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Financial Planning

How Does Risk Change With Age?

How Does Risk Change With Age?

“Risk is how much can you lose and what are the chances of losing it” – Seth Klarman
 
3 min read
How Does Investing Risk Changes With Age

How Does Risk Change With Age?

“Risk is how much can you lose and what are the chances of losing it” – Seth Klarman

3 min read

Investing is a crucial part of financial planning, but the you take approach can vary significantly based on age.

However, it is not as easy as saying that younger investors can take more risk and older investors can take less risk. 

What is more prudent to consider is that younger and older investors have different risk tolerances and investment strategies due to their varying financial goals, time horizons, and life stages.

This could lead to older investors taking less risk than younger investors, but also younger investors taking less risk than older investors.

As with most things, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding the differences is key to crafting a suitable investment plan as, unfortunately, the answer to how much risk you should take is not quite so simple!

Risk Tolerance at a Younger Age

Younger investors, typically in their 20s and 30s, have a long investment horizon. This allows them to take on higher risks, as they have more time to recover from potential market downturns. The focus for younger investors is often on growth and accumulating wealth over the long term, though this is a generalisation and not true for everyone.

Due to an extended time horizon, younger investors can typically then afford to invest aggressively. They are more likely to allocate a larger portion of their portfolio to stocks, which, while volatile, offer higher potential returns.

This strategy aims to maximise growth during the early years of investing and can be seen as a comfortable way of investing when they have many years to recuperate any losses.

Risk Tolerance in Later in Life

Older investors, typically nearing or in retirement, naturally have a shorter time horizon. Their focus often shifts from accumulation to preservation of capital and generating income. This reduced time frame makes them less tolerant of high-risk investments, as they have less time to recover from potential losses.

However, this is again a generalisation and you could in fact have varying degrees of risk for different parts of your portfolio, subject to your needs.

To mitigate risk, older investors can adopt conservative investment strategies. This means that they allocate a larger portion of their portfolio to bonds, cash, and other fixed-income securities. These assets provide stability and predictable income, essential for funding retirement expenses. Please note, no investment is without risk and you could withdraw less than you invested.

Balancing Risk and Reward

Regardless of age, diversification remains a fundamental principle of investing. You can diversify to spread risk across various high-growth assets, or diversify to protect your portfolio from market volatility and preserve capital.

As investors age, it’s common to gradually shift their portfolio from aggressive to conservative. This strategy, known as “life-styling,” adjusts the asset allocation to reduce risk as the investor approaches retirement. This ensures that the portfolio is aligned with changing financial goals and risk tolerance.

The Importance of Personalised Financial Advice

It is easy to think “I am older now, I should reduce my risk tolerance” or “I am young and should take as much risk as I can.”

Well, individual circumstances differ and the above statements are not necessarily true.

Things such as financial goals, income needs, and personal risk tolerance should always guide investment decisions, no matter your age.

Whilst online resources can only take you so far, talking to a Patterson Mills Financial Planner can help you discover where on the risk scale you fit, regardless of age.

In fact, if you are young but plan to buy a house within 3- to 5-years, you may wish to consider a lower risk profile.

If you are older and envisage your portfolio lasting 20- to 30-years, you could consider a higher risk profile.

No matter your age, if you have financial goals you wish to meet sooner in life, and those you wish to meet later in life, you could take a proportion of your portfolio and invest in lower risk assets for those you wish to meet sooner, and could potentially afford to take higher risk for those you wish to meet later in life.

As you can see, one thing is clear; you need a tailored investment strategy that considers these unique factors, and Patterson Mills is here to give you just that.

The Best Way To Formulate Your Investment Strategy

In reality, you cannot paint any age group with the same brush.

If you are older, do not think you have to take less risk and, if you are younger, do not think you have to take high risk.

It all depends on your personal circumstances, risk tolerance, capacity for loss, financial goals, time horizon, and more!

So, look no further as your helping hand is just one e-mail or phone call away.

Get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

How To Build a Strong Investment Portfolio in 2024

How To Build a Strong Investment Portfolio in 2024

“Always keep your portfolio and your risk at your own individual comfortable sleeping point” – Mario Gabelli
 
3 min read
Annuity - Annuities - Should You Have One?

How To Build a Strong Investment Portfolio in 2024

“Always keep your portfolio and your risk at your own individual comfortable sleeping point” – Mario Gabelli
 
3 min read

Building a strong investment portfolio is essential for achieving your financial goals and ensuring you have the best possible chance to attain long-term wealth. 

With 2024 having brought it’s own challenges and opportunities so far, it’s crucial to stay updated with the best practices. 

So, today we are giving you our top 10 tips to building a robust investment portfolio.

1. Avoid Market Timing

Trying to time the market can be risky and often leads to suboptimal returns. Sure, you might get lucky, but sticking to a disciplined investment approach and avoiding making drastic changes based on market ‘noise’ is typically a sound strategy.

2. Assess Your Risk Tolerance

Before investing, take time to understand your risk tolerance. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to investing, as opting for a 100% equity index might work for your friends or people in online forums, but not be suitable for you. Investing is a personal exercise, and your decisions should be based on your profile and yours alone. Your risk tolerance is often calculated based on factors such as age, financial goals, and investment horizon.

3. Maintain a Long-Term Perspective

Investing is a long-term game. Avoid making impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations or the latest news headlines. Stay focused on your long-term financial goals.

4. Diversify Your Investments

Diversification is key to managing risk. Spread your investments across different asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities. This strategy helps mitigate losses in one area with gains in another.

5. Understand Tax Implications

Be aware of the tax implications of your investments. Utilise tax-efficient investment accounts, such as occupational or private pensions, to maximise your after-tax returns. Proper tax planning and taking advantage of tax-efficient strategies can enhance your investment performance.

