I had the pleasure of making a complaint to Virgin Media this week.
It’s become almost an annual thing for me. This time every year my broadband and TV package is up for renewal. I know this because I set a reminder in my calendar 30 days before the end of the contract.
For what it’s worth, you should really do the same for your broadband and TV packages. In fact here’s some great general financial advice …
Every year make sure to review, compare and negotiate all your ongoing bills. That means bills like broadband, TV, mobile phone, energy and insurances (home, car, personal). A little haggling and dealing can save you what adds up to hundreds, maybe thousands of pounds per year.
I love saving this extra money. It means I can “pay myself”. That means I can use those extra savings to add to my investment pot. I can get this extra money working for me, not bundling into the pocket of Branson and his cronies.
If you do this annual dance-of-the-renewal as well and save some money, are you putting it to good use? Are you making it work for you?
I’ve discovered that far too many people don’t “pay themselves”. They don’t make their money work for them. Many don’t do anything with an eye on their financial future. And I’m not just talking one or two years from now. I’m talking ten, 20, 30 years from now.
Too many people here in the UK do not understand the basic principles of personal finance.
It’s a blight on British society that it’s gone on this long and got to this point. But it’s something I want to change. And it’s through Change.org I’m starting the ball rolling.
I’ve got a son, he’s nine months old now. By the time he starts school in September 2023, I want to get “Personal Finance” as a statutory subject on the UK National Curriculum.
That means across Key Stages 1 through 4, kids will learn about personal finance in the same way they learn English, maths and science.
Not as an afterthought, but as a core subject for all students. From the basics of what money is to the more intricate complexities of the global financial system and how money is created.
Heck, if I have to, I’ll even help write the whole curriculum.
If we can teach the complexities of the English language, we can teach the complexities of personal finance. Doing this will educate generations to be financially independent, not reliant on the state and help build a thriving British society.
If you agree with me, then sign my petition here to get this on the ticket in Parliament and get them taking action about things that really make a difference to the UK’s future.
Why are you even here?
Of course my goal won’t be easy. And already I’ve had plenty of people say to me, “You’re Australian, why do you care about the UK, why did you even move here? Australia is beautiful.”
Well, my son is British. My wife is British. I have friends, family… even my dog is British. And pretty soon, I’ll be half-British, assuming the Home Office approves… Home is the UK. And that means I give a damn about the future of this country.
But back to that part of the question, “Why did you even move to the UK?”
I find it astonishing that British people question why someone not from here, would want to move here. The UK is one of the most incredible regions in the world.
I get the perception of Australia being a place of glorious sun, sand and surf. And many parts are. And yes in general it’s a wonderful place to live. But so is the UK.
And a big reason why we moved in the first place comes down to a simple factor…
I spent 30 years of my life in Australia. I built a career over there in financial advice and investments. Over my professional career I’ve studied, researched and investigated stockmarkets all over the world.
The Aussie market I understand inside out. And over time we’ve recommended and sold out of massive stock winners for Australian subscribers. Some of these include:
- Bellamy’s Australia [ASX:BAL] that we sold out of for a 575% gain
- Appen Ltd [ASX:APX] sold out for a 1,010% gain
- CleanTeQ Holdings [ASX:CLQ]sold half at a 1,053% gain and the other half at a 1,328% gain
- Electro Optic Systems [ASX:EOS] for a 240% gain
- Nearmap Ltd [ASX:NEA] for a 367% gain
- Elixinol Global [ASX:EXL] for a 216% gain
- Afterpay Touch [ASX:APT] holding with a current gain of 1,000%
- Zip Co. Ltd [ASX:Z1P] holding with a current gain of 512%.
Now they’re just some of the wins we delivered for subscribers over time. But not every recommendation is always a winner. We’ve tapped out of losses too; some 20% down, some 50% down, some up to 90% down. And there have been some negligible outcomes too. I’m talking double-digit wins, which are handy, but not the ideal outcome. Not the kind of gains I seek out for subscribers like above.
The point is that the Aussie market, in particular small-cap Aussie stocks, have always been a thriving hunting ground for massive stock winners.
I tell you this for a very important reason.
For the last six years I’ve been applying my skill set and attention to the UK markets. In particular UK small-cap stocks and the AIM sub-section of the London Stock Exchange.
And what I see here is the kind of potential I’ve seen on the ASX for all these years. I believe the AIM and small-cap British-listed stocks are one of the most exciting investment markets on earth.
