June 2018 Letter

Welcome to my June 2018 monthly wrap-up! It’s been another big month at work with the launch of a new product, and I wrapped up another two university units. It feels good to be making progress on that front, and I’ll be glad to reach the halfway mark in a few months.

One of the interesting things that happened last week was speaking to a journalist from The Age on how and why I invest outside of my superannuation. It all happened very quickly, and suddenly I was on the front page of the Sunday Age Money section — they say we all get five minutes of fame! The article features a few different points of view and is worth a read, as I think it’s an important topic to discuss and think about.

I particularly enjoyed seeing a new face in the analyst team at Forager Funds Management by Chloe Stokes. Read her recent analysis of Zara and the fast-fashion industry over here.

Another great read on the topic of Self-Directed Education and transitioning away from the traditional education industry over on the Alliance of Self-Directed Education‘I wanted students to be empowered, take control of their own learning, and feel free to experience real life outside of the four walls of the classroom. Self-direction is a fundamental skill required to learn and adapt in the rapidly-changing world we find ourselves in.’

Are you looking for a job and want to brush up on your interview skills? Check out College Info Geeks recent article on How to Ace Your Next Job Interview: 35 Proven Tips.

When thinking about financial independence, an area I hadn’t really thought about was the hidden cost of working. Pat the Shuffler points out that ‘we spend more time on work than just our work hours, and we spend money on our work that needs to be taken into account when working out our real hourly wage.’ He also breaks down the costs of working, which are really interesting to see and consider.

If you’re interested in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) — check out his great little video by one of Australia’s ETF providers, BetaShares.

Until next month,

Kate

May 2018 Letter

Another jam packed month full of work, finishing more university subjects (yay!) and collaborations on the How To Money platform. I recently wrote about the importance of financial education on my personal site, which is an issue I am extremely passionate about. On How To Money this month we featured a guest post on diversification and the healthy investing pyramid, and recorded a podcast episode on comparing financial products with Finder.com.au.

If you’re looking for a phenomenal piece of writing, this option article written by American author Jessica Knoll is absolutely spot on. For Jessica, ‘success meant doing something well enough to secure independence’, which is something that particularly resonated with me. Jessica points out that ‘rich’ is still definitely a man’s word, and for a woman to say they want to be ‘rich’, it elicits a much different response from society.

In thinking about education this month, I read an article by Dr. Kevin Currie-Knight about the need to give learners time to fail. Dr. Currie-Knight highlights that the ‘freedom to fail without penalty, and the freedom to take the time one needs — are key to the learning process, but are often missing in school environments. As soon as one puts learning on a standardized time schedule, you preclude the learner from being able to take their time, and this means that failure now comes at a cost’.

Until next month,

Kate

The Importance of Financial Education

“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” ~Jonathan Swift

Over the last few weeks the financial services industry has been all over our newsfeeds, TV and newspapers, and if you’re like me the Royal Commission has made it into the lunchtime conversations at the office. There’s been some devastating stories and disgraceful misconduct exposed, and countless articles on questions to ask your financial planner and how to avoid being ripped off by your financial institution.

My big takeaway from all of this, is that you can never truly trust any sole person or corporation with your life savings. I wonder how many times we have to hear these devastating stories, before we take control of our finances? Who knows what the consequences will be for these individuals and corporations? A warning? A fine? Maybe even jail-time?

Only one thing’s for sure — you need to take control and responsibility of your finances, and you need to financially educate yourself.

You are going to learn most of your financial lessons along the journey, but it needs to be your journey, When you outsource your finances to someone else, they make the mistakes and they learn the lessons, and you miss out on so much. Yes, sometimes it is appropriate and even necessary to seek out professional financial advice, but without a basic level of financial literacy you have no way of knowing if the information they provide to you is in your best interests.

I have definitely made mistakes and lost money along my own financial journey, but I have owned those mistakes and I have learnt from them. It’s not something that you can master overnight, rather I think of financial education as a lifelong journey of knowledge and lessons. I can’t promise you that your journey will be easy, but I can pretty well guess that it will grow and empower you.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” ~Ayn Rand

While all of these news stories may make you want to run and hide from the industry all together, it is important to know that for every bad seed out there, there are countless others who are passionate and dedicated to the industry and to providing you with high a high quality service.

I know young Australians want to learn about their finances and take control, but they often feel as though it is out of their power. Let me tell you right now that no one can force you into signing the dotted line for a financial product. You can choose everything from your transaction account to your superannuation, but most people don’t realise how much choice they actually have when it comes to their finances.

The main thing that I hope you takeaway from this — is that it’s never to early or late to take back control, and get started on your financial education journey.

If you want to get started, the most important resource I would like to suggest to you is ASIC’s MoneySmart website, which has such a huge wealth of knowledge contained within. They also offer free downloadable guides that cover a whole range of topics from first-time investing to planning your superannuation.

Another good resource for those interested in investing for the first time is the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) website, where they offer free online courses, videos and even the ASX share game (where you can try out investing without using your own money).

I’d love to hear your thoughts on financial education in Australia, so please feel free to reach out via email at hello@katecampbell.info or in the comments below.

Until next time,

Kate


April 2018 Letter

Well, that’s a wrap on another busy and exciting month! I’ve been busy working on my RG146 qualification this month which has been interesting, and it’s definitely been a learning curve. I’ve also been smashing out a few university assignments, so it’s good to see some progress there.

If you’re looking to kick-start your morning routine, one of my favourite podcasters and bloggers has a great episode on starting your day off on the right foot — check it out! While you’re there — make sure you check out his article full of examples of great personal portfolios and websites, if you’re thinking of putting one together.

I’m not sure how I came across this video by Michelle Phan, but I found it deeply moving. She left Youtube a year ago and made this video to share why she made the decision to leave it all behind.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy time. Sometimes you have to let go of things to move forward and create your own happiness.

I was also referred to MealPal this month by some colleagues, which is a subscription service where you can skip the queue and get meals for less than $8.00. I think at the moment they are only operating in Sydney and Melbourne CBD in Australia, with over 100 local restaurants offering meals every weekday and the ability to pre-order your meal and skip the queue. I’ve really enjoyed MealPal so far, and it’s definitely saving me money on lunch in Melbourne CBD (which is getting quite pricey).

New on the How To Money Platform

HTM Article: What is a Bond?

HTM Article: Getting Started on How To Money

HTM Podcast Episode 11: Getting Familiar with Bonds

Interesting Reads from Around the Web

The Ultimate Guide to Studying for Tests and Exams — College Info Geek

How to Take Notes in College: The 6 Best Systems — College Info Geek

17 Ideas for the Modern World of Work — altMBA

How to Build a Micro-Niche Site — Bren on the Road

If we Taught Walking in School — Derek Magil

If we Taught Bike Riding Like we Taught Careers — Praxis

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Have a wonderful month!

Kate