6. Consider Global Exposure

You don’t have to limit your investments to your home country. Global exposure allows you to benefit from growth in different economies from around the world. Investing in international stocks and funds can also help with diversifying your portfolio further. Remember, there are increased risks with global exposure that, whilst not inherently an issue, it is important to make yourself aware.

7. Focus on Quality Assets

If you are looking to pick specific companies, invest in high-quality assets with strong fundamentals. Look for companies with solid balance sheets, consistent earnings growth, and competitive advantages.

8. Stay Informed

We mention this a lot, but financial education and literacy is paramount to successful financial planning. Make sure you stay up-to-date with market trends, economic news and what is going on in the world. Being informed helps you make better investment decisions.

9. Rebalance Your Portfolio

Rebalancing your portfolio involves ensuring your desired allocation is maintained on an ongoing basis. Sometimes, you may find a well-performing asset becomes a more significant percentage of your portfolio than you would like. Hence, rebalancing ensures that your portfolio remains aligned with your risk tolerance and investment objectives.

10. Regularly Review Your Goals

Life changes occur quite frequently! Things like career shifts, children, or unexpected events can impact your investment strategy and your financial goals. Therefore, it may be more important to regularly review and update your financial goals than you might think. After you have done so, you could need to adjust your portfolio to reflect these changes and stay on track to meet your objectives.

Laying A Strong Foundation

Building a strong investment portfolio will usually require more than just the above list, though now you know the basics, you can work towards financial success with ease.

For bonus tip number 11, the best thing you can do to build a strong investment portfolio in 2024 is actually to get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting. Our experienced Advisers will ensure you tick off all the above-mentioned points and more.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

What Is An Annuity And Should You Have One?

What Is An Annuity And Should You Have One?

“Here’s the bottom line about annuities; they’re confidence products” – Stan Haithcock
 
4 min read
Annuity - Annuities - Should You Have One?

What Is An Annuity And Should You Have One?

“Here’s the bottom line about annuities; they’re confidence products” – Stan Haithcock
 
4 min read

Annuities are designed to provide a steady income stream, typically for retirees.

They are insurance contracts where you pay a lump sum or series of payments in exchange for periodic disbursements in the future. Annuities can be a valuable component of a retirement plan, but they also come with complexities and considerations.

Below, you will found out what annuities are, how they work, the different types, their pros and cons, and whether you should consider having one. So, read on!

Understanding Annuities

An annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company.

In its simplest form, you make an investment in the annuity, and in return, the insurer promises to make periodic payments to you, either immediately or at some point in the future.

Types of Annuities

There are several types of annuities, each with unique features:

  1. Fixed Annuities: These provide regular, guaranteed payments. They are considered low-risk because the insurer bears the investment risk.
  2. Variable Annuities: Payments vary based on the performance of investments chosen by the annuitant. These offer higher potential returns but also come with more risk.
  3. Indexed Annuities: Payments are linked to a stock market index. They offer a middle ground between fixed and variable annuities, providing some potential for higher returns while limiting risk.
  4. Immediate Annuities: Payments start almost immediately after a lump-sum investment. They are useful for those needing income right away.
  5. Deferred Annuities: Payments begin at a future date, allowing the investment to grow tax-deferred in the interim.

How Do They Work?

When you purchase an annuity, you either make a single lump-sum payment or a series of payments over time. The insurance company then invests your money and guarantees to provide you with periodic payments for a specified period or for the rest of your life.

  • Accumulation Phase: During this phase, you pay into the annuity, and the funds grow tax-deferred.
  • Distribution Phase: In this phase, the insurer starts making payments to you according to the terms of the annuity contract.

The Benefits

Annuities offer several advantages, making them an attractive option for certain people. Here are a few of them:

  1. Guaranteed Income: One of the most significant benefits is the assurance of a steady income stream, which can provide financial security in retirement.
  2. Tax Deferral: Annuities allow your investments to grow tax-deferred, meaning you won’t pay taxes on the earnings until you start receiving payments.
  3. Customisable Payment Options: Annuities offer flexibility in how payments are structured, such as for a fixed period or for life.
  4. Death Benefit: Some annuities include a death benefit, which pays out to your beneficiaries if you pass away before the annuity is fully paid out.

The Drawbacks

Despite their benefits, annuities are not for everyone and do come with several disadvantages. Here are a few of them:

  1. High Fees: Annuities often come with various fees, including administrative fees, investment management fees, and surrender charges if you withdraw funds early.
  2. Complexity: The terms and conditions of annuity contracts can be complex and difficult to understand.
  3. Limited Liquidity: Once you invest in an annuity, your money is typically locked up for a period, limiting access to your funds. In addition, should the company paying you find themselves in severe financial difficulty, your income may cease.
  4. Potential for Lower Returns: Compared to other investment options, some annuities may offer lower returns, especially after accounting for fees and inflation. This means that you would be able to pay yourself more or earn higher returns if you were to retain your fund.

Who Should Consider an Annuity

In short, annuities are suitable for those who are looking for a ‘guaranteed’ income and like the security that comes with it. Provided all goes well with the insurer, it can be comforting to know exactly what you will receive and when you will receive it.

You also have the option to only use a certain portion of funds to buy an annuity, whilst retaining access to the rest aimed at higher returns and performance.

How To Choose The Right Annuity

Selecting the right annuity involves careful consideration of your financial situation, goals, risk tolerance and more.

The top 3 things you can do to ensure you are making the right decision are:

  1. Assess Your Needs: Determine how much income you need in retirement and whether an annuity can meet that need.
  2. Research Different Annuities: Compare the features, benefits, and costs of different types of annuities.
  3. Consult With Your Patterson Mills Financial Adviser: Our professional Advisers can help you navigate the complexities of annuities and choose the best option for your situation.

So, Is An Annuity Right For You?

Annuities can be a valuable tool for securing a reliable income in retirement, but they come with complexities and costs that must be carefully considered.

