Happy New Year to all !!
It's a nice time of year, I hope you've all had an enjoyable Christmas and new year with your friends and families.
It was great for us to be home, after missing so many Christmases away in the past decades.
I guess like many I've done my share of reflecting on 2015 and resolving for 2016... On the whole it was a pleasing year, we took the plunge and made the transition back to Oz. It's been quite an adjustment as I described in the previous post, but after recalibrating my expectations I'm finding a lot of happiness and satisfaction in this new life, we definitely made the right decision and no regrets !
Re: finances, it's been quite a big focus for me the past 18 months. it's now quite well on track. Asset allocation is largely on target. I would like to tone down finances and focus on different areas going forwards. There's a few more things to tidy up :
1. Write a 5 year plan : keen to sell two properties (leaving just one IP and our PPOR). Re-invest the funds in shares / FI / cash as per existing AA. These are the first properties we bought, have held them a long while. And they are located in perth which is a pretty tough market right now. No rush to sell, but definitely will move at least one of them (ideally both) in the next 5 years. And certainly to sell both in the next 10 years. In the 5 year plan, I'm going to estimate the proceeds (after CGT) from these sales, plus other income we expect in the next 5 years, less living costs, to work out the net savings/investment rate per quarter. And set a regular invest plan based on this. My idea is to spread it over 5 years instead of doing nothing until the property sells and then having a huge lump to deal with. I think this is not much work maybe 30mins or an hour max. And once I have this plan, the goal is to switch finances to autopilot mode, with regular monthly investments and minimal market watching in between (let's see how long this will last :) )
2. Write an eBook : I've been mulling the idea for sometime, and a recent exchange in the MMM forums put this back on my radar. There's been a lot of great exchange in the Australian investing Thread. I'm keen to summarise FFA's views on how to invest simply, based on my experience and what I've read and learned. I'm also keen to fundraise for a charity, so will be requesting voluntary (completely optional) donations to a yet to be determined worthwhile cause, for those who read the eBook and find it useful and decide they want to make a donation. The drafting is well under way and I'm tapping up some kind and knowledgeable souls from the MMM forum to give me feedback. Regarding the subject, it's going to be focused on simple investing. May aim is to write something helpful to a wide audience, and I believe simple index investing is an 80/20 rule approach. Actually even better really, since the final 20% usually detracts from performance rather than adding ! There's diminishing returns and then there's shooting yourself in the foot..... Aim is to have it out in Feb, so watch this space !!
Re: other goals/changes. We've decided to put the kids in childcare for a few days per week from Feb. We feel we need a bit more time to get our lives back. I've also started part-time work which might increase from 1 day to maximum 2 days per week. But in the long term (e.g. after 6 months or so) i'm thinking to go back to 1 day. I'm keen to spend more time in our garden which is a work in progress, to get back into some exercise, and socially to re-connect with old friends and make some new ones. Less time checking emails and online is also a goal (MMM forum only once or twice per week, let's see how long that lasts too :) )
Well, that's about it for now. I'm excited about the year ahead and hope you all have some plans and goals to look forward to!
A final thought that I read recently " Find happiness in the simple things. Life is short ! " - by kane cornes, reflecting on the sad and unexpected death of football coach and mentor, Phil Walsh