How to keep on top of your finances while living abroad

Keep top of your finances while living abroad
 

I recently spoke to Finder’s Sally McMullen, host of the Pocket Money Podcast, for her top tips on the finances you need to arrange before you move overseas for work.

Stockspot clients love to travel and work abroad. We regularly hear from clients who are moving overseas for work, asking us about their investments. Everyone’s situation is different depending on the country you’re moving to and how long you’ll be gone.

We can advise on what’s best for your Stockspot investments (just email or call us), however there are other things you need to consider when you’re heading overseas for work.

According to the Government’s Smart Traveler website there are 1 million Australians living and working overseas at anyone time. That’s about 4% of our population! So we thought we’d share Sally’s top tips with everyone:
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Does it bring you joy?

Marie Kondo
 
If you haven’t been swept up in Netflix’s cult hit Tidying Up with Marie Kondo aka the KonMari method, then you’ve probably heard of her or at least noticed overflowing charity bins outside your local grocery store.

Vinnies has never had it so good!

What is alarming about the Netflix series is the consumerism and how much stuff these people are sending to landfill. When I say these people, I sadly have to include myself.

The series shows that very little of the stuff we buy brings real joy. Quite the opposite, wondering where your money goes is painful when all you’ve got to show are matching Sheridan towels.

If you’ve taken Marie Kondo into your heart and home it might be time to Marie Kondo your finances.
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How to kick start your money mojo in 2019

Money Mojo
 
January is upon us and so are the myriad of ‘how to keep your new year resolution’ articles, often slightly preachy, annoying and unrealistic.

Finding your money mojo isn’t about being able to buy lots of things. It’s about having more freedom and security over your future. Money in the bank and a diversified investment portfolio is knowing you have the freedom to do what you want to do.

Here are some not too preachy ways to find your money mojo in 2019, minus the obvious cliches about reducing your spend on coffee or to go grocery shopping on a full stomach.
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The best podcasts for 2019

Best podcasts 2019
 
Over the past few years podcasts have evolved from slightly daggy, amateur passion projects to professional, high quality productions.

Apple Podcasts reckon they have over 500,000 active podcasts in 100+ languages on their platform and there’s no sign of this slowing in the near future. Podcasts are a fantastic format for learning and entertainment while travelling, exercising or just relaxing at home.

Here are some of our team’s favorite podcasts. From current affairs, long-form interviews to pure entertainment here’s what we’ve been listening to over summer. We hope it helps you discover something new for 2019.
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People & Perspectives: Scott Pape, The Barefoot Investor

The Barefoot Investor
 
Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor for Families is the fastest-selling nonfiction Australian title ever. Straight talking, practical and above all wise, Pape’s Barefoot Investor program for families is part money manual and part good life lessons.

I admit when the book came across my desk I was a little sceptical. However like thousands before me, his approach to money struck a chord. And I don’t even have kids! Scott kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with me about his books and thoughts on money.
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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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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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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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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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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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People & perspectives: Improving financial literacy

Brownyn Bruce
 
Bronwyn Bruce is the founder of Miss Money Box, an educational blog to help Australian women expand their general knowledge around personal finance.

Like us here at Stockspot, she’s passionate about improving financial literacy and helping educate more Australians to have a better understanding on how to manage their savings. This started from a childhood passion for shares and being fed-up with how financial services market to women. Miss Money Box is all about taking control of your financial future.

We wanted to get to know the brains behind the money box so we sat down with Bronwyn to find out more about how she got started on her personal finance journey.
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Lecturing women about money won’t make them invest

Fearless girl - Wall Street
 
There’s a lot of hand wringing that gets done in marketing departments about how to get women to invest. Women are powerful consumers. Often the decision maker in key household purchases. Quite rightly any marketeer worth their salary wants to go after a valuable market segment.

It seems to me that recently we have started lecturing women about why they need to invest. The common arguments are the gender pay gap, the superannuation gap, savings accounts give you rubbish returns and my personal favourite, financial independence (ie a thinly veiled translation of a man is not a financial plan).

All sound arguments and well intentioned, if not occasionally condescending.
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How to handle money and relationships

Money and relationships

Let’s face it, money talk in any relationship or friendship can be a mood killer. When the dreaded money topic comes up it’s normal to try and shrink into your shirt and hope the conversation soon turns to fun things like happy hour and buffalo mozzarella.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we need to talk about money.

How you deal with money can impact your relationships. Infact Relationships Australia says financial stress is the number one cause of relationship breakdown. I’d wager that if it were more socially acceptable to be open about money, fewer people would struggle with debt.
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Best ways to deal with a credit card debt

Credit card debt

Paying on plastic can be a useful way to free up cash, particularly over Christmas and the holiday season.

However, many Australians will have to pay off credit card debt from the festive season well into 2018. It’s scarily easy to overspend on credit cards and it can be incredibly overwhelming to get on top of credit card debt once you’re in it.

We asked Sally McMullen, resident credit card expert for finder.com.au to explain some of the best ways to get your debt under control cheaper and faster.
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Why is financial advice important?

Importance of financial advice
 
Getting the right financial advice is important for people of all ages. Whether you’re starting out or well into your wealth creation journey, good financial advice defines your goals and the path to getting there. It gives you a map and ongoing support to help you take control of your future.

Financial advice encompasses many areas including investing, insurance and estate planning. It should be personalised to your individual situation based on your needs and goals.