There are a myriad of options that go beyond the basics provided in this article, and this can be overwhelming for some. By planning early, doing your research, and consulting with Patterson Mills, you can make an informed decision about whether an annuity is right for you.

We are here to help you navigate the complexities of annuities and tailor the right strategy that meets your needs, whether that involves buying an annuity, or not!

Get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting to learn more about how we can assist you in securing your financial future.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

Holding Foreign Currencies To Get a Higher Interest Rate: Should You Do It?

Holding Foreign Currencies To Get a Higher Interest Rate: Should You Do It?

“Volatility gets you in the gut. There’s no question that when prices are jumping around, you feel different from when they’re stable” ― Peter Bernstein
 

4 min read

Higher Interest Rates - Foreign Currency Accounts - Exchange Rates - Should You Do It?

Holding Foreign Currencies To Get a Higher Interest Rate: Should You Do It?

“Volatility gets you in the gut. There’s no question that when prices are jumping around, you feel different from when they’re stable” ― Peter Bernstein

4 min read

We all want to get the most out of our money, especially when it comes to earning interest on our cash.

Sometimes, it may seem like the grass is greener on the other side, with foreign currency accounts offering higher interest rates than what is available in your home currency.

But is it really as good as it sounds?

It may seem obvious to gravitate towards the higher interest rates and receive more money each year. However, there may be more risks involved than you think.

Today, we are going to explore the ins and outs of foreign currency interest rates, and weigh the benefits and risks to help you make informed decisions about whether a foreign currency interest rate is right for you, or not.

Is Holding Cash in Foreign Currencies a Good Idea?

Opening an account in a foreign currency to capitalise on higher interest rates may seem appealing at first glance, especially if the rates offered are significantly higher than those available domestically.

However, whilst higher interest rates may enhance the potential returns on your cash, at least in terms of the actual figures you will see on your statement, they also come with increased currency risk.

Exchange rate fluctuations can significantly impact the overall return you receive, and could actually cause you to experience a reduction in purchasing power (i.e. lose money!).

Put simply, when placing funds in a currency other than the one in which you intend to spend the funds, you are making a bet that the foreign currency you choose will not lose value against your domestic currency by the difference of the increased interest rate you will receive.

Currency exchange costs, foreign transaction fees, and regulatory differences can all affect the net return, too. Moreover, navigating the regulatory landscape and tax implications of foreign investments may require specialised knowledge or professional advice, adding to the overall complexity and potential costs associated with utilising foreign currency accounts.

So, is it a good idea to utilise foreign currency accounts to get a better interest rate? Ultimately, it depends.

It depends on whether you are willing to accept increased risk, what your investment objectives are, and the broader economic environment at the time.

Whatever your decision, you should definitely be aware of a theory known as ‘Interest Rate Parity’.

What is Interest Rate Parity?

Interest rate parity is a concept in finance that relates to the relationship between interest rates and exchange rates in different countries.

Essentially, it states that the difference in interest rates between two countries should equal the expected change in exchange rates between their currencies.

In other words, if one country offers higher interest rates than another, its currency should depreciate relative to the currency of the country with lower interest rates to maintain equilibrium.

What this is saying is that your purchasing power won’t benefit from a higher interest rate in a foreign currency.

This principle is based on the idea of arbitrage, where people seek to exploit differences in interest rates and exchange rates to make risk-free profits.

If interest rate parity did not hold, it would be possible to borrow in a currency with low-interest rates, convert it to a currency with higher interest rates, invest at the higher rate, and then convert the returns back to the original currency, profiting from the interest rate differential.

Interest rate parity helps prevent such opportunities for risk-free profit, ensuring that currency markets remain efficient and prices reflect all available information.

Whilst interest rate parity provides a useful framework for understanding the relationship between interest rates and exchange rates, it is not in itself a perfect predictor of currency movements.

Various factors, such as economic conditions, inflation expectations, geopolitical events, and central bank policies, can influence exchange rates independently of interest rate differentials.

However, interest rate parity remains an important concept to know as, frankly, it’s saying there is no such thing as a free lunch!

Are Exchange Rates Really That Important?

In short, yes!

The volatility of currency exchange is not to be ignored. This refers to the degree of fluctuations or variability in the exchange rates between different currencies.

Currency exchange rates are typically highly volatile, fluxuating all the time. 

Why? Well, the fluxuations are influenced by a myriad of factors, such as those mentioned for interest rates above, and present risks that you may not have considered.

Currency volatility adds an additional layer of uncertainty, so you may have thought you can get 2.00% interest for 1-year in your home country, and 5.00% for 1-year using foreign currencies and that’s great, right?

Well, if your domestic currency increases in value by 10% against that foreign currency, you actually have made a loss of 7.00% if you then convert it back into your home currency to spend.

The problem is, no matter what the past performance of a currency has been, the future is not known and the unexpected can happen!

Knowledge is Power, But What's The Answer?

There are two sides to every coin.

In this case, on the one side you make a loss from adverse currency fluctuations, and on the other side you make a profit from advantageous currency fluctuations.

If it goes your way, that would be great. The truth is, there is just no way of knowing.

This is why it is mentioned above that whether or not it is right for you really depends on your risk appetite, capacity for loss and personal circumstances.

Importantly, holding cash is investing, and this is even more true for those holding cash in a currency other than that in which those funds will be spent.

The key to success is that you need not make these important decisions alone.

Patterson Mills is here to guide you every step of the way and assist you in making the decision that is right for you and your financial future.

Get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

Should You Rent or Buy Your Home?

Should You Rent or Buy Your Home?

“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful” ― Hazrat Inayat Khan

3 min read

Should You Rent or Buy Your Home?

Should You Rent or Buy Your Home?

