is in the fine print.  Personal underwriting and truthful disclosure when you apply is the way to guarantee you will be paid at claim time.

Call me direct on 0408 756 531 or email gary@garyweigh.com

For more helpful financial & business planning Australia information, check out our financial planning services

Are you pricing yourself out of business?

Gary WeighBusiness Coaching Brisbane – An Expert Fix

I visited a new client recently.  His business was building company websites.  He wondered why he wasn’t getting ahead even though he and his staff were reasonably busy.  There were a few problems but his pricing was such that at full capacity his gross margin couldn’t cover his fixed costs.  That means the more work he did, the more money he lost.  Who would have thought?

I know that all this ‘margins’ and ‘fixed costs’ stuff all sounds like accountant ‘gobbly-gook’ speak but this problem has been sending many enterprising business owners to the wall for thousands of years.

Mis-pricing is a common trap for many inexperienced business owners.  If you over-price, customers will buy from your competitors if you have nothing else to retain them.  Under-price and your profit (and your business) could be non-existent.

It is the one critically important variable you must get right to be competitive, make a profit and stay in business.  Common pricing mistakes include:

  • Following rules of thumb
  • Comparing with competitors and discounting by 10%
  • Not taking into account the unique cost structure of your business
  • Not taking into account your own time when considering cost price
  • Not pricing to a target volume at a target gross profit margin

Good financial management skills are never needed more than when you are determining the cost prices and selling prices of your products and services.   If you need help give me a call.  Coaching is an investment in the future profitability of your business.  CHECK OUT OUR SERVICES   SIGN UP NOW

Did you know that GARY WEIGH & ASSOCIATES  is not only a leading business coaching Brisbane company but also a leading financial planning firm (authorised representative of The FinancialLink Group Pty Ltd) specialising in retail & self managed superannuation advice and personal protection insurance advice?

A different approach to personal financial planning

Financial planning is a poorly understood concept that for many people is too expensive and overshadowed by adviser mistrust.  Many avoid financial planners 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.

It may be more intuitive to refer to financial planning as personal money management.  That is the art of generating income, managing household finances and accumulating assets.  You can do such a lot yourself with a little basic knowledge.

Most financial planners are well educated and really good at helping you with the more complex issues or those that carry a truckload of government rules (e.g. social security, insurance, super, retirement, estate planning).

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.

Instead of picking up barbeque tips from friends, why not join MyProsperityForum for only $49.97 a month to have an expert on hand to guide you.  I personally work in the forum most of the time but I do invite guest experts from time to time.  It’s low costand high benefit for you and I am there when you need me.

7 surprises to bring a thriving business undone

You wouldn’t be the first business owner to believe that running a business somehow negates your need for personal financial planning; and that the growing equity in your business equity is the only superannuation plan you need.

You think that because you own a business, your retirement is completely taken care of.  You assume that your business will provide everything.  There is nothing more for you to do!   On all counts, nothing could be further from the truth.

Running a business is no more than a choice you make in how you earn your income.  Some choose business income; some choose employer income.  Either way, those who take a deeper interest in planning their personal and family financial wellbeing will prosper in the long term.

Furthermore, as a business owner there is an extra layer of planning you should be thinking about.  That is, planning the future of your income-earning and capital-appreciating asset, and protecting the equity in business that you work so hard to build up.

There is no guarantee that your business equity will translate into the retirement lump sum you hope for.  There are just a few of the things that could go wrong and derail your dream:

  1. Adverse circumstances (e.g. litigation, legislative change, customer desertion, obsolescence) force you to sell at a bad time
  2. Your health fails you before you reach your ideal ‘sell out & retire’ scenario
  3. Your business partner dies prematurely and his / her spouse becomes your new unwelcome business partner
  4. You want your children to inherit your business but they are not interested
  5. You don’t structure your business correctly to take advantage of the small business rollover rules
  6. You don’t have a Will to control the bequeathing of  your personal assets or your business ownership and / or control
  7. You have no emergency fund and no liquidity available should something major go wrong

Personal planning and business planning aren’t just esoteric concepts.  They are processes that help you predict, protect, or take advantage of the expected and unexpected things that life throws up.

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.


Financial wellbeing – what is personal financial planning?

The point of personal financial planning is to work out a way of achieving the things that are most important to you in life.  So what is important to you?  The answer is different for everyone.

For some it could be the dream of winning an Olympic gold medal or taking an around the world holiday.  For others it could be a house in the suburbs and a good education for the children, or saving for retirement.

Regardless of the broad range of individual goals, the common thread to goal achievement is financial wellbeing.  That means having enough money to do the things you really want to do, staying healthy and not having to sacrifice the fun in your life.

That is a long way from making the bland statement, “I want to be a millionaire!”  Accumulating money just for the sake of it is simply being greedy.  If your focus is 100% on being rich, then you are likely to be sacrificing your health and missing the fun in life.

For example, (and this example happens often) if your partner leaves you for someone else while you were always working on accumulating riches, where’s the fun in that?

What is the point of being rich if you are in poor health and having no fun?  Is that really what you want your life to be about?

Many people dream of riches but most would happily settle for enough money to do the things they want to do now, and the means of generating enough money to finance the future they want as it arrives.

In the process, you may or may not become a millionaire, but does that really matter?  These days, you can own 3 residential properties and be a millionaire on paper, but it is a meaningless concept.  You won’t be the first or the last millionaire who is desperately unhappy or unhealthy.

Financial wellbeing equates to balance in your life.  It means having focus on money to finance your life, leading a healthy life, and having fun in your life.

If the three can be combined in the same activity, that’s great!  But most often, they can’t.  So there must be room for all; and getting to where that balance feels right for you is the point of personal financial planning.

If you are looking for information on the calm positive mindset requires for financial wellbeing, check out http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

Gary

Financial wellbeing – the demand for financial advice in Australia

Australians are becoming more concerned about their financial wellbeing and the demand for financial advice is changing.  In December 2010, ASIC (The Australian Securities and Investments Commission) released Report 224, titled ‘Access to Financial Advice in Australia’.

The report identifies a number of key issues that adversely impact access to advice.  They are:

  • Cost of advice – a significant gap exists between what consumers are prepared to pay for financial advice and how much it costs industry to provide advice
  • Scale of advice provided – Many Australians, particularly those who have never previously accessed financial advice, want piece-by-piece simple advice rather than holistic advice
  • Consumer perceptions that advice is out of their reach – evidence suggests that some people do not seek financial advice because they feel their financial circumstances do not warrant advice
  • Consumer mistrust of financial planners – lack of trust in financial planners to provide unbiased, professional advice limits the number of consumers who seek advice and the value they place of financial advice
  • Access to general advice and information – the provision of general advice or factual information is less extensive than it could and should be.  For many consumers general advice or factual information may be sufficient to meet their current advice needs
  • Financial literacy – gaps in financial literacy especially among certain demographics and in relation to certain financial topics, limits some consumers’ engagement with financial matters and so stops them from seeking advice

In a nutshell financial advice must be affordable, easily accessible, easily understood and delivered in smaller portions.

Check out http://www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com

Until next time!

Gary