From Consumerholic to Investorgetic®: Your Millionaire Path

From Consumerholic to Investorgetic®: Your Millionaire Path

New year, new opportunities to build your wealth

Forget New Year’s resolutions. If you want to make real financial change in your life, you need a strategy.

How many times have you made a resolution to lose weight, stop drinking, stress less and exercise more? We start off with the best of intentions, but without a solid plan, we quickly lose focus. Within a week or two, we resort to old habits. Nothing changes. It's the same when it comes to your finances. You cannot pay down your debts, build your wealth and achieve sustainable change without transforming your mindset and working from a strategy.

Take an honest look at your financial situation. Do you spend to live, or live to spend? We are a nation of Consumerholics: we rack up debt for things we don’t need and have lost sight of what is truly important.

How do we regain control of our money? How can we rediscover what truly matters?  

You must become an Investorgetic®

An Investorgetic® is someone who is passionate about building their wealth. They invest their money responsibly, are socially aware, put high value on their relationships and use their wealth and knowledge to help future generations.  Watch this short video for tips on what people are doing to become Investorgetic®:

If making ends meet is a struggle for you right now, this may seem unachievable. But it’s not. Anyone can become an Investorgetic®. It takes commitment, strategy and three fundamental elements:  

1.     Magna Vision

“Life should not be a series of busy nothings.” 

What do you want your life to be like? Be clear about your vision for the future. Let it light up every aspect of your life and form the basis of every decision. Where do you want to be in 30 years? Do you want to be debt-free, own your own home, have enough money so you can be self-funded at retirement? Think about the future of your children. Is it important to you to have enough money set aside so they can attend university? Remember, your mindset and the actions you take now pave the way for their own financial independence. Don’t let the next shiny, new thing make you lose focus of your vision. Every time you make a purchasing decision, ask yourself: will this help or hinder my chances of achieving my goals?

2.     Courage

“Be strong and courageous.”

I’ll be honest, letting go of your Consumerholic mindset isn’t easy. You’ll face many challenges along the way. It takes courage to embark on a journey of financial transformation. It’s natural to feel apprehensive and scared. They key is to remember your goals and not let fear impede your success and happiness. You deserve financial freedom. You deserve the life you want. Embrace this opportunity to change your life and muster the strength to deal with challenges as they come.

3.     Faith

“Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it will be opened to you.”

The journey won’t always be easy. There’ll be times when you question yourself; times when it all seems so hard. The key is to have faith in the process. It will work. If you have a solid system in place and take a long-term approach, you will gain control of your finances. You’ll not only survive, but thrive.

Best of all, you don’t have to work out your new financial strategy alone.

Over the next 12 weeks, I will guide you through the steps you need to take to make the transformation from Consumerholic to Investorgetic®. Stay tuned for next week’s article on how an Investorgetic® mindset can revolutionise your finances.

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Buy the book in either printed copy or ebook and learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

The Path of the Brave or the Path of the Kardashians?

The Path of the Brave or the Path of the Kardashians?

This is principle # 1 - how to integrate spiritual principles into your finances part of the 7 principles on how to build wealth with Money Intelligence. I will share the 7 principles in this blog and video for the next two weeks till New Year's  eve. If you believe in this message, please share with those you love. 

"Comparison is the thief of joy" Theodore Roosevelt

After spending 25 years working as a financial professional and listening to thousands of money conversations with people from all socio-economic, cultural and religious backgrounds, I can say that the biggest problem our society as a whole has is our relationship with money

Every social structure we have created, every social interaction we have, every relationship we pursue has money "stuck with it". I have made (and still do!) many money mistakes while having conversations in my meeting room with so many good people who are looking for a different way of living life but do what society expects them to do: 

"We bought the house on the beach because my sister in law bought one in the next suburb and now we are stuck with a huge mortgage. We know we can't afford it but we need to find a way to pay it off"

"I am making money in my business, I deserve an expensive car to impress the women" 

"Next year we will be celebrating our business success on our new expensive yacht and show it off for all to see that we made it"

"Life is what happens to you while you're having other plans" John Lennon

How we view money is the same way we view ourselves, life and relationships. Those views are a function of our social construct that determines as a whole what's acceptable and what's not.

What is acceptable now in this modern age is pursuing the lifestyle of the rich and famous, the successful and the visible: live the dream even if you end up mortgaging everything you own including your undies (well if you buy them on credit card you are mortgaging them!); send your kids to expensive private schools for future career connections while you draw down against your home equity and get in more debt; accept jobs that don't inspire you because you have to pay the mortgage and feel the need to reward yourself with an expensive leased car. You feel you need to keep the charade to keep it all going while you're dreaming of another life. 

How tiring is that? 

