A General Discussion About Investing

A key trait of a successful investor is discipline. This characteristic is something that reveals the attitude of the investor and shows that they are as passionate about growing their investment as their financial planner.

What is not ideal from my perspective is where a person walks into my office with $200,000 and wants me to invest it and make them rich.  Doable, maybe.  However, a real requirement is an ongoing regular cash commitment by the investor, a commitment for 20 years minimum, a desire to keep the portfolio fresh and relevant and to understand (and accept) market risk.

For example, a person with $200,000 and a commitment to invest $5,000 per month will attract my attention.  This demonstrates a focus to regularly contribute to the portfolio and potentially invest additional cash when the market is down. From my experience, high income earners should spend about 25% or less on their homes (servicing their mortgage), invest about 25% of their income on the share market and other investments, pay tax of about 25%, and use the remaining 25% meeting their personal and discretionary needs.  The more someone earns, the percentage spent on their personal and discretionary needs will often be much less.  This could well release further funds for investment over the long term.

Young people who understand this concept will, by the time they are 40 years of age, have a sizable portfolio.  If they exercise the right financial choices, they will keep working, keep investing, and get the portfolio into a position that when they do want to retire, they can take an income from their investments and still see their funds under management growing.

As older age creeps up on the once young investor, often their attention is directed toward handing the wealth onto the next generation.  This is a big motivator as an investor gets older.  High net worth individuals do not want their wealth wasted or ripped apart.  They want to set up their affairs so wealth can be handed from one generation to the next.  This is inter-generational wealth planning.  There are literally thousands of examples around us where families have established this approach for the future.  But still, my guess is that only 1% of families really achieve this.  To put it quite simply, people get wealthy when they invest lots, control their spending and (most importantly) pass it onto the next generation.