Five common financial planning mistakes

1. Not having a long-term financial strategy

As the old adage says “by failing to plan, you plan to fail”! This is by far the most common mistake, but luckily it’s also the easiest mistake to rectify. It’s never too late to seek professional advice and set down a plan for your financial future. By outlining where you’d like to be in 10, 20 or even 50 years, you can then examine your options to reach your goals. Remember that in dollar terms, the capital built up over the term of your working life may have to last another 20 to 40 years in retirement. So living for the moment during youth or early family years can make it difficult to live a financially prosperous life during retirement.

When is the right time to start planning? Now of course!

2. Failing to work within a budget

A workable budget is absolutely necessary to ensure a healthy balance of income, expenditure and savings. By documenting your spending patterns and itemising regular expenses, you can access the answer to that perpetual question “where does all my money go?”. Once you know where it does go, you’ll be able to direct your cashflow more effectively. Apart from predictable outgoings, don’t forget to factor in irregular expenses such as car or house maintenance. By anticipating these expenses, you’ll avoid the budget blow-out that can be disheartening or an excuse to forget your budget guidelines.

There’s an app for that!

Budget planners are everywhere on line – just google.  Try ASIC’s MoneySmart Budget Planner or download your expenses from your bank account.

3. Neglecting to get professional advice

Naturally, everyone has an opinion on financial matters and how to get the most from your hard earned cash. But it is important to remember that not everyone is fully aware of your particular situation, needs and goals. It is important to keep yourself informed on financial matters and it is often helpful to discuss issues with friends and relatives, however, professional advice is essential. An educated and reputable professional can relate their advice to you personally, as well as assisting you when your circumstances alter, legislation changes or movements occur in the industry.

4. Looking for the quick fix

We all know that the truth is that there is rarely a quick fix to any issue! When you discover an investment opportunity that looks too good to be true, it probably is. When interest rates are low this is good news for people with mortgages, however it’s bad news for those trying to save. And all accounts of the share market in the media show the volatility. Be aware that a high return brings with it a higher degree of risk. When it comes to investments, it may be better to recognise and ride out the short term ups and downs. The best option is to refer back to your financial strategy to ensure that your investment is in line with your objectives.

5. Not reviewing your situation regularly

Your circumstances will change over time as does the financial marketplace. It is essential to review your needs, plans and investments regularly to make adjustments as necessary. Check that your investments over the medium to long term are at least keeping pace with inflation. Reviewing short term performances for long term investments is not always a prudent review strategy, but there should be some reasonable explanation for the poor performance. If you’re concerned about an investment manager’s poor performance, check it out.

More Information?

For more information and helpful advice on any of these issues, we welcome you to contact Ramshead Capital on 02 8220 7708.

Investors are able to gear investments into direct shares and property as well as managed funds and unit trusts:

  • Deposits and ongoing investments can be in a smaller quantity and arranged as regular instalments;
  • Maintenance issues are not the direct responsibility of the investor but the investment manager;
  • Pooling of funds allows for smoothing of tenancy problems and other risk factors;
  • Investments are professionally managed;
  • The investment is more liquid and cheaper to redeem;
  • The complete investment does not need to be redeemed, with the ability to downscale the amount invested.

Investors in the higher marginal tax brackets achieve a greater tax advantage due to the reduction in tax payable from the deduction. This generally assists in providing greater long term benefits.

Risks Involved In Gearing

There are risks involved with gearing that make it unsuitable for some types of investors. It is definitely not a get-rich-quick scheme. Although gearing can magnify your capital gains it can also magnify your capital losses. It is possible that your investments will fall in value, however, it should be remembered gearing is not a short term investment and fluctuations in your investment value will occur.

To find out more

To find out more or to determine the suitability of gearing to your financial situation, we recommend that you speak with a Ramshead adviser on 02 8220 7708.

Please note that the content above is based on our understanding of the current taxation laws and is current as at the 12th of August 2013. You should also obtain a copy of and consider the Product Disclosure Statement for any financial product mentioned before making any decision to acquire a financial product.

This information is of general nature only and is not intended as a personal advice. It does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making a financial decision you should assess whether the advice is appropriate to your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. We recommend you consult a professional financial adviser who will assist you.

Basic RGB

A workable budget is absolutely necessary to ensure a healthy balance of income, expenditure and savings.

Be aware that a high return brings with it a higher degree of risk. When it comes to investments, it may be better to recognise and ride out the short term ups and downs.

Compound Interest lightens the load

Earn income on your income.  Compound interest is your friend for the long haul!

Ramshead Capital Pty Limited is an Authorised Representative of The Wealth Partnership Pty Ltd AFSL: 303000 ABN 67 119 153 043