I think that every person in the UK who wants to work towards financial freedom should be taking advantage of this. And I’m ready to do my part to make that happen.
I moved to the UK for more opportunity for me and my family. And now I want to pass that on to British investors. The opportunity that exists in this country is immense. The opportunity that is there for everyone to seize on the UK markets is gigantic.
Everyone in the UK with an income can put in place a strategy to build financial freedom long term. Being wealthy isn’t just for those who are already rich or born into it.
Anyone can be wealthy.
You just need the right information, the right tools, the right guidance to make it happen. And that’s what I’m trying to achieve.
Of course that mentality is hard to break. When you consider all the malarkey that’s happening in Westminster right now it’s easy to get caught up in the mainstream hoopla.
But as I say, the UK is ripe with opportunities. The British market is perhaps, right now, the most underrated market in the world right now. That’s due to uncertainty, mainstream perpetuated fear and this mentality of mediocrity.
Break the mind-set
I had a letter from a reader this week. They were questioning my positive approach to the idea that anyone can build wealth through investment opportunity.
As the reader noted,
… if the present inequalities of income in the capitalist world do not soon revert to what they were (decent paying jobs, enough to get married on and have children, afford a house, all the accepted things), then your bland assumption that the future is all hunky dory – at least anyway for those in a position to make a profit – could quite likely be misplaced.
They continue to explain,
Sam, investment opportunity might still be fine today but do, please, think about adding a warning sign at the bottom of all future Southbank articles – you, the two Nicks, Boaz, Eoin etc – that such opportunities only remain valid providing the capitalist world continues and does not implode of its own making or from sudden checkmate blitzkriegs by the baddies.
These are all valid points to make. And it is true that the world faces a problem of inequality in wealth.
Mike Novogratz from Galaxy Digital recently tweeted about the change in wealth inequality over the last few decades. He posted a chart (see below) that shows from 1985 the “Top 0.1%” have seen their net wealth share increase and the “Bottom 90%” have seen their net wealth share decrease in the US.
Source: @novogratz on Twitter
This is enough to make the average person think there’s no chance for them. There’s no hope. Capitalism doesn’t work for them. It makes the average person think they’re locked out of the system.
That’s why we’re seeing growing social unrest, particularly in younger demographics. The mentality is, “If we’re locked out of the system, let’s destroy the system.”
But there’s a big problem with that mentality. They’re not locked out of the system. That mentality is, frankly, wrong.
I rebuke the idea that opportunity is out of reach because of capitalism. If anything, it’s right there staring at you in the face. But most people don’t know how to grab it and what to do with it – so they do nothing about it.
It’s one thing to say that opportunity isn’t there. It’s another thing when it is there and you do nothing about it.
British people stand to make an important decision in a few weeks’ time. But it’s got nothing to do with the general election. It’s a decision on if you will do something about your financial future.
It’s a simple decision. You will either:
- Do nothing and maintain your status quo
- Or take action and grab the opportunity that’s staring you in the face.
I think that with the right education and understanding there is no reasonable excuse not to take action. And this is something that every British person can take advantage of. It’s something my eight-month-old son is taking advantage of… Sure that’s thanks to me and my knowledge of the system. But what if I could educate one million Brits about how to do the same thing?
Wouldn’t that enact real change?
Here’s exactly what you need to do
You know what, I’m going to even tell you exactly what you can do to seize this opportunity.
I’ll tell you right now…
It’s investing long term in a stocks and shares “individual savings account”, also known as an ISA.
You probably know about ISAs, but do you have one? And even if you do, are you investing in it regularly with an appropriate strategy?
The idea that only people with money can open these and benefit from them is nonsense.
Some stocks and shares ISAs you can open with just £100. Or if you can spare just £25 a month, you can take positive action to build long-term wealth.
Of course the bare minimum isn’t going to put you up there with “Richard Branson Wealth”.
But long-term smart investing with the right plan, regular contributions, reinvestment of income and the appropriate investment strategy is the smartest, simplest wealth-creation opportunity that anyone can put into place.
While my short-term goal is to get “Personal Finance” as a statutory subject on the UK National Curriculum, I have another goal in mind.
I want to help one million British people who have never had an ISA before open and start to save and invest in a stocks and shares ISA. And for those who have already got one, to help a child or grandchild over 18 open one; or if they’re under 18, a Junior ISA.
One million new ISA investors. Just a little goal. But one I think will not just put all these people in a better financial place long term, but also believe it or not, make the country a better place for it long term.
Are you ready to take action? I am.
Editor, Southbank Investment Research