"I never lose, I either win or learn" Nelson Mandela

As 2016 comes to an end, I reflect on a challenging but spiritually educating year, once I accepted the hero's call to spread my message of Money Intelligence. Joseph Campbell outlines the Hero's Journey that we all go through once we answer the call to a new adventure. I took time to think about the year that's about to finish. I realised that I - like my clients who come to see me with money dilemmas - got caught in the same dilemma as well! I realised that the tiredness, the sickness and the mistakes made hiring the wrong people the past few months stemmed from my need to prove something to myself and others just like those who want an expensive leased car and I totally forgot why I wrote the book in the first place!

How tiring is that? 

We are all human and we fall into the trap of trying to prove something to someone or to ourselves. From my personal experience, this unconscious automatic need brings nothing but misery, costly mistakes, an unsustainable lifestyle and con artists who take advantage of our unconscious flawed desires. I conclude that this is a result of a weakness in one's heart. It's a weakness in my heart; a weakness in our hearts; a weakness in our society's heart. There is darkness in all of us and it manifests in needing to keep up with the Kardashians, forming hasty and weak relationships in business and life. Just watch the money go to waste!

"But like darkness present in us, light is in us too"

This light is what has carried humanity for thousands of years to this point. Our Hero's Journey should we choose to accept it, allows us to see our weaknesses but also gives us a chance to make a choice to use the strength in our hearts to rise above our weaknesses, our personal limitations, our limiting beliefs, and our need to prove all the time that we are worthy and that we are good enough to be loved and noticed. 

We are all on this human path feeling like life takes us wherever it goes. But it's not life that does that. It's our spirit forcing us to experience the good and the bad so that this weakness in our hearts can be strengthened by what we become aware of. Self awareness is the key to successful life, business, relationships and a rich and abundant life. Without this awareness, we would keep making the same mistakes while expecting a different result. It's not Money Intelligent, is it?

Watch this 1 minute video on money and spirituality before I conclude below how to "get out of the rut"

"Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave" Indira Gandhi

To let go of this weakness we must see that any failure is a lesson in training for success in another time and place. If we don't learn the lesson, we keep living the same ground hog day.

Forgiving ourselves and others (we are all trying to survive in our own way) is the first step towards strengthening our heart. This allows us to make courageous decisions and as a result actions that are aligned with our real true self. Who we are becomes a function of our heart's strengths not weaknesses. 

"The Path of the Brave or the Path of the Kardashians?"

For all those awesome people I meet who come to see me and for those who are destined to cross paths with me, I say to you that success in life, business and money comes when you choose the path of the brave and live your life according to your spiritual beliefs and according to your values. If things are not working for you right now, it's because of this spiritual mis-alignment.

Take the time this Christmas to ponder what went wrong, what went right and which path (the path of the brave or the path of the Kardashians!) you want to walk on in 2017 and beyond. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow as I share Principle # 2: Identify the Money Intelligence Values that most resonate with you and learn how to integrate them into your money practices.  

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

Build your Wealth with Money Intelligence - Introduction to 7 Principles

Build your Wealth with Money Intelligence - Introduction to 7 Principles

The Pension reality check - its days are numbered                                                

Australia and western governments across the world are facing one of the biggest challenges in the history of humanity: the increasing numbers of older people living longer on the pension. There are currently over 3.3 million of 65-year-olds in Australia and 84% of them are receiving the pension. This number is expected to double to 6 million by 2040. As the numbers keep on climbing in the next 25 years, the government will not afford to pay the pension, the related health and care costs without affecting the economy and sacrificing the future needs of the younger generations. 

What can Australia (and western countries alike) do to weather the increasing budget deficits as more and more people retire without adequate retirement savings? My professional experience tells me that the middle class must plan for a future without the pension and get off the Consumerholic treadmill by increasing its Money Intelligence level. 

My personal experience of dealing with hundreds of people over the years and having thousands of conversations in my office tells me that thankfully there is a solution to this impending crisis. The solution lies in shifting from a mindset and culture of entitlement to one of self-determination. It is the power of the individual: You can make faster change than big governments stuck with red tape and politics and this will eventually make the difference to society.  I share my Magna Vision in my book Money Intelligence® - Anchored in Values. MY Magna Vision for Australia is to see an improvement in the numbers from 16% to 50% of those retiring in the next 25 years to become self-funded retirees. If you increase your Money Intelligence™ (MQ) level, you will be able to build your wealth and achieve financial liberation. 

How do you build your wealth?

