· Podcast Episodes
What are the companies you’re investing in actually doing for sharholders? Steve Mabb - Chair Australian Shareholders’ Association
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Investing can often feel like a daunting task with the myriad of options and strategies available. However, the latest episode of our podcast featuring Steve Mabb, Chair of the Australian Shareholders' Association (ASA), sheds light on how you can leverage the power of collective knowledge to boost your investment game.

The Australian Shareholders Association has been a stalwart advocate for retail and small shareholders for over 60 years. Steve explains that the association's mission is to protect the rights of individual investors and create a better investment environment. This is achieved through a combination of advocacy and education. The ASA's recent merger with the Australian Investors' Association has further strengthened its position, making it a more formidable force in representing shareholders' interests.

One of the most valuable services provided by the ASA is its ASX company monitoring program. Volunteers from the association meet with top companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to review their annual reports and issues put to shareholders. This helps individual investors make informed decisions on how to vote on various issues. Steve emphasizes the importance of voting and suggests that if you find it too complicated, you can delegate your vote to the ASA, ensuring your voice is still heard.

CEO of Promedicus Sam Huoert and Phil Muscatello

Phil with the Sam Hupert the CEO of Promedicus

The episode also delves into the recent ASA conference held in Melbourne, which featured prominent CEOs and industry experts. I had the honour of being the even host. Steve shares insights from sessions with leaders such as Richard White from WiseTech Global and Sam Hupert from Promedicus. These sessions provided attendees with a unique opportunity to engage directly with the leadership of major companies, ask questions, and gain valuable insights.

For those interested in keeping up with economic trends, the episode features a segment on Warren Hogan's presentation at the conference. As an economist from Judo Bank, Warren provided a comprehensive overview of the current economic landscape, touching on topics like bracket creep, employment rates, and interest rates. His insights are particularly valuable for investors looking to understand the broader economic factors that could impact their portfolios.

The Harsh Statistics of Stock Picking

May favourite slide of the conference from Marc Jocum of GlobalX

In addition to conferences, the ASA offers a range of online events, webinars, and educational resources. Whether you're a novice investor or someone with a sizeable portfolio, the association provides tools and knowledge to help you make informed decisions. From estate planning courses to weekly webinars featuring industry experts, there's something for everyone.

If you're serious about investing and want to join a community of like-minded individuals, becoming a member of the ASA could be a wise move. As Steve points out, the annual membership fee is quite reasonable, especially considering the wealth of resources and advocacy you gain access to.


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Chloe: Shares for Beginners. Phil Muscatello and Finpods are authorized reps of money Sherpa. The information in this podcast is general in nature and doesn't take into account your personal situation.

Steve: Personally, Phil, I think one of the great developments of the last, you know, probably 20 or 30 years, but particularly the last five to ten, is index ETF's and the ability for someone that doesn't want to pick stocks just to buy an ETF and be able to get the market return, that's still long term, probably going to be a great way to build wealth. So I think we're very lucky personally to be in this era rather than 30, 40, 50 years ago where we had to pick stocks because we didn't have index funds or ETF's to be able to get that easier passive exposure to the stock market.

Phil: G'day and welcome back to shares for beginners. I'm Phil Muscatello. How can you tell if the leaders of Australia's largest listed companies are listening to your concerns? What are they actually doing to benefit shareholders? Joining me is the chair of the Australian Shareholders Association, Steve Mabb, after what seemed to be quite a successful conference in Melbourne last week. Steve.

Steve: G'day, Phil, how are you? Thank you very much for inviting me back on the podcast.

Phil: Oh, thanks very much for coming on. It was great to see you face to face again at the conference as well.

Steve: It was. And you did an absolutely fabulous job as our event host. We really appreciate you giving us a few days, and we made sure the whole event ran really smoothly and did a fabulous job. So thank you very much.

Phil: I, uh, was able to unleash my inner bully as event base. And as I said, it's not Mc anymore because that gives connotations of a spinning bow tie.

Steve: Exactly. You were definitely not a, uh, spinning bow tie man. You did a great job being a professional host. Yeah, well, exactly. We can keep that for down the track.

Phil: So just before we go and talk about the conference, there's some news about, I'll use the bunny ears, the strategy that you have been talking about, because the association is going to be moving into a bit more of a focus direction, I believe. And this is also in the aftermath of the merger with the Australian Investors association as well, which has made the association bigger, brighter and much better.

