The truth is, retirement management is far more complicated than one may expect and that is why getting the best retirement plan is one of the more important things a youth must consider.
Yes, a youth!
Even though retirement can seem so distant to a youth in his mid-twenties, one should always get a retirement plan best suited for them as soon as they possibly can, preferably right after they get their first job. Here are 3 reasons why.
Reason 1: Compounding Interest
For the sake of clarity, let’s say that we live in a world where every investment yields a return of 100% per annum (p.a.). In other words, for every dollar you invest in this mystical world, you’d get an extra dollar one year later. This means that if you invest $1 today, you’d receive an extra $1 in a year, giving you a total of $2 in your account. The $2 will then be invested again and the following year will yield another $2 return, giving you a total of $4 in your account.
Let’s say you decided to retire at 65 years old and invested $1 into a retirement account at the age of 25. This means that the $1 you invest today will remain in your account for the next 40 years. In this mystical world, your account would have a balance of $2 when you reach 26 years old. At 27, you’d have $4 in your account and so on. Like a rolling snowball, your retirement fund will grow bigger and by 65, your account would have garnered…
$1 x 240 = $1,099,511,627,776.
Bear in mind, however, that investments in the real world would more likely yield an average return of 6% only. Hence, your investment in the real world would’ve brought you…
$1 x 1.0640 = $10.29
Which is more than 10 times your initial investment. Using the same formula, let’s assume that instead of planning at the age of 25, you plan for your retirement at the age of 35. You would, therefore, lose 10 years’ worth of compounding interest, giving you a return of….
$1 x 1.0630 = $5.74
Which is only more than 5 times your initial investment. That’s right, a measly 10-year difference can double your retirement fund. Similarly, getting a retirement plan that suits you best can yield the best return.
Do note that, for investments, it is only through long period of time that one can enjoy the benefit of compounded returns – which arise because the stock market has an upward bias over time.
Reason 2: Unforeseeable Expenses
Human beings, in general, prefer looking away when it comes to their mortality because picturing themselves as immortal gods is much easier than dealing with the fact that they will someday leave this place. If you look past that, however, you’d realise that facing your mortality is the best gift you can give your future self.
The truth is, as we grow old, we’ll need more vitamins, supplements and medical attention to stay healthy. Hence, it is crucial that we plan for the financial complications that will bring. After all, medicines are getting more expensive and a single medical emergency could derail our initial plan.
And there’s more.
Lay-offs due to economic downturn, permanent disability from car accidents, family obligations such as taking care of aging parents – these are just a few of the countless situations that could exert downward pressure on your income and upward pressure on your costs. Instead of getting to live off your savings for the next 20 years, you now have to stretch your life savings – which are diminished due to these pressures – to cover your expenses for the upcoming years, possibly decades, depending on the age at which you these situations affect you.
Admittedly, starting to plan your retirement early can do little to prevent economic downturns or stop the opposing car from crashing into your lane. However, planning ahead can put you in a better position to deal with such issues and help you get back up on your feet sooner.
Reason 3: Time to Recover
Typically, a stock market cycle denoted by an up and down trend and back to its starting point is around 7 years, so having enough time in the market to ride through a few market cycles ensure that you have enough time to recover from any market crashes and still come out on top.
Therefore, it is best to start planning for your retirement early so that you and your financial plan have time to bounce back from market shocks. Note, however, that it is impossible to eliminate risks. The best you can do is to minimise your risk by engaging independent financial advisory firms such as Financial Alliance (https://www.fa.com.sg/) to help you plan your retirement with the best financial solutions calibrated to your risk appetite and financial situation. As an independent financial advisory firm, Financial Alliance is able to provide its customers with objective financial advice because it steers clear from any undue selling pressure from financial product issuers.
Important: The information and opinions in this article are for general information purposes only. They should not be relied on as professional financial advice. Readers should seek independent financial advice that is customised to their specific financial objectives, situations & needs.
What should I invest and How do I invest
By Imogen Clarke, The Fry Group
With all the uncertainty that has arisen from 2020, with lockdown threatening businesses and the warning of a second wave, the topic of investments has taken on new meaning. Nowadays, more people are concerned with what makes for a good investment, or, if you’re a novice, how to best invest.
For instance, you might be unsure about the reliability of the company you’re looking to invest in, as well as the long-term prospects of your investment.
If you are unsure of your investments, then it is best to seek advice from financial experts like The Fry Group, who deal with tax, wealth and estate planning. They will see that you have a strong financial plan in place to help meet your objectives. They will develop a strategy that is built around your needs and asses any risks that could hinder your plans.
There are some things you’ll need to consider for your strategy; for instance, are you looking to make investments that are more of a risk and will take longer to come to fruition? Or, alternatively, are you wanting a faster approach that will result in a steady income? Whether or not you decide to play it safe all depends on your current financial situation and whether you have the means to take more of a risk. Do you have any other debts that take precedence over your future plans? Is your investment strategy realistic?
With the aid of a specialist – or investment manager – you can design an investment concept that works for you and your goals, and start to build a regular income from your investments. There are four main areas when it comes to assets (groups of investments) that you can consider:
Your investment manager will test the risks associated with your investment, and if it proves to be a positive investment choice, then you will be able to invest more over time.
So, how do you decide where to invest?
According to The Fry Group, ESG investing (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a good option for investors looking to support businesses that meet their similar ethics.
