In the latest episode of our Ask the Experts series, Jess chats with Rebecca Pope (Head of Intermediary) and Matthew Lumsden (Head of Distribution) from Vanguard Australia to unpack The New Virtual Frontier for Life and Work – How Technology Will Enable Us to Have Better Lives.
There’s no denying that 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for many of us. While we don’t want to discredit just how difficult the past 12 months have been (and continue to be for many of us), we wanted to focus this conversation on the opportunities that the ‘new normal’ presents for our personal and working lives.
That’s why we’re thrilled to be joined by Rebecca and Matthew from Vanguard Australia to explore how to make the new digital world work for us.
In this conversation, Jess, Rebecca and Matthew covered a bunch of topics including:
- How has the rise of the Zoom economy impacted our lives both personally and professionally?
- Now that flexibility is the norm, how can we leverage this to achieve or re-establish our goals?
- How to make the digital world work for YOU not the other way round
- How the COVID pandemic changed Matthew and Rebecca’s work and personal lives for the better
- Common reactions to the volatility of the market and how to avoid making impulse decision
Is it time for a tree or sea change?
The trends towards permanent WFH orders is something we’ve seen from big business, including Twitter, Facebook, Spotify and Salesforce.
With many employers embracing remote working during (and after) the pandemic, living in close proximity to the CBD isn’t as essential as it once was. If you’ve been dreaming of a coastal or mountain getaway, the virtual frontier has now made that more of a reality (much sooner than many of us anticipated). For Matthew, the shift to remote working has opened exciting new opportunities for him and his team. “The geographic boundaries and points of friction created by distance have gone, and we’re all on the same page now. We’re using tech to its best advantage for ourselves as a team and also for our clients,” tells Matthew. Plus, greater flexibility in where we work has enabled Matthew and his family to make the move from Melbourne to Port Macquarie, a transition that has allowed him to live closer to his family.
If you have the flexibility to fully embrace remote working, now could be an opportunity to swap high inner-city rent or mortgage repayments for a more affordable home in regional Australia.
How the virtual frontier can help you achieve your goals faster
Let’s look at how you can supercharge your savings and propel your goals forward by embracing the virtual frontier.
One of the goals that is most common among our members is to buy a property followed closely by generating a passive income.
Say you were paying a $1 million mortgage in the city. You’d be paying approximately $4,300 per month in mortgage repayments. But if you picked yourself up and moved to a more affordable regional area, you might be able to swap this for a $600,000 mortgage. Instead, you’d only be paying $2,600 per month in repayments. And then, you could take the difference between those mortgage repayments ($1,700 per month) and start an investment portfolio. If you invested for example $1.7k each month at a return of 6% over 20 years, you’d have a portfolio valued at $822,000. And if you wanted to live off the returns, that’s roughly at $50k a year in passive income.
The concept of Ikigai & how to use this in your life
A big part of making these new changes work for us comes back to understanding our purpose. Matthew explains this using the Japanese concept of Ikigai (which translates to reason for being).
“It asks you four questions: what do you love, what does that world need, how can you be paid and what are you good at. It forces you to sit down and think carefully about those four quadrants of your life and perhaps identify which areas aren’t getting the attention it deserves from you,” Matthew tells.
When deciding your next move in work or life, using the principles of Ikigai can help steer you in the right direction and clarify what’s really important to you.
As for what’s ahead for the market in 2021, both Rebecca and Matthew believe it’s important to stay the course and not react to market volatility.
“Investing is a long-term game,” explains Matthew. “We’re not big believers in speculation. I think what’s most important is having a plan and understanding your ‘why’. Without a plan, how can you know why you’re investing in the first place?”
And this is exactly the philosophy we share with our Fox & Hare members, too. Rather than selling at the bottom of the market, the best investors will understand that experiencing periods of volatility is a normal (and necessary) part of the process. And as we’ve already seen, markets will continue to recover – it’s all about being patient and staying the course.
Our top takeaway points
While there were stacks of expert insights shared during this session, here are our biggest takeaways:
- Sit down and figure out your why: no matter what’s happening in the market, make sure you understand what’s important to you before making your next move or decision.
- Get clear on your long-term plans: this means having a clear big picture vision for what goals you’re working towards to make sure every step you take is aligned to what you value most.
- Be ready to adapt to new opportunities: while remote working has presented plenty of challenges, there are big benefits to be gained from tech that we can all use to add more flexibility and balance to our lives.
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