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Private Portfolio – Start the year with a plan

At the beginning of every year we make new year’s resolutions, most of which are forgotten by now, I’m sure.
There are some decisions we take that have a permanent impact on our lives and they should be taken more seriously.
Almost every personal financial decision you take will play a lasting roll in your life.
After school, the first important “financial” decision you take is whether to go to college or university or not. This decision could result in you earning a few million dollars less over your working career if you decide against a tertiary education.
Make yourself as employable as possible. If you plan on being self-employed, the product or service you provide should be pretty unique and much sought after. Remember about half of all the people you see in Namibia, are looking for a job. You must stand out, or sit and count cars on the pavement.
If you are already earning an income, it is very important to get your outgoing finances under control via a budget. Only then can you start to think of the future and what your goals are for your long term savings.
The one long term goal that we cannot get away from and which requires our immediate attention, is our retirement savings. The golden rule here is that you should start putting something away for your retirement from the very first income you earn. No arguments about this one!
There are various options you can choose from to save for your retirement and a combination over time is usually the best way to go about it.
Find a financial advisor that you have confidence in and work out a plan together with him or her and start implementing the plan you can afford. Most important is to be very, very disciplined about it.
If you decide to rather live with a partner instead of getting married, be fair to yourself and your partner by not underestimating the complications that can arise if your arrangement goes sour.
Have a cohabitation agreement drawn up and signed that spells out how to handle expenses, how to divide a home or flat when you break up and how personal property will be shared when the arrangement fails.
If children are involved, life assurance can become an affordable way of taking care of the people you leave behind without your share of the combined income, should something happen to you. Same goes for a few dozen other assurance benefits which one should consider when you have taken on such responsibilities.
Work wisely with your money and get to the point where your money works for you as soon as possible.
Don’t put off doing important things because you think it will cost you money or because you think you don’t know how to. The internet is an incredibly comprehensive source of information and library of documents that are freely available to those who know where and how to search for it and to sort out the good from the bad.
Make use of this source and save a lot of time and money to organise your personal finances and to work according to a structured plan.

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