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Poll: Do you invest your savings from translation income?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 19:49
SITE STAFF
Dec 6, 2005

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you invest your savings from translation income?".

This poll was originally submitted by Orla Ryan

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:49
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Can you help but invest? Dec 6, 2005

Just wondering if "investment" refers to an investment type "other than" that percentage that normally gets ploughed back into the business in the form of hardware, software, improvements and upgrades.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:49
French to English
Different interpretation Dec 6, 2005

I see I read it *completely* differently to Parrot

I thought it meant that, assuming that you manage to save any money from