Watch this Introductory 2 minute video and begin Now your journey towards financial independence

 

The book’s main message is that you are not born with a Money Intelligence gene. Money Intelligence is learn-able and anyone can improve their MQ to change one’s human condition.  I am asking each individual to liberate oneself from the physiological survival of the 9-5 daily grind—stuck with a mortgage and in need of a steady income—by becoming financially liberated. Then you can turn your attention to big-picture issues that this world needs to resolve—care about the environment, alleviate poverty, uphold freedom and pursue fairness.

In the book, I weave my parents' business story in Ramallah, Palestine throughout and share my clients' money journeys as I unveil my Money Intelligence® (MQ) model. I share the values and mindset principles behind the model with you, the reader to help you increase your MQ by:

1. Redefining the concept of “Financial Strategy” as I assert that you cannot afford to make financial mistakes based on flawed financial assumptions. At stake is your retirement plan. 

2. Proposing that Mindset is the basis for MQ: It is Mindset that determines the outcome and you need to understand your Money Mindset, explore your values, understand how your money beliefs determine your thoughts and consequently shape your destiny. I present you with 18 values and 48 money mindset principles that form the basis of the Money Intelligence model.

3. Calling for the Individual’s Financial Transformation to bring about social change by:

a) Shifting your mindset from Consumerholic to Investorgetic® —a term I coined to mean someone who is passionate about investing with a focus on your financial future. Learn how I get to identify sound and effective financial strategies and how I use those strategies to set the financial plan.

b) Adopting the Investment Philosophy of Enough: Say no to greed and quantify your “enough money number” to retire on.

c) Becoming a Money Anchor: The Money Anchor is someone who believes that contribution, empowerment and compassion are the values you need to adopt in order to support each other starting with family, then society and planet Earth. The Money Anchor knows that giving of their time, knowledge and money is their way of following their life calling of contribution, empowerment and compassion. Without becoming a Money Anchor, money making is meaningless. 

To find out how you can build your wealth with Money Intelligence, begin your journey now and download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/

Printed and ebook copy purchase is available on SHOPIFY. Special Christmas book sale is on now from 12th to 23rd December 2016. 

Blog image: The Olive Tree by Natalie Najjar. Part of body of artwork created and featured in Money Intelligence® book

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

 

2036 AD: A future without the pension?

2036 AD: A future without the pension?

Christmas is a time to celebrate with friends and family. But as we rejoice and reflect on how lucky we are, the festive season can be an emotional and difficult time for those who struggle financially. 

Each week, 700 Australians celebrate their 65th birthday. This number will continue to increase as more baby boomers reach the golden age of retirement. About 84% of people aged 65+ end up receiving a part or full pension. For these people, everyday living becomes a struggle.

Our federal government has been increasing its borrowing every year for the past decade: from $59 billion in 2006 to $405 billion (and rising) in 2016. (For more information on this, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_government_debt)

Previous governments have missed countless opportunities to change the precarious course we are now on. After conducting extensive research while writing Money Intelligence®, I am convinced that our children will be the ones to pay the ultimate price of this nation’s Consumerholic culture.

There is a limit to borrowing. My belief is that people – as well as the government – should only borrow to invest, not consume. This is a line that’s been blurred the past 30 years – a result of misguided YOLO (You Only Live Once) values!

Our government envisages 25% of retirees will be self-funded in the next 20 years (an increase from the current figure of 14% to 25%). But this isn’t enough. I have a vision that by the year 2036, 50% of retirees will become self-funded.

I have faith that my generation – Generation X – will wake up from the trance of our Consumerholic culture. They will find the courage to face the reality that there will be no pension in 20 years.

So how can you prepare for a future without the pension?

It starts with a promise. Make the promise to yourself that you will become part of the 50% who are self-funded in retirement. No pension, no struggle, no reverse mortgage.

I am not trying to sell you anything. You don’t have to come and see me. I ask you to simply start taking control of your financial future now. Start small by saving in your home loan offset account, even if it’s $50 a week. Salary sacrifice, even if it’s a mere $20 a week.    

You need to build your saving muscle slowly, and with time you will become addicted to it. Yes, that’s right – saving will become your addiction! I have heard it from so many clients – people who started by saving small amounts and gradually built these amounts over time. Now, they’re hooked!

So, before the year ends I ask you:

1. What will you do differently this Christmas to make sure you don’t pile on more credit card debt?

2. What’s your 2017 money plan? What’s your big vision for the next five years? 10 years?

3. What small changes can you make to begin your journey to a self-funded retirement?

Why wait for the new year to get started on your money plan? Act now by downloading your FREE e-book, 8 Ways to Outsmart the Banks – 32 pages of simple and effective money management tips. If you like my money intelligence philosophy, you're welcome to buy the book Money Intelligence® (MQ) and learn how to increase your MQ and take control of your money. Think of it as a Christmas gift to yourself! Get your copy here.

