I have often said that my circle of competence revolves around the 3 F's: Finance, Family and Football.
Some people think I jest, however, as the CEO of the Household can attest, we've checked, and there's no much else there I'm afraid. It's got me thinking, there's no better time to be a Parent, Investor or Footballer.
No Better Time to be an Investor
Many clients, especially retirees, require income from their investments. As the old saying goes, 'You can't take growth to the butcher!'. Rather than increasing the idiosyncratic risk of the portfolio and buying a small basket of 10 individual shares, investors can now own the highest yielding 30 ASX listed companies in one listed Vanguard Exchange Traded Fund instantly diversifying their capital. They receive a plump dividend cheque not bi-annually, but quarterly. The management fee is 25 basis points per annum. Bugger all! 20 years ago, this was not an option. Transactional costs are no longer 3%. There is instant transparency, visibility and accessibility (not a good thing for some people I must say, the average Robin Hood client in the US checks their holdings 10 times a day). Click Here to watch how it used to work. If you want access to investments overseas, you can now choose between direct ownership, low cost ETF's or active fund managers. There is no better time to be an investor (definitely couldn't say that in 2007/2008 though!).
No Better Time to be a Parent
"Google is God. I think it's replaced God for us......One in five queries posed to Google have never been asked before in the history of humankind. Think of a cleric, a rabbi, a priest, a teacher, a coach that has so much credibility that one in 5 questions posed to that individual have never been asked before".
- Scott Galloway
US Professor Scott Galloway says Google is now our God, priest, doctor, encyclopedia, psychiatrist...you name it. We ask/tell Google things we wouldn't dare ask/tell anyone. Whenever we want something answered in a heartbeat, there's only one place to go. So when young parents notice a small rash on their child, instead of taking them to a clinic in the middle of the night to receive an assessment, they instead ask Dr. Google. Symptoms? Dr. Google.
The CEO of the Household couldn't attend James's 1st Day of kinder, our beautiful daughter Genevieve was born a day earlier. Thanks to Apple and FaceTime, she didn't miss a moment of him walking and settling in. When I took James to the football for the first time this year, I was pretty chuffed that the electronic device didn't have to make an appearance until the last quarter. Rather than have to leave (or risk him jumping the fence and onto the field) I got another 15 minutes out of him. He made me a chocolate cake on the Doodle Cake app. Then we lost! (vs. NM) Should have left! When we're out for dinner, the 3 munchkins are mostly well behaved (mostly!) but as my Dad says, 'not every day is the same'. So when we see the writing on the wall, the iPhone makes an appearance so we don't have to see the pasta on the wall. (Genevieve, 18 months old, has quite an arm on her) Back in the day, my old man reminds me that he had to run after me in the restaurant and lay a few AFL type tackles to stop me. Teenagers travel overseas and they instantly FaceTime their parents, letting them know they've arrived safely. There's no better time to be a parent!
No Better Time to be a Footballer!
I recently caught up with a current assistant coach. He had some interesting things to say about the current state of the game. One of which was, if you minus the media scrutiny, there is no better time to be an AFL footballer. Better remuneration, new recovery techniques (eg. Joel Selwood plays this week), ground breaking rehabilitation methods (LARS knee reconstructions) and companies like ASX listed Catapult (CAT) providing wearable devices capable of limiting injury and improving running patterns.
He said that 20 years ago, if a player was underperforming, the coaches would tend to give up on them and away they went. Delisted! Nowadays, with the amount of assistant coaches, and the level of detailed analysis undertaken, an assistant coach is able to pinpoint pretty quickly which areas of a players game can be improved on and how to go about it as quickly as possible. On the flip side, it does mean that any edge a club has can be quickly eradicated.
(For what it is worth, my two bob's worth on the matter of AFL personnel saturation is, if the clubs can afford to have these coaches on the books (they are supposed to be non-profit maximizing entities) and it allows someone to work in an industry they're passionate about (they have to be) and simultaneously put bread on table, then why not!?)
There's no better time to be an Investor, Parent of Footballer!