Best investment lessons from 2016

Best investment lessons from 2016
 
​2016 was the year of the unpredictable events. The world and financial markets were sent spinning several times over while commentators went into meltdown.

Who would have believed a year ago that​ Britain would leave the European Union, that Donald Trump will be next president of the United States​, and that both events would send global markets significantly higher!

There were many lessons to be learned from last year and we recently asked our clients to tell us the best investment lesson they’ve received in 2016. Here are some of their top learnings.
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Meet the team: Alice

Meet the team: Alice
 
It’s 30 degrees outside, the siren calls of delicious gelato are getting louder, the beach is on everyone’s mind in the Stockspot office, everyone’s that is, except for one person…

Enter Alice. Awesome snowboarder, adventure sports obsessed, epic coder and our resident front-end developer (the person who make things look good). Her advice to anyone considering a career as a developer – be passionate and write excellent code. Sounds spot on to us!

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Meet the team (intern): Mason

Meet the team: Mason
 
Stockspot has been offering internships to uni students over the past year to help develop future industry talent outside of traditional career paths. We want to give students the opportunity to broaden their experience through working in a fintech start-up.

In this edition of ‘meet the team’, we speak with our young blooded intern Mason.
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Meet the team: Stu

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What do boardgames, brewing beer and The Badseeds have in common? They all help our Senior Software Engineer Stu unwind when he’s not developing the technology that powers Stockspot.

In this edition of ‘Meet the team’, we also discover some of the strange things you see when you commute 3 hours a day by train.
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17 money saving tips

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Often the best money saving tips aren’t the ones you read in personal finance columns, but the insights discovered by real people. That’s why we recently ran a competition asking Stockspot clients to share their top tips.

We were inundated with entries which drew inspiration from many aspects of life, from budgeting & goal setting to negotiation, lifestyle & shopping.
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Exposing the Fat Cats

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Here at Stockspot, we have been actively campaigning against high fees, kickbacks and conflicts of interest in the financial services industry. We believe there should be greater transparency around where fees are going, and better alignment between advisers and their clients.

Over the past 6 months, we ran our Investing Without The Fat Cats campaign to highlight how Stockspot is different to other financial firms, and shine a spotlight on products that are under-delivering for customers. The research we did as part of the campaign uncovered that many traditional products and services charge layers of hidden fees and commissions that are unnecessarily eating away at investment returns.

As the campaign comes to an end, we reflect on some of the highlights and even some controversies.
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Meet the team: Alan

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Contrary to popular belief, there are no high-profile robots working at Stockspot. We’re yet to snag R2-D2 or T-1000 to manage the portfolios between films. Instead we have Alan who heads up Product Development – quietly doing the work that these mythic robots get the credit for.

Alan is in charge of designing and building the technology that helps our clients invest safely, as well as monitor and optimise the strategies. In this edition of ‘meet the team’ we investigate whether he is man or machine.
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Expert help with your investment portfolio

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While investing can be a rewarding hobby for some people, most Australians find the prospect of managing their own investment portfolio risky, time consuming and emotionally exhausting.

It used to be almost impossible for most Australians to seek professional help to invest due to the high fees and account minimums required to get personal investment advice. However, technology has fundamentally changed the investment industry, making it more accessible, affordable and honest. Automated investment services like Stockspot have opened up access to professional investment expertise and made investing in a global portfolio accessible to everyone.

To help investors understand the different investment options available, we’ve created an infographic that explains the 3 main types of service Australians can choose from when getting professional help with investing:

    1. Traditional advisers
    2. Technology-assisted advisers
    3. Automated investment services

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Money tips for your next holiday

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The cost of travelling overseas can quickly add up so it pays to know some tips and tricks so you can avoid being ripped off on exchange rates and unnecessary fees as well as get a better deal on your flights.

As someone who constantly has the travel bug, I’m always on the lookout for ways to get more out of my money so that I can afford to squeeze in more trips each year. Here are things that I’ve discovered from my travels over the years.
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Money apps: best budgeting apps in Australia

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Managing your spending is getting easier with the growing number of free money apps now available. The more difficult task is trying to figure out which of these money apps best matches what you need.

Having recently returned from an overseas trip with twice the amount of luggage and a slightly dented credit card, I decided it was a good time to start tracking my spending and be more disciplined with my budget. After some investigation, I decided to road test some of the more highly-rated money apps currently available and share my findings.
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How fees kill your savings

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We all know that fees eat into our savings and investments but how much of an impact do they really have? When we did the calculations, the difference in final amounts after fees ended up being hugely different.

Paying a few per cent per year may not sound like much, but it could easily end up making you poorer by $100,000.

Let’s say you invest $50,000 in a diversified portfolio and top-up $5,000 each year after that. If you were to invest in a traditional managed fund which costs 3% per year in total fees, you would end up with a balance of $292,995. On the other hand, if you invested in a low-cost option with 1% in total fees, you would end with a balance of $393,462 after 20 years*.

That’s a $100,000 difference from paying just 2% less in fees over 20 years.

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* Assuming an investment return of 8% per year
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15 money tips for planning a wedding

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The cost of weddings in Australia continues to rise, with couples paying an average of $36,200 for their big day.

According to market research by IBISWorld, over half of the cost of a wedding goes to entertaining guests at the reception, with food, alcohol and venue costs averaging $18,683 per wedding.

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Source: ASIC, IBISWorld April 2012

Most couples have had to make financial sacrifices in order to afford such a large sum of money, including putting their social life on-hold [20%], delaying plans of buying a home [25%] or remaining unmarried [6%].

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Source: ASIC MoneySmart survey, December 2013

Top money tips

To help couples prepare for their wedding, we reached out to our network of friends and Stockspot clients to ask them for their money tips based on their experience.
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