“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful” ― Hazrat Inayat Khan

3 min read

In the never-ending debate between renting and buying a home, you won’t be surprised to read that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Both options come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the decision ultimately depends on various factors unique to your circumstances.

That being said, once you have read this article you will have a much better idea of the considerations to make to find out which one suits you best!

Why Might You Rent a Home?

A key aspect of renting is that it offers the flexibility and freedom that buying does not. It’s a suitable option for those who prefer not to be tied down to a particular location or property for an extended period of time. You would have the flexibility to move to different city or country without the hassle of selling a property. This can be an excellent choice if you are unsure about your long-term plans and prefer not to commit to a specific location.

Moreover, there are far fewer upfront costs involved when renting compared to buying that means there is a lower financial barrier to entry when renting. Whilst you may need to pay a deposit and possible X month’s rent in advance, there are usually much higher upfront expenses involved for homeowners. So, renting can be advantageous for those who are saving up for a down payment or prefer to invest their money elsewhere.

Subject to your rental agreement, you are likely to not be responsible for property maintenance, repairs, or other unexpected expenses associated with homeownership. Instead these tasks could be handled by your landlord or property management company, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your life without the added burden of maintenance.

Why Might You Buy a Home?

On the other hand, homeownership could also be beneficial, and one of the most significant benefits is building equity.

Unlike renting, where monthly payments go to pay your landlord, if you were to buy your home, you would (hopefully!) gradually build equity in your property over time through either paying off a mortgage or your property increasing in value.

This can serve as a valuable asset and source of wealth accumulation, and from this you may even have the opportunity to leverage your property’s equity for other purposes, such as home improvements, education expenses or otherwise (talk to your Patterson Mills Adviser before doing so!).

Additionally, you would have the freedom to customise and personalise your living space according to your preferences. From knocking out walls to landscaping, the autonomy to make such changes is yours without having to seek permission from a landlord.

Owning your home can also provide a sense of stability and security, knowing that you have a place to call your own and be part of a local community of your choice. This is often seen as a milestone and significant investment for many individuals and families.

Buying Versus Renting: Quick Comparisons

When comparing buying and renting, several factors come into play that can influence the decision-making process. Below you will find a simple list of comparisons between the two.

  1. Financial implications
    1. Renting typically involves lower costs though does not have the opportunity for wealth accumulation through the property value or paying off any mortgage.
    2. Buying a home often requires a substantial down payment, higher ongoing costs and maintenance. However, when you own your home, you have the potential for equity accumulation, whilst renting does not provide this wealth-building opportunity.
    3. The right option here for you cannot be said in this article, as it is specific to your financial situation. Buying a home wins on the opportunity to build wealth over time, whilst renting (though not the case in all instances) is likely to win on affordability.
      1. This can change greatly subject to the areas in which you are looking to buy or rent and other circumstances, so make sure to do your own research or talk to your Patterson Mills Adviser.
  2. Flexibility
    1. Renting provide more flexibility in terms of mobility, allowing you to easily relocate or adjust your living arrangements without the burden of selling a property or having any ties to a specific area.
    2. Buying offers stability and flexibility in terms of having the freedom to personalise and invest in the property.
    3. Renting wins on having the most mobility flexibility, whilst buying wins on personalisation.
  3. Stability and Community
    1. Renting may struggle here, subject to how long you stay in one place and whether your landlord continues to rent the property in which you live. Whilst it would indeed be possible to remain in one place for a significant period of time and build valuable friendships in your local area, you may find a lack of stability in knowing how long you would be able to remain, or knowing that you won’t remain for long.
    2. Buying often allows you to feel safe and secure knowing that your property is your own and enables you to have a sense of security and stability as it would be your own decision as to whether you leave the area in which you live, or remain. 
    3. Renting has potential, though in this category would be subject to your rental agreement and the landlord’s future objectives for the property. Buying is likely to provide more security and stability, and so wins on this category.

Which One Is Right For You?

Market conditions and local real estate trends play a significant role in the comparison between buying and renting. In some markets, buying may be more financially advantageous due to lower mortgage rates, favourable home prices, and potential tax benefits. Conversely, in areas with high property prices or volatile housing markets, renting may be a more practical and cost-effective option in the short term.

Evaluating these market dynamics and considering future projections can help yo make informed decisions that align with your financial goals and lifestyle preferences.

The best part is, you don’t have to work it out alone.

Patterson Mills is here to help you every step of the way and assist you in making the decision that is right for you.

Get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

“Financial literacy lessons should be introduced at an early stage of schooling. Basic concepts like budgeting, saving, and the importance of credit should be integrated into the curriculum” ― Linsey Mills

3 min read

Relationship With Money - How Do You Make Financial Decisions

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

“Financial literacy lessons should be introduced at an early stage of schooling. Basic concepts like budgeting, saving, and the importance of credit should be integrated into the curriculum” ― Linsey Mills

3 min read

As parents, one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the knowledge and skills to navigate the world of money with confidence. Teaching kids about money from a young age sets the foundation for a lifetime of financial responsibility and success.

Today, we are providing you with the top 5 areas to start with to improve your children’s financial literacy.

Start Early with Basic Concepts

Introducing basic money concepts to children as early as 3- to 5- years of age can be highly beneficial to a child’s development.

Of course, this does not mean showing them online courses or 45-minute videos, but you can use everyday experiences like shopping trips or providing an allowance to teach them about coins, notes, and simple transactions. This engages them in counting money, distinguishing between different currency amounts, and understanding the value of each.

Another helpful tool is to utilise hands-on learning by allowing your children to handle coins and notes, fostering a tangible understanding of currency. Should this become part of their daily or weekly routine, children can develop a strong foundation that sets them up well for the future.

Teach the Importance of Saving

Accumulating savings is an important aspect of financial success. If you provide an allowance, emphasise the importance of saving a proportion for short-term and long-term goals. For a child, this is likely to be for items such as toys, gadget or perhaps more longer-term goals like future education expenses.

