There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that goes something like this – “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” Millennials have been dealt a pretty rough hand when it comes to the prospect of financial independence. We missed out on generous government tax concessions, ridiculously attractive superannuation (401k) incentives, government-funded tertiary education, and the best possible economic conditions for wealth creation. Unfortunately however, we tend to get told by our leaders, our financial institutions and sometimes even our loved ones, that it’s our way of life that has landed us in this mess. This is especially the case in Australia – if class warfare was an Olympic sport, we would take out the gold every time.

Don’t take those comments to heart. Just because generational inequality isn’t at the top of the policy agenda for our political leaders, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be a financially savvy bunch. I’ve become increasingly aware of the fact that millennials are genuinely interested in taking steps to independently build wealth and because of this, I’ve decided to launch smashed avo fund as a platform to communicate these ideas on a larger scale.

I’m not here to make you feel (too) guilty about drinking your $4.50 macadamia-nut milk cappuccinos or for sporting your overpriced, urban cowboy boots. I will not be asking you to waste your time completing surveys at 6 cents a piece. Nor will I tell you how to invest your money. That would be irresponsible and illegal as I’m not a financial adviser (although as we learned during the financial services royal commission in Australia, neither are financial advisers). 

I simply propose to lay out your options for you, empower you with the knowledge you need to make disciplined and informed financial decisions, help you adopt healthy money-related habits, and explain in layperson terms fundamental financial and economic principles that I believe everyone has a right to know. Improving your financial literacy is arguably the best way you could upskill yourself. Especially when you understand one simple fact – that you are being screwed on all fronts. You’re being ripped off on your superannuation, mortgage, credit cards, savings accounts, brokerage accounts, managed funds etc. I know these topics can be dry, but if you’ll let me, I would like to do the heavy lifting for you. I will do the research, I will crunch the numbers, I will make finance cool. Okay the last part is wishful-thinking. All that I ask is that you give it a go.

Why should you listen to me? I’ve done the study part, but more importantly, many of the practices I’m going to write about I’ve put in place myself. I’ve put my money where my mouth is. Why else? It’s free! What do you have to lose? (Other than the few minutes you spend reading each article.) Some of these articles will have Australia-specific aspects to them (smashed avo in this context is one big Australian inside joke) but the fundamental concepts are very much universal. Millennials will probably find these articles most useful, but they’re certainly helpful to any demographic. 

So as the proverb goes, if you haven’t started already, the best time to start, is now.