Steve: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. We amalgamated with the Australian Investors association over the last six months and we are a bigger group now, and that gave us the chance to kind of really sit down and look at what we've been doing for the last 60 years, of course, what's made the ASA so great? But also what do people need from us going forward? Why should you be a member and why would you want to be a member and what should you expect as a member of the merged group, uh, the shareholders association? So I'd love to share some of that today quickly with people. If you're not familiar with it and you know, if you might find this really valuable, it'd be good to share all the details with people.

Phil: That's great. Yeah, tell us all about it. Because just to remind listeners, of course, the Australian Shareholders association for over 60 years has been protecting the rights of retail and small shareholders against the might of the big end of town.

Steve: Exactly. Yeah. So really I guess the vision for ASA going forward is to be that, still be that voice, the leading voice and the leading community for all Aussie shareholders and investors. And the way we do that is we really advocate for you as a shareholder and try and create a, uh, better investment environment for you to invest in. And we do that really in two ways that advocacy work and also education as well. So it'll be good to kind of talk through, through that. So in terms of history, as we mentioned, we've been around since 1960 and we really try and serve all australian shareholders and especially the small or the self directed investor, the legal term for its retail investors. That's how the industry talks about it. We don't love that term. We really just like, you know, self directed or self managed or individual shareholders. And we do that all across Australia. There's a community all around the country of uh, really engaged shareholder groups and also, you know, other members that participate in the various activities of ASA. So how do we do that in terms of the, I guess the engagement part of it, first of all? Well, it is about community, really fostering a big community of shareholders that are members and at times also members that attend investing groups in their local areas.

Phil: And which I, I can highly recommend, Steve, I mean that was my gateway into the association and seeing the passion and the knowledge and the shared wisdom of the members and uh, actually understanding a different way of investing to what I'd been exposed to in the past.

Steve: Exactly. And we have about, ah, 50 of those groups a month all around Australia. And normally people from that local geography come to those investing groups and we talk about all different things over the course of a year. So there'll be guest speakers that come along and talk about various investment topics. There'll be member presentations where really knowledgeable or experienced members share things that have worked for them or, you know, issues or problems that they've found and how they've dealt with them. So it gives you a chance to talk to other really experienced and knowledgeable investors. So particularly if you're at the start of your investing journey or you're not spending tons of time on it, you can learn a lot from those other, uh, really experienced members that are part of those discussion groups. The other thing we do, of course, is what we call ASX company monitoring. So that's where we have a team of volunteers that try and go out and meet with roughly the biggest 200 companies on the ASX every year. Uh, and they work through their annual reports and then the various issues that they're putting to shareholders at their annual meetings to be voted on. And they will from there, make suggestions on how you might vote as an individual shareholder. So this is something that, you know, I think is really relevant for most, most shareholders. Individual shareholders actually don't vote. It's too hard, it's too complicated. They haven't got the time, whatever the issue is. And what we really would advocate there is that if you're not going to vote, then give your vote or your proxy. We call it to the ASA to vote on your behalf so that someone can go and represent you at those meetings and make sure that your voice is being heard in a way that most other, uh, retail or individual shareholders feel is the best way to vote on those various issues. So if you are someone that votes, or you want to read all about it and you want to learn all about it, you can absolutely do that. You can look at the reports that ASA produces and, you know, make your own mind up from there. If you're not someone that votes, then, yeah, please give your votes to the ASA rather than not having them heard at all. If you don't do anything, then normally the chair of the meeting will just vote your shareholding, and they're normally going to vote the way that it suits them, of course. So that's the second area that I think is really valuable to individual shareholders, given most of us don't get involved in that at the moment. We also engage with all the relevant authorities on your behalf. So the ASX and ASIC and the government regulators, etcetera, whenever it's relevant, we'll engage with them and put our views forward on various items of policy or legislation, whatever it might be, again, with the views or the issues that individual shareholders would feel are, uh, most important or, you know, would want to be considered. So a recent example of this is the proposed changes to the wholesale investor or sophisticated investor qualifications. Uh, and if you haven't heard much about that, there's a legal definition here between what you would consider uh, a retail shareholder that most of us would be, versus a wholesale or an institutional investor. And, and they have less disclosure requirements. There's less information that needs to be provided to someone if they're considered wholesale or sophisticated. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that. The issue is what's the qualification? How do you get classified as one of those versus anybody else? And one of the problems with it is of course that people get locked out of various investment opportunities if they're not considered wholesale or they're not considered sophisticated. So we just made a submission on that recently around how we think it could be fairer, uh, and better applied so that people that are serious and really active with their investing don't miss out or get locked out of those investment opportunities if they're interested in them. And then I guess the last one in terms of how we help with engagement is we hold some online events all through the year. So webinars and Zoom meetings where again you can come along and hear from individual companies and ask your questions of the CEO's or the executives from ASX type companies and other kinds of investments. And then we also hold a UH, flagship conference, which is the one you were mentioning earlier every year, where it's a two or three day event in one of the major cities and you can come along and hear all kinds of really interesting and really valuable investing information again from ASX companies, from economists, from industry experts, and also mix again with hundreds of other really engaged and really smart investors. So we just had our conference there in Melbourne and I know we can talk about that in a second, but the good news is we're actually planning to expand those going forward. So if you are a member, or if you want to become a member, you're going to have even more conference opportunities in even more locations throughout the year going forward to be able to participate in.

