Most Australians invest in shares, whether they’re conscious of doing so or otherwise. They may be passive investors courtesy of their superannuation fund, or they may actively invest by building a considered share portfolio. Whether you’re a passive shareholder or you spend weekends poring over stock data, it’s important to have a basic understanding of shares as they ensure your financial future well into retirement.
In this month’s blog, Wilson Pateras are in conversation with two talented members of our financial advisory team, Don Hands (Senior Financial Planner) and Lasadi Felsinger (Financial Planner). Enjoy as these two experts answer frequently asked questions about investment, covering off risk and the importance of a comprehensive, long-term investment strategy.
Wilson Pateras: Why is it important for an investor to have choice in their investment portfolio?
Don Hands: To put it simply, why shouldn’t they have a choice? Over time, investors’ requirements have evolved, with consumers wanting advice and investments to cover their values as well as their risk appetites. Rather than simply tick a box, it’s important to balance an investor’s attitude to risk with their unique portfolio and personal values. While most Australian investors are long-term focused, their goals will vary, and their choices should match.
Lasadi Felsinger: It’s also important for consumers to have a choice that reflects the timeline of their investment: are they looking at a six-month, twelve-month, five-year or ten-year goal? For example, if a client engages me and states, ‘I have 12 months to achieve X amount return, where should I invest?’, there’s no point designing an investment portfolio for this client in a long-term market that cannot achieve an excellent return over the course of twelve months. Depending on these time-based goals – short, medium or long-term – we’ll consider appropriate choices and design a portfolio that’s achievable!
Wilson Pateras: What part do long-term objectives play in making investment decisions?
Don Hands: If you don’t have a plan, you’re planning to fail! With so much market noise and information readily available (investors have access to hundreds of differing expert views and opinions each day) nothing is as reliable as what has happened historically. Investors who have a long-term plan are more likely to succeed, and there is a myriad of evidence and research that supports this view. So, while it’s easy to make hasty decisions and difficult to ignore market noise, it’s very important to stick to your long-term investment strategy with the support of your advisor.
Lasadi Felsinger: A long-term objective of many high-end investors is to retire with X number of dollars and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle from the age of 60 or 65 onwards. So, I might have a fifty-year-old client who comes to me and says that they have a financial goal of X amount and would like to retire in ten years. I will consider their risk profile and create an investment portfolio in line with achieving that long-term goal. Because the terms of the investment will be longer, we can afford to take a bit more risk. Having long-term objectives in place allows us to design a portfolio that will be optimally suited for the client’s own personal success. Ten years pass, and my client can retire, or take that holiday they’ve been planning and enjoy life!
Wilson Pateras: If share markets fall dramatically what should you do?
Don Hands: Don’t make hasty decisions! If someone has a well-considered long-term plan in place, that plan will recognise the investment cycle. There will be periods of outperformance and periods of underperformance. Again, an investor must to be cautious not to make decisions based on market noise, especially when it comes to market falls. If you have concerns, simply get in contact with your Wilson Pateras financial expert and keep in mind, these ebbs and flows are oft planned for.
Lasadi Felsinger: It’s no secret that the investment process is a bumpy ride. There will be ups and downs. Having a long-term objective in place will help exponentially if we experience a market fall or a situation like the GFC. When designing an investment strategy there are a few things I like to tell my clients:
- If the market goes down, we can manage that risk.
- If we have a hiccup, there’s no reason to panic.
- If you have a long-term goal, we’re not in a hurry!
Be assured – if something does occur that raises concern in relation to investment markets, the team at Wilson Pateras will soon be in contact with our clients. Our team watch the market keenly. We’re patient and very comfortable in our professional experience – so if there comes a time when our team, or our clients feel they need to take action – we can make that decision together. Prosperity is possible – it just requires a plan! If you’re interested in further investment advice or expert guidance to plan your retirement, get in touch with the team at Wilson Pateras. Your future is our present!