The Art of Procrastination

PROCRASTINATION:  delay, hesitation, slowness, slackness

According to Freud, the ‘Pleasure Principle’ (Psychology) may be responsible for procrastination.  This principal is described as the psychoanalytic concept of people seeking pleasure and avoiding suffering (pain) in order to satisfy their biological and psychological needs.

Clients often state that they have thought long and hard about seeking financial advice.  When I ask them how long it has taken them to come to the decision, it is surprising to hear that some people have put it off for years.  Often they have made major decisions and come to us after the fact, causing a lot more drama when trying to create a financial plan, than it would have been had they seen us prior to making these decisions.

This is not to say that there is a set time in which you should get advice.  As far as we are concerned, there is always something to offer regardless of where you are at in life, however seeking professional financial advice is important in the years leading up to and transitioning into retirement or making investments.

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” – Lord Chesterfield

Our office discussions quite often circumnavigate around the ideas behind why people need advice but chose to put off seeking it.  Financial Planners can put in place a variety of measures to ensure that if you fell ill, were permanently injured, unable to make decisions for yourself or died, that you and your family would have control over your finances and the process to obtaining payouts or assistance was smooth.

You might not be aware, but your financial planner will take the hassle out of these things, all that is required is that you have an initial meeting with a financial planner to discuss your goals objectives concerns and current circumstances, from this meeting will be determined what level or type of advice is appropriate for you.

All the best.






For more information call Benchmark Consultants on 92932922 or email to arrange your first free initial appointment. 

Benchmark Consultants is an authorised corporate representative (289570) of Australian Financial Services Ltd AFSL 297239.


What Is Old, Is New Again …

What do Greece, Asia, South America and Russia have in common? The have all been through the same economic troubles at some point in their history.

This is not to say that what is currently happening in Greece and Europe is not unnerving and creating great worry amongst clients who are concerned about their retirement investments.

Investors must remain disciplined and have a diversified investment portfolio in quality assets including; shares, property, fixed interest and cash.  It is inflation which will cause a loss of capital when income is needed and your investments aren’t growing over the long term to keep apace.

If you have a diversified investment, with 70% to growth assets, there is a 32% chance that your savings will run out in 30 years.  If you had another diversified investment, with only 50% in growth assets, you increase your chances of running out of money over 30 years to 85%.  – Source:  Millman Research Report, May 2012

Studies undertaken in the US have shown that investors sticking to a long term disciplined and consistent approach to investing despite volatility made 11.8% where those driven by emotional decisions only achieved 4.3%.  – Source: Daybar Inc Experience of United States investors in equity mutual funds, compared to S&P 500 20 years to 2008

At this time investors should be looking at undervalued investments which demonstrates a good investment growth potential and produces good income returns.  Companies such as; BHP, National Bank, Woolworths, Woodside and Westfield, in other words, companies which are still likely to be around in ten, twenty, thirty years’ time.

It is important when investing for the long term that making emotional decisions based on short term market volatility and uncertainty, can have a disastrous impact on achieving your long term investment goals.  Take heed and think carefully before making any rash decisions based on current world economic woes.

INTERESTING FACT:  The average 60 year old now has at least another 30 years to live. – Source: Australian Life Tables 2006-08

If you really are concerned about your current portfolio for the long term, please feel free to contact us to discuss you investment strategy relative to your long-term goals and investment risk profile.

Call 92932922 or email to make an appointment.

2012 Federal Budget – Benchmark Snapshot

This Federal Budget has been widely commented on as a political budget with the aim to win back some Labor voters to the Government.

The $1.5 billion surplus cash surplus for 2012/2013 is micro thin. It may not even be delivered. Last year’s Budget forecast of a $12 billion deficit was actually a $44 billion deficit. The announcement of increased borrowing by the Government of $35 billion next financial year and lifting the borrowing debt limit by $50 billion to $300 billion needs to be put in context with the $1 billion forecast surplus.

The deferral and cutting of expenditure of Defence and Foreign Affairs for one year and bringing forward expenditure for next year 2012/2013 into this year 2011/2012 is nothing more than creative accounting.

The deferral of the undertaking to re-instate the $50,000 concessional contribution limit to Super from $25,000 in 2012/2013 for account balances less than $500,000 for 2 years is a short term gain but will be a long term cost to the Government by way of more funding requirements for retirement incomes.

The spending on education costs for families of $410 and $850 being paid directly into bank accounts is likely to be used for areas other than education.  Precedence to other household bills and spending in shops are likely. Sadly some will be wasted on alcohol, drugs and gambling. It would have been better to be paid to schools directly as a credit that could be used for school expenses and clothing.

The Budget is not designed to grow the economic cake for us to all benefit from. It is merely carving it up differently by taking from some and giving to others.

Some Government spending will help with the cost the Carbon Tax will have on the economy, including electricity prices. Single aged pensioners will get a $210 additional lump sum payment and aged pensioner couples $175 each. Additional spending of $3.7 Billion on aged care services over 5 years is a good item.

A surplus budget is a very good thing to achieve, although a forecast is one thing and delivering it is another matter. The worrying part of an increase in Government borrowing is that interest costs on a potential $300 billion debt will be $18 billion pa, based on 6% an interest rate, until the debt is paid back. This is not a good legacy for the future generations of taxpayers to fund when there are now more people retiring from the working force than entering it.

Australia however is in a very strong financial position and can sustain future financial shocks whenever they occur. Hopefully future Governments will be able to wind back this debt and leave a better financial legacy for future generations.

CLICK HERE to read the Benchmark Consultants 2012 Budget Snapshot

AFS is moving with the times

Meet MiAdviser – the newest technology connecting Benchmark clients with the latest in information.  Proudly brought to you by AFS (Australian Financial Services Ltd) our Licenced Dealer.

As a client of Benchmark you will soon be able to access the MiAdviser app for your smartphone or iPad.  Find out more about current market and economic information.

Check out the video at

The first of many

Hi, this is your local Financial Planner speaking…

I’d like to welcome you to the very first of many (hopefully) interesting and informative blog posts by Benchmark Consultants.

In case you don’t know who we are, here is our story.  Benchmark Consultants was established in 1986 by Peter Stewart.  Originally located in West Perth, Benchmark moved to the beautiful suburb of Kalamunda, in the Perth Hills, Western Australia in 1998.  Located at Suite 2, Barber House, 16 Mead Street Kalamunda, we have a fantastic team made up of many talented individuals. Financial Planning is about creating the best financial plan suited to a clients personal financial situation.  A financial plan can be made up of many facets including; salary packaging, superannuation, investments, insurances (life, TPD, income), tax minimisation, wealth creation, retirement planning, aged care advice, estate planning and more.

Our website contains some fantastic information on each individual topic so why not have a look? 

We hope you enjoy our blog and look forward to your feedback.

The Benchmark Team

PH: 08 9293 2922