Phil: And one of the great things about the conference is, like you said, we get the CEO's of some of Australia's largest listed companies there and I mean, who'd want to be a CEO? I mean, not only do they have the problems with activists and people always trying to tell them how to do their job better and so forth, but then to come to the shareholders association conference to have the blowtorch applied as well.

Steve: Exactly. Yeah, and we had some great CEO's at our conference this year, we had Richard White from Wise Tech, the founder and the CEO. Uh, at Wisetech, we had Sam Hupert, the CEO and founder from Promedicus. We had three of the big ASX company chairs there. Phil Cronnikin from National Australia Bank, Patricia McKenzie from AGL, Christian O'Laughlin from Suncorp. So there was, you know, lots of those really large company leaders at the conference. We had some panel discussions and members got a chance to put their questions directly to those CEO's and chairs and find out, uh, you know, what they had to say to the issues or the questions that members had. So you just don't really get that opportunity any other time throughout the year, unless you're the kind of person that might go to the occasional AGM as an individual shareholder. You just don't get that chance normally to engage that directly with the leadership of those big companies. So again, that's one of the biggest benefits of being at uh, the conference. We also had some small cap companies come along too, some interesting smaller companies where maybe they're not as well known. And again, you get a chance to hear about an interesting, some innovative stories.

Phil: Because that's where the innovation is coming from. You know, a lot of the large companies, you know what they do, they've been doing it for years and they do it very well, but the smaller companies are where the action is often happening.

Steve: Well, that's right. I mean, wise tech and promedicus that we mentioned, they were small companies one day, you know, when they first listed, they weren't that big and they weren't that well known. And obviously they've gone on to become, um, you know, much bigger companies. And, you know, people that invested in them early have done really well. So hopefully each year you're going to hear from some interesting small companies and some of those might go on to be the next wise tech or the next Promedicus. So, yeah, that's a great opportunity as well. We also do a whole bunch of other things throughout the year, Phil. So while the conference is amazing, it's not your only opportunity. We have a weekly webinar, uh, where people can come in and hear from either a company CEO, uh, or an interesting industry expert, and again, put some questions to them. We have a uh, wonderful podcast, and obviously you do lots of podcasts on behalf of ASA, which is fantastic. We also have lots of courses and another interesting information on the website too, that members can access. So yeah, there's a really interesting estate planning course. For example, when I say interesting, that's a pretty heavy topic, but lots of people need help or haven't really looked hard at what their plans or their wishes are, uh, when the inevitable happens. So we've got a wonderful estate planning course where you can jump in and learn more about those things and see if your current plan is up to scratch, or if you haven't got a plan, get some help on how you can do that. So, yeah, there's some of the other great tools that you can access on the website.

Phil: Let's remind listeners, Steve, that it's all for the bargain price of, what is it, dollar 160 a year for green membership.

Steve: It's actually only 149.

Phil: 149, yeah.

