Your personal financial register

Have you written a personal financial register, listing your super and non-super investments, your other assets, your income and any debts?

         

 

This fundamental task for managing your personal finances, investing and saving for retirement would often be left on a must-do-tomorrow list – and perhaps never done.

Behavioural economists typically rank investor inertia and procrastination high among behavioural traits that are enemies of investment success. And never getting around to preparing a personal financial register would often be part of that inertia.

A personal financial register – updated as your circumstances change – is critical for a range of personal financial issues. These include saving for retirement, preparing a personal financial plan, setting your portfolio’s asset allocation, controlling your spending and estate planning:

  • Preparing a financial plan: A good starting point for preparing a comprehensive financial plan, perhaps with the guidance of an adviser, is to prepare a personal financial register. You can then make more informed and realistic decisions – including about your long-term goals, targeted returns and tolerance to risk – for your financial plan.
     
  • Setting your portfolio’s asset allocation: An up-to-date list of your super and non-super investments is necessary to set an appropriate asset allocation for your portfolio. Repeated research, including by Vanguard, shows that a diversified portfolio's strategic asset allocation – the proportions of its assets in different asset classes – is the main cause of variations in its long-term returns.
     
  • Keeping your personal spending under control: A basic rule for investment success is to try to spend less than you make so as to have money left over to invest. An accurate personal financial register should help you to take a realistic approach to spending given your income and assets.
     
  • Saving for retirement: A financial register is necessary for estimating how much you will need to save for retirement. You can then plan how to save to meet your savings goals.
     
  • Spending in retirement: Without a personal financial register in place at the eve of retirement, retirees may have a poor understanding of how far their financial resources will stretch. This may lead to overspending or being too frugal given the state of your finances. And you may miss opportunities to more efficiently manage your investments and spending in retirement.
     
  • Estate planning: Having an up-to-date personal financial register is a central part of estate planning together with such tasks as making a Will and nominating beneficiaries for your super savings. A financial register should give you and, eventually, your intended beneficiaries a better understanding of your finances.

As Smart Investing has discussed, the last baby boomers celebrate their 70th birthday within the next 15 years as a growing proportion of the population reaches old age. This should underline the need to save for retirement and for estate planning – and that should include having a personal financial register.

 

Written by Robin Bowerman
Head of Corporate Affairs at Vanguard.
20 May 2019
 

More Articles

TRANSITIONING INTO RETIREMENT: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Deciding on your retirement funding options comes down to personal choice. . If you’re close to...

Read full article

The Deadliest pandemics in History

Check out the Deadliest pandemics in...

Read full article

Middle-to-higher incomes boosting SMSF growth

The SMSF sector experienced healthy growth over the March quarter, with men and women on middle-to-higher...

Read full article

The superannuation changes from 1 July

The super changes on the way from the start of the 2024-25 financial year. . A number of...

Read full article

Investment and economic outlook, May 2024

Region-by-region economic outlook and latest forecasts for investment returns. . For the last...

Read full article

Downsizer contributions can be time critical

With the expansion of the downsizer contribution, the timing of when it is used can affect how to use...

Read full article

Deeming freeze a win for Age Pensioners

Why the decision to keep deeming rates on hold may be a window for interest rates.   . In...

Read full article

Plan now to take advantage of stage 3 tax cuts

With the stage three tax cuts set to be implemented in around six weeks, opportunities for tax-saving...

Read full article

Sofie Korac is an Authorised Representative (No. 400164) of Prudentia Financial Planning Pty Ltd, AFSL 544118 and a member of the Association of Financial Advisers.

Financial Advice Sydney and the North Shore Office based in Gordon NSW

Financial Services Guide - Disclaimer & Privacy Policy

^