 

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter—is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

Confessions of an Investorgetic®

Confessions of an Investorgetic®

It's 1st of December and the silly season is officially upon us! Tis the season to spend, spend, spend!

Do you buy more than you need during the festive season? It’s easy to get carried away. There are so many temptations: 2 for 1 deals; buy now, pay later; 12 months’ interest-free. We happily whip out our credit cards while “Jingle Bells” plays merrily in the background.
 
Meanwhile, our debt soars.
 
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can still enjoy the festive season without racking up debt.
 
The key is to discard your Consumerholic mindset for an Investorgetic® one.
 
Investorgetic® is a term I coined in my book, Money Intelligence®. While a Consumerholic consumes as much as possible with no regard for their financial future, an Investorgetic® thinks long term and is passionate about building their wealth.

So how can you be an Investorgetic® during the festive season?

  • Write a gift list. Set a budget and stick to it.

  • Think carefully about what to buy. Books for the kids can be enjoyed over and over, while toys might be played with for a day then thrown away.

  • Look at what you already have. Do you really need more “stuff”? 

  • View quality time with friends and family as a sound investment, rather than worrying about buying them expensive gifts.

  • Go on fun trips with the kids. Australia has so many beautiful places to visit over the holidays that don’t cost a thing.

  • Become more connected to your community by volunteering with an organisation you feel passionate about. 

With a little forethought, you can have a wonderful Christmas full of love and giving – without having to pile on the debt.
 
Here’s my five-step plan to help you become an Investorgetic® in 2017 and beyond:
  
Step 1: Money Intelligence® and 8 Ways to Outsmart the Banks
Want to know how you can beat the banks at their game? For the past few weeks, I have been sharing my money-saving tips in my 8 Ways to Beat the Banks blog series: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/blog/

These inspiring articles with practical plans of action are now available in the one e-book exclusively for every Winner Partnership client. Download your FREE copy of 8 Ways to Outsmart the Banks.

I also invite you to order Money Intelligence® as a Christmas gift for family and friends. You can DOWNLOAD the first three chapters here. To order the book, click ORDER BOOK
 

Step 2: MQ Investorgetic® Workshops
Learn how you can plan for a financially prosperous future at the MQ Investorgetic® Workshops. These workshops are FREE for Winner Partnership clients and available to the public for $34.95. Our next workshop is on 7th December 2016, from 5.15pm to 6.30pm at the Grace Hotel. Here is the link to register on Eventbrite. We will run monthly public workshops from January 2017 onwards. My mission is to educate as many people about money as I humanly can. You don't need to be earning or have lots of money to qualify. This kind of education is needed across society. 

Step 3: MQ budget coming soon! FREE for Winner clients and anyone who purchased Money Intelligence book
Plan for 2017 with our MQ budget! We are currently working on an easy-to-use budget for three types of people: single, couple and family. The MQ budget will be available FREE to download for Winner Partnership clients and anyone who purchased Money Intelligence® book. Stay tuned for the download link. We will email you before we break by 23rd December 2016. 

Step 4: Start your 2017 plan NOW  

We usually leave the planning for the new year when the new year arrives while we enjoy the silly season and get that credit card out of our pocket numerous times! It's like my dieting plan: indulge on the weekend eating my mum's delicious food and wait for Monday to start the diet! I have been doing Mondays for the past year every week!

Don't wait for Monday! Don't wait for 1st January. Begin thinking what your 2017 will look like now:

a) Take stock of your current assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe). Are you in the red or black?

b) Review your income and expenses. The best way to do that is to download 12 months of data (csv file) of every bank account and credit card you have and organise it on excel based on suppliers names and then add up what you spend on each. We have done this many times for clients and most get amazed and "shocked" at how much they spend on take aways! We always find savings for our clients as we help channel the savings into "don't you dare touch" savings account so they can begin the journey of investing!

Step 5: Join Susan's Investorgetic® movement and become money intelligent

Becoming Investorgetic® is not as glamorous as being a Consumerholic. I can't compete with Isla Fisher's Confessions of a Shopaholic movie! But we all know that it's the Investorgetic® who will have the last laugh this silly season and beyond. Join my Investorgetic® movement and let's increase your MQ. Move over Isla, here comes Susan!!

 

Wishing you love, peace and Investorgetic® spending this holiday season!
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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter—is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

The Future is Super and Super is the Future!

The Future is Super and Super is the Future!

Think you’ve got plenty of time to worry about retirement? Think again.

The Turnbull Government recently passed legislation to change the definition and the objective of the superannuation system: “To provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the age pension.” For comprehensive reading visit Treasury website

What does this mean? Well, it means the pension will not be available for most middle-income Australians as it is replaced with the superannuation system.