Stockspot provides personalised advice on one particular part of your financial life which is investing. To provide advice we take into account other areas of your financial life like your debts and cashflow but our advice centers around whether you should invest and what you should invest in.

Regardless of where you get investment advice from if you’re not given a statement of advice (SOA) and investment plan then it’s not advice and you will need to decide yourself whether a product is suitable for you.
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How do you prepare financially for a divorce?

Time to go -
 divorce
 
Divorce is an unpleasant topic and one most people avoid discussing. However it is a reality for many people and one that could leave you reeling financially if you’re not prepared. If you’re in the midst of a marriage breakdown understanding your financial position is vital but not widely understood.

To delve into this tricky subject I spoke to Cathryn Gross, who is a member of ASIC’s Financial Advisers Consultative Committee and the founder of Twelve Wealth, a boutique financial advice business committed to helping women achieve their goals in life.

Cathryn shares what you need to understand about your joint finances before getting married and the steps to take to prepare yourself financially in the event of a divorce.
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Investing your savings doesn’t need to be daunting

Investing doesn't have to be scary
 

Investing isn’t scary, but a lot of people think it is

Risky, time consuming and emotionally exhausting. Sounds like a bad relationship or like attempting Everest. Not what most people would like to associate with growing their savings.

Unfortunately, these are the feelings many Australians associate with investing. When asked why they are not interested in investing, most Australians cite lack of knowledge, disinterest and fear.

Many people still have memories of the global financial crisis and the effect that had on their own investments or those of family and friends.

These are all natural and very human feelings. Loss aversion or fear of the unknown is something that has helped us survive through history – it’s evolutionary. However that same fear holds us back when it comes to investing. We refuse to take a well calculated risk that could immensely benefit and enrich our lives because we are fearful of losing money.

If this sounds familiar you are potentially missing the most effective way to grow your wealth.
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Generation rent – get ahead while renting

Renting property
 
If you’re one of the many young people renting and locked out of homeownership you’re undoubtedly aware of all barriers.

Homeownership for under 40s has plunged from 36% to 25% since 2002. The median price of a residential home in Australia’s cities is in excess of $700,000 (if you’re in Sydney the median cost is $1.1m).

To put this in context you’ll need $140,000 in the bank plus some to put down a 20% deposit on a $700,000 home. If you don’t have 20%, you can still get a mortgage but you’ll pay mortgage insurance (this protects the bank not you) and you’ll get a higher interest rate to boot.

These are just some of the many facts and stats coming out of recent reports such as HILDA and ABS which all make for pretty grim reading.
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How SMSFs are using robo-advice

SMSF and robo-advice
 
Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are popular because they offer greater control over how your superannuation is invested.

Despite their popularity, managing an SMSF well is difficult – it requires time, effort and investment expertise. This is why more SMSFs are using robo-advice to reduce this burdon.

SMSFs + robo advice

The emergence of robo-advice in Australia over the last 4 years and the increasing popularity of ETFs has resulted in an increase in SMSF trustees allocating part of their fund to a robo-advice service to manage.

Robo-advice is now the fastest growing area of wealth management globally, expected to grow to US$2.2 trillion or 5% of all money managed by 2020.

Considering that SMSFs are the largest segment of the Australian superannuation industry, managing $653.8 billion as at December 2016, it’s inevitable that more SMSFs will turn their attention towards robo-advice over time. In Australia this trend is still in its infancy however 2017 is shaping up to be the year more SMSFs started using robo-advice.
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Do I need an accountant?

Accountant - tax return time
 
Accountants sort out your taxes and finances. Deciding if it’s time to pay and bring in an expert or do it yourself can be confusing, particularly if you have investments.

We spoke to Anna Kyriacou, CEO of AKA Group Accountants Advisors Mentors about when you should consider getting an accountant and stepping away from a DIY tax approach.

What does an accountant do for an individual?

There’s a misconception that accountants are just number crunchers and are only required if you’re in business. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Most accountants that offer tax solutions work in small accounting firms based in the suburbs and many today do not even have physical offices as they are cloud based and tend to have clients they’ve looked after for many years.

A good accountant will not only assist with getting the most from an end of year tax refund, but will provide guidance on your future tax and structuring needs which will make a huge impact to your current and future wellbeing.
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How much do you need for a rainy day fund

Umbrella for a rainy day
 
Sometimes the weather folk at the Bureau of Meteorology get it wrong and it rains when you least expect it. You’re caught outside in your thongs without an umbrella and frankly, it’s not fun.

What’s worse than being in the rain sans umbrella? Needing money in an emergency and not having any to cover the cost of an unexpected expense.

That’s why having some money set aside for unexpected events is advice we give to all clients. This is money that should be readily available in a bank savings account rather than invested.
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Jargon busting the finance dictionary

finance dictionary
 
You’re watching the tele as you get ready for work. The 7.20AM finance news comes on and you dash to brush your teeth.

You know for the next 5 minutes the finance expert is going to stand in front of a ridiculous number of computer monitors and ‘blah blah blah’ their way through the ‘market update’ and use finance jargon you don’t understand. It’s enough to make you weep into your first coffee of the day.

It often seems like the finance industry is created on a house of jargon designed to keep people baffled to the point that they just give up and collectively say ‘take my money’.

Here’s a list of some financial jargon terms you’ll probably come across at some point and what they mean in plain English.
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