Abandoned your new year's resolutions? It's not too late to get back on track
The glitz and promise of New Year's Eve have faded and we're back to business as usual, meaning many of those optimistic resolutions have already been abandoned.
In fact, statistics show only 8% of all resolutions are likely to be achieved.
But it's not too late to rededicate yourself to your financial goals, and this time do it the right way.
Play the long game
Apart from winning the lottery or inheriting millions, there really aren't any overnight get-rich-quick schemes. Make a 10-year plan then approach it in bite-size chunks.
From a psychological perspective, it relates to forming habits which requires a lot of persistence, but it does get easier as time goes by.
The old rules and risk management strategies still apply
Shares and property remain sound investment opportunities.
While spreading your investments across a range of risk levels and asset classes is important, timing your investments into these assets can improve your outcomes.
Always let your assets work for you (especially in retirement)
There's a common misconception that the best way to approach retirement is to sell your assets, downsize and put cash in the bank. But life doesn't stop at retirement and neither does the inflationary effect on the cost of living.
A more sensible approach is to retain sufficient capital in a defensive portfolio of cash and bonds to fund a few years of living and allocate some capital to growth assets to enable wealth-generating opportunities.
Avoid panic selling
Few people sell their homes when the real estate market is down, so why sell shares when the stock market slumps? Wealth comes from buying, not selling in the downtimes, so plan to retain some capital to make the most of those rainy-day stock market sales.
Most importantly, keep enough in defensive assets to protect against forced selling in bad times.
The best way to stick to a habit is to find the reward
Saving is not fun. But saving for something you will benefit from later is. The added bonus of saving into investments that grow is being able to witness positive returns and in time save more into your plan.
This is a good way to fool yourself into being happy about saving and forget about the instantly gratifying things you could have done with the money had you not saved it.
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