So, if you are not saving at least 20% of your income, whether inside or outside of your super fund, you will not have enough money to retire on.

To survive, you will need to take drastic measures – such as a reverse mortgage. This is where you borrow against the home you spent 30 years paying off. Brilliant idea? No!

But it’s not all bad news. This Christmas, I come with good news!

To retire comfortably, you need to save 20% of your income. But you only need to start actively saving 10.5% of your income now.

You see, your employer/business already saves 9.5% of your income into your super fund. So, all you need to do is tweak your budget to find a further 10.5% of savings.

That 10.5% will tip you over the line from being a Consumerholic (someone who consumes as much as possible with no regard for their financial future) to an Investorgetic® (a term I coined to mean someone who thinks long term and is passionate about building their wealth). It is the difference between suffering in retirement and thriving.

Is it going to be hard to save 10.5%? No!

Truth be told, it will hurt a little in the beginning. But you’ll be surprised at how quickly saving becomes a habit!

You may be thinking: “How, Susan, how? I can barely make it to the month’s end!”

Here are 3 easy ways to start saving now:

1. Begin with Savings in Mind®: start by putting aside $50 a week. Place it into an interest-bearing account you aren’t allowed to touch. Add an extra $5/$10 a week, every second month, and see how quickly your savings grow. 

2. Work on your budget. Know what your monthly expenses are and manage your accounts on a monthly basis. 

3. And before you go Christmas shopping, make a gift list and don’t blow your budget!

Remember, if you want to become an Investorgetic®, download the first three chapters of my book Money Intelligence here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/

Susan’s upcoming event on Money Intelligence – How to Take Control of Your money is on 7th December 2016 at The Grace Hotel. Here is the link to register on Eventbrite 

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

 

Money Intelligence took over my fetish for coloured skirts!

Money Intelligence took over my fetish for coloured skirts!

We all have weaknesses. Mine is skirts – coloured skirts, to be exact! Some of the skirts I own I haven’t even worn yet!

This festive season, I have made a commitment to not go shopping for clothes. And to wear all my coloured skirts!

Why? Well, since writing Money Intelligence®, I have focused on what’s truly important to me. And it’s not the skirts! I did a stock take of everything I own and concluded that I have too much “stuff”. The most important thing to me in the second half of my life (I am over 40 now but not yet 50!) is to make a difference.

I have another 30 good years (God willing, of course!) to make this world better before I leave it. Some of you know how passionate I am about social justice, the environment and human rights. I have many interesting conversations with my awesome clients in my meeting room!

I am passionate about making a difference in Australia. It pains me to see so much of this country’s potential being stripped away because we are a nation of Consumerholics.

Consumerism is now so ingrained that credit cards have become our cash accounts. The maxed-out mortgage is another “account” we use to maintain our materialist lifestyles, forcing us to work in family-unfriendly jobs for 30 years or more.

I have had thousands of money conversations with people from all walks of life during the past 21 years. The one thing they all say is: “I need to pay off my big mortgage.”

But what worries me more than paying off the big mortgage is this:

How will you live in retirement? 

Would you be able to live on the pension? If you are accustomed to a middle-class lifestyle with an annual household income of $150K to $250K, could you survive on $22,804.60 per single or $34,382.40 per couple?

And that’s assuming the pension will still be available in 15 to 20 years’ time.

You cannot rely on the pension in retirement. You need to plan. The first step is to ask yourself: What is truly important to you? Is it spending your income on “stuff” – fine clothes, brand names, expensive dinners? Or is it nurturing relationships and investing your time in family and friends? Is it saving and investing your money wisely so you can retire in comfort?

You CAN plan for a prosperous retirement. Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter for my tips on how you can retire and thrive!

Download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/

Want 2017 to be your year of financial success?

Get a head start on your plan for a strong financial future and download my FREE 32-page e-book, 8 Ways to Outsmart the Banks, these Christmas holidays. This inspiring e-book is jam-packed with simple, actionable steps that will create real change in your life. Best of all, it is FREE. Download your copy here. If you are having trouble downloading the Ebook, email Janette at reception@winnerpartnership.com

Download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/

Susan’s upcoming event on Money Intelligence – How to Take Control of Your money is on 7th December 2016 at The Grace Hotel. Here is the link to register:https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/money-intelligence-workshop-learn-how-to-take-control-of-your-money-tickets-29570137076

_____________________________________________________________Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

8 Ways to Beat the Banks series: Part 8 - Set Your Own Standards and Don’t Mind Thy Neighbour!

8 Ways to Beat the Banks series: Part 8 - Set Your Own Standards and Don’t Mind Thy Neighbour!

This is part eight of my eight-part series on how you can beat the banks at their game and get yourself out of debt.