Steve: So it isn't that expensive given all of those benefits that you get. And all of those benefits we were just talking about come as part, uh, of your membership, other than the conference. The conference does cost extra because we put on some fabulous food and drink and all that kind of thing for you at the conference. So that costs extra, but all those other kind of benefits are all included in your membership. So, yeah, we think very good value for people, particularly if you are serious or you've got a reasonable size portfolio, for example, or, you know, you're hoping to one day that's not a lot of money to spend to get all of that help and have someone representing and advocating for you throughout the year. Uh, the other interesting new thing we're doing, Phil, is we are partnering with more of the ASX companies going forward than we have historically. And when we say partnering, part of it is what we were just talking about, you know, bringing them to you and giving you a chance to engage directly with them and talk to them and put your hard questions to them, but also providing them education and feedback on what they're doing around their governance. You know, the kinds of things they're doing with the way they pay their executives, or how they put their board together, or if they do a capital raising, how they treat their smaller shareholders in that capital raising, or, uh, how easy it is for shareholders to understand their communications and what they're saying to their shareholders. So we engage with our company partners now on all of those kinds of issues, and we make recommendations to them on how they can improve that, you know, what they could do better there to make it easier and more aligned with their small shareholders. Those companies engage with their big shareholders a lot. You know, they'll sit down with big fund managers or super funds or whatever, you know, quite often throughout the year. Uh, but us smaller or individual shareholders don't really get that one on one chance very often, if at all. So that's, again, where ASA is getting really proactive going forward and starting to engage with the companies on your behalf and share with them, you know, what they can or should do better, uh, in those areas if they want to be more appealing and more valuable to individual shareholders.

Phil: So let's talk about the conference. I know you love your children all equally, but did you have any highlight speakers? We won't say favorite speakers, but who were the highlights for you?

Steve: Yeah, there were a lot of great sessions, I think Warren Hogan, the economist from Judo bank, and he was my pick, too. Oh, was he? Yeah, he did a great session on, you know, kind of just the macro, the big picture of what's going on in the economy at the moment. And he had some really interesting observations that I hadn't kind of read widely anywhere else. He, in particular, he was kind of touching on bracket creep being a big issue, and he thinks that the impact of bracket creep over the last year or two is one of the reasons that the economy is getting a bit slower. Retail spending or retail confidence in consumer confidence is getting a bit tougher over the last few months, positively. He did think when the tax cuts come through and some of the electricity bill assistance that's been announced comes through, that might take a bit of pressure off households for a little while. He also was pretty bullish on, um, employment. He didn't think the unemployment rate was going to skyrocket anytime soon, barring some kind of, you know, black swan financial disaster. He had a pretty positive view for, uh, the unemployment level staying pretty low and manageable at the moment. So I guess that augurs well for a lot of people that, you know, want or have a job. So, yeah, he gave a great presentation. He didn't think interest rates were coming down anytime soon, for what it's worth. And look, we know with economists, they have to make predictions and they don't always come true. But the reason we had Warren there is he was voted as the economist of the year by the financial Review last year for the accuracy of his predictions. So that was the reason we wanted Warren to come and talk to our members at the conference, obviously, because he's got a very good track record recently of getting a lot of these big calls. Right.

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Phil: And as I said at the conference, he's well worth a follow on Twitter. X, whatever you want to call it. Yeah, I think it's underscore Warren Hogan is his handle, but he's great. He actually posts on there quite well. And I know a lot of people think that X is a sewer, but you just have to curate your feed and get the good ones, like, um.

Steve: Exactly. Yeah, he provides a lot of great content there, so that is a good idea. I also thought our, uh, company sessions were really interesting. It was great to hear from Sam Hupert on the first morning from Promedicus about how they built this amazing software company that's now gone global and is becoming a big participant in the US. For example, they do radiology software, and it's, uh, just a small company that came out of Richmond, I think, in Melbourne, and has gone on to be one of the dominant players now in the radiology world globally.

Phil: Uh, that's really interesting what they do, isn't it? And they're almost like a Netflix of radiology. I think he used that expression to. Because they're streaming the data.

Steve: Exactly.

Phil: So when you go and get your MRI or your ultrasound or whatever, it then gets converted into a digital format that then is easily supplied to other doctors. And I think they're also putting some AI into it as well.

Steve: Yeah, it's a massive file. He said, you know, the size of the file when you look at these radiology scans or whatever's, you know, huge. And that's been a barrier to, uh, getting them looked at quickly and getting them sent around quickly, etcetera. So promedicus is kind helping solve that problem. And, yeah, the AI part of it was interesting, wasn't it, where he talked about, traditionally, a lot of the time you needed two or three radiologists to look at a scan, to get multiple opinions, to get a, uh, you know, more accurate diagnosis. And what they're doing at Promedicus is making it easier for one doctor to look at it and then also have the AI look at it and come up with that independent or unbiased second opinion, I suppose, yeah.

