Monday 27 August 2018

Diet 2018 - Wk 34

Well, I haven't been monitoring my daily calorie intake or sticking to my diet plan since January, and it certainly shows. Rather than losing any weight, my weight has slowly increased during the past six months. My average morning weight last week was 105.0 kg, which means my BMI is now around 34.3. I certainly need to loose weight, and I also need to start doing some 5BX excercise in the evenings in addition to tracking my daily stepcount. I finally got around to tracking my eating again last week, and although I stuck to my diet plan Mon-Thu, I ate a bit too much on the weekend, including some takeaway fries on Saturday and Sunday. At least I managed to avoid buying or eating any confectionery.

My averages for the week were:
Fibre (g) Carbs (%) Fat (%) Protein (g) Sodium (mg) kcals Stepcount
40.7 58.0% 21.7% 127.5 5419.4 2637.0 3,172

My target for fat is 10-15% of total daily cals, so it was a bit too high, due mostly to the McDonalds and KFC fries on the weekend. My protein target is ~1g/kg of bodyweight, so should be around 100g/day. So this was also a bit too high last week, mostly due to having a bit too much meat with my evening meals, although I had mostly chicken and turkey breast, rather than steak, which is good. My average daily kcals were too high, but at least it was a bit lower than my typical 'ad libitum' intake (around 3,000-3,500 kcals/day). If I stick to my standard daily meal plan, my daily calorie intake would average around 1,900 kcals/day, and I *should* loose around 0.5-0.75 kg/week (a bit more if a reach my daily 10,000 step goal, and do 11 mins of 5BX excercise in the evenings). Anyhow, today is the first day of a new week, so yet another chance to actually stick to my plan...

My target is to get down to around 76-78 kg (I was 78 kg when I in High School), which would put me (just) in the 'healthy weight' range of BMI.

Over the long term (this century), I've been a poster-boy for 'yo-yo' dieting - I can loose weight, but whenever I start eating junk food again I pack on the kilos... the long term upward trend in my maximum weight is also not good.

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Saturday 25 August 2018

What business suit to buy?

So far I've never worn a suit to work. I started out as an experimental scientist, so for ten years wore casual clothes, often covered in a grey lab coat. Then when I changed jobs, I wore a leather jacket and tie to my job interview and was promptly told that the dress code was 'smart casual' and asked would I be OK to *not* wear a suit/jacket to work (they may have thought I was 'dressing down' for the interview!).

Anyhow, twenty years down the track, my current boss recently recommended that I start wearing a business suit to work (I've completed some Six Sigma 'Green Belt' training, and may doing some internal 'consulting' with other business areas in future). It's probably a sensible idea, as wearing an imitation sheep-skin jacket to work combined with a beard was probably makes me look more like a rancher than an IT professional ;) And as I should probably also be wearing a business suit when I meet prospective clients when I start up my financial planning home business, it was now time to buy a suit...

Anyhow, I Googled a few articles about suitable business suit colours etc. for financial advisors, and aside from getting some conflicting advice (one article said that brown conveys dependability and is good colour choice for establishing rapport, while another article said that brown is the least liked colour amongst male and female clients, and is seen to be mediocre), there was also the expected article recommended ridiculously expensive business suits for financial planners ( I don't care how good a suit may be, I'm not going to be spending $5,265 or $4,450 or even $2,450 (which the author called 'surprisingly affordable'!) on a suit. In the end I've ordered an off-the-rack suit and business shirt/tie combination online from Lowes for A$107.01, including free delivery ;)

The 'Perizzi' business suit and 'Robert Huntley' business shirt sound expensive, but they are obviously not. Especially when the suit was on special (50% off) and I also got an extra 10% off with a discount code for provding my email address. Obviously this sort of cheap, off-the-rack suit isn't going to impress anyone, but at least it should look 'presentable'.

'The suit' - not sure if the black shirt is too mafioso?
So, I've bought a suit for 2.03% the cost of one 'recommended' combination, and a used Jag for 6.4% of what it cost when new. I may not impress on the basis of style, but the frugality is top notch.

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Monday 20 August 2018

Buying a Type-S Jaguar

My first car was a 1960 Mk II Jaguar that I was given for my 18th birthday. My father had bought it second hand to use in England while we were there for nine months in 1976 on a posting (he was an airline pilot), and he had it shipped back to Australia with us (he got a subsidized shipping rate). We eventually had it restored (some rust in the door panels cut out and a respray, plus all the seats redone with new Connolly leather, the chrome re-done and wire wheels added). I used it to drive to university and work during the early 80s, and my dad used it to bring DW to our wedding. I eventually bought another car for day-to-day commuting, as the old Jag was a getting a little bit unreliable, and the manual shift was tedious to use for hours each day in peak hour traffic.