Have you ever rushed out to get the latest iPhone, even though you were in no need of a new phone? Everyone else seems to line up to buy the newest, most expensive mobile technology – so why shouldn’t you?

Or perhaps you’ve received a pay rise and have decided it’s time to upgrade your car. Or move into a bigger house in a better suburb. Or buy a TV as big as your wall. Because that’s what people do, right?

One of the biggest social diseases to inflict people across the globe is our preoccupation with “keeping up with the Joneses”. The irony is that while we are busy keeping up with them, they are busy keeping up with someone else!

It doesn’t matter how much you earn, there is always someone else who has more than you. Which is why it is so easy to fall into credit card debt. Even people with large incomes can easily get caught up in a cycle of debt as they constantly strive for “bigger and better”.

Credit cards make us feel as though we can afford anything. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. When people use credit cards to buy what everyone else is buying, it’s impossible to keep up. Their debt grows. All the income they work so hard for is spent paying off debts, simply so they can feel accepted by others.

What kind of lifestyle do you lead? Can you really afford it? Are you willing to lose financial stability simply to secure your neighbours’ approval?

There’s no joy in keeping up with the Joneses. When we preoccupy ourselves with what everyone else has, we lose sight of what is truly important to us. 

What’s more, the authenticity of our relationships is compromised. Do true friends accept you based on the way you dress, the place you live and the things you own? Would you be able to turn to these kinds of people for advice and support when things get tough?

I understand the need to be accepted by others. No one wants to feel inadequate. No one wants to be ridiculed, scorned or socially isolated.

But there comes a point when the comparisons need to stop. A point when you must choose between mere survival – living pay cheque to pay cheque, paying off mounting debts for things you don’t need – and prosperity.

 So how do you stop keeping up with the Joneses?

 1.  Say no to the notion that “bigger is better”.

 2.  Be comfortable with having enough.

3.   Set your own living standards based on values important to you.

4.   Keep these values in mind every time you make a purchasing decision.

5.    Set aside part of your income each week so you can build your wealth, rather than spend it on credit card debt.

When you have a vision that is Money Intelligent, when you choose a path of financial self-determination, “keeping up with the Joneses” simply does not matter. 

I hope this series on “8 Ways to Beat the Banks” has helped you re-evaluate your personal and financial goals. I hope it has given you a clear path to avoid unnecessary debt.

You have the power to take control of your financial future. With a Money Intelligent mindset, you have the money management tools to live a debt-free, prosperous life.download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter—     is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series: Part 7 - Patience is a Virtue Worth Practising

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series: Part 7 - Patience is a Virtue Worth Practising

This is part seven of my eight-part series on how you can beat the banks at their game and get yourself out of debt.  

There is no quick fix when it comes to building your wealth. If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Yet many people believe they can make “a quick buck” when it comes to investing.

Investment scammers encourage you to part with your money for dubious financial gain. They make promises of low-risk investments with high returns, usually involving shares or real estate. These kinds of offers are often made by cold callers or so-called “experts” at investment seminars, who claim they are giving you professional advice. In reality, these spruikers are pushing you to borrow large sums of money or buy investments on risky terms. It’s easy to be seduced.

Share trading is a big industry. It spans educators, share software and many other colourful products. But, as a financial strategist, I have not seen a single client who has gone down this path make any money. In fact, all of them lost their money. A couple of clients even had to sell their homes to pay down their losses. Share trading makes money for the promoters, nobody else.

So promises of quick capital growth will not build your wealth. There are two things that will build your wealth: Patience &  Discipline

There is no glitter to patience and discipline. No get-rich-quick promises. But they are essential to building your wealth and assets. These Money Intelligent® values, combined with a sound financial strategy, are what will bear financial fruit.  

Be disciplined enough to hold on to your investments for the long term. Don’t be tempted to cash in your assets for quick gain. If the value of your shares or property increases, use this increased equity to invest in more assets. As Warren Buffett says, “If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” 

If your investments are making a loss, then seek proper financial advice.

Be patient. Build your wealth and investments slowly: day in, day out; year in, year out. Maintain a long-term view of your wealth and don’t fall victim to a con artist who will only get you into more debt. Download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/

 Stay tuned next week for Part 8: Set Your Own Standards and Don’t Mind Thy Neighbour

 _____________________________________________________

Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter—     is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au

 

 

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series: Part 6 - Invest 20% and spend 80% of your income

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series: Part 6 - Invest 20% and spend 80% of your income

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of his country’s land and wealth belonged to just 20% of the population. To explain this unequal distribution, he created a mathematical formula – the Pareto Principle. Also known as the 80/20 Rule, the Pareto Principle means that 20% of something is responsible for 80% of the results. 

