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How Our Decisions Affect Our Investments

 

Looking at share market returns over time, it can be said despite volatility that is naturally experienced, investors are rewarded for their patience and discipline with growth over the long term. However, plenty of research indicates that investors are not getting the returns they are entitled to. 

 

 

In order to capture returns in the share market, investment time horizon does matter. Most investors intend to invest for the long term, however, emotions come into play which often leads to irrational decision making. The Dalbar Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behaviour releases annual reports comparing the returns of the market (in this case S&P 500) and the returns of an average equity investor. Over the 30 year period to December 2016, the S&P 500 returned 10.16% per annum while the average equity investor achieved a return of 3.98% per annum. That is a staggering difference of 6.18% which is referred to as the ‘Behaviour Gap’. 

 

 

The behaviour gap is the outcome of all the biases and psychological pitfalls previously discussed, which is magnified by an oversupply of information and media coverage. It can be the result of a fearful withdrawal of funds from the market following a major political event or perhaps the overconfident additional investment in the market after reports of a year of very strong returns. 

 

 

Essentially it is when our emotions are interfering with our disciplined approach. Perhaps the two emotions most likely to get in our way are fear and elation, despite being at opposite ends of the spectrum.

 

In falling markets, it is natural to feel fear and a sense of panic. How you act on those emotions is what will determine your investing outcomes. Option 1 is to succumb to the fear and sell your investments to try to avoid further loss. As a result, you have sold low and consolidated the loss rather than waiting out the market cycle. Option 2 is to embrace the opportunity presented and make additional investments to maximise the likely subsequent recovery of markets. 

 

 

In rising markets, investors experience elation and excitement as they see the strong return for their investment. Again, how you act on your emotions determines the investment experience. Option 1 is to get carried away in the thrill and invest additional funds at the top of the market cycle. While markets may continue to rise for a while, buying at this high point can then maximise the loss when the market goes through a downturn in the next phase of the cycle. Option 2 is to sell some of your assets and consolidate the gains you have achieved. The profits can then be used to invest elsewhere. 

 

 

Data shows that most investors in either scenario go with option 1. Data looking at investment performance and the flow of funds into and out of the market, shows that in rising markets there is a significant net flow of funds into the investments but when there are market downturns, money is flooding out. Meaning the average investor is reacting to current market conditions, selling low and buying high. This is what results in the behaviour gap and missing out on the returns that they should be achieving. 

 

Source: Investment Company Institute, 2017 Investment Company Fact Book. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Data shows industry flows into equity funds plotted as a 6-month moving average. Total return based on the MSCI All Country World Daily Total Return Index, a free float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed and emerging markets.
 

 

Knowing when to buy and sell is a difficult process to manage and we don’t advocate trying to time the market. Rather, the key is to remain disciplined and not reactive while investing. An adviser can keep you accountable and help you remain on track when all your instincts are pointing towards making decisions which will sabotage your financial future. Often, the value in an adviser is quantified by the decisions they help you make and the progress towards goals. While this is important, I would place equal importance on the adviser’s role in preventing you from making the wrong decisions.

 

 

 

 

To find out more, contact a Shadforth Financial Group adviser on 1300 308 440 or click HERE
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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: CINDY TURNER, EVOLVING WOMEN

By Bridget Hawkins
 

Our Insights Spotlight is on Cindy Turner, our Sunshine Coast Circle Leader. Cindy is a conscious Entrepreneur and a Master Coach with over ten years of experience. She recently relocated from Victoria to the Sunshine Coast which “was part of [a] bigger vision to create a lifestyle that [she loves], and [chasing] a warmer climate!” Cindy established the Sunshine Coast chapter of BWA earlier this year and brings a dynamic enthusiasm and great ideas coupled with warm energy and a generous spirit to the role.  The response to our Sunshine Coast events has been fantastic!

 

Speaking about her fellow Business Women on the Sunshine Coast and across the nation – the BWA Community, Cindy says
“women bring a unique feminine nature to the way they lead and live that is very much needed in the world today… qualities such as: communication, collaboration, empathy and heart.”
 

Cindy herself is passionate about women in leadership, having been inspired by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown, and Jacinda Arden, women that are “leading the way in demonstrating a different way to lead.” Having worked with corporate women for over ten years, Cindy has been inspired by the strength, compassion, and achievements of these women. However, she found many corporate women, especially high achieving women, to be “self-critical, minimising and restrictive.” Seeing these incredible women not performing at their best left Cindy frustrated at “continually seeing women hold themselves back and play too small.”

