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Friday, January 15, 2010

What Global Financial Crisis?

Following the generous tax concessions introduced by the Howard government to make people provide for their own retirement, I set up my own Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) several years ago. I mean who could pass up a flat tax rate of 15% while funds accumulate, and then be completely tax-free in the pension phase?

In lock-step with the overall sharemarket, my fund reached its zenith in November 2007 with the All Ordinaries Index hitting 6808. Exactly a year later, the Index had slumped to 3332 and I, together with millions of other investors, had seen half of my share portfolio go up in smoke! And yet worse was to come when the Index nose-dived to 3111 in March 2009!

The bitter lesson we all learnt was that there are no safe bets, that there are no shares you can simply buy-and-forget. Ever since, I have actively traded my portfolio, have several times gone fully into cash, then positioned myself for the next upswing.

In this way, I have traded my portfolio back to within 4% of its all-time high in November 2007 whereas the All Ords is still languishing at 4929, or 27% below its all-time high.

So who said I didn't save anything for retirement?