Phil: Uh, because didn't he say that in Australia we have two doctors looking at any images, but in the United States, it's only ever one doctor?

Steve: That's right, yeah. Which is obviously a potential gap if something gets missed. So the idea of using AI to try and mislead things sounded like a big benefit. So, yeah, that was really interesting.

Richard White gave some interesting perspectives on where AI could go next

And hearing from Richard White on AI from wise tech. That was really interesting too. He had some both comforting and some challenging views about where AI was going to be. Part of what he said was it's very hard to predict where it's going over the next two or three years even, because it is so new and b, there's so many possibilities for where this can go. So, yeah, I thought he had some, you know, some frank and interesting views on those kinds of issues as well. So, yeah, that was some of the great sessions. There's a lot of really good sessions, but yeah, that was some of the great sessions that I found, you know, quite interesting and I learned some things from.

Phil: And it's one of those buzz phrases, isn't it, that's worked its way in. There's, every year there's going to be a new buzz phrase. This year it was AI. There was a lot of people who seemed to work that into it. But I've got this theory with AI that I'm sure I've shared this with you before, that AI is going to be something that will pervade so many enterprises and so many industries that it's not really necessary to try and find somewhere to invest directly in AI just because it happens to be a buzz phrase, that it is going to be one of those things that will fundamentally change so many industries.

Steve: Exactly. I think there's lots of things we can look to over, uh, history that uh, might have changed the world or might have become a massive thing, but they weren't necessarily great investments for most investors. So there's some good, obviously, examples there, things like airlines and things like railways and even just the Internet itself, you know, that these things have changed the world. But there was a lot of money lost by investors getting in early to those things and then eventually just becoming commoditized or a really, you know, super competitive industry and turn. The returns for investors were pretty bad over time, or have been pretty bad over time, so who knows? But you know, personally, how I'm trying to apply AI to my investing is to say, you know, is it going to be a benefit or a negative for my company? If I own shares in a company, they going to be able to use AI to become more efficient or more profitable or more productive or bring in more customers or whatever it might be, or uh, are they now at a risk of being disrupted or their business model being crushed or whatever it might be? And those are really hard things to work out, of course, but yeah, that's how I've been thinking about it lately. Is, is this company that I might own or be interested in, likely to benefit from using AI in their business. That seems a more manageable, uh, or predictable thing than who's going to be the next AI winner, which I have absolutely no idea.

Phil: It's interesting, though, you say that they might be disrupted as well, because that's the other side of it. Will this technology allow for more disruption of existing players?

Steve: Exactly, yeah. And I mean, that's pretty likely, isn't it? You can imagine there's quite a few industries where the use of AI could certainly change the industry significantly and potentially some of the players it could be very bad for. So, yeah, big questions, hard stuff to work out. Uh, but probably important to start to form a view and learn as much as you can about this because it probably is going to be world changing from what we're reading and hearing about from the experts in the space.

Phil: One of my favourite speakers was Mark Jocum from Globalx ETF's. Were there on the first night. Did you see that presentation?

Steve: I did, yeah. I did, yeah. And it was really interesting.

Phil: It was really interesting, especially before a session which was all about picking stocks.

Steve: That's right, yeah.

Phil: Because obviously, don't you. Yeah. As an ETF provider, they want to point out the pointlessness of investing directly in the share market and buying individual shares. But I've got this slide that he provided. And this is the harsh statistics of stock picking, and this is 100 years of data on the australian share market. 40% of stocks suffered a catastrophic loss and never recovered. 58% of stocks lost money for shareholders. 67% of stocks underperformed the broad share market, which really speaks to how difficult it is to find good companies to invest in.

Steve: That's right, yeah. Now, uh, statistically, it's pretty hard, isn't it, to be a stock picker and beat the market? I mean, there's some really good data produced every year. I think it's by SPIVA that. Oh, that's right, tracks, yeah, tracks all the fund managers and, you know, historically, over time, uh, roughly eight out of ten managed funds can't beat the market. And they're professionals, you know, that's what they do all day, every day, is study the stock market and try and pick the winners. Now, there's obviously lots of theories for that. One of them being the fees that funds have to charge makes it harder for them to beat the market. But yes, it's definitely not an easy thing to be a stock picker and pick all of the right stocks and think that you're going to outperform the market. And, uh, uh, personally, Phil, I think one of the great developments of the last probably 20 or 30 years, but particularly the last five to ten, is index ETF's. And the ability for someone that doesn't want to pick stocks just to buy an ETF and be able to get the market return, that's still long term, probably going to be a great way to build wealth. So I think we're very lucky, personally, to be in this era, rather than 30, 40, 50 years ago, where we had to pick stocks because we didn't have index funds or ETF's to be able to get that easier, passive exposure to the stock market.

