Media release by Ben Ready
Warwick Blowes' Queensland retirement didn't quite go the way he'd planned – until he discovered corporate bonds
After a busy career owning and managing a chain of menswear stores in regional New South Wales, Warwick Blowes’ retirement to Queensland was supposed to give him the freedom to enjoy spending time with grandkids and improving his golf game.
It didn’t quite work out that way until he discovered corporate bonds.
“When I first retired I got involved in trading equities but it quickly became another full time job. You had to be engaged with it all the time,” he said. “I realised that is not what I retired to do.”
After being a long time reader of FIIG Securities’ Liz Moran and her regular articles in The Australian, Warwick liked the idea of a defensive asset that he could have an active involvement in but didn’t need to constantly monitor for fear of losing capital.
“Honestly, I had never even heard of corporate bonds. The whole asset class was totally foreign to anything I had done. I thought bonds were exclusively for the big end of town.”
At one of the seminars, Warwick met FIIG Adviser Jake Koundakjian and in 2014 set up an account with FIIG. He now holds a diversified portfolio of bonds in a personal account and through his SMSF.
“Jake and I have developed a great relationship, I would say we are friends, and I have total faith in him and the FIIG research team,” he said. “We operate under one rule – I don’t want anything in my portfolio that he won’t have in his.”
Mr Blowes, 71, and his wife Ailsa, recently moved from their home at Runaway Bay to a gated community at Hope Island on the Gold Coast.
Knowing his investments were being monitored while he focused on the process of moving was important.
“We probably weren’t planning to move into a community like this until our mid 70s but when these came up we thought we better get in.”
Mr Blowes holds a range of bonds both personally and through his SMSF including Auswide Bank, Alumina, Cash Converters and StockCo. He also recently expanded his portfolio to include foreign currency bonds.
“We do trade a bit which keeps things interesting. Jake is always providing me with investment opportunities and if I determine something could enhance my portfolio I execute through Jake,” he said.
The option to transfer investments into a managed account environment using FIIG’s individually managed bond account as part of his estate planning strategy is also an important consideration in using FIIG.
“My wife is not as active in the investments as I am and the option to put everything into a managed account for her gives me a lot of comfort,” he said.
While he has been a corporate bond investor for three years, Warwick still considers himself a learner and is grateful for the abundance of material provided by FIIG.
“There is ample opportunity to get any amount of information you need in a non-sales environment. The website and seminars have always been extremely valuable and Liz’s articles and the WIRE are must-reads,” he said.
“I would certainly recommend anyone start the process of understanding corporate bonds, it is a great defensive asset class but far more interesting than having money sitting in the bank.”
“Don’t be afraid to talk to the guys at FIIG, they are more than happy to provide you with educational information about bonds and an example bond portfolio before rushing in and buying anything.”