April 13, 2015

From the Ground Up

         From the Ground Up

         Life may be going swimmingly well right now and the future seems assured. That is assuming nothing major changes. Here are a some examples of the sorts of changes which usually come as a surprise. Accidents, major illness, relational issues, business failures, redundancy and so on it goes. While it may be our intention to live a full and  happy life, and we should focus on that, it’s also reassuring to know that no matter what we’ve covered as many bases as possible.

         Over the next few posts we'll explore some of these and see what the outcomes were. 

In this post we'll explore accidents.


Two came close to home in recent times. The first a retired couple on the holiday of a lifetime overseas only to be involved in an accident involving their car and a semi trailer. Though they were not at fault and had travel insurance they found just what a logistical nightmare it could be. Hospitalisation half a world away then needing special arrangements to be flown home for ongoing care and restructuring the home to cater for the now disabled partner. Then the cost of specialised care at home and respite for the partner carer.

In the second instance for many of us we often take the stance of “that will never happen to me.” It did recently in a fatal accident involving responsible young adults in their twenties. As the survivor said, “we didn't see it coming.” This impacted not only on families, but also on a business of which they were an integral part.

We see it on TV, in social media and in the news the loss or disability of a partner or family member. This generally means an impact on the household income which has been geared to income of both partners and sometimes others.

It's easy to remain detached and hope for the best, but when these things happen it's usually at the most inopportune time and need to be 'fixed' while still in shock or grief or both. 

Having a plan A and a plan B helps to eliminate some of the ‘what if’ stress.

Part for this will be covered when we talk about estate planning.

When building a plan for the future it’s important to factor in some what ifs, which while undesirable, could potentially impact in a huge way on lifestyle.

Bottom line take a look at how you want your future to be, identify possible impacts of outside events and provide some means of being able to reduce at least the financial burdens if they should happen. Having a supportive social network is also important.

And the people we spoke of earlier fortunately were provided for in the first instance with travel insurance. In the second case it allowed family time to focus on their grief without financial concerns. 

December 11, 2014

A Prosperous New Year

         Are you happy with what you've been able to achieve financially this year? Or any of the preceding five years for that matter? Often the picture isn't quite the same as our plans and goals. For some though it's actually much better. Maybe it's time for  some fresh New Years resolutions. New Years resolutions should be called 'New Years wishes' unless our Christmas presents included a crystal ball.

        So what can be done to make things different in 2015. First realise that ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different to happen.’ For anything to change it takes a shift in thinking, a shift in the way things are seen and done. Imagine, for example, how different your life could be with extra income.

         Think too about the amount of change in the way thing are done and the increasing regulations that govern our lives. Here’s an interesting thought ‘if you have enough money (cashflow) it doesn't matter who's governing the country.’ There’s no formal training in handling our money and usually it's just bits and pieces we pick up along the way that forms our plans and ideas. The best way to succeed at anything is to learn from those who've already succeeded.


         The book was written at the outset of the Global Economic Crisis in 2008 to provide a simple, understandable way of becoming financially secure. Providing essential information on beating inflation, minimising tax and providing security for many of the situations in life that can impact on us.  Call it a manual for your future financial security and peace of mind.

         It provides a step by step approach to understanding how best to utilise our money and time to make life easier. Seven keys are laid out in order so that each step leads towards the things you want. Be that security for the family, becoming debt free and progressively being able to improve your lifestyle no matter what the economic climate.

         In ‘Simply Brilliant Budgeting’ by teacher, author, entrepreneur and e-business owner Kathleen O’Dwyer has simple, user friendly ideas to give you more control over your personal finances. She says “By implementing simple techniques, you may reduce your outgoing expenditure and thus increase your left over income, or even create one. This gives you a starting point towards being in control of your personal finances. And all without compromising your lifestyle!”

          My career paths have included military service, working ‘on air’ in radio, financial planning, public speaking, estate planning and writing and author. As a financial planner I was responsible for the formation of several companies as well as creating sound plans for clients to create financial security. Currently I'm writing his first novel, based on my family and home district, Brookton, in the mid 1900’s.


December 6, 2014

Two Valuable Tools

Economic Vision is a book about gaining proper and effective understanding and use of your money and how it affects your life and close relationships. More importantly what can be done to change your situation. In the early 1990's I began researching money management strategies for clients. This has continued to the present day because of the dramatically changing global socio-economic environment and climate.

It was never my intention to write self-help books, but the number of clients who were struggling with finances despite good incomes created a need to address the issue. Most gained a great deal from learning about the basics and were then able to use their incomes much more effectively.

Are you happy with what you're able to achieve financially? You can find out by taking the self-test, This test comes from long term analysis of the clients financial strategies and knowledge. It provides you an immediate insight into how secure you are financially in the short, medium and long terms.

If you find you are not as secure as you may want to be, you need to begin by knowing the following:

Your situation is normal for many. It is found in upwards of 60% of the population, too many to be an anomaly, yet not enough to be well understood by the majority of those around you.

