Diversifying your ‘portfolio of life’

Diversification

Most of us are well aware of the benefits of diversifying our investments. If you concentrate too big a proportion of your hard earned funds in a single stock, there’s a real risk that it blows up and you lose it all.

Of course, the chances of this happening are greater for some investments than others, but you’re setting yourself up for some very binary outcomes – joy and excitement when it all goes great, or major stress and devastation when the unexpected happens, including the potential to experience one of the saddest investing tragedies.

It’s hard to find anyone who would dispute the benefits of diversification, even if you’re giving up a chance of achieving a massive payoff. The risk is almost always not worth it.

But many of us don’t tend to live our lives using the same rationale. [Read more…]

A visit from my 45 year old self

A visit from future me

45yo me: “Jason! Hi, long time no see! Wow, it feels like yesterday I was only 34! This is weeeird!!”

Me: “Wha-wha-whaaaat? You’re… me?”

45yo me: “That’s right! I’m paying you a visit from the future, because I sense you’re at a bit of a cross-roads, and I just want to make sure you know how awesome life is for me today! All that hard work you put in has really paid off, so I also just wanted to thank you for those efforts over the past 11 years! Or rather, your future 11 years!”

Me: “Wow, that’s so cool to hear! Well, you’re welcome, I guess? Sorry, I’m still in a little shock! Not just at meeting my future self, but at how fit, healthy and happy you look!” [Read more…]

ASX Limited – Welcome to Dividend Island!

ASX welcome

New additions to the Million Dollar Islands are a very rare thing so far this year.

But after making a few sales in the last month to bulk up (read start) our emergency fund, and ridding the Islands of a couple of legacy stocks that don’t quite fit in with the plan, an opportunity has presented itself to bring a few new residents to the Million Dollar Islands thanks to some recent cash inflows.

So I’m very excited to welcome ASX Limited (ASX:ASX) to Dividend Island! [Read more…]

Are the alternatives to early retirement just an ‘easy way out’?

Easy way out

Inertia is an incredibly powerful force in the universe. No matter what our life circumstances are, most of us find it immensely difficult to change direction. Our actions and habits become deeply ingrained in our system.

So when it comes to our financial lives, it’s all well and good to present great ideas, particularly when it comes to saving more of what you earn, but it’s just too easy to say “I can’t do that! I can’t make that change! Are you crazy!?”

I definitely say it myself. In fact, I’m absolutely a prime example of this. We have a pretty sensible budget with most things in our lives, so how on earth could I cut anything out? [Read more…]

Investment Plan Island Interview with….. Mr 1500!

1500 DaysWelcome back to Investment Plan Island!

Today we have the pleasure of talking to Mr 1500 from the fantastic and always entertaining blog 1500 Days to Freedom!

If you’re new here, this Island is where investors – beginner and experienced alike – come and share their own investing plans and philosophies, to give a unique investing perspective to readers, and to provide a platform for refining, tweaking or enhancing their own plan. [Read more…]

Million Dollar Islands update – June 2015

Island summary - 30 Jun 15

It’s time for another update from the Million Dollar Islands – and a milestone being the official half-way point of 2015!

For those who haven’t previously visited these Million Dollar Islands, the goal is to have these Islands collectively grow to $1 million before I turn 45 (around 11 years from now), as I highlighted in this post.

But as I mentioned last month, the Winds of Change were blowing across the Islands, which meant a little bit of tinkering during this month. I’ve continued to refine my investment plan to try and ensure there is less trading within the Million Dollar Islands going forward. I’m trying to reduce the noise, and keep things as simple but effective as I can, which is what Island Investing is all about. [Read more…]

Freedom is so much bigger than just financial independence

Freedom2

Freedom seems to be the single biggest thing that most of us humans wish for. I know I rarely stop thinking about it.

And for most of us, money is the golden tool that will set us free.

Like many of you, I’m a slave to my employer. With no other way to cover my living expenses for any significant period of time, I have no choice but to show up every day, and do whatever I’m asked.

I’m a slave to the bank too. They are holding my house ransom, and if I don’t keep sending them their monthly demands, they can kick me out on the street. [Read more…]

Personal financial tracking tool – new to the Treasure Chest!

Dashboard

It’s the start of a new financial year, and what better time to start tracking your finances and getting a better handle on your money situation! (or perhaps to start using a fresh new template if you already track your finances!)

The financial benefits of simply tracking your money are enormous. Without regularly doing this, and having a good handle on exactly where your money comes from and goes, it’s so easy for those dollar bills to just melt away, leaving you with very little at the end of every month.

I’ve been tracking my finances as a monthly habit for a few years now, and it’s been immensely valuable for me personally. It really is a fundamental money habit, no matter what your financial or investing goals are. [Read more…]

2015 Goals Part 2: Non-financial goals, and reflections

reflections2

If you read the update on my three financial goals for the year, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m probably a little disappointed with the progress at the half way point through 2015.

But despite the relatively low self-assessed progress scores, there’s definitely been a slightly different story playing out over the past six months.

But before I reflect too much on the overall picture so far, it’s time to first review my progress on the non-financial side of things. [Read more…]

2015 Income Increase Initiatives – half-time check-in!

half time

Back in the distant past of January this year, I set some goals for 2015, and shared them here on the Islands of Investing to keep me accountable.

And just like a good Investment Plan, it’s important to take some time to check in along the way and make sure things are on track. That gives you the opportunity to make some changes to your behaviours or focus if needed, and also reassess that those goals are still important.

So as we near the half-way point of 2015, I’ve reflected on how I’m going so far this year.

I set five specific goals, with the first three being income and financial focused. These are the three I’ll look at in this post, with the final two and an overall summary to follow in the next post. [Read more…]