A Mark II Jaguar similar to mine
A Mark II Jaguar similar to mine
My current commuter car is a 4WD Ford Escape that I bought new in 2006. It still runs fine, but I decided I might get a more 'luxury' vehicle to use as a financial adviser (although a) I haven't finished my DFP yet, b) I haven't started a financial planning business yet, and c) I'm not sure if having a 'posh' vehicle makes one look like a successful financial planner, or just one that is 'ripping off' his clients?). Anyhow, I was originally looking at some 2008-2010 Type-X jaguars, as they look quite nice and only cost $5,000-$10,000 depending on condition and mileage, but then I decided that the older Type-S looked a lot nicer and were more 'luxury' for the same sort of money.<- a="" ii="" jaguar="" mark="" mine.="" p="" similar="" to=""> 

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A Type-S Jaguar similar to the one I'm buying
I eventually found a 1999 Type-S for sale (asking $9,500) that had only done 120,000 km. As the vehicle registration was about to expire, I suggested a price closer to the 'redbook' valuation of $5,700-$7,900 was more appropriate, so eventually the owner agreed to sell it for $7,900 and to also get the registration renewed for 12 months before I buy it. It comes with a removable tow-bar already installed, which might come in handy when I go up to the lake house and need to tow a small box trailer or our boat. The car has a few minor scratches on the front and rear bumper bars, a small dent at the back of the roof, and the electrochromatic rear-view mirror is permanently 1/3 black (apparently these type of mirrors are prone to faults, but as a second-hand replacement mirror costs around $150 I'll just live with it 'as is'). The interior leather is all in very good condition, and the rear seats looking as if they've never even been used.

I took it for a short test drive, and the owner says it runs fine, so hopefully it won't cost a fortune to maintain. Anyhow, at under $8,000 it seems pretty good value for money, especially considering it was originally bought for $133,000 in 1999! I've paid a $2,900 deposit, and I'll EFT the remaining $5,000 when I collect it next week after the registration has been renewed.

By strange coincidence the Mark II Jag I have is one year older than I am, and this one is one year older than DS1 ;)

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Friday 10 August 2018

How many Financial Advisers are there in Australia?

Given that I'm currently doing a Diploma of Financial Planning course and have also enrolled in a Master of Financial Planning course with the goal of eventually starting up a Financial Planning business, it seemed prudent to do some research into how many financial planners (advisers) there are in Australia, and whether the market is under- or over-supplied. While the aging and growing population suggests an increasing need for financial advisers in Australia, offsetting this is the fact that the number of financial advisers seems to have been growing rapidly - from around 18,000 in 2009 [Ref: Ripoll Report] to 25,386 registered advisers on 1 April 2018. However, the supply of registered financial advisers may dwindle in coming years due to the combination of more stringent educational and other requirements coming into force on 1 Jan 2019, and the aging of the existing cohort of financial advisers. (And the current 'bad press' from the Royal Commission combined with removal of commission-based fees is making financial planning much less attractive proposition to new entrants).

Comparing the number of medical practitioners to the number of financial advisers is quite interesting:

In 2015 there were 102,805 registered medical practitioners in Australia. Of these 83,427 were GPs and 49,060 were specialists. This equates to a rate of 112 FTE GPs per 100,000 population in 2015 [ref:1].

In comparison, as at 1 June 2017 there were 25,386 financial advisers registered in Australia [Ref:2], which corresponds to a rate of around 34 financial advisers per 100,000 population. Then again, most people would see their GP a lot more often than they consult a financial adviser!

Estimates [2] suggest that around 30% of the Australian adult population use, or have used, a financial planner or adviser. From this, one can calculate roughly how many clients the 'average' financial adviser has serviced:

100,000 x .3 (have seen an adviser) x .8 (ratio adults in population)= 24,000 adults per 34 financial advisers, or 705 clients per adviser on average.

Of course, many adults will have only seen an adviser once in their lifetime, so the number of clients serviced per annum per adviser would be significantly lower than this (on average).