It' s an indication of the failing of education both the system and what we've learned from others who were probably no better informed than ourselves. One could almost say it is innate. In fact, economists have found it to be in most groups of income earners across the board. This includes blue collar and white collar workers as well as the self employed.

You are more aware of the need for change, but available information only provides a 'part of the picture'. This is mainly because of the way the educational system is structured in both how and what it teaches.

This means that we process information relating to our finances from a perspective of learning to find a job and become gainfully employed. Which is not a viable answer in the face of technology and globalisation replacing jobs that we thought would last us all our working lives.

So even if you are employed now, for example, you may in the future need to retrain (an additional cost) simply to replace the existing income not more.

Your workload demands tax your health resources physically, mentally and emotionally and you are more easily overwhelmed. That is if you notice it at all. The incidence of stress related illness in the workplace is growing exponentially and you are naturally going to be feel the stress when things are too intense, complex, chaotic, or novel for a long time.

What is not a new discovery, is that we are going to need to keep increasing our income, merely to keep up with inflation. What you buy for two dollars today will cost you four in ten years time. And this is all before we consider declining health or retirement.

What has been misunderstood is that we're looking at the immediate situation wherein we might be comfortable. However any one of a number of things can change that very quickly and dramatically. Without contingency planning there can be additional stress which affects all who depend our effectiveness in the workplace.

But this oversight is learned, not innate. In fact, it has also been called indebtedness, blissful ignorance, or naivety. Some  behave in these ways, but it is not innate to do so and not the basic trait.

We spend so much time working for  a living that we don't feel we have the time or the energy to make the changes that can significantly improve our overall situation. This is the great oversight. Businesses work on five and ten year visions and plans yet the individual works and lives from pay to pay. The same individuals whose efforts make the business work.

Finally there are very few systems that start with the basics. The things that can 'make it all work' to our advantage. Those who have this information tend to build strong and secure foundations for themselves and their families. They become secure and that provides security and strengthens the family and the communities they live in.

So again, welcome to this Blog. You are  not alone. If you want to know more about laying the foundations of financial security, consider the following ways of becoming more informed or to let others know more about you:

Secure your copy of and read Economic Vision  which is a general introduction to the aspects of our lives that are relevant to our age. Considering the needs and wants of each particular age group and the importance of planning and strategising. That is designing a plan that will enable the most efficient and effective means of achieving the plan and allow more effective use of income.

Read the insightful companion book 'Simply Brilliant Budgeting' (author Kathleen O'Dwyer) which is based on the strategies that a fellow author and now retired school teacher distilled as a single, mortgage paying, parent in the 1980's. This was when interest rates hit 18%.

Kathleen O'Dwyer says,

" By implementing simple techniques you may reduce your outgoing expenditure and thus increase you leftover income, or even create one. This gives you a starting point towards being in control of your personal finances. And all without compromising your lifestyle."

Register to join the Economic Vision blog list and receive regular helpful insights and updates on how you can use the economic climate to your advantage. A Financial Security Workbook can be read and used in conjunction with the two books.   It sets your financial thinking and practices in the direction of your main economic goals.

This ties in with your social, emotional, and work life. Helping you take better care of yourself as you restructure the way your income works for you. Like the two books the Workbook has been previewed by clients and teachers to make it "user friendly," useful and thought-provoking.

About Kim Stedman

Besides beginning the study of the financial services sector with AMP in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1988  Kim earned his Diploma in Financial Planning from Deakin University, Melbourne.  The development of financial self management began in 1995 out of recognition of the inadequacies of the education system, social networks and associations. Economic Vision was launched in 2003 as an educational platform in the foundations of personal financial self management and security.

By Kathleen O'Dwyer

This powerful but light-hearted look at money management really turns on some bargain basement ideas that will both surprise and encourage you. Even if you think you’re doing all right now, there are ideas and strategies that can make things simpler, more effective, and improve your overall financial situation.

By choosing to run with these ideas, you can add some fun to the family life too.           

By Kim Stedman.

This book contains the Seven Keys to your financial freedom.

With the instability of the global economy, you may be looking for answers on how to survive. Many people hesitate to go to financial planners and ask questions because they don’t understand the financial world or are afraid of being given bad advice. If this is you, this book is perfect for you.

 After reading this book, you will be better informed and therefore able to be more trusting. In Economic Vision, author Kim Stedman sets out a system to provide the solutions you seek. He serves as an educator who aims to help you become better informed and give you more control over your financial future. After hearing Kim’s solutions, you will be able to understand the advice that financial advisors give you, and approach your financial future with much greater confidence.

Media or Researcher Contact Channels

Media contacts requesting interviews or arranging for possible speaking  opportunities, and researchers seeking contact regarding the concept of the Financial Self Management platform may write to Kim Stedman at:

Post Office Box 336,
Forrestfield, Western Australia, 6058
or fill out the Media/Researcher Contact web form.

