In a year that we were all encouraged to stay home, it seems ironic that I moved back to my hometown - Brisbane. I took the instruction quite literally. After relocating from Brisbane to Sydney six years ago, this year marked my return to the FIIG Brisbane office, and my eighth year working at FIIG.
In this time a lot has happened, which can also be said for my six years in Sydney. I became a wife and a mother. So upon returning to Brisbane, we needed a shipping container to relocate versus the one suitcase I took with me to Sydney.
It has been a different experience working as a parent. It has given me a better understanding of the juggling that goes on daily for my fellow colleagues and their families with children. As the saying goes, it takes a village! FIIG though has provided me with the opportunity to work on a part-time basis, allowing me to work three days a week.
Over the eight years at FIIG, I’ve worked on the trading desk, presented weekly on Sky Business, moved into investment strategy, which remains in my role, alongside more recently as a Relationship Manager. Prior to joining FIIG I worked in funds management and equities, but being a more conservative investor myself, I have always had an appreciation for the fixed income asset class.
I partly attribute this to my first job in finance, when soon after starting straight out of university, the GFC hit. At the time, I was working for a funds management firm, who like many others during the GFC, had to put a freeze on investors redeeming from their managed funds. As a young-20-year-old, I learnt quickly after having desperate investors crying over the phone (and I unable to do anything to help), money is more than just a figure on a valuation statement.
It’s a tricky time for investors. On the one hand there is a need for returns in such a low rate environment, but on the other hand there is a need to reduce risk in these uncertain times. The conundrum is more real than ever, and with talk of more easing measures it’s only set to heighten.
As we’ve simplified our lives over the past year, and gone back to basics, we can apply the same mentality to our investing. Ensure you have a well-diversified portfolio and have conviction in the credits you have chosen (or else either don’t hold them or hold only a smaller exposure). We’re all certainly learning through this experience together, even old market stalwarts at Central Banks aren’t sure of the implications of these unprecedented times and measures.
While so much has changed over the year, and preceding years that I was living in Sydney, some things remain the same - the muggy Brisbane weather, the banter from my FIIG colleague Stephen ‘Mack-Attack’ Mackie, and how important fixed income is to any investment portfolio.