Phil: Having said that, we've saw it the way people loved seeing the stock picking forums and also the Marcus, um, Padley tickers on a platter.

Steve: Yes, that's right.

Phil: Because people just want to hear that. They love it. They just love hearing these stories and they love getting these ideas, and people are scribbling down their notes, on their notes going, I'm going to research this one, and maybe this one's going to be the big winner.

Steve: Exactly. And yeah, we're very happy at ASA to try and help people with that. We do really think we can help you if you want to be a stock picker by giving you, you know, access to the companies again, and advocating for you with the companies, and advocating for you with the regulators, etc. Giving you lots of good education and opportunities throughout the year to learn a lot more than you might on your own. So, yeah, certainly not trying to turn anyone off, you know, trying to be a stock picker or, you know, getting involved in building your own portfolio, that's a wonderful thing to do, and some people end up doing it really, really well. So, yeah, certainly if that's what you like to do, I think Asa can help you with that. But equally, if you just want to, you know, kind of be a general investor and invest in indexes or, you know, more passive kinds of investments, Asa can definitely help you with that as well. So, yeah, whichever kind of investor you are, uh, there's probably something there for you.

Phil: And it's also to learn about other markets. I mean, I felt very sorry. I was in the next room when Marcus and Henry were having their tickers on a platter forum session with, uh, Philip from Fig, who was talking about bonds. And, you know, a lot of people's eyes glaze over with bonds, but, you know, listeners will know that sometimes I do go on about fixed income a little bit too much, even though we're talking about shares because the bond market is so huge in comparison.

Steve: Yeah, that's right.

Phil: A stockbroker mate of mine has said to me, you know, those guys are much smarter, the bond guys are much smarter than the stock pickers. You know, they're real geeks and they really know what they're doing. And these bond markets are, uh, at the moment, people don't realize how close interest rates are affecting the share market as well.

Steve: Yeah, and the bond market internationally is much bigger than the stock market and it is a much more, what would you say, vanilla investment internationally than it is in Australia. There's a lot of us and european investors that have plenty of bonds in their portfolio. Australia is a little bit behind, it seems, in terms of individual investors getting access to bonds or being able to invest in bonds. And when I was talking earlier about that wholesale investor test, that's one of the reasons you have to be classified as a, uh, wholesale or a sophisticated investor to get direct access to really large bond issues in Australia. So there are some barriers. It's not as easy as investing in ETF's or stocks, but there's some great ETF's obviously now too, that give you access to bonds if you don't want to buy individual bonds, for example. So yeah, it was good to have some fixed income experts there as well and to talk about the bond market and what you can expect as an investor if you do decide to invest in bonds.

Phil: Yeah, and also the real estate market as well, the reits and areits and all of that. That session I was moderating, there was one guy there and he, I've heard from other people about how much bad news there is, especially in the United States, for commercial real estate. But he said, well, you know, if you're looking outside of just the US, that there's actually some very good real estate still available and investments in the real estate sector as well. So it's just something as well. People should be aware of that. You don't need to be investing in individual shares. There are other sectors that can be of interest and have other characteristics that can be good for your portfolio in the long term.

Steve: That's right. And now that we are one amalgamated group with the investors association, we are providing more than just information on shares, obviously, we're providing info on real estate, on bonds, on general investing topics like estate planning and, yeah, gold, uh, superannuation and all those kinds of general investing topics throughout the year as well. So even if you're not a stock picker, there's definitely going to be things at the ASA that'll be able to help you. And I think, you know, in terms of who's the, probably the most likely person that would benefit from ASA, it's particularly if you're retired or even approaching retirement, you know, if you're starting to think seriously about making your money work for you in retirement and you know how you're going to live in retirement. That's who the typical ASA member is at the moment. Doesn't mean we don't welcome younger people and that we can't help younger people as well. But we find that those that are getting later into their working age and starting to think seriously about their retirement, uh, are the people that are, uh, probably going to benefit the most as they're making that transition from their asa journey and membership. So, yeah, hopefully there's lots of good things there that people are interested in. It's really not that expensive. And if you are serious about your investment and your investment returns and how you're going to manage those next phases of your life, Asa can probably help you.

