February 20, 2017

So you think your financial planner is an investment expert?

If you’re thinking “I hope so, that’s what I’m paying them for” I’ve got some bad news for you.  It’s highly likely your financial planner/adviser is not qualified to manage investment of your money. For starters let’s clarify what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the day-to-day management of your investment portfolio (e.g. whether you sell BHP shares to fund the purchase of NAB shares […]
August 17, 2016

Self Managed Super – Savior or Scam?

For some the option of a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) is the ultimate expression of control over their finances.  They get to control how their capital is invested with relative freedom and save on costs at the same time.  For others this is simply the story they are sold. Two recent experiences only served to reinforce earlier experiences of the misuse of SMSF’s, where […]
July 19, 2016

Property Pain or Gain

There are a lot of myths in investing and a big one is that you will never lose money in bricks and mortar.  Well the simple answer is that not only can you, but that many people do every day.  And they lose a lot. CoreLogic® RP Data’s – Pain and Gain December Quarter, 2015, report provides some hard numbers to disprove this myth by […]
May 14, 2016

Beware of the Middle Man

A lesson we can all take from how AustralianSuper manages its investment portfolio is eliminating intermediaries where they aren’t seen to be necessary or to add value. AustralianSuper regularly invests directly in major property and infrastructure assets, removing the use of an intermediary structure and/or manager. It is also internalizing management of a significant portion of its Australian equity exposure, which will remove the cost […]
April 14, 2016

Aim for Simple, not Simplistic.

Simple v. Simplistic At Think Independent we aim to make clients financial affairs simple.  What do we mean? Importantly, we don’t mean simplistic.  We are not looking to achieve simplicity for the sake of simplicity.  Rather we are looking for simplicity within the framework of our client’s goals and the available options. If we use a couple, John and Jan, who are saving for life […]
March 24, 2016
Independent Financial Planning Services in Warrnambool

Investment Wisdom From Someone That Knows

Chris Cuffe is best known to many as the guy that received a massive payout (nearly $33 million) in 2003 following Commonwealth Bank’s purchase Colonial First State and his exit from the business.  Much criticism was heaped on Chris Cuffe at the time, with few acknowledging he was a key hand in Colonial First State owners and investors making much more over preceding years. Was it […]
March 14, 2016

Commissions – The Dirty Truth

Before I dish the dirt on insurance commissions, let’s be clear that what I’m about to tell you does not in any way impact on your need for insurance, only how you go about establishing life and disability insurance.  If you are not sure whether you need insurance please refer to last months post. OK, lets get going.  Anyone that has taken out life or […]
February 14, 2016

Life/Disability Insurance, do I really need it?

Do I really need life and disability insurance?  Before you can answer this question you need to provide some honest answers to a number of questions.  But first, let’s set a foundation for considering these questions. Human Capital v. Financial Capital When we start out in life on our own, taking over responsibility for ourselves from our parents, we typically have a lot of human […]
January 14, 2016

The New Meaning of Retirement

I was forwarded the following article recently (hold off reading for a minute). Normally the article title alone would have been enough for me to not bother reading it, as I could only see the first part, “I retired at 30”. Probably just another get rich quick story to be avoided I thought.  Maybe I was a little jealous also as I’m more than a […]
December 14, 2015

Dad, are we poor?

A few weeks ago our daughter asked if we were poor.  We don’t spoil our kids, but still this question came as a bit of a surprise, as they don’t go without much either. I asked her why she thought we were poor.  “Because we don’t drive a new car or live in a fancy house.”  The answer was illuminating. Putting the dented ego aside […]
November 14, 2015

The Eighth Wonder of the World

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” ― Albert Einstein Einstein isn’t the only smart person that understands the power of compound interest.  Regarded by many as the greatest investor of all time, certainly the best known, Warren Buffett has built one of the world’s greatest ever financial fortunes largely off […]
February 20, 2017

So you think your financial planner is an investment expert?

If you’re thinking “I hope so, that’s what I’m paying them for” I’ve got some bad news for you.  It’s highly likely your financial planner/adviser is not qualified to manage investment of your money. For starters let’s clarify what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the day-to-day management of your investment portfolio (e.g. whether you sell BHP shares to fund the purchase of NAB shares […]
March 20, 2017

You paid HOW MUCH???!!!

It was suggested to me recently that I should write a book about what I know to help those looking for financial planning help. But what could I write about that hasn’t been done to death before.  There are plenty of books out there talking about wealth accumulation strategies, super, investment fundamentals and strategies, risk management (insurance) and estate planning, etc. and to be honest […]
April 15, 2017

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble…..”

 “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. “ – Mark Twain I love Mark Twain quotes.  He cuts through seemingly complex and confusing matters with such precision and gets to the heart of the issue.  The above quote is another great example. Mark Twain’s quote is alluding to a tendency to believe […]
September 4, 2017

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

In prior posts, we have highlighted the value in pursuing simple solutions, over complex or simplistic solutions.  It has also been highlighted that our desire as humans to feel special can lead us to the misconception we must seek out “special” solutions, which not surprisingly come at a significant price and in reality aren’t special at all. I would like to pick up on da […]
October 10, 2017

This Ain’t No Joke

“A man walks into…”   Like the cartoon above, a lot of jokes start with this line, but what I’m about to tell you is no joke.  Unfortunately, it is very real and happening every day. Does this sound ridiculous? A man (or woman) walks into…. their local Toyota dealer.  They are after a cost effective, reliable, value for money solution to their transport needs. Now […]
November 10, 2017

Behave Your Way to Success

A recent post on LiveWire (link below) identifying 11 habits to avoid for better investment performance is worth a quick look, not just for how it could help you as an investor, but for how a better understanding of the habits it refers to can help you in everyday life. The post identifies 11 natural human behaviours that are often counterproductive when applied to decisions […]
January 3, 2018

Still the 8th Wonder of the World

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” ― Albert Einstein Einstein isn’t the only smart person that understands the power of compound interest.  Regarded by many as the greatest investor of all time, certainly the best known, Warren Buffett has built one of the world’s greatest ever financial fortunes largely off […]
February 6, 2019

Financial One-Stop-Shops

Every now and then I do a Google search on independent financial advice or a variation to see what comes up.  Yes, I’m checking to see if Think Independent does, but let’s move on.  Too often there are advice practices that are far from independent.  That’s a problem but not what this post is about. A recent search brought up a practice that upon further digging is what you […]