Aussie Firebug

Financial Independence Retire Early

Nothing written below is financial advice. The below questions and answers are for general information only and should not be taken as constituting professional advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions.



Question (3:00)

Hi Firebug!

Loving the content and hearing all the great questions from listeners on Friday’s, keep up the great work. I’m hoping to hear your opinion or what you would do in my shoes if possible 🙂

My husband and I are 36 with a 2 &1/2-year-old and thinking about expanding our family because you know by this point sleep is a distant memory anyway!

We’ve got a nice emergency fund, zero debt and have just started to invest in ETFs. Super is currently sitting at about $150k. Right now we’re really fortunate to have free housing but are keen to get into a place of our own as we can’t stay here forever.

We keep going back and forth between what’s best to do which is where I’m curious to hear what you have to say.

We’re currently saving towards a house deposit and looking to have about $100,000 saved before we buy in SA. Until we reach that goal in approx 2 years our plan was only to invest about $5k a year into ETFs. But we’re not sure if we should beef up that amount we’re investing instead of saving so aggressively for the house because we’ve had investing on pause for 2 years while we cleaned up debt and got an emergency fund together.

One of the things that drives me nuts is the brokerage fee with such a small quarterly trade, but hey what can you do (I plan to get on to using self wealth this month!)

What do you think you would do in our position, and why?


Firebug’s Answer

Hi Amy,

Ahhh kids… As aspiring parents (one day) Mrs FB and I are really taking advantage of weekend sleep-ins. I’m not sure how she’s going to cope tbh, she regularly puts away 9-10 a night 😂.

Now to your query.

Firstly, you’re in a really good position for a couple in their 30s:

  • No debt ✅
  • Emergency fund ✅
  • Super balance over $100K ✅
  • Reads ✅✅

I have no idea how you’re getting free housing but milk that bad boy for as long as possible. Housing is one of if not the most expensive item anyone will pay for in their entire life. Living at home until 26 was probably the biggest advantage I had to increase my net worth so young.

It depends what you’re after, but from what you’ve written in, it appears that you want to start investing outside of Super whilst also saving for a house deposit. If I were in your position, I would concentrate on the house deposit and not worry about investing until you’re in your next home.

The other question you need to ask yourself is do you plan to retire before 60? If the answer is no, Super is the best vehicle to invest in because of the tax advantages. You can swap Super providers and invest in ETFs directly through them. A popular choice in Hostplus Superfund.

If you really want to start building that snowball outside of your Super you could either trade through a broker such as SelfWealth as you’ve mentioned. Or you could sign up with Vanguard directly and invest smaller amounts without paying the brokerage cost. You will be paying higher management fees though…

Hope this was of some help and good luck on your journey 👊



Question (11:33)

Hi Aussie Firebug,

I just came across your blog as I was searching on how to buy Vanguard Index funds (VAS, VGS) Thank you so much for your blog, you made it very easy for me to understand.

Just 2 quick questions:

1) I am single, no kids or dependents. Would u recommend buying EFTs through a trust or just under my name? Is there any tax benefit when buying EFT’S thru trust in my situation?

2) From what I’ve read on your blogs, VGS is domiciled in Australia so I don’t have to pay taxes outside Australia. Is this correct? Based on your strategy, I might invest VAS 40% and VGS 60%

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks a bunch!


Firebug’s Answer

Hi Jonathan,

I’m glad you’ve found my content easy to digest. Simplicity and ease of use have become a bigger part of my decision making in recent times which also reflect my answers to your questions.

  1. There can be. But the most realistic tax minimization strategy from trusts for most people will be when their wife isn’t working if they have kids and income can be distributed to her. That and distributing to other family members who don’t have an income. If I were in your situation I wouldn’t bother to set one up. You don’t need it.
  2. You’re correct. You also get the added benefit of not having to fill out a  W-8BEN-E form. VAS and VGS, in my opinion, is a great diversified portfolio.




Question (20:07)

Hey Aussie,

I made an observation today which I thought was interesting. All the main indices were down (ASX200, All Ords, ASX200 Financials, ASX200 Materials, ASX200 Industrials) yet all the larger LICS I track were up (or in the case of AFIC, was flat).

Thoughts on this?



Firebug’s Answer

Hi Mick,

I noticed this the other day as well which intrigued me so I started to do some investigating.

The larger LICs like AFI, MLT and Argo have a heap of crossover from the ASX300 which should, in theory, mean that their price is closely linked.

If we compare VAS to AFI over the last 10 years or so we get this graph.


I’d say that looks pretty much how I thought it would. There’s definitely some correlation between the two. They rise and dip mostly the same.

One reason I have read that would explain why ETFs can drop further than LICs in a bear market is because LICs seemed to attract more long term investors who don’t get spooked by the market. This is reflected in the share price and could explain why the LICs didn’t suffer as much during last month.

Just a guess though. Maybe someone smarter than me could comment down below.


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