Retirement success lies in finding the point of difference

Retirement success lies in finding the point of difference

Maria Cook

If The Investment Series has taught me anything, it’s this: In order to enjoy a comfortable retirement, investors need to be proactive, going the extra mile to find the right investment.

As a retired business coach I have a tried and tested framework for assessing the likely success of a new business. That framework is based on the owner’s analysis of and ability to penetrate the market the business would operate in. I would ask questions like; “What product or service are you offering?” “Who wants or needs it?” “Who are they purchasing from now?” “Why would they buy it from you?”

The more clearly defined the owner’s answers were the higher the likelihood of success. If a new business owner had a clear point of difference and a detailed understanding of their potential customer then the business was off to a good start.

Going behind the scenes on The Investment Series I realised that these same questions are equally relevant in planning for your retirement and assessing a managed fund.

Whilst I understand the importance of location for example, when choosing an investment property, I had thought that most managed funds were all the same, except perhaps for the expertise of the fund managers.

Having been involved in The Investment Series I now know this is not the case. There is an underlying strategy and or point of difference from one fund to the next. Once I understood the underlying strategy I had a framework to assess the point of difference against a range of broader economic factors. In other words I found that I could make an informed judgment about the likely success of a managed fund in the current global financial marketplace.

As the investor listening to each of the fund managers pitch their various funds I was mentally assessing their relative points of difference and perceived target customer and then looking to see if there was a match to my investment needs and desires.

I was in fact asking myself; “What is the particular fund’s point of difference and does it appeal to me as a sound investment strategy?” “Is it a strategy that is more or less likely to succeed?”

In short the experience and knowledge gained from the show assisted me to create a framework to assess a managed fund in the same way I have a framework to assess an investment property or a direct share.

Thanks to my involvement with The Investment Series, I now feel I have the knowledge and tools to ask the right questions in regard to managed funds and I am sure that I will asking more questions of my financial advisor in the future.

Whist not everyone has the opportunity to witness first hand, an in depth presentation on various managed funds you owe it to yourself and your retirement, to educate yourself generally on managed funds and to ask about the underlying strategy and point of difference of any recommended fund.

If you fail to inform yourself you run the risk of not challenging your financial advisor and attracting a lazy advisor. If you do educate yourself then you will ask insightful questions and your advisor will rise to the new benchmark. I am sure we have all worked for bosses in the past where, close enough is good enough, and it is tempting to provide, not your best, but something that is good enough. For me “good enough”, is not what I want from my advisor. I want the best and to make sure I get that I have to be on my game. I need to know enough to ensure I get the best and that’s exactly what I intend to demand – the Best.

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