Richard Gordon's personal blog

Serious discussion about your financial position now - and in the future.

Security Of What – Capital Or Income?

Security is something keenly sought by investors, and is particularly important to people at or near retirement.

However, our whole approach to security is being challenged by the current climate of low interest rates, where there are trillions of dollars invested in bonds world-wide, that are earning negative returns.

Closer to home, term deposits attract around 3%pa, while a diversified portfolio of shares can show around 6% to 8% after allowing for tax credits. Investments can be made directly, or via managed funds deliberately managed to harvest a stream of dividends.

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Is It Time To Reconsider What We Mean By “Risk”?

Traditionally investments such as government bonds have been considered “safe”, whereas shares are considered “risky”.

So pervasive has this been, that, in the jargon of financial markets, when somebody talks about “taking on more risk”, what they are really saying is that they are selling bonds and buying shares (or using cash to buy shares). Conversely, if they are selling shares and moving to bonds or cash, they are “reducing risk”.

Now, it seems, the jargon is moving mainstream. I recently saw a retiree being interviewed on television. In order to make ends meet, he said he was “taking on more risk” with his investments.

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