27 September 2023

A tailor-made money strategy

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Peter Switzer* outlines how people can develop their own money strategy to suit their circumstances and goals.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 people found that almost one in five respondents said they had accessed their retirement savings early or intended to do so.

Meanwhile, one in four of the people who planned or had accessed their nest egg prematurely wanted the cash as a “back up plan”.

The generation that has a lot of the big challenges of life (a mortgage, young kids, one-income or two-incomes with a childcare bill) were half of the group withdrawing super.

I don’t blame this group because this is a very financially tricky time and cash flow crises are quite common.

That’s why I suggest you try to look at your finances as if you’re a business owner running an asset.

What is a money strategy?

Successful businesses have standout characteristics.

They have set goals and have a plan to make it happen.

They also set up key processes or systems to ensure the goals are achieved.

Part of good business practice is to review all costs, assess the calibre of key suppliers and never get complacent about best practice and what innovations can help you run your business better.

Four tips to assess and create your own money strategy

Here are some steps by which you can assess your money:

  1. Make sure you know your goals and write them down or put them on your computer where you can see them every day.
  2. Work out the processes that will help you find the money (either through better spending, saving or income-generation) to give you the funds and invest to build wealth.
  3. Review all the financial products (home loans, credit cards, term deposits and superfund) to make sure they are best-of-breed and reasonable when it comes to costs.
  4. What is your current investment or wealth-building strategy? And are you sticking to it?

Three examples of an investment strategy

When it comes to your written down investment strategy, is it rigid or set in stone?

Here are some examples:

  • Save $100 each pay and after five pays I will buy an exchange traded fund that gives me access to the top 200 companies in Australia by investing in the S&P/ASX 200 Index.
  • Salary sacrifice $10,000 a year and be invested in a high growth option with my super fund, which is among the top 10 of funds and has been for 10 years.
  • Buy a home to live in when the real estate market is negative.

It will be the worst house in a really good street in an up and coming suburb.

Renovate it and sell it when the property market is buoyant, and I’ll trade up into a better street in a better suburb and do it again.

I’ll do DIY courses so I can do a lot of the work and project manage the future renovations.

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

*Peter Switzer is one of Australia’s leading business and financial commentators, launching his own business more than 25 years ago.

This article first appeared at au.finance.yahoo.com.

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