Friday, 4 October 2013

Friday’s Five Minute Finance

Plans are worthless; planning is everything.                                                            (General Eisenhower)

For the last 21 years I have been working in the Australian Army, but now I find myself in the middle of transitioning careers from strategic planning in Defence, to strategic planning in Finance.  To do so has meant studying post graduate qualifications in my spare time (starting two years ago) and then tying that into practical experience in the finance industry, learning the ropes from the ground up. Of course this is not from a standing start, having been interested in financial planning and all things finance related for the last 10 years, not to mention the practical aspects of building our own diversified investment portfolio. But in essence I'm moving from this type of workplace...
to this type of workplace...
(OK so maybe that's stretching the truth a little but you get the idea ;-)
In all the finance and investing reading I have done over the years, not to mention the reams of study material I have been working through the last three years, it becomes exceedingly obvious that I am only just scratching the surface of the knowledge that is available out there. And, the complexity of some of the subject matter within financial circles can at worst confuse people, or at best, make understanding those concepts quite difficult. While there are great resources available out there, whether it be from the library, bookstores or online, at times the volumes of information can be contradictory, confusing, or just plain misleading. And in the worst instances there are blatant frauds, charlatans and cons that exist to take advantage of people’s trusting nature.
So my aim once a week is to provide you with a short piece titled Friday’s Five Minute Finance. It might be a piece covering off on finances relating to renovations, or explaining basic financial concepts for investing. Discussing the intricacies of insurance, or maybe posing some difficult questions you need to ask yourself and consider in all seriousness. For those also seeking a bit more in-depth reading to accompany their Friday morning cup of coffee, I also write articles for USA website ‘Seeking Alpha’ providing independent analysis on stocks (American and Australian) which you can access for free on my Seeking Alpha Author Page.

So to start with I would like to refer you to the opening quote by General Dwight D Eisenhower, which is understood more easily when you link it with another well-known military saying “that no plan survives H-hour”. To have a plan is nothing, the real strength lies behind the skill of planning. That is, planning on a regular basis so that you continue to take into account the fact that the world is dynamic, and that things change. Because when things change, it can bring potentially rewarding and/or devastating results, and so you must have already considered possible outcomes and solutions in your planning. This is true in the military, true in finance, and equally relevant in renovating (I think I’ve covered all blog reader bases there ;-)
And while plans alone are nothing, in finance you must have a plan, and you must have skin in the game; a couple of concepts I’ll come back to in future weeks. So starting next week I’ll cover off on some of the numbers from our renovation, as this is what the majority of our readers have been following since we started the blog in March this year. Until then, I’ll leave you with a quote from an article I read recently, which all renovators will immediately chuckle about…

Go you good thing!
Cheers Col


  1. I must apologise as it appears Seeking Alpha has an IT issue this morning. I'll let you know when the issue has been resolved.

    Cheers, Col

  2. Tech issue has finally been resolved.

  3. Hubby and I had a good chuckle at that last quote as our variations are rolling in! Looking forward to your finance posts and appreciate you sharing your knowledge. :-)

    1. Glad you can smile at the variations, I've always found those types of stories are funnier with hindsight / after the event ;-)

      Cheers, Col