The Pareto Principle extends to our interpretation of how nature and the man-made world work. For example: 80% of a business’s sales are generated by 20% of its clients; 20% of staff cause 80% of a business’s problems; and 20% of staff provide 80% of production. Bearing in mind that the 80/20 formula is not set in stone, the ratio could be 70/30 or 90/10. But the theme is that the minority impacts the majority.

Pareto and your money

I have observed this principle in the way people manage their money. I have examined my clients’ budgets and can attest that it’s household expenses – the 20% – that get people into trouble. It’s not the mortgage; it’s not the recurring essential expenses such as electricity and rates that destabilise the household budget. It’s the spur-of-the-moment, emotional and non-essential purchases that undermine our finances – purchases such as takeaway meals, alcohol, entertainment and holidays. 

Imagine if you saved and invested this 20% of your income (9.5% super + 10% personal savings). You would be building your wealth for the long term.

We can see further examples of Pareto’s Principle negatively affecting our finances:

  • Most of us use only 20% to 30% of the clothes, shoes, jewellery, bags and make-up we own. The rest is worn only for special occasions, or perhaps too uncomfortable to wear at all, and remains idle in our cupboards. 
  • Most of the household items we own, such as towels, linen, cutlery, cups and pots, don’t get used. We find ourselves using the same towels and the same cutlery and plates. We leave “visitor sets” for when visitors show up, but 80% of the time they don’t. 
  • We leave 20% of our food and drinks, including milk and juices, in the fridge, unused, then throw them in the bin by week’s end. 
  • We keep unused food – such as tinned tuna, Spam, jam and Vegemite – in the pantry for months. We tell ourselves we’ll use these items to make a quick meal if we’re short for time, but we end up buying takeaway pizzas, burgers or Thai food. The tinned food ends up being thrown away months after expiry date.

Live by Pareto's 80/20 Principle

Wouldn’t it be life changing if you did a stock take of all the possessions in your cupboards and reviewed your inventory? Would you be surprised to find there are many items that have not been used for months, yet could still be used? 

How much money would you save if you committed to not buying any clothes, bags, shoes, jewellery, make-up, towels, cutlery, plates and bed sheets for a whole year? What would you do with the savings? 

Do you know how much you spend every year on building your inventory? It might be time you found out...

_______________________________________________________________________

Susan Wahhab is Founder and Managing Director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd

Susan is author of the transformational book Money Intelligence® - Anchored in Values, is a CPA, SMSF Specialist and a leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor.

Susan creates financially independent and confident women, turning fear into hope, insecurity into stability and dreams into action. With over 25 years experience in the financial industry, Susan equips women with the right tools, encouragement and guidance on how to become money intelligent.

 

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series:  Part 5 - Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Blind Your Better Judgement

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series: Part 5 - Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Blind Your Better Judgement

This is part five of my eight-part series on how you can beat the banks at their game and get yourself out of debt.

Do you tend to live on impulse? There is an element of romanticism to acting on a whim or a fancy. But in my professional experience as a financial adviser, I find that those who make drastic changes based on their emotions and desires struggle the most financially.

We all have made a hasty decision at some point. However, if you continually make major decisions without considering all your options or getting professional advice, you can set your financial position back years – even decades.

Let me give you an example.

I met my clients Joe and Maria in 1995. They had a couple of children, worked full time and had bought a modest home in Sydney. Although money was tight, they were able to make extra payments on their mortgage to pay it off more quickly.

Five years later, they called to let me know they had sold their home and were moving to Italy. “Joe wants to go back to Italy to be with his family,” Maria said. “We think we can do better financially there.”

Joe and Maria used the money from the sale of their home to buy a pizza shop and start a new life, in a new country, with their young children and furniture in tow.

Four years later, I received another call from Maria. “Italy didn’t work out,” she said. “Italy has changed and my husband didn’t like it. The pizza shop didn’t make us much money. So we’re back in Sydney with nothing but the furniture we took with us.”

But Joe and Maria had returned to a changed Sydney. What could have got them a three-bedroom house in the suburbs five years earlier could now not even afford them a one-bedroom apartment. Instead, they had to rent. A couple of years later, they bought a pizza shop, believing it would be the “cash cow” that would enable them to re-enter the property market.

But the shop struggled. Money was tight. Owning a home in Sydney became a pipe dream for Joe and Maria.

If they had consulted me before taking the leap and moving to Italy, I would have advised them to go to Italy, but keep their house in Sydney and rent it out. Take the time to figure out if they really liked Italy. If, in a couple of years, they still wanted to stay, then they could have sold their house in Sydney. That way, they wouldn’t have burnt their bridges when things didn’t work out. 

 So how can you avoid making hasty decisions that will cost you in the long term?

