Monday, 23 March 2015

I have the goal...I have the now what?

I should start this post by apologising to my regular readers for the significant drop off in posts in the last month or two.

Part of this was related to burn out (I was simply trying to do too much at one type) but a lot of it also had to do with the fact that I was simply executing on the plans I have been writing and talking about for so many years.  Planning is something I can write about all day...but execution stuff is boring and actually fits quite neatly into my monthly net worth and expenditure tracking posts.

The good news is that my financial plan is working...

I guess I shouldn't be surprised but the truth is that it is slightly disconcerting when everything falls into place exactly how you expect it to.  I'm saving where I'm meant to be saving.  I'm investing where I'm meant to be investment (and being more active about taking profits and re-investing other opportunities) and I'm spending within my planned goals and budgets.

The one area where I am perhaps a little bit behind is my long running plan to start my own business.  Last year I started Banker's Pitch - a blog about Investment Banking and my original plan was to turn this into an information resource which could then be used as a platform to sell further services and informational products.  Although I haven't pulled the plug yet I'm thinking of re-focusing my attention and efforts elsewhere for reasons I will go into at a later point.

With the exception of the above though everything is tracking remarkably smoothly.

As a quick aside - the expenditure smoothing approach I took to big expenses a few years ago is probably the best financial thing I have ever done.  My wedding is fully paid for more than 3 months out from the big day and saving for the honeymoon is going to be a walk in the park.  We have managed to fund both these massive expenses without ever having to dip into my savings and investment portfolio which is exactly what I wanted.

The bad news is that a working financial plan is...well...boring

Having a plan that is working exactly how you want it to is exactly what you want...but it does tend to be a bit boring.  There is nothing to 'fix', there are no new strategies I'm keen to try at the moment and everything is tweaking around the edges.

That tends to make for a pretty boring financial blog...but a pretty good financial plan.  Half my effort in recent months has been to stop myself doing things for the sake of doing them.  Combined with this is the fact that I'm in the middle of wedding planning (which is the most painful thing I have ever done) which makes me want to focus on my financial life (or anything else for that matter).

So what's next?

My real focus at the moment has been my share portfolio.  I'm getting incredibly uncomfortable with the level the market is getting to and the valuations in markets.  The big problem I have is that I'm already very long cash and I'd rather not hold cash for long periods of time in a low interest rate environment and I can't find any alternative investments I'd rather be in.

Opportunities do rear their head from time to time but it is certainly not the share buyers market that it was 3 or 4 years ago when I was writing lots of posts about what I wanted to be investing in next.

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  1. Good to hear from you 90M and that everything appears to be humming along nicely with the investing..

    Interesting to hear about the wedding planning and this seems like it is one of the more challenging things around..

    Looking forward to hearing more about finance but life in general as well..

    Might catch up soon, let me know how that works out for you..


    1. Hi Jef,

      Thanks heaps. I knew as soon as I wrote that piece that lots would start to happen and this has turned out to be the case. Hopefully lots more to come on the financial post front soon.

      I thought about posting wedding stuff on the blog but if I'm going to be completely honest I'm so full up with wedding preparations I would rather not talk about it further...maybe when it is well behind me I'll talk about ways to save money.

  2. I agree in regards to your comment on the share market.

    I'm interested in investing but i feel uneasy with the current climate. I don't really want to have it sit in a savings account but at the same time it doesn't feel like a very good time to buy. Maybe patience is key at the moment....

    1. I think there are still opportunities to be had in this market (my focus tends to be on sectors that are out of favour and the resources sector in Australia is definitely hurting at the moment so I'm paying a bit of attention there)

      However the general state of the share market makes me very uncomfortable so I've stopped investing in my broad based index funds. The big risk with this (of course) is that runs and over-valuation can last far longer than you expect.

    2. Definitely feel that there's over-valuation, I'm very much an amateur with this however being at nearly 7 year ASX 200 highs reflect this.. Having said that this is being driven by low interest rates which is forcing people into the "riskier" assets i.e. shares, property etc.. What are your thoughts on $ cost averaging into the market, which I feel is one way to potentially mitigate risk?

      Any other suggestions or thoughts? I won't take these as financial advice :)