Five Money Lessons I’ll Teach My Nieces

Sarah and nieces
 
October marks the UN’s International Day of The Girl and the theme is ‘Skilled Girlforce’. A year-long campaign to support girls to get the skills they need to enter the workforce.

Every time I see my two young nieces, I’m reminded of what perfect, untouched little souls they are. They’re so lucky to have been born in a country where girls do have the opportunity (theoretically) to do whatever they aspire to.

Yet I often worry when will the influence of social media and unconscious gender bias take hold? According to the UN by the age of 6 girls already consider boys better suited to ‘really, really smart’ activities!
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How to make the most of market dips

long-term-game-banner
 
Financial markets can be quite scary at times. Headlines like ‘$50 billion wiped from the ASX’ can make it difficult to stay the course and remain invested when shares are going up and down like a yo-yo.

First-time investors tend to sell when the market falls out of a fear it will continue to go down and never return.

Research shows people feel the pain of losses twice as much than the enjoyment of profits. It’s our fight-or-flight response, the amygdala part of our brain kicking into overdrive to avoid the potential for loss.

People don’t like uncertainty and will avoid risks if possible.
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Client focus – How Stockspot is helping Guy save

guy savings
 
Our client Guy Bane, recently spoke to the Daily Telegraph about his Stockspot investing experience.

He kindly shared why he invests his savings with us and helped to spread the Stockspot message. We love Guy’s clear headed approach to managing his wealth, so we’re sharing his story here for those who didn’t see it.

Guy has been a Stockspot client for over two years. He’s 29 years old, lives in Sydney and works as an accountant at a fintech startup. He’s a busy young professional, so doesn’t have a lot of time left over for deep market analysis and managing investments.
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Personal finance basics that can change your life

Coins stacked
 

Everyone learns trigonometry at school but very few people actually need to understand the angles in triangles.

On the other hand, the basic maths of money is something that can radically improve your life for the better.

With that in mind, here’s five basic financial lessons we think everyone should understand because they can have an enormous impact on your wealth, freedom and family.
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People & Perspectives: Paridhi Jain, Founder of SkilledSmart

Paridhi from SkilledSmart
 

Paridhi Jain believes that getting good with money shouldn’t be hard, scary, or boring.

We couldn’t agree more!

Paridhi is the founder of SkilledSmart, an education program she calls ‘money school for adults’. Whip-smart and passionate about helping Australians better understand their finances, we caught up with Paridhi to discuss why adults need money lessons and how her early career speaking to people in financial stress planted the seed that led to SkilledSmart.

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Top five things to do before you invest

Palm trees
 
Investing is the best way to create long-term wealth and financial independence.

If you’re just starting out no doubt you’ve figured out that it can be confusing at first. There are lots of decisions to make so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to give yourself the greatest chance of success.

With this in mind, here’s the five things we think everyone should consider before investing.
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People & Perspectives: Stephanie Bendixsen, Gamer and TV Presenter

Stephanie Bendixsen
 
Stephanie Bendixsen is one of Australia’s most well-known personalities in the video game industry.

She began her career in 2009 when she joined the ABC’s popular gaming show ‘Good Game’ as its first full-time female presenter. She has since gone on to present a long list of gaming shows and documentaries, while also finding the time to author a series of children’s books: Pixel Raiders. She is now in production with National Geographic on a new exploratory show that seeks to unearth fascinating discoveries about Australia’s science and history.

We were lucky to grab some of Steph’s time to dig into her career, discuss female representation in tech and gaming, and importantly: how she moneys!

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Kids invest for free

Piggy bank
 
We’ve made investing for children free!

We all want the best for the little ones in our life. So naturally as investing evangelists we believe children should be able to benefit from investing in the same way adults can.

Which is why clients who invest on behalf of a child will no longer be charged fees for portfolios up to $10,000^.
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How super funds play the ratings game (Part 1)

Ferris wheel
 
It’s that time of the year again when super funds release their annual performance. This blog looks at how the funds twist their performance relative to other funds and indexing. The funds’ PR is parroted by the ratings agencies whose tables and good news story are accepted at face value by the media.

Firstly, we look at how funds manipulate their inclusion into the categories set by the ratings agencies.
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Do you own your investments?

Blue fence and padlock
 
Something you may not put a lot of thought into when you invest is how those investments are held. Sometimes investments aren’t legally owned by you but instead owned by another entity on your behalf. That may sound like a minor difference however there can be significant consequences when it comes to security, tax, costs and the portability of your portfolio.