 

 

Evolving Women, an online meeting place of brilliant women creating new paradigms that support the advancement of women in leadership and life globally, was born out of this frustration. Often times these women simply needed the right tools and resources in order to achieve their full potential. As such, Evolving Women will “specifically bring together women of influence who are experts in their field and have a desire to give back, [offering] a vast array of transformational programs and tools that are easily accessible and affordable for women globally.” Although the website is not yet up and running, the team here at BWA could not be more excited!

 

 
Subscribe to BWA eNews here and get in touch with Cindy to be kept up to date with all the BWA events on the Sunshine Coast and to be updated about Evolving Women opportunities.
 

 

As an entrepreneur, and Master Coach, Cindy often works independently which can be a tough gig. We asked Cindy to share her tips and tricks on how she stays motivated and energised.
“I am very clear on my bigger purpose or ‘why’ I do what I do and the impact I want to make. When I feel unmotivated, I refer back to my purpose. I have created a visual representation of my purpose on my laptop screensaver so it is never far from mind.”  
Visual representation is so important particularly for executing goal achievement. Cindy’s goals include taking Evolving Women globally, as well as interviewing Oprah, an achievement that Cindy sees as her “pinnacle.”

 

 

Cindy views joining the BWA collective as  “being part of an amazing community of female leaders… [which was] the right decision for [her.]” The team here at BWA couldn’t agree more!

 

Book your tickets for our upcoming Sunshine Coast event HERE.

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New Year, New You!

By Shayne Sommer
 

Six months ago the gym was full of January-joiners and we were all taking stock of what we achieved last year and what we could do better in 2019.

If you embarked on a physical fitness overhaul this January, chances are you measured your baseline (a brave undertaking!) before you began. You may have also set some goals.

Understanding your starting point is paramount to tracking progress. You can’t know what goal to set if you don’t know where you are now.

 

Another new year

The start of the new calendar year is a great time to make lifestyle resolutions. Why not think of the start of the new financial year as the time to make some financial resolutions?

Most of us know how much lands in our bank accounts every month, but we don’t always know where it all goes. Too often people find they’ve got ‘too much month at the end of the money.’

 

Where to start

Just like beginning a new fitness routine, start simple. Rather than making a complex budget that traces every single dollar, start with a few small steps.

 

Know your expenses

If you have a mortgage, determine your current interest rate and monthly payments. If you haven’t reviewed this in the last two years or so, it may be time to do a comparison to see if there’s a better arrangement out there for you. Lenders may even offer you a better rate for switching.

Most of us also have home, contents and car insurance. What do they each cost? Check a bank statement to find out.

37% of Australians1 don’t review these expenses because of the perceived effort involved – so to kickstart your financial new year and get you on the right track, we can review these items for you and check the ‘healthiness’ of your current arrangements.

You could also include some other expenses such as property rates, energy bills and phone accounts. These are often on contracts and easy to determine.

Then, check your bank statement to calculate your average grocery spend and you’re starting to understand where all those dollars are heading each month.

 

Get a personal trainer

Let us do the heavy lifting. You just have to provide the details of your current arrangements (simply, a statement for your mortgage and/or a renewal notice for your insurances).

Getting financially fit starts with understanding your cash flow – what comes in the door and what goes out again – and determining what to do with the surplus (and if there isn’t a surplus, working out how long you can sustain your lifestyle with a deficit).

Just like a personal trainer will get you on track with your diet and exercise plan, a financial adviser can help you get on top of your cash flow, and get you some results you can really see.

To get to know more about your cash flow and what a difference making the most of those annual surplus amounts can make, contact a Shadforth adviser on 1300 308 440. In the meantime, start tracking your spending now with our handy Budget Spreadsheet.

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more, contact a Shadforth adviser on 1300 308 440 or click HERE

 
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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: GEMMA WHEELER-CARVER, HHG LEGAL

 

 

Gemma Wheeler-Carver is a Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation team at HHG Legal Group, and a new member of the BWA community. Gemma has been practising Law for 8 years, and has an extensive profile that crosses negotiating, drafting and managing exploration, and mining and land access agreements. Whilst also extending to employment and consultancy agreements and preparing funding submissions and corporate policies.

