Scattered super? Consolidate now!
I have to admit, I get a real buzz when I hear someone talking about not knowing what to do with their money. The buzz comes from the excitement I feel knowing that I can help them. It might be in some small way, but more often it’s enough to help make a major change to the way they enjoy their lives.
One such example came after receiving an enquiry via our website. Teresa, or Tess* to her friends, had recently helped her parents celebrate retirement. Well, celebrate is probably the wrong word. Instead of waving them off on a much-awaited overseas trip or on the first leg of their journey around our great land, her Mum and Dad were destined to holiday at home.
Not having planned adequately because they thought the pension wold be plenty to live on, both were shocked to realise just how limited their retirement would be. As her Dad was not healthy enough to keep working and build up a better investment, they realised they’d left everything too late.
Teresa is sad that after a lifetime of hard work they will be forced into a basic lifestyle, scrimping to make ends meet. This is not what she wishes for her own future and the experience was the catalyst to getting her financial affairs in order – hence her email to us.
Teresa is 42, divorced and nursing has been her career. She has worked in many public and private hospitals and in her words “hasn’t got much super”. She was right – we were surprised to find a total of $72,000 across six different accounts, all invested in “balanced funds”. The fees she was paying to manage the six accounts were eating into the meagre balances.
This is when my buzz started! I helped her to understand basic investment principles such as the relationship between risk and return, diversification and her time horizon.
With a better appreciation, Teresa agreed she could invest more aggressively because she has around 25 years to go before she fully retires. We recommended a master trust platform, explaining that the trustees provide a “menu” of fully researched funds from which she can create her portfolio. Most of these funds are wholesale funds.
She understood and agreed on an aggressive asset allocation with 85% growth assets as shown in the table below.
Her portfolio is diversified over nine funds and as Teresa now has a senior role in health management she commits to a salary sacrifice program to give her super balance an extra boost. As she had very little exposure to international shares and given her timeframe to retirement, we both believed that this asset class will provide a well-diversified portfolio and the best long-term growth opportunities at the moment. She allocates new contributions 40% to international shares, 40% to Australian shares and 10% each to hedge and property funds. Distributions from the funds will be deposited into her cash management account and allocated every six months.
Teresa understands that the value of her growth funds will fluctuate but she finds solace in being able to monitor her investments easily and having us to guide her. She is becoming a more educated investor and is now confident that she will retire much more comfortably than her parents did.
Oh, and now we call her Tess.
*Not her real name.