When it comes to investing, knowledge is power. There are so many courses, books, seminars, and webinars available, that it can sometimes be difficult to find the truly best in their field and heed what they have to say. In every area of investment advice, there will be just a handful of people who are ‘head and shoulders’ above the rest.
I am a member of the Australian Investors Association who holds regular meetings throughout Australia and have a very informative website. At these meetings, they invite those they consider to be the best speakers in their field. I have been to three of these meetings in the last couple of months and I would like to share some of my experiences.
For the first meeting, the whole afternoon was given to Alan Hull, a leading expert on share investing using charts. My Alan Hull book dates back to the 1990s and I still use it as a reference for my Metastock charting software. He currently has three books for sale and one of those books will be my next book review in the series ‘Good Financial Reads’. Have a look at his website as there are also various courses and newsletters for anyone from the beginner to the advanced investor. For those who don’t want to be actively share trading on your own, I could recommend a service Alan provides called the ASX Top Ten. Allan keeps a portfolio, of which he shares the details with subscribers. What is interesting is that when markets are volatile, he will move investments out of the share market and into cash. In good years, his returns seem to be nearly double the ASX 200. In 2014 and 2015, when the ASX had a return of 1.4% and -0.8%, the returns of his fund were 7.4% and 6.0%. Alan also supports the ‘Sunday Traders Club’, who meet in Brisbane and Melbourne. This is a group of share investors who meet once a month. The format is a guest speaker, followed by a break for networking and Alan’s market review.
At the next meeting, Julie Dolan spoke about SMSF. This was a lively conversation, as it was the day after the budget, and nearly everyone had a SMSF and were obviously concerned about the changes to be implemented. Coming from both an accounting and financial planning background, Julie has a lot of experience and regularly lectures to the professionals in both groups. Julie runs a knowledge based learning centre for SMSF trustees called SMSF Blueprint. There are over 800 minutes of video clips which will tell you everything you need to know about your SMSF. You can download her free eBook with Top 3 SMSF strategies for Gen Y, Gen X and Baby Boomers. She also runs SMSF Consulting giving direct advice, but also through your accountant or financial advisor. If you have concerns about your SMSF and especially with the possible changes in the near future, I would recommend her services.
I finally had the pleasure of attending the Australian Investors Association’s annual celebrity lunch at Tattersall’s with guest speaker Roger Montgomery. Roger is one of the few fund managers who has been able to achieve good returns in both rising and falling markets. Like Alan Hull, he is not afraid of moving to cash when he can’t find good quality shares to invest in. I would urge you to visit his website www.montinvest.com and watch an interview he held with the Christopher Joye of Australian Financial Review on his philosophy of investing. For those of you who don’t want to be actively involved in share investing, this man appears to have the credentials and proven track record to both safeguard and grow your investment. He maintains that Australians who don’t invest in the international market are missing many opportunities. Roger does have a Global Fund and this is something even the direct share investor may consider to diversify their portfolio. He too, has a book VALUE.ABLE, which I shall also review in my series of ‘Good Financial Reads’.
The Australian Investors Association is holding its annual conference on Gold Coast between 7th and 10th August. If you want an excuse to have a winter break on the Gold Coast, you may want to look at the Agenda for their conference entitled Volatility, Risk and Reward, topics important to all investors. Regardless, I would recommend you join the association and share the experiences of many like-minded spirits.
Glenis Phillips SF FIN – Designer of Financial Mappers