Making the most out of your super and minimising the amount of tax you pay is really important when it comes to securing your financial future. However, the next strategy is to be investing correctly.

At its most basic, investing is where you buy assets that over time will give you back more than you paid for them. The returns you get from assets are in the form of an income, capital growth, or a combination of the two.

Before continuing, this blog does not cover asset creation, which happens when you do things like property development or building your own business. The four biggest mistakes people make with investing are 1) they make it too complicated, 2) they are impatient, they don’t take the time to understand the risks of certain investments, 3) they try to time their investments with market rises or falls, or 4) they just don’t do it. Below are the ways to address these mistakes.

Keep it simple

Investing doesn’t need to be complicated. All you need to do is to diversify across different assets (i.e. shares, property, cash), keep the fees you pay to a minimum, and invest regularly. Instead of investing in 25 different companies, buy an index fund or Exchange Traded Fund. It will do the job for you, won’t require you to do any research, and the fees are pretty low.

Be patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day. In the last 20 years, growth assets like shares and property have averaged between 7% and 8%. Sure, there are some companies that have done much better than this, but you only know this after the fact. It wasn’t a given that Amazon would go from an online bookstore in 1994 to the global store that sells everything.

Be patient and invest for the long-term. Don’t put your money in high risk assets if you need it in two years for your house deposit.

Understand risks

Risk and likely returns are directly related. If there is an expectation of higher returns, it is because there are more potential risks with it. If there weren’t any risks and the higher returns were pretty much guaranteed, everyone else would be investing in it and the cost of buying it would be higher.

Do your research and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Don’t try to pick the market

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “is now a good time to invest”. The answer is always a yes, especially if it is a long-term investment.

Over the last 20 years, there have been some significant events including the second Iraq war, the Global Financial Crisis, Brexit, the Japanese tsunami, and more recently COVID. Some of these events have had a big impact on share markets and some have had hardly any impact at all.

After the Global Financial Crisis it took the Australian share market nearly 5 years to get back to the high of 2007, but for most other events, including COVID, it was back to the highs within a few months.

Just do it

The single biggest mistake people make is they don’t invest at all, or they wait for ‘the right time”. Not investing will lock you into having to work until you can access your super, or in the worst case scenario, when you are old enough to get the aged pension. Taking inspiration from the Nike slogan and just do it.

I specialise in helping people make the most of their money, and love talking about investments. If you want a hand to sort yours out, book a chat via the button below or contact us on 0417 034 252 or at

About the Author
Phil Harvey is an independent financial adviser. In 2017 Phil set up his company Construct Wealth to help clients best manage their finances so they focus on what is important to them. He is a founding member of the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers and a tax financial adviser, registered with the Tax Practitioners Board.

General Advice Warning
This advice contains general information. It may not be suitable to you because it does not consider your personal circumstances. Phil Harvey and Construct Wealth are authorised representatives of Independent Financial Advisers Australia (AFSL 464629)

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