The main areas of ESG investing include:
- Environmental challenges (climate change, pollution, etc)
- Social issues (human rights, labour standards, child labour, etc)
- Governance considerations relating to company management
According to The Fry Group, “Many investors choose to consider ESG investing in order to ensure any investment decisions reflect personal beliefs and values. As a result, they choose to support companies who are making informed, responsible decisions which take into account their wider societal and global impact. In this way investors can achieve peace of mind that their investments are creating a positive effect.”
ESG investing is also more relevant now than ever, as more businesses are looking to present themselves as an environmentally conscious corporation that recognises the values of their consumers.
As The Fry Group puts it, “In the past, ESG investing has been seen as a niche investment approach, for a relatively small number of people with specific requirements. This has changed significantly in recent years, with a growing awareness of environmental issues such as climate change and an increasing understanding of social issues and human rights. As a result, many people are increasingly interested in reflecting their opinions and lifestyle choices through the way they invest.”
So, if you want your investments to pave the way for your personal values and reflect your own morals, then this is the route to go down. But how does it all work?
There are four areas of ESG investing:
- Responsible ownership and engagement: when companies are encouraged to make necessary improvements.
- Avoidance or negative screening: whereby businesses are ‘graded’ based on how ethical their business practices are and are avoided altogether if their methods are not approved.
- Positive screening strategies:when companies meet the ESG goals and are approved for investments.
- Impact investment strategies: the purpose of this is to use investment capital for positive social results such as renewable energy.
You will need to take into account your own personal objectives as well as the objectives that meet the ESG investment criteria. And, in terms of financial performance, ESG investing can be hugely beneficial. Those who opt for ESG investing perform a more in-depth analysis into long-term and future trends that affect industries, meaning that they are better prepared for changes in consumer values when they arise. And, with all the unpredictability that this year has offered us so far, isn’t it better to do the research and have all angles covered?
Investment Roundtable: Live with Jim Bianco
With Q4’s macro picture still looking grim amid the return of exponential coronavirus waves in Europe and the U.S. and Europe, we speak with veteran macroanalysis strategist Jim Bianco, CMT for a data-driven deep-dive into the global economy and financial markets on Sept. 7th at 12pm EDT.
- Learn from Jim’s unique combination of quantitative and qualitative analytics which provide an objective view on Rates, Currencies and Commodities to make smart investment decisions
- Identify important intermarket relationships he is watching with respect to Global Equities
- Roadmap a global outlook for 2021 in view of socio-political backdrop giving viewers key takeaways and intermarket perspectives on global investing.
Jim’s robust technical analysis includes a broad look at trends and themes in the markets, market internals, positioning such as the Commitment of Traders (COT), sentiment, and fund flows. Don’t miss out on this exclusive session from one of the investment world’s most insightful thought leaders.
Equity markets react to a rise in Covid-19 cases, uncertain Brexit talks and the upcoming US election
By Rupert Thompson, Chief Investment Officer at Kingswood
Equity markets had another choppy week, falling for most of it before recovering some of their losses on Friday and posting further gains this morning.
At their low point last week, global equities were down some 7% from their high in early September. US equities were down close to 10%, hurt by the large weighting to the tech giants which at least initially led the market decline.
The market correction is nothing out of the ordinary with 5-10% declines surprisingly common. Indeed, a set-back was arguably overdue given the size and speed of the market rebound from the low in March. As to the cause for the latest weakness, it is all too obvious – namely the second wave of infections being seen across the UK and much of Europe and the local lockdowns being imposed as a result.
These will inevitably take their toll on the economic recovery which was always set to slow significantly following an initial strong bounce. Indeed, business confidence fell back in September both here and in Europe with the declines led by the consumer-facing service sector. A further drop looks inevitable in October – fuelled no doubt in the UK by the prospect that the latest restrictions could be in place for as long as six months.
The job support package announced by Rishi Sunak did little to boost confidence. Its aim is to limit the surge in unemployment triggered by the end of the furlough scheme in October. However, the scheme is much less generous than the one it replaces as the government doesn’t want to continue subsidising jobs which are no longer viable longer term. A rise in the unemployment rate to 8% or so later this year still looks quite likely.
Aside from Covid, for the UK at least, there is of course another major source of uncertainty – namely Brexit. Another round of trade talks start this week and we are rapidly reaching crunch time with a deal needing to be largely finalised by the end of October.
Whether we end up with one or not is still far from clear. That said, the prospects for a deal maybe look rather better than they did a couple of weeks ago when the Government was busy tearing up parts of the Withdrawal Agreement. With significant Covid restrictions quite probably still in place in the new year and the Government already under attack for incompetence, it may not wish to take the flack for inflicting yet more chaos onto the economy.
Markets remain unimpressed. UK equities underperformed their global counterparts by a further 2.7% last week, bringing the cumulative underperformance to an impressive 24% so far this year. The UK weighting in the global equity index has now shrunk to all of 4.0%.
It is not only the UK which faces a few weeks of uncertainty. The US elections are on 3 November. We also have the first of three Presidential debates this Tuesday. Joe Biden’s lead looks far from unassailable, a close result could be contentious and control of Congress is also up for grabs.
All said and done, equity markets look set for a choppy few weeks. Further out, however, we remain more positive – not least because the focus should hopefully switch from the roll-out of new lockdowns to the roll-out of a vaccine.
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