Provide them with piggy banks or clear jars to visually track their savings progress, too. Teach them the concept of delayed gratification by setting goals and rewarding them when they achieve them through saving. Making the process fun and visual is a great way to keep your children interested in the topic!

Additionally, involve your children in decision-making processes when it comes to spending and saving. For example, when they receive money as a gift, discuss with them the options of spending it immediately versus saving it for something they truly desire. This encourages them to think before they spend and make informed choices whilst also developing a sense of ownership over their own financial decisions.

Make Learning Fun with Games and Activities

Create games and activities, and use interactive tools to make learning about money enjoyable for kids. For example, board games like Monopoly or The Game of Life offer opportunities to teach concepts like budgeting, investing, and risk management in a playful manner.

You also have access to online resources, apps, and educational websites that can provide engaging ways to learn about money management and won’t take up 3- to 6-hours of your weekend!

Moreover, consider planning family activities that involve financial decision-making, such as planning a budget-friendly outing or setting up a pretend shop at home where children can practice buying and selling items using play money. Hands-on experiences like these not only reinforce essential basic financial concepts but also promote critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork skills in a fun way that they are more likely to remember.

Practice Responsible Spending

Teach your children the value of responsible spending by involving them in (age-appropriate) decision-making processes. Give them opportunities to make choices about spending their allowance or gift money, emphasising the importance of needs versus wants and prioritising purchases. Compare shopping styles and discuss the impacts of impulsive buying.

You could even consider implementing a ‘savings matching’ scheme where you match a percentage of your child’s savings contributions, incentivising them to save more and spend wisely. This not only reinforces the habit of saving but also teaches the concept of delayed gratification and the rewards of positive financial behaviour.

As your children become more financially literate, gradually introduce them to more complex topics like budgeting for larger expenses and understanding the impact of interest rates on loans and savings.

Lead by Example

Perhaps the most important point in this article, and one of the best ways to teach your kids about money, is by modelling responsible financial behaviours yourself.

Be transparent about money matters, involve children in family financial discussions, and demonstrate responsible financial habits like budgeting, saving, and investing. Use real-life examples to illustrate financial concepts and reinforce the importance of smart money management.

Explain the decisions you make and the reasons behind them, showing them practical applications of good financial principles. By seeing your financial decisions first-hand and understanding the rationale behind them, children can develop a deeper appreciation for the value of money and the importance of making informed choices.

Start Educating Early

Teaching children about money from an early age is one of the greatest gifts you can give for their future financial success. You are able to instil habits that will last throughout their lives and enhance their decision making immensely.

With Patterson Mills, we provide various resources and guidance that can assist you in teaching your children about money. In fact, for our private Clients, you can even bring them along to a meeting if you wish!

The main point to take from this article is that a financial education is invaluable for your children and, together, we can assist the next generation in achieving achieve financial independence and success.

So, get in touch with Patterson Mills and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting. Both you and your children will be glad that you did.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

The Impact of Global Events on Financial Markets

The Impact of Global Events on Financial Markets

“The markets are like a weather; you may not like it but you have to bear it” ― Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

5 min read

The Impact of Global Events on Financial Markets

The Impact of Global Events on Financial Markets

“The markets are like a weather; you may not like it but you have to bear it” ― Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

5 min read

Global events, ranging from political upheavals and geopolitical tensions to natural disasters and beyond, have an undeniable impact on financial markets worldwide. Such events can trigger significant volatility in financial markets and your investments, causing fluctuations in stock prices, currency exchange rates, and commodity markets. 

The interconnectedness of global economies means that disruptions in one area can quickly ripple across borders, affecting investors and businesses worldwide. Hence, it is important that you are aware of how global events influence market dynamics to be able to navigate uncertainty with confidence and continue making informed decisions.

Luckily, that is what our article is all about! Make sure you read to the end to gain a complete understanding of the what, the how and the why about the impact of global events on financial markets, and how you can optimise your investments effectively.

Heightened Market Volatility

Global events often trigger heightened market volatility as investors around the world react to uncertainty and risk. Sharp fluctuations in stock prices, currency exchange rates, and commodity markets are common during such periods.

However, it’s crucial to differentiate between short-term market reactions and long-term investment fundamentals.

Avoid making impulsive decisions based solely on market volatility or news headlines and stay focused on your long-term financial plan and investment goals whilst maintaining your diversified portfolio. In this way, you can weather the storm (short-term fluctuations) and position yourself for long-term financial success. 

In fact, you may find opportunities to acquire some assets at discounted prices, thereby capitalising on market volatility to enhance long-term returns. However, such action should only be taken in discussion with your Patterson Mills Adviser.

Ultimately, by understanding the impact of global events on market volatility and maintaining a disciplined investment approach, the aim is then that you are able to navigate uncertain times with confidence and resilience.

Examining Historical Events

We can learn much from looking at historical events. There are important lessons about market behaviour and the effectiveness of various investment strategies during times of crisis. For instance, the 2008 financial crisis highlighted the importance of risk management and the potential pitfalls of excessive leverage in financial markets. Similarly, the recent pandemic underscored the significance of diversification and the resilience of certain sectors, such as technology.

Geopolitical tensions, such as trade disputes or military conflicts, have also shown how market sentiment can shift rapidly in response to geopolitical developments, emphasising the need for vigilance and adaptability in investment decision-making.

Overall, drawing such insights from historical events will enable you to perhaps better anticipate market reactions, mitigate risks, and capitalise on opportunities in what has proven to be an ever-changing global landscape.

Strategies You Can Use To Navigate Uncertainty

As usual, we aren’t just going to tell you what happens without providing any strategies to mitigate the negative impact on your investments!

