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The latest personal finance and investment news and views from Liz Koh

Liz koh

Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE)

It seems millennials don’t wish to get sucked into the rat race the way their parents did. The FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) is literally setting the world alight. FIRE is allowing people to retire as early as their mid-thirties. So how does it work? Early retirement is achieved by living life frugally, permanently. This does two things. Firstly, it enables you to pay off debt quicker and save mor...


Borrowing to Invest

There’s never been a cheaper time to borrow money, with some banks having dropped their mortgage interest rates below 4%. Rates this low make it very tempting to borrow more to buy a bigger house, add an extension, take an overseas trip, or trade in the car for a newer model. While borrowing to spend has a detrimental effect on your financial future, borrowing to invest can be a good thing. If you can borrow money at 4...


Give Happiness, Not Stuff

The countdown to the holiday season is on and we are heading into a time when people who love shopping can lose control of their finances. Overspending on gifts for others and on ‘stuff’ for the house has its roots in psychology. It is often a reflection of a need to be wanted and loved, to belong, to compensate for low self-esteem or to be admired by others. While lavish spending can provide a solution for these desi...


Help for Kids to Buy a House

It’s a natural instinct for parents to want to help their kids get a head start in life. A common goal for young parents is to save money to pay for kids’ tertiary education costs. However, that’s not necessarily the best way to help. For as long as student loans are interest free, it makes better sense for kids to borrow money to pay for study and to take as long as they are given to repay the debt. The biggest hu...


Keep Calm and Carry On Investing

More uncertainty in investment markets means more volatility and a need to review your investment strategy. It’s easy to invest when markets are rising, but when they fall your tolerance for risk can be pushed to the limit. Start with the basics. Focus on your goals and objectives. If you have long term investment goals, remind yourself not to get too distracted with short term changes in the market. Reversing your st...


Financial Independence For Women

There is an increasing trend for young couples to manage their money separately, unlike previous generations who pooled their financial resources. Women are becoming more financially independent, which is great, however there are a number of factors which mean that women lag behind men in the wealth creation stakes. Despite the push for greater pay equity, women still earn on average around 9% less then men. Female-domin...


Good Investment Advice

One of the barriers to people working with a financial adviser is knowing who to talk to. The relationship between an adviser and a client is founded on trust and it takes time to develop. There is an element of risk in putting your trust in someone when you don’t them that well, but there are some signals that can indicate whether you are talking to the right person. To begin with, it is really important that you like...


Spending the Kids’ Inheritance

Successive generations always seem to be better off than the last. Our parents had a better standard of living than their parents and our children seem set to have a much more than we ever had. For that reason, most retirees don’t seem very concerned at all about leaving an inheritance. However, despite having a desire to spend their own money, many retirees struggle with the idea of seeing their hard-earned wealth disa...


Starting Out as a Share Investor

Investing in shares is becoming a popular option with young people keen to get ahead. It’s much easier than investing in property. The entry cost is much lower (you can literally start with just a few dollars), you don’t have to borrow money to invest, there are no rules and regulations to restrict you, and you don’t have all the hassles of maintenance and dealing with tenants. There are several different paths you...


How to Be a Billionaire

They say the best way to become a billionaire is to act like one. You can find the secrets of billionaires in their values, beliefs and strategies which, if you study them, can guide you to great wealth. Strange as it may seem, extremely wealthy people are driven not by the pursuit of wealth but by a higher purpose. Take Warren Buffett who has become one of the wealthiest people in the world by investing in shares through...


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