Q&A, your way: Episode 2
Morningstar’s senior investment specialist Shani Jayamanne answers a question about building wealth without investing in stocks.
Shani Jayamanne: Thank you. All right. So, they are 20-year-olds, and they don't enjoy their job. They want to build wealth through other ways and not rely on a degree and they want to live off passive income in the next 5 to 10 years by diversifying their income enough to obtain capital for a property and then live off the rents. And they don't want to invest in stocks for various reasons.
Well, I think the first thing to remember is financial independence means different things to different people. And for you, it means the ability to leave a line of work that doesn't interest you and build other sources of income, in most instances, I would say to continue exploring your options and find what works for you. So, the first is that putting all your money in one property isn't diversifying. If you don't have a tenant for a while, if you have lump sum repairs that need to be completed, if there's a market downturn and rents drop, these are all realistic scenarios that will impact your income.
The second is that you don't see yourself in this job in 10 years' time, so you want a solution that will get you there in this timeframe. And realistically, there is no magic bullet like this, otherwise we'd all be retired. So, you do need to set yourself realistic expectations, and you can do this by firstly focusing on your goals, which you have done. Jump on a financial calculator or our goal calculator on Morningstar Investor and figure out what this number actually is and then, work backwards and figure out what your income is, your lifestyle and savings, how much you can contribute and set yourself up for success.
The last is that you've shut yourself off to stocks. But the truth is, you've already invested in stocks if you're 20 and you've got a job like you've mentioned. Your super fund has invested your money in stocks unless you've specifically told them not to. And stocks don't just come in specky Wall Street bets type of deal. They come in all different types, different sectors, different styles, different risks, different rewards. And you can find stocks with characteristics like low volatility or income stocks, which sounds like what you're interested in. And there are other instruments as well that obviously pay you income like annuities, term deposits, bonds that you can access through ETFs, and there are lots of different asset classes that can help you get you where you want to go.
So, just keep in mind that you're 20 and the best tool you have in your belt is time, and time allows you to compound your returns and allows the capital growth. Income might be your final goal, but there might be other assets that help get you there. So, a lot of us do want to retire at 30, but we have to keep in mind what's realistic for us. So, find something you enjoy doing, but build towards your goal of financial independence in the meantime.