In short, diversification, asset allocation, and risk management play crucial roles in mitigating downside risks and capturing potential upside opportunities. Additionally, staying informed, maintaining a long-term perspective, and avoiding impulsive reactions are essential principles for successful investing.

For some more detail, maintaining a diversified investment portfolio across different asset classes can help spread risk and reduce the impact of market volatility on overall returns. If one asset you hold goes down, the objective is that other assets you hold will have gone up! What’s more, asset allocation strategies that are tailored to your risk tolerance and investment objectives provide a framework for balancing risk and reward effectively. 

You can also take more proactive risk management measures, such as setting stop-loss orders or regularly monitoring and rebalancing your portfolio.

There are many more strategies you could use, though this article would become substantially longer, so contact Patterson Mills to find out more!

Looking Ahead

As global events continue to shape financial markets, you should consider focusing on building a resilient portfolio with your Patterson Mills Adviser.

Whilst the strategies and information presented in this article can be a useful guide in helping you build such a portfolio, nothing is guaranteed. However, for the best possible chance of success, get in touch with Patterson Mills and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting. You will be pleased that you did!

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

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Financial Planning

Printing Money: What is Quantitative Easing?

Printing Money: What is Quantitative Easing?

“Printing money is merely taxation in another form” ― Peter Schiff

5 min read

Printing Money - Quantitative Easing

Printing Money: What is Quantitative Easing?

“Printing money is merely taxation in another form” ― Peter Schiff

5 min read

Quantitative Easing, a tool in the arsenal of central banks, has become increasingly prominent in monetary policy. This approach involves the deliberate and substantial purchase of financial assets, most commonly government bonds, by the central bank. The ultimate goal is to influence (increase) the money supply, interest rates, and overall economic activity.

Today, we are looking at the dynamics of Quantitative Easing and finding out why it may be useful, why it may be bad, and what it’s all about! Read on to find out more.

Defining Quantitative Easing

Unlike traditional monetary policies that involve adjusting short-term interest rates, Quantitative Easing focuses on expanding the money supply and influencing long-term interest rates. The central bank achieves this by purchasing financial assets, as mentioned above these are primarily government bonds, from the market. The objective here is to inject a significant amount of money into the financial system, encouraging lending, investment, and overall economic growth.

At its core, the actual process of Quantitative Easing involves the central bank creating new money electronically. This newly created money is then used to buy financial assets and in doing so, provides the institution from which the assets were bought with with additional liquidity.

In its simplest form, Quantitative Easing is the process of printing money (but, legally!) to increase the supply of money in an economy.

The Positive Side

Below we provide some of the positives to Quantitative Easing and how it attempts to benefit an economy:

  1. Stimulating Economic Growth: At its core, Quantitative Easing operates as an engine for economic growth. By injecting a substantial amount of money into the financial system, central banks aim to boost spending and investment. As this newly created money circulates through the economy, businesses find themselves with enhanced liquidity, which, in turn, fuels expansion, job creation, and a general uptick in economic activity.

  2. Lowering Interest Rates: One of the primary mechanisms through which Quantitative Easing exerts its influence is by manipulating interest rates. As the central bank engages in large-scale bond purchases, it effectively increases demand for these securities, driving up their prices. Conversely, when bond prices rise, yields fall. This phenomenon leads to a lowering of interest rates across the spectrum. The strategic intent here is to incentivise borrowing, both for businesses seeking capital for expansion and individuals considering major purchases like homes or automobiles.

  3. Fighting Deflation: In the face of deflationary pressures, Quantitative Easing serves as an antidote. Deflation, characterised by a sustained decrease in general price levels, can be detrimental to economic health as it encourages consumers to delay spending in anticipation of lower prices in the future. By flooding the market with additional money, Quantitative Easing stimulates demand, helping prevent the onset of a deflationary spiral.

The Negative Side

Naturally, there are also some downsides, too! A few of these are as follows:

  1. Wealth Inequality: Whilst Quantitative Easing aims to bolster economic activity, its benefits are not always distributed equitably. One of the major criticisms is its potential to exacerbate wealth inequality. As the central bank’s asset purchases drive up the prices of financial assets, those who hold significant investments in stocks and bonds reap substantial gains. On the other hand, those without significant financial holdings might not experience a proportional improvement in their economic circumstances.

  2. Market Distortions: The sheer magnitude of funds injected into financial markets during the Quantitative Easing process can create distortions. Asset prices, including those of stocks and real estate, may experience substantial inflation. This, in turn, can lead to speculative bubbles and misallocation of resources as investors chase returns in an environment where traditional valuation metrics may become disconnected from economic fundamentals.

  3. Interest Rate Risks: As central banks persistently engage in Quantitative Easing, they face challenges when attempting to normalise interest rates. A prolonged period of low interest rates can create a sense of dependency, making it difficult to implement rate hikes without unsettling financial markets and the broader economy. Striking the delicate balance between stimulating growth and avoiding excessive risk-taking becomes a crucial task for monetary authorities.

Should Quantitative Easing Be Used? If So, When?

The use of quantitative easing is a complex decision that depends on various economic factors, and its appropriateness is often subject to debate among policymakers and economists to this day.

Quantitative Easing is typically considered when traditional monetary policy tools, such as adjusting interest rates, prove insufficient in addressing economic challenges, especially during periods of economic downturns.

So, when should it be used? Here are a few key considerations as to when and if Quantitative Easing should be employed:

  1. Economic Downturns and Deflationary Pressures

    1. For example, when an economy is facing a severe recession, high unemployment, and deflationary pressures (falling prices).

    2. How does Quantitative Easing help? It can stimulate economic activity by injecting liquidity into the financial system, lowering interest rates, and encouraging borrowing and spending.

  2. Ineffective Conventional Monetary Tools:

    1. For example, when central banks have already lowered interest rates close to zero, and further rate cuts are deemed ineffective.

    2. How does Quantitative Easing help? It becomes an alternative tool to influence long-term interest rates and provide additional monetary stimulus.