Join Our Mailing List

September 22, 2014

Fourth Quarter 2014

            In a recent discussion with a retail business owner he spoke about an issue we all have to face. How to have enough to cover costs, provide an income and provide a return on the money invested into the business.

            Whether your budget is for a home, small business or even a large business there are some keys that are critical to financial survival. In this case it was the cost/overheads of the business. The figures were quite staggering in comparison with size of the business. Larger enterprises having a larger turnover and can more easily absorb these costs.

            What was surprising was the thought and research that had been put into the business to maintain it’s long term viability. Part of that strategy was his wife’s income that supported the family. While they may not have seen it as such they had actually hit on one of the key principles of financial security. That of developing multiple sources of income.

             This highlighted the simple fact that many of us are working in survival mode, whether we like to admit it or not.  Without long term goals and objectives it’s impossible to determine if our day to day actions are leading to a secure future or are we simply surviving from day to day.

            Having a vision and applying goals with steps to their achievement make each action measurable. A positive outcome is built on many small individual steps or actions. Each one leading to a successful day, week, month, year and ultimately lifetime.

            So the question becomes ‘do I know where I want to be three years, five years or even ten years from now’? It shouldn't come as a surprise how many opportunities simply fall into your lap when there’s a ‘destination’ we’re aiming for. You'll immediately recognise it’s relevance to your objectives and it comes with seemingly very little input apart some time and awareness.

            So with the final quarter of 2014 just a few days away there are four important questions that need to be asked;

            What to I want to be, do and have in five years time?.

            Have I made progress towards my primary objectives this year?

            How can I change and improve the outcomes for the final quarter?

            What additional resources are needed to move to the next level?

            Many things are achieved just before the finishing line. Knowing where you’re headed, being able to see it’s progressive development leads to having the feeling of peace and security that comes from knowing you’re on the right track.

             Take some time to lay out your plan for the final quarter of 2014, create steps that can be followed daily and be amazed at how much your life can be changed in the next three months.

June 3, 2014

A Well Researched Plan.

How many of us have ideals that we want but never get off first base because we feel we don’t know the next step or doubt that have what it takes to get there?

This is where delaying gratification can create lasting results.

In the eighties a single mother had made the difficult choice of leaving her profession while her children were very young. She rationalised that divorce was not going to deprive her children of a sound home and foundation in life.

Part of her strategy was first to ensure that the family home, which she had built in nineteen seventy six, remained just that. Even though funds were low she devised a strategy to not only ensure that the home and family were secure, but also took steps to improve her position.

Her philosophy is very simple and remains to this day, if you don’t have the cash to pay for it then you really can’t afford it.

Starting with pen and paper she identified things that would improve not only the quality of life, but also her financial standing. Some were very simple, some involved doing what needed to be done starting with a small house cleaning business.

In the ten years away from her career she raised her children, kept the home through interest rates of almost twenty per cent, did further studies adding to her professional standing and started two home based businesses. One of which she still operates very successfully today.

Moving forward from the eighties to the present day the same home the children were raised in  has been renovated with the most up to date, energy efficient fittings that you would expect to find in a brand new, upmarket apartment.

She also works part time, has used another very difficult passage in her life as source material for a book* and looks forward to a very secure retirement. Largely because of the vision that came from planning and looking for answers.

All of this has also lead to a vision for projects that will be a significant part of life beyond retirement. It's worthwhile noting here too that the children benefited from her example as well. Her son has his own home and with his partner is building a career of his choice through part time studies. Her daughter works part time while studying for a career that she knows will be fulfilling and provide a good income.

The significance of all of this is that all three have well researched, written goals and plans.

May 28, 2014

Small Changes, Huge Results.

We're rapidly approaching the middle of 2014 and the end of the Australian financial year. The federal budget was handed down this week and no big surprises that it has been a tough one. But, and this is a very big but, we don't need to be drawn into the shock horror distraction that the budget and the media want us to.

Several years ago at conference in Perth, a highly successful American Dean Kosage spoke about getting left behind with the dramatic changes that are occurring on a global business front.

How's the year looking compared with how you thought it would back in January? Or any of the five years before that. For many of us the picture isn't quite the same. For a fortunate few it is actually much better.

So what is it that these fortunate few are doing that many of us aren't. They are obviously doing something different. They understand that definition of insanity that is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different to happen.

Basically something has happened that's caused a shift in thinking, a shift in the way things are seen and done. Imagine that how different your life could be with extra income or more precisely cashflow. For many that means extra work and being already tired from what we're doing now.

Think too about the amount of change in the way thing are done and the regulations that govern our lives. A few years ago a federal politician said that if you have enough money (cashflow) it doesn't matter who's governing the country. In many ways he's right.

There is no formal training in handling our money and usually it's just bits and pieces we pick up along the way that forms our plans and ideas. The best way to succeed at anything is to learn from those who've already succeeded.

Economic Vision was written at the outset of the Global Economic Crisis in 2008 and provides a simple, understandable way of becoming financially secure.

I look forward to meeting with you and your community members in the near future.

Kim Stedman