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Owen Caterer

Why are you disorganized about money?

Posted on November 17, 2016 Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrss

Not till after the break?  Why a lack of process hurts your investments.

Financial advisers tend to hate holidays.  Not because we are irredeemable workaholics (although I know a few who are).  It is because people use them as an excuse to delay making a decision.  Can we talk after the Summer/Chinese New Year/Christmas/Mid Autumn festival?  The Chinese system little holidays almost every month, so they act as an enabler for the excuse finding expatriate.  The excuses are used because making a decision is important and potentially complicated, so it uses lots of brain power.  It’s hard work, so we put it off to another day.  But what is the result?  Usually wasted opportunities, and then finally poor rushed ‘gut based’ decisions.  Is that a rational approach?

Are you logical and business-like when it comes to your finances?   Probably not.

I know we haven’t met, but I’m pretty confident in my guess.  I’d put money on it.  I’d say there is a less than 10% chance you are.  This is based on discussions with hundreds, possibly thousands of people over the last 10 years.  In fact I’d say less than a 5% chance since I can only think of two clients I’ve ever met that were methodical, rational and organized.  My gosh, weren’t they great to work with!

But shouldn’t you be logical and business-like when it comes to your money?  Otherwise, what is the point of all that hard slog at work?  You don’t need a finance brain, just a system of making decisions.  A schedule with actions to complete, space blocked in your schedule and deadlines for achieving things.  Just like at work.  It’s more important than work after all, since it is one of the main reasons you bother to go to work.

So where to start?


So over winter whilst you are inside escaping the cold weather.  Have a look at your finances too and consider your situation, outlook and general approach.  Do you have good money management habits?

Do you have an action plan and a regular review schedule?  Just like you schedule your holiday, you should schedule how you handle your money.  Set aside once per quarter for 2 hours to review your situation.  Twice per year you should have an in depth review to not just look at your portfolio, but also to reconsider your goals, progress and draft and action plan, since things always change.

We will have more on this topic soon.  But the first step is to prioritize managing your affairs properly, and develop a regular time in your schedule.  Once you block regular time, then you can start considering your options and making decisions with a process.  More on building a proper plan soon.  The first step is to get started.

About Caterer Goodman Partners
Caterer Goodman Partners is a Shanghai based wealth management firm established with a clear vision to provide a new level of personalized financial planning services for expatriates in Asia. Our financial advisors provide guidance for our clients in all areas of investment, specialising in managed accounts, money-market funds, retirement planning and alternative investments. At Caterer Goodman Partners, we offer our advice and experience to provide low cost, tax-effective and simple solutions to match our clients’ interests.

About Owen Caterer
Since graduation Mr Owen Caterer has worked with the Queensland Premier's Department in Trade Facilitation and then as a financial adviser in Shanghai from 2005 until 2010.  He then rose to Senior Adviser, then Business Development manager and then to Chief Investment Officer responsible for portfolios to a value of US$280 million across Asia. Following that Mr Caterer left to found his own firm with a partner in the financial advisory and wealth management area.   This focused on developing China and Asia's first fee-based financial advisory (rather than commission-based). This has grown to now have 8 staff and and managing almost US$35 million for clients throughout Asia. This business success was recognized as a finalist in the 2013 ACBA in the Start Up Enterprises category and are one of a small number of foreign managed firms to have a full asset management license in China.  Owen has also been active in the community volunteering for the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and acting as the Vice-Chair of the Small Business Working Group (2012-2014) and as the Co-Deputy Chair of the Financial Services since 2013 until the present. They have continued to grow their business and have now been selected as a small group of companies who are platinum members of the Australian chamber of commerce. The achievement they are most proud of is their efforts to reform the financial planning industry in China and push it away from a hard-sales commission driven model to a more ethical management fee and long term customer service model.   Owen has a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance from the Securities Institute of Australia of which he was a member as a Fellow of Finance for many years and also has an undergraduate degree from Griffith University in International Business.  Owen's interests are tennis, running and his wife and two children.  He speaks fluent Chinese, first arriving in China in 1997.
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