  3. Balancing Risks and Benefits:
    1. For example, when policymakers carefully assess the potential risks and benefits of Quantitative Easing, it can then be implemented, or not.
    2. How does Quantitative Easing help? In this example, it is more a case of weighing up whether it is suitable to implement. Quantitative Easing has potential side effects as we have discussed, and so only after policymakers have weighed these risks against the potential benefits for economic recovery should it be implemented.

Making Your Investments Print Money

Printing money is not often legal when implemented by a member of the public, so we advise against it! However, what you can control is what you are investing in, and this in turn influences the returns you can achieve. For example, if you invest over 5-years and your funds grow by 500%, it is as if you have printed money!

Whilst we will not guarantee you a 500% return over 5-years, we can guarantee that your investments will be well looked after if you get in touch with Patterson Mills and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting. Financial success and a worry-free future starts with Patterson Mills.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all information within this article has been prepared for informational purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

Balancing Act: Managing Family and Financial Goals

Balancing Act: Managing Family and Financial Goals

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven” ― George Bernard Shaw

3 min read

Balancing Act: Managing Family and Finances

Balancing Act: Managing Family and Financial Goals

“A happy family is but an earlier heaven” ― George Bernard Shaw

3 min read

Achieving a balance between family life and financial goals is an ongoing challenge for many. It is crucial that whilst building a secure financial future, these objectives align to create a stable and fulfilling life for you and your loved ones.

Knowledge is power in these scenarios, and Patterson Mills is here to help. Read on to find out how you can balance a successful family life at the same time as a successful financial future.

Financial Planning for Parenthood

Starting a family brings both joy and added responsibilities. Tailoring your financial plan to accommodate the needs of a growing family involves considerations such as budgeting for childcare, education funds, and emergency expenses. Strategic planning ensures that you can provide for your family’s needs while working towards long-term financial objectives.

Financial planning for parenthood is a crucial aspect of achieving a balance between family life and financial goals. The arrival of a new family member introduces various responsibilities that necessitate careful consideration in your financial strategy. Budgeting becomes more nuanced, encompassing essential elements such as childcare costs, educational funds for your children’s future, and provisions for unexpected emergencies.

Strategic planning during this phase is instrumental in ensuring that your family’s evolving needs are met without compromising long-term financial objectives. Allocating resources efficiently to cover immediate necessities while simultaneously making provisions for future milestones is a delicate but vital aspect of financial preparedness for parenthood. This includes building a robust emergency fund to shield your family from unforeseen challenges and laying the groundwork for a secure and fulfilling financial future for both you and your growing family.

Open Communication

One cornerstone of successfully managing family and financial goals is creating an environment of open communication. Regular discussions about financial priorities, short-term goals, and long-term aspirations help in creating a shared vision and establishing a mutual understanding of financial expectations. This then lays the groundwork for effective collaboration in achieving common goals.

Establishing mutual understanding and setting clear financial expectations are key components of successful financial management within a family unit. This not only helps prevent misunderstandings but also encourages a collaborative approach to decision-making. By openly addressing financial matters, families can create a supportive environment that promotes financial wellbeing and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Setting Realistic Goals

Balancing family and financial goals requires setting realistic and achievable milestones. Whether it’s saving for a dream family holiday, a home purchase, or your children’s education, breaking down these goals into manageable steps ensures steady progress. Realism is key – align your goals with your current financial capacity whilst also keeping an eye on future growth. Remember, you are always able to update your goals going forward.

Setting realistic goals involves a careful evaluation of your family’s current financial situation, taking into account income, expenses, and existing financial commitments. This approach ensures that the goals you set are attainable within your means, minimising financial strain and disappointment. It also allows you to adapt your financial plan as circumstances evolve, enabling flexibility whilst maintaining a clear trajectory toward achieving your family’s aspirations.

Ultimately, by establishing achievable milestones, you create a roadmap that not only propels your family towards financial success but also allows for a sense of accomplishment and motivation along the way.

Be Prepared

Life is unpredictable, and unexpected events can impact both family life and financial stability. Establishing an emergency fund is essential to weather unforeseen challenges. This financial safety net provides peace of mind and ensures that unexpected expenses don’t derail your long-term plans.

Building an emergency fund involves regularly setting aside a dedicated amount of money. This fund should ideally cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses, including mortgage or rent, utilities, food, and other essential costs. In doing so, you not only protect your family from the financial shocks that life can bring but also empower yourselves to navigate challenging times without compromising your broader financial objectives. It’s a proactive measure that adds resilience to your financial plan, allowing your family to face the future with greater confidence and security.

Investing in Family Experiences

Financial planning is often focussed on future security, though keep in mind that it is equally important to invest in memorable family experiences. Balancing the budget to allow for occasional trips, outings, or special celebrations contributes to the overall wellbeing of your family. These shared moments strengthen bonds and create lasting memories.

Incorporating family experiences into your financial plan requires a thoughtful approach to budgeting. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a special celebration, or an annual family tradition, these intentional investments in shared experiences contribute to a rich family life. Once again, it’s about striking a balance that allows your financial goals to align with your family’s values, emphasising the importance of both present enjoyment and long-term stability in your overall financial plan.

Where Does This Leave You?

Balancing family and your financial goals is an ongoing process. It is great when the two align, though there may be times when they do not. With a Patterson Mills Financial Adviser, you can be prepared for all situations and ensure that you can enjoy time with your family whilst being safe in the knowledge that your financial future is in a safe pair of hands.