Gemma has also spent significant time providing assistance to various Aboriginal corporations under the CATSI and Corporations Act, including preparation of Rule Books and corporate compliance. Before joining HHG Legal Group, Gemma practised as a native title lawyer for five years working primarily on claims litigation and mediation in the Federal Court of Australia and the National Native Title Tribunal, both with the Central Desert Native Title Services. While living in Canada, Gemma also provided these services to the Yilka Aboriginal Corporation.

 

For business owners and employers who utilise casual employees, Gemma recommends that casual employees should be employed under an employment contracts that sets out that the employee is a “casual” employee. She also suggests that the contact clearly states the amount being paid to the employee that is intended to, and does, compensate for the employee not having one or more relevant NES entitlements.

 

Gemma explains why this is important. In December of 2018, the government introduced a new regulation into the Fair Work Regulations 2009 (Cth) in the wake of the Federal
Court’s Skene decision in Workpac v Skene.
Despite the fact that Skene was described as a casual in his contract and benefitting from casual loading – Skene was deemed a permanent employee and therefore entitled to annual leave in line with the National Employment Standards (NES).
This was because the loading had not been clearly expressed as an amount or percentage of his wages in Skene’s contract or elsewhere, and because there was no other actual evidence which indicated that Mr Skene was a casual. The Federal Court did observe that, where a casual loading is clearly expressed, the employee would not be entitled to ‘double dip’ and an employer may be able to set off any casual loading amounts against any claim for NES entitlements.

 

Gemma stresses that as far as possible, all casual employees should be employed under a clear employment contract that sets out that they are a “casual” employee AND their contracted payment amount is intended to, and does, compensate for the employee not having one or more relevant NES entitlements. If you hire casual employees and you’d like advice specific to your situation don’t hesitate to contact Gemma.

 

 
This is not legal advice and should not be relied upon.
Please contact HHG Legal
Group on 1800 609 945 or click here for legal advice specific to you
situation.
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Why do we make poor financial decisions?

 

When it comes to financial decision making, it’s fair to say that humans are rarely rational in the choices we make. Our behaviours and emotions are capable of leading us astray and quite often they do! Sometimes these decisions can have an outcome that negatively impacts our financial future.

 

Behavioural economics is a rapidly growing academic field. It studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social factors on our economic decisions. Behavioural economics can help us understand why we make the financial decisions we do, particularly when under stress.

 

We’ve all heard of the ‘fight or flight’ instinct. Through times of market volatility, decisions are made from this innate fight or flight response rather than reasoning and logic. At times of perceived ‘crisis’ for example falling markets, all our instincts are telling us to take action. The action taken is often to sell to remove ourselves from high stress situations, but that is often the worst thing to do. Selling when the market is low leads to consolidated loss, whereas patience can be rewarded.

 
Over the long term you are rewarded for keeping your investments, or even increasing your exposure to different markets, take advantage of the eventual market rebound.
 

There are several common biases or pitfalls to be wary of when making financial decisions.

 

Recency Bias is the tendency to focus on recent events and put more emphasis on new information than older data. For example, investors often think the share market will remain consistent and make decisions based on that. When the market is going up they buy and when it goes down they sell.

 

Confirmation Bias is where you have an existing idea or belief and seek confirmation by listening only to information that confirms those pre-conceptions. We tend to interpret and recall information in a way that confirms our beliefs, while ignoring information that disproves our theory.  In the contemporary world we live in, we have access to infinite amounts of information that can support nearly any hypothesis we put forward in our minds. On the same day one news outlet might be predicting markets will fall, while another is stating that markets are on the rise. We filter only the information that supports our thinking and act accordingly. Confirmation bias interacts with recency bias.

 

Humans generally don’t like change and this is referred to as the Status Quo Bias. It is the preference for things to remain the same and a tendency to not change behaviour unless the incentive to do so is compelling. This minimises the risk associated with change but also means forgoing any potential benefits that may outweigh the risk. This often plays out with decisions around changing a provider such as health insurance or even an electricity company. Being familiar with the current provider, the costs and the benefits may lead you to stay as is rather than take a risk on an unfamiliar but potentially better option.

 

Studies show that we feel a loss twice as intensely as a gain. Loss Aversion is a preference to avoid a loss almost at any cost. Investors will often hold onto a stock that has dropped significantly in value with the hope it will eventually come good. In the natural cycle of market movements, this can be a good thing as often the stock will recover. However, where there is no hope for recovery we need to know when to admit defeat, sell to minimise the loss and invest elsewhere. Loss aversion could also be called FOMO (fear of missing out) and is at play when there is a perception of scarcity. This is why when something is advertised as only having two left, you feel compelled to purchase.