 1.      Think before you jump. Whatever you do, don’t simply jump! Wait and have a think about it.

2.      Seek financial advice. You may think you will save money by not consulting an accountant or financial adviser, but you’ll end up paying for it – and more – in other ways.

3.      Consider “what if” scenarios. What will happen if something doesn’t work out? How much will it cost you? What will you do?

4.      Have a responsible vision. You can be financially conscientious and still go with your dream. The key is to research as much as possible. What you think sounds great may be very different from reality, so arm yourself with information.

5.      Don’t beat yourself up. No one is perfect. We all fall into the trap of temptation and haste from time to time. But make sure you learn from your mistakes and don’t let your emotions dictate your life or your finances.

 Download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/ 

Stay tuned next week for Part 6: Live by Pareto’s 80/20 Rule.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter—     is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltdwww.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping people achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligentwww.moneyintelligence.com.au

 

 

 

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series:  Part 4 - Take Calculated Risks. The devil is in the detail!

8 Ways to Beat the Banks Series: Part 4 - Take Calculated Risks. The devil is in the detail!

This is part four of my eight-part series on how you can beat the banks at their game and get yourself out of debt.

Buying a house is an exciting, nerve-wracking experience. It’s one of the biggest financial decisions you will make. Yet instead of consulting an accountant or financial planner first, most people go straight to a mortgage broker to see how much money they can borrow.

It’s a common trap. The mortgage broker offers the maximum loan possible. People choose a home with a huge mortgage. It’s only after they sign the contract and move in that they start working the numbers. Then the money struggle begins.

Home ownership is a risk. Risk in itself is not a bad thing; if you don’t take some risks in life, nothing changes. Your wealth will not grow. But financial risks must be calculated. They must include a strategy based on your money context.

As a financial adviser, I see many people wanting to do things they cannot afford. They let their wants and desires drive their financial decisions. When finances become tight, they rely heavily on their credit cards. Their debt snowballs. This can be avoided if they create a financial strategy based on their income, repayments and realistic long-term goals.

Buying a house requires significant financial scrutiny. It’s a decision that determines what you can and cannot do over a long period of time. It determines whether you can buy investments such as shares or property, whether your children can attend private or public school, and whether you can salary sacrifice more into your super fund.

Ultimately, the family home determines whether you can become self-funded at retirement. Many retirees are asset rich and live in expensive homes in expensive suburbs, yet they are cash poor and survive on the pension. Could you live on $22,542 per single, or $33,982 per couple, for 20 or 30 years? Is that what you want your retirement to be like?

Calculated risk involves taking stock of all the extra costs home ownership entails: council rates, water, strata (if living in a unit), building repairs and maintenance. Renters wanting to buy their first home often overlook these costs. They compare their rent with mortgage repayments and are happy to see there isn’t much difference. Yet they fail to budget for the expenses paid for by their landlord. Once they buy their home and the bills start rolling in, they cover the extra costs with their high-interest credit card.

So how can you become more money aware and take calculated risks?

Work out your money context with an accountant or financial planner. Ask yourself the following questions to help understand what impact your decision to buy a home will have on your cash flow, tax position and family budget:

1.      Can I really afford the monthly home loan repayments, as well as council and water rates, repairs and maintenance?

2.      Am I prepared to pay the home loan over the next 30 years? How much do I need to increase the repayments to pay the loan in 20 years?

3.      Can I invest in other assets while paying off the home loan?

4.       How will the monthly repayments impact my budget?

5.      What if interest rates rise another 2%? Do I have a cash flow buffer to manage the increase?

6.      Do I have an emergency savings account in case the property needs urgent, expensive repairs?

7.      When do I need to renovate the house? Will I have cash set aside for renovations, or will I need to refinance? How much would that be?

8.      Can I afford any other investments while paying off the home?

9.      What if I stayed in rented accommodation instead, and bought investment properties based on a proper financial plan? What would the tax and cash flow consequences be?

Being too financially cautious will not grow your nest egg. But putting all your eggs into one basket won’t help, either. You need a middle ground – a calculated risk, using your numbers to work out your strategy – to ensure you don’t hit financial trouble and rely on your credit card to pay the bills.

Download the first three chapters here: http://www.moneyintelligence.com.au/free-stuff/ 

Stay tuned next week for Part 5: Don’t Allow Your Emotions to Blind Your Better Judgement. 

_____________________________________________________________________________

Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter—     is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership Pty Ltd www.winnerpartnership.com  

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence®. Susan is passionate about helping women achieve financial liberation. At the age of six, she witnessed how her money-savvy mum (whom she calls the money manager) joined forces with her dad (whom she refers to as the money maker) to save the family business from bankruptcy and become financially free. Susan truly believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au