Where does this leave you? Well, it is time to get in touch with Patterson Mills and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting. Your family and your financial future will be pleased that you did.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all information within this article has been prepared for informational purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Financial Planning

Managing Market Volatility in Your Retirement Portfolio

Managing Market Volatility in Your Retirement Portfolio

“Markets love volatility” ― Christine Lagarde

5 min read

Market Volatility in Your Retirement Portfolio

Managing Market Volatility in Your Retirement Portfolio

“Markets love volatility” ― Christine Lagarde

5 min read

Investments are often compared to a rollercoaster ride. Market volatility, the ebbs and flows of financial markets, can often cause anxiety among investors, triggering concerns about the stability of their retirement savings. Yet, in the world of long-term investments like those earmarked for retirement, understanding the nuances of market volatility is crucial.

Whilst the financial markets may experience unpredictable fluctuations, retirement planning requires a different lens. Unlike shorter-term financial goals, such as buying a house or funding education, retirement is a marathon, not a sprint. This prolonged duration allows you to have a broader perspective, offering the luxury of time to weather the storms of market volatility. 

Today, we are looking into the dynamics of managing market volatility within the context of your retirement portfolio to acknowledge the importance of embracing a long-term outlook amidst short-term market fluctuations.

What is Market Volatility?

It’s important to know what you are dealing with. Market volatility refers to the erratic price movements within financial markets, characterised by fluctuations in asset prices.

In simple terms, it is the up and down movements of your portfolio value. To illustrate this, if your portfolio is worth 1’000 one day, 650 the next and finally 1’400 the next, it would therefore be much more volatile than a portfolio worth 1’000 one day, 980 the next and finally 1’050. Your final 3-day gain is less with the second example, but you likely managed to avoid a panic attack in the process!

Such shifts can be driven by various factors, including economic indicators, geopolitical events, or even psychological sentiments (emotions) of investors. Understanding its causes involves acknowledging the intricate interplay of supply and demand dynamics, global economic trends, interest rates, and political developments.

Importantly, these fluctuations are a natural part of financial markets and, whilst this instability can create anxiety, it’s crucial to recognise that market volatility is an inherent part of investing. It means that whilst it is likely your portfolio can lose value, with a well-thought-out strategy, the aim is to create a profitable portfolio over the longer-term. 

When investing for retirement, ensure you grasp the fact that short-term market movements shouldn’t overshadow the long-term strategy crafted for your retirement goals.

Time Horizon in Retirement Planning

When it comes to retirement planning, your time horizon is often significantly longer compared to other financial objectives. Unlike goals such as buying a house or saving for a holiday, retirement planning spans several decades for many. This extended timeline provides a crucial advantage: it allows you to weather short-term market fluctuations without causing significant disruptions to their long-term financial plans. 

Unlike shorter-term goals, retirement planning isn’t tied to immediate liquidity needs, affording you the flexibility to ride out market volatilities.

Additionally, short-term market volatility tends to smooth out over the long haul. Whilst market dips and spikes might seem concerning in the short term, historical trends have shown that markets have generally trended upwards over extended periods. For retirement planning, this means that temporary market downturns don’t necessarily translate to long-term losses. However, historical trends do not necessarily translate into future returns. Therefore, by maintaining a focus on your overarching retirement strategy and staying invested for the long term, you could benefit from the potential growth opportunities markets offer without getting deterred by short-term fluctuations.

Strategies for Mitigating Volatility

Diversification remains a cornerstone strategy in managing market volatility within a retirement portfolio (and other portfolios you may hold, too). Spreading investments across various asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternative investments, helps dilute risk. This is because different assets tend to perform differently under various market conditions, so when one asset class experiences a downturn, others might remain stable or perform well. This strategy aims to cushion the impact of market swings on your overall portfolio and can potentially reduce overall risk exposure.

Regularly rebalancing the portfolio is equally vital. Over time, market fluctuations can alter the original allocation of assets in a portfolio. Rebalancing involves adjusting the portfolio back to its initial asset allocation, ensuring that it aligns with your risk tolerance and long-term goals. By selling some assets that have performed well and reallocating the proceeds to underperforming ones, you can maintain your desired risk-return profile.

Moreover, staying informed about market trends and economic indicators is crucial. However, it’s essential to differentiate between short-term market noise and long-term trends. Continuous monitoring and staying informed about relevant news can help you make informed decisions. Yet, it’s equally important not to react impulsively to short-term market fluctuations, as these might not necessarily reflect the long-term performance of the portfolio. This balance allows you to remain informed without being swayed by the day-to-day market noise, promoting a steadier approach to managing market volatility in the retirement portfolio.

Psychological Aspects of Market Volatility

The emotional toll of market volatility you experience throughout your investment timeline can be significant. Fluctuations can trigger fear, anxiety, and panic, leading to hasty decisions that might not align with long-term financial objectives. Impulsive reactions to short-term market swings often result in buying or selling assets at inopportune times, potentially locking in losses or missing out on gains when the market rebounds.

Maintaining a disciplined approach during times of volatility is crucial. Creating a well-thought-out investment strategy aligned with long-term goals can provide a roadmap for you to navigate through market turbulence. Equally, educating yourself about historical market cycles and understand that market downturns are part of the investment journey. Doing so can instill confidence and prevent knee-jerk reactions.

Where Do You Start?

If you are unsure of where to start when it comes to formulating an investment strategy, staying informed about market events, or want to know more about the risks you may face, Patterson Mills Financial Advisers can play a pivotal role in assiting you in navigating the complexities of retirement planning amidst market volatility. 

The expertise of our Advisers enables them to assess your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial objectives comprehensively. Following this, you can receive your bespoke investment strategy(ies) that aligns with your unique circumstances.

Your Future, The Right Way

During periods of market volatility, consulting with a Patterson Mills Financial Adviser becomes even more valuable. We are here to give you a steady hand, offering perspective and advice that can prevent knee-jerk reactions to short-term market fluctuations and ensure you have the best possible chance of success.

So, get in touch today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting, you will be pleased that you did. Send us an e-mail to info@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all information within this article has been prepared for informational purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.