 

You may have picked up that some of these biases support one another while others contradict. A financial adviser can help you navigate these bias’, determine your short and long-term goals and, importantly, help you make smart and rational decisions to achieve these goals over time.

 

 

To find out more, contact a Shadforth adviser on 1300 308 440 or click HERE

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: VIDA CARLINO, INSPIRATION SOURCE

By Bridget Hawkins
 

Recently, we sat down with Vida Carlino, the director of Inspiration Source to talk about conscious leadership and the importance of balancing the feminine and masculine qualities inside each of us. Vida has been a BWA member for 6 years and says that she has found her “tribe” with BWA. We are so glad she joined as she has been a significant community leader and a source of inspiration for us!

 

Vida began Inspiration Source in 2009 with an ambitious purpose “igniting inspiration and lifting the spirit of humanity.” How can we ignite inspiration and where does inspiration come from? Inspiration is about
“taking action from your own spirit, from your own unique authentic conscious self.”
Authenticity and awareness with one self is the key to igniting inspiration, not only in yourself but also others. With this ignited inspiration we are able to “influence the expansion of evolving wisdom,” and Vida defines wisdom as “the place where our intellect emotions and intuitive is aligned.”  When these facets of ourselves are unaligned it can lead to an inner state of conflict, lower levels of productivity, dissatisfaction, no longer having the energy/motivation to finish tasks. Vida talks about how wisdom comes from many sources and to “listen to all forms of intelligence” rather than relying on a singular perspective to create rounded and multi-faceted wisdom.

 

A source of wisdom that has been historically overlooked is the wisdom that comes from the feminine qualities and energies that exist within us (regardless of gender identity). Masculine energies have been privileged by businesses and institutions, particularly for roles of leadership; and has forced people to disregard their own feminine energies which have often been labelled as “weak.” For example, masculine traits such as productivity, power, competitiveness, outcome, control, and forthrightness have been celebrated, whereas the feminine traits of empathy, honesty, loving, nurturing, creativity, intuition, kindness, and understanding are not often celebrated. Everyone has access to these qualities inside of themselves. However, as Vida explains it is not about balance but rather harmony of these values and traits.
“We never find the balance, and we don’t need to. The power is in harmony, look at nature; it isn’t always balanced but it is always harmonious.”
When we allow these feminine energies to flourish it “gives permission for honesty and authenticity, and it allows us to trust the unknown whilst speaking our own truth.”

 

 

Valuing both the feminine and the masculine energies is incredibly important in those roles of leaderships in business, and can help executives and professionals become Conscious Leaders. A Conscious Leader is an aware leader, one who employs metacognition which Vida defines as “thinking about what they’re thinking.” Metacognition allows leaders to
“be aware of when they’re aware and unaware, to know what’s going on in the moment without getting hooked into their unconscious bias and judgements, and listening and understanding to what is said, but also what is left unsaid.”
Conscious leadership allows collaborative growth between the leader and their team.

 

Throughout her times with BWA, Vida has been a conscious leader for our BWA community and at the 2019 Women of Inspiration Dinner Vida will join other unsung leaders who inspire us every day! The dinner, which will also feature Paola Magni and Katheryn Johnson, is described by Vida as being “nerve wracking, as a private person this is a big thing in terms of being courageous” and considers it a “privilege to be invited and surrounded by such amazing women.” Vida has amazing stories of growth and resilience to share, and we are so excited to listen!

DETAILS AND REGISTRATION HERE.

 

About Vida and Inspiration Source:

Vida, seeker of wisdom, lover of ritual and sacred space, published author, speaker, leader in conscious inspiration, wisdom mindset and authentic accountability. She believes we are all on a great journey to discover our authentic brilliant self and share our greatness with humanity.

In life’s busyness and distractions its easy to let our thinking over run our feelings without realising you left yourself behind. On the surface it all appears normal and, on the inside, it is a confused mess.

Vida has spent many years, facilitating/guiding retreats and conscious coaching for professionals and entrepreneurs that are willing to do the soulful (internal) and strategic (external) work so they can fully live their ambitious dreams and  consciously succeed.

She offers a unique combination of ancient wisdom practices, neuro processes and contemporary techniques that align intellectual, emotional and intuitive intelligences for greater wisdom and crystal clarity.

Vida is a successful businesswoman who consciously participates and guides in life’s unfolding.

 

 

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