Broadly investments can be held in 2 ways:

  • Directly by you on your own HIN (Holder Identification Number)

  • Indirectly via a commingled fund or omnibus account structure

Historically stock brokers used a direct ownership model, so each of their clients had their own individual investment account or HIN and all investments were registered on the ASX’s computer system called CHESS (Clearing House Electronic Subregistry System). If the stock broker went bust it didn’t impact the end client because their investments were safely separated.
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Rent or Buy? We do the sums

Property - for sale
 
“Rent money is dead money” or so the saying goes. It’s a popular myth perpetuated by plenty of people working in the real estate industry. However as at June 2018 capital city house prices experienced their first annual fall in 6 years, dropping -1.1%. With house prices cooling, renting is starting to look attractive again.

Like any financial decision, there are costs and benefits associated with buying or renting. Here we discuss some of the important pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to rent or buy and look at which one has really worked out better over the long term in Australia.
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People & perspectives: Matt Levy, Paralympic gold medalist

Matt Levy - Paralympian
 
Some people have unthinkable depths of grit, determination and talent. They achieve amazing feats while the rest of us shake our heads in wonder. Matt Levy is one of these people. Matt is a 6 time Paralympic swimming medallist, his most recent win saw him return home with the gold medal from the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

His days start at 4.30AM, consist of 5km of swim training, then he goes to his day job, or in his words “train, eat, sleep, repeat”.

Stockspot was lucky to talk to Matt about the incredible challenges he faced in early life and how he balances a professional sports career, charity work and managing his finances.
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When is a good time to invest?

when-to-invest-banner

One of the main challenges investors face is ‘when is the right time to invest?’

As an investor your aim is to make money, so naturally it’s tempting to try and time your entry into the market and wait for prices to fall to grab a bargain. The problem is investment markets can move quickly and you’re just as likely to miss out on making good returns by waiting to invest.

The truth is markets can go up, down and sideways over the short-term and it’s almost impossible to pick the top or bottom (even for professionals). However if you’re completely out of the market you have no way to benefit from the gradual increase in prices over time.
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ETFs continue to disrupt the asset management industry

2018 Australian ETF Report
 
ETFs continue to be the biggest disruptor to the asset management industry and at the same time are blurring the lines between different styles of investing.

Over the past 15 years, over US$2 trillion has moved out of active funds and into index funds and ETFs. Globally the ETF market is projected to reach US$10 trillion by 2020 and be larger than the active managed fund market by 2027.
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What are the best industry super funds?

Not all industry funds are equal
 
Not all industry super funds are equal, here’s how to spot a good one.

The Productivity Commission recently released their draft report on superannuation efficiency and competitiveness. What they found mirrors our Fat Cat Funds Research that shows that while Industry super funds outperform Retail funds, there are plenty of areas for improvement.

Our 5th annual Fat Cat Funds Report, analysed over 2,000 super funds and 2,000 managed funds to see how they performed over 5 years.

Once again we found industry super funds beat retail super funds across 10 of 11 investment categories. Industry funds had a smaller percentage of Fat Cat Funds and more Fit Cat Funds.
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People & perspectives: Lisa Messenger

Lisa Messenger
 
Lisa Messenger is the vibrant CEO of the Messenger Group, as well as Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Collective Hub. She previously worked globally in events, sponsorship, marketing, PR and publishing, has authored and co-authored 24 books and is now an authority in the start-up scene. She encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, innovation and lives life to the absolute max.

Stockspot spoke to Lisa for our People and Perspective series about career challenges and entrepreneurship.
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Questions to ask yourself before you buy a house

Questions for home buyers
 
Buying your own home has always been considered “the great Australian dream”. It stands to reason that saving for a house deposit is one of the most common goals our clients have.

There is no doubt that it’s getting harder to buy a house with the average deposit needed being well over $200,000 in Sydney and Melbourne. The amount required also very high in most other capital cities.

If you’re going to chase your property dream it’s important to do your homework up-front and be mentally prepared for the road ahead. Here are a few questions I found myself asking when deciding whether to buy.
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Stockspot: 4 years since our launch

Stockspot 4 years
 
This week we’re excited to share that Stockspot turns 4!

Here’s a quick look back at where we’ve come..

Helping Australians reach their potential

Since Stockspot launched in 2014 I’m delighted we’ve been able to help thousands of Australians invest to get closer to the life they want to be living.

We’ve seen clients who have been able to fund all sorts of aspirations, including buying first homes (including one houseboat!), travelling, home renovations, take career breaks, buy a car, pay for school fees and retire.
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People & perspectives: Bruce Djite, International Footballer

Bruce Djite
 
Bruce Djite is one of Australia’s leading international soccer players. He debuted for the Socceroos in 2008 and has played professional football in Turkey, Korea and now Indonesia. Closer to home he still holds the title of Adelaide United’s all-time highest ever goal scorer.

Bruce is a Stockspot client and a keen investor. We had the chance to chat with Bruce about money in professional sport, living around the world and playing for Australia.
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