The number of prospective new client's per adviser can be roughly estimated by the 48% of Australian adults that have indicated that they have unmet financial advice needs [2]. This corresponds to 100,000 x .48 x .8 = 38,400 adults per 34 financial advisers, or roughly 1,130 prospective new clients per adviser on average. Of course many of these prospective client's would not be willing to pay for financial advice, despite having a perceived 'unmet need' for such advice. Similarly, many client's would only require a single SoA from an adviser, or perhaps an update every 5-10 years. So the average number of new client's per adviser per annum is more likely to be around 100, which seems a realistic 'guestimate'.

The total revenue of the financial planning sector is around $4.6b pa [2], which equates to approximately $181,200 per adviser. Again, this seems in line with advertised pay rates for financial advisers, allowing ~50% for costs and AFSL fees/revenue sharing. (In the US the median annual salary for financial advisors was $90,530 in 2016).

ASIC noted that 2.3 million adult Australians had received advice from a financial planner in 2015/16 FY, which corresponds to 90.6 clients per adviser, which is in close agreement with my estimate from 'first principles' above ;)

So, a long-term goal of having 1-2 clients per week seems realistic. The somewhat depressing statistic is that apparently a response rate of 2% to marketing campaigns is common, which means a *lot* of marketing is required to get any prospects, and only a fraction of prospects may become a client. For a start-up financial planning business run on a part-time basis, the question then is how many clients, and what fee structure, is required to 'break even'?


Investing in 'Spaceship Voyager'

There are many reason for making an investment, but probably one of the least rational is because it is 'cool' or 'fun' (imho). Doesn't stop me doing it though! So, don't take this as any sort of recommendation, just a 'fun' little investment option I found out about today and thought I'd share.

Spaceship Voyager is an app for your phone that lets you invest in an Australian Index Fund (ASX200) option, or alternatively in a some-what managed Fund (Spaceship Universe) that invests in 100 global companies that have been selected as less prone to disruption (i.e. investments such as Alphabet, rather than Encyclopaedia Brittanica). One thing I do like is that there is no minimum investment amount (investment and automatic savings plan are via direct debit from the bank account you link to) and no fee on the first $5000 you invest. I chose to invest $100 initially, with a monthly addition of $100. So, after four years or so I should reach the $5000 threshold to start paying a fee of 0.10% (for the Universe Fund) on my balance over $5000. If I'd invested in the Australian Index Fund option the fee for amounts over $5000 would have been even lower (0.05%).

They say they invest directly in the companies in the fund, rather than via an ETF, so I have absolutely no idea how this would be possible given the lack of any fees on the first $5000 of each account balance, and the likely small size of this Fund (it only launched in April 2018 as far as I can tell). But I wish them all the best (especially as they now have some of my money!).

On the downside, the PDS states that the parent company doesn't guarantee withdrawals, so if the whole scheme goes 'belly up' you're likely to loose your investment. But I suppose that's the case with many investments - if you want a government guarantee to get your money back you have to invest in a bank savings account.

Anyhow, the Fund/App is a cool idea, the colour scheme is great (purple!), and the theme (space) appeals to me. I did get a referral link when I signed up, but since I can only send it direct to my friends (I've sent it to DS1 in case he is interested), I can't spam it here. But if you really want to get an extra $20 for opening an account before the end of August, and plan on opening an account with them, I suppose you can email me or drop a comment on this article and I'll send you the link/referral code.

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Thursday 2 August 2018

Another change in my WSU enrolment

After being initially told I was offered a conditional place in the Master of Financial Planning at Western Sydney Uni, and then having to enrol in the Graduate Certificate course instead, when my employment experience was 'not deemed to be specific enough to financial planning', today I received another email saying 'Congratulations - you have met the conditions' to enrol in the Masters degree course. After checking to confirm that this was correct, I then had to go through the online enrolment procedure again in order to enrol in the Masters course. Hopefully this is the last time WSU admin changes their mind!

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Wednesday 1 August 2018

Net Worth: July 2018

Networthiq seems to be off-line at the moment, so this month's snapshot of my net worth is brought to you by networthshare (in a slightly different format)...

My geared stock portfolio increase modestly, while the estimated valuation for our home continued to decline slowly. 'Experts' are currently predicting a further decline of 0%-15% over the next 1-2 years, so this is likely to be a drag on my net worth performance until at least the end of 2019. My retirement savings showed a relatively strong rise, probably due to the larger exposure to international share markets than is this case for my geared share portfolio (i.e. the decline in the value of the AUD vs USD boosted the AUD value of our investment in the Vanguard 'High Growth' index fund.
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