Ask Paul: I'm 24, how can I invest for my future?


Dear Paul,

I am 24, living in Sydney, with a new high-paying job earning a net weekly pay of $1500. I have $10,000 invested in a range of exchange traded funds, including Vanguard Australian Shares, BetaShares Nasdaq 100 ETF, iShares S&P 500 ETF and BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF. 

I have $23,000 sitting in savings and $22,000 in super.

ask paul clitheroe buy shares or investment property

As a young single woman with no dependents, I am trying to make financial decisions early that will benefit me in the long run.

With little expenses (rent and bills are about $500 a week), I have a good opportunity to save and put my money towards something, for example, growing my portfolio or buying an investment property

I have dabbled with the idea of buying an investment property in Brisbane.

My job is a high-pressured environment with long hours. By the time I finish work I don't have much time or energy to be researching various stock options and keeping up with market trends. 

I am looking for some financial advice on what to do in my situation. I would like to speak to a financial adviser or mortgage broker but don't know where to start or who to reach out to. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. - Siobhan

I am not particularly fond of clichés, Siobhan, but the world is indeed your oyster. At 24, with a stressful but very well-paid job, single and so able to make choices that suit you, this is a very exciting time.

Seeing an adviser is something I generally support very strongly. But in your case, I am not so sure.

Frankly, you could simply keep building wealth through adding to your shares, building super and buying an investment property. This, though, misses the far more important issue.

I know you are very busy, but you can add to your share portfolio. You could employ a professional "house buyer" who can research and find a few suitable properties as a shortlist to save you time.

The real issue, though, is - what are your personal plans? These will in turn dictate how you invest. Working overseas is something that may interest you and be important for your career development. You may want to study overseas and gain additional qualifications.

Please have a good think about your short-, medium- and long-term plans. I would be most unhappy if you "geared up" into an investment property, then decided you wanted to study overseas on no income for some time.

Money and investments are not your challenges, Siobhan. What you need to do is to determine where your career and life are going, then make your money and investments fit your life.

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Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the Money TV show, and this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Ask Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. View our disclaimer.
Money magazine
July 13, 2022 9.44am


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