Phil: Yeah. And, um, that's actually going to be the next episode. I'm getting Rebecca Wilson back onto the podcast who was talking about fabulous, wasn't she? The retirement session? Because I was really shocked recently to find out that, you know, when someone's finished their job, they've got no idea about money, they've got no idea about finance, and they're going to retire. Most people just go to their superannuation fund and say, well, I'm retiring now, what should I do? And they just get placed into this, an income bucket that's provided by the superannuation company, and the only way they can actually find out the range of options that are available for them and their investments and the way they want to lead their life is with expensive financial advice. There's just no in between. And I'm hoping that the ASA can provide a little bit of this in between information for people so they can have a much more informed decision about what they're going to do as they move into retirement.

Steve: Exactly. Yeah. I mean, we certainly wouldn't try and talk someone out of seeing a financial advisor. It's a great thing to do if you need it. But to your point, Phil, it is very. And also, there really aren't enough financial advisors at the moment in Australia to cover everybody. If everyone did try and get financial advice, you just wouldn't be able to get access to them with the number that we have at the moment. So what does that mean. That means people have to try and, you know, manage or decide to manage these issues themselves. And, yeah, being part of ASA can definitely help you with some of those big questions and big issues. And again, you've got a big community of other really knowledgeable, experienced investors to be part of if you choose to and talk to them about those things and get some advice from them about those things on a individual basis. Uh, just having a friendly chat with another investor type basis.

Phil: That's right. See what the range of options are that are available because so many of these financial advisors, because there's so few of them, I know several of them have got this cutoff limit. Like, if you haven't got $4 million, forget about seeing them.

Steve: Yeah, yeah. It is expensive. It is a problem we have at the moment. I thought Beck made some really good points in her session on retirement, too, around just how long a lot of us are likely to live, and the traditional retirement age of around 65, you could expect to live 2030, you know, maybe 40 years more than that. So the idea of, you know, having a nest egg or having some super and retiring, and then, you know, a few years later, you're no longer with us and you don't need to worry about your money. Those. Those days are gone for a lot of people, and we do need to make our nest egg work a lot harder for us or a lot longer for us in retirement. So, again, even if you are retired or about to retire for a lot of people, it doesn't mean you should put the investing tools away. You probably still need to keep thinking about those things for a lot longer, given how long people are living on average now.

Phil: I loved her story when she was talking about how when she was young and she borrowed some money from her dad, and her dad made her, huh, come up with a payback plan before he would lend the money to her. So she understood that, you know, the importance of money. And then her own daughter, who's traveling overseas, she was trying to do the same thing for her daughter, and she was telling her dad about that, and he said, oh, uh, just tell her to give grandpa a call. I'll help.

Steve: That's right. Yeah. He'd spent a lot of his time as a granddad. It sounded like trying to help the grandkids. So, um, yeah, wonderful. If you've got a mentor or, you know, someone really knowledgeable in your life to help you with that, and if you don't, again, that's hopefully where, you know, the community, Asa, where there's a lot of really, you know, knowledgeable, older or more experienced investors that you could bounce these things off as well.

Phil: Yeah. Okay. Well, again, thank you for the opportunity for inviting me to become the event host of the conference. I had a great time bullying everyone, bullying speakers and telling you you've only got five minutes. Get off.

Steve: No, you definitely not a bully fool. You did it in a very professional and lovely way, as you always do. And I know everyone was really happy.

Phil: So passive aggressive?

Steve: Uh, no, not at all. You did a great job. Everything went really, uh, smoothly. We weren't running over time or having to cut anyone's sessions, so did a great job with the timekeeping as well, which is often a challenge. But yeah, it was a wonderful conference. Really appreciate your help with it, and hopefully we'll be having two or three next year and you'll be back with us to help with some of those again. And we'd love to see some and new people that aren't, uh, currently members of Asa join and come and benefit from the conference as well.

Phil: Ok, we'll put all the links in the blog post in the notes, as usual. Steve Mab, thanks very much for joining me today.

Steve: Thanks so much Phil. Really appreciate it.

Chloe: Thanks for listening to shares for beginners. You can find if you enjoy listening, please take a moment to rate or review in your podcast player or tell a friend who might want to learn more about investing for their future.

TONY KYNASTON is a multi-millionaire professional investor thanks to the QAV checklist he developed . Tony's knowledge and calm analysis takes the guesswork out of share market investing.

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