Wealth Morning is one the largest publishers of specialist financial and investment commentary in New Zealand.
Recently, we asked our readers about their top financial challenges. These, typically, are the challenges of people looking to invest their money. And plan for retirement. Or financial freedom.
To date, the bulk of feelings can be summarised along these lines:
‘I’m seeking opportunity for growth and passive income, and I’m afraid my money is losing purchasing power — but I’m also afraid to lose money in volatile sharemarkets and falling property markets.’
There was also interest in alternative assets, gold, and cryptocurrency — though increased negativity around crypto.
Money printing, inflation, and the decline in value of readers’ money was a top concern. As was the desire to protect it against those forces, while managing the risk.
We also saw a lot of people experiencing income stress. It seems their income has become more tenuous due to low interest rates, tougher business conditions, stagnant wages against a higher cost of living — and especially for those in business, overwhelming government compliance.
We are still collecting up more 30-Second Survey responses of people’s feelings. And you can still add your fifty-cents worth here.
Overwhelmingly, John and I, who write editorial, are hearing this:
- ‘Why should I invest now when the world looks so messy and unstable?’
- ‘Why should I invest when everything is falling?’
- ‘But what choice do I have if I want to protect my wealth and grow my income?’
Beneath these concerns are familiar emotions. Fear. Anxiety.
When it comes to life, one thing I’ve had to learn over the years is this: doing your level best — working hard and efficiently — helps to a point.
Beyond that, we have to accept the fact that uncertainty and a limited scope of control are part of most human endeavours. Fear and anxiety is reduced when we become aware of our minute place in both the markets and the world.
Or, simply, as Tony Robbins put it:
‘The quality of your life is directly related to how much uncertainty you can comfortably handle.’
We get the picture with our readers. They want the potential growth and income that comes with investing. But the uncertainty is hard. It can create paralysing fear.
The world’s richest man, and now Twitter controller, recently answered some of the concerns we’ve just heard:
And for those of you watching the Warren and Charlie show last week — aka as the Berkshire Hathaway [NYSE:BRK.A] Annual Meeting — we take the following sentiments:
- Cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value, which is why Warren Buffett avoids it and Charlie Munger doesn’t see a place for it in retirement accounts.
- They will hold a large amount of cash aside for opportunity.
- But right now, with a market flooded by speculators and gamblers, they’re seeing opportunity to buy dips in favoured value stocks.
- Berkshire bought more than $51 billion worth of stocks during Q1’s market rout.
- Inflation swindles almost everybody. The best protection against inflation is investing in your own skills.
What do I take from our survey responses? And my observations of what’s going on in the world?
Every day is uncertain.
Those who are courageous enough to invest in that uncertainty when it reveals value may do well in the long run.
Straight-talking Warren Buffett is a case in point. He has bet the S&P resoundingly over many years. Generating some ‘alpha’ for his investors. Turning fear into profit for Berkshire Hathaway.
Meanwhile, if you’d like a more in-depth discussion on this area, I encourage you to check out our recent premium news post: How You Can Achieve Financial Freedom.
Editor, Wealth Morning
Simon Angelo owns shares in Berkshire Hathaway [NYSE:BRK.B] via portfolio manager Vistafolio.
(This article is general in nature and should not be construed as any financial or investment advice. To obtain guidance for your specific situation, please seek independent financial advice.)