My friend is a client of another financial planner and has BHP, Woolworths, ANZ and thirty other well known companies in his portfolio. How come I’m not invested like him?

Your portfolio is invested across equity funds that are exposed to over 5000 different companies in Australia and across the world. This diversifies your risk across many industries, companies and countries which are at different stages of an economic cycle. Academic research has proven your friend’s portfolio is inherently risky because it’s exposed to singular companies in one country. Furthermore, despite holding thirty well known companies your friend may not capture available growth as well known companies don’t always provide the best growth opportunities. Academic research has proven the best growth factors are attributed to small and value companies that often have growth ahead of them and offer the most attractive risk factors.

Will my superannuation still exist when I retire/ will the government take my super?

While superannuation is government mandated, it is not held by the government, nor is it the government’s money. Your superannuation is your money. While you cannot access it before your retirement, it is still your money, basically held in trust. It’s in your best interests to have an active involvement in its direction because contrary to media reports, superannuation is not a blanket, one-size-fits-all product. Just taking control of your superannuation should increase your prospect of better returns.

My next door neighbour/cousin/workmate suggested I….. should I do it?

That decision should be considered against the long term investment credentials of your next door neighbour/cousin/ workmate. Acting on the latest ‘hot tip’ may seem like a good idea, however it’s an inherently risky proposition.