If you’re working in some form or rather, you are kinda like a boss. I mean, not in a “You’re the boss of your lifeeee, man!” kinda way. Confused? 🤔 Let’s talk more.
Money matters, matters.
Imagine if you will, that every dollar you have is a worker. Most of the time, you will find it idling by in it’s cage by its caretaker, the bank. For those of you into hiding stashes of cash underneath your bed, please stop doing that. It’s 2020. Buy some Bitcoin instead. Just kidding. Don’t buy Bitcoin.
The bank, being it’s loving caretaker, provides your dollars with nutrients in the form of interest. Top folks the banks are. Little did you know, like a mid-tier sweatshop, banks provide the bare minimum in nutrients. In fact, the interest that it provides does not even cover inflation. When viewed in isolation, your precious dollars appear to be growing however when viewed in the context of rising prices in goods and services, it’s growth is barely catching up. What this means is that the buying power of your dollar will be eroded as time goes by.
So how can you circumvent that? By investing! Some people enjoy investing in real estate, some people enjoy speculating on gold, some people enjoy throwing money at cryptocurrency. Me? I enjoy putting some dollars to work with their smarty-pants on in the stock market.
“But the stock market is scary. Isn’t that what caused people to lose a motherload of money?”
“The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.” — Warren Buffett.
In a simplistic form, that is all it is. The greedy will bear tackle the stock market like a game of poker (the house always win.. except when it’s money laundering). The patient ones (us) will ride the wealth building bull through it’s ebbs and flows, doing some insane ninja leaps against inflationary jabs.
Most of all, do not think of stock market investing as picking stocks of random symbols on the stock exchange. Think of it as being an owner, a really really small owner, an owner nonetheless, in amazing companies that you love. Use an iPhone? 📱 Why not invest in Apple? Loving your Lion King shenanigans on Disney+? 🦁 Why not invest in Disney? Can’t stop chugging caramel macchiatos? ☕️ Hello, Starbucks!
Ok ok. So maybe learning about financial ratios and DCFs (⚠️ Clip is narrated by a sexy Irishman) isn’t the most exciting thing to read up on. Unfortunately, you’re doomed to investing mediocrity. Wait. Wait. Don’t leave all three of you. I’m only kidding. There are simpler ways.
NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE. MY FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE JOURNEY STRATEGY.
“First things first, I’m a realist” — Iggy Azalea
Off Opposite/Adjacent (*ahem* tangent): Oh boy those quotes are not going to stand the test of time. Imagine 20 years from now and this blog is being read by a bajingle-million of visitors daily and the future-lenials are wondering if Iggy Azalea is some philosophical icon from the past. She is.
Work aside, I’m generally quite lazy. There’s not many things that I can lay claim to however I’m quite confident that I have pioneered some legendary procrastination techniques in my lifetime thus far. There is a lot of Netflix to watch and reviewing income statements and balance sheets isn’t my idea of a night well spent. Thankfully, stock market investing is an area whereby my laziness (over 9,000) can flourish tremendously.
Mother of all caveats: Everything here is viewed in a simplistic manner. If you’d like to have a thesis arguing against that, feel free to write one up and I’ll have my imaginary secretary review it.. or go start a hedge fund.
Strategy as of 13 January 2020.
1.) The economy works in cycles.
When things are going well, consumers and companies tend to borrow more future-dollars to spend today which banks are more than happy to oblige. This assists in expanding the economic cycle and everyone’s all happy buying beach houses and sipping expensive cocktails. Like all good things in life, we eventually overreach our spending and the moment the economic growth contracts, hello 💩storm.
2.) I am aiming to have an equal 50% 50% split of my portfolio in cash and stocks.
Remember that 💩storm that we’re talking about? I think we’re so close to it, I can even smell it. Why? Because whilst unemployment is at an all time high, wage growth isn’t and we can see the global economic machine slowing down. Why? Blame government policies. Blame climate change. Blame China. Blame WeWork. Blame the Kardashians. 🤷🏻 I don’t know. What I do know though is that this portfolio set-up will help me sleep better at night.
3.) Everytime I get paid, 50% will go to cash and the rest will be used to purchase a parcel of ETFs.
I do enjoy investing in individual companies from time to time however the risk and reward of having your fortunes tied to a single company is relatively risky. ETF investments are safer in a sense that if a company in that ETF goes belly up, it will be replaced by another company that fits that ETF’s criteria. If that ETF for some magical reason goes belly up, oh boy are we in for a bigger problem than you losing your dollars.
4.) When 💩 hits the fan, I plan to double down on my investments using my cash holdings.
Think of it this way, in a massive once in a decade sale, what would you do? You’re not gonna be crying at home wondering why has the world gone to hell. You should be bringing out the money guns and go on a massive spending spree. If you think Boxing Day sales are exciting, you’re in for a treat! The best time to invest in the stock market is when everything is on sale.
5.) Rinse and repeat.
Wait, tell me more about that Step 3
Dollar-cost average is the technique that I’m using in Step 3 which many passive investors love. Why? Because this avoids the issue of trying to time the market. You invest regularly in an amount of your comfort and you take emotion entirely out of the investment process. Most people invest in an index-wide ETF using this strategy. An index generally tracks the market wide performance, generating market returns. Many active hedge fund managers have struggled to beat index ETFs so it isn’t that bad of a place to put your dollars in.
So now that you’re sold on dollar-cost averaging into an index ETF, let’s tackle the next question. What index? Should you get an Australia-wide ASX200 index ETF, home to Australian mining juggernauts and banks? 💵 How about the S&P 500, the petri dish of America-the-great’s.. er.. great. 💵 Perhaps a shiny Nasdaq 100 index ETF, a combustion of the average millennial’s vice (Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Starbucks). 💵 Ok ok. Your head hurts. Surprise, surprise. There’s an easier way.
Micro investing does not equate to micro returns.
Spaceship is a relatively old entrant in a relatively new industry called micro investing. This allows the everyday Australian (sorry, world) to invest in whatever denomination that they would like in the stock market. The app provides two investible options upon sign-up, Spaceship Universe and Spaceship Index. Spaceship Universe is an actively managed option whilst Spaceship Index invests in the top 100 global companies with equal weighting and the top 100 Australian companies in equal weighting. I opted for the Spaceship Index option as I have trust issues with actively managed investments. I also have an irrational hatred of spiders.
“Every ***** wanna be Spiderman, but me, I just hate spiders, man”.
The one thing I love most about Spaceship is that it has a sleek app interface and is insanely easy to set up. All you have to worry about is how frequent you want to invest (ie weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc) and how much the amount will be (ie $5, $10 etc). With just a few simple clicks, we can build our ownership in top global companies like Apple, Amazon, Disney, Facebook, Microsoft, Starbucks, and even Eastern favourites like Alibaba and Tencent (owner of Wechat) passively.
You can change your investment amount whenever and you are free to withdraw your money whenever. There are no fees if your portfolio is under $5,000 and beyond that, it’s only a miniscule 0.05% of your portfolio. Let’s say you have $10,000 invested with Spaceship. In an average year whereby your portfolio returns 8%, your net return after fees is 7.95% or $795. Not too shabby compared to the 2% return from letting your dollars sit idly in a bank amirite?
This is not a sponsored post however if you would like some free money to the value of $5 in your Spaceship portfolio, join here and use my referral code of S83ZOFT5K3 (I will receive $5 too). 😁
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese proverb
Thanks for reading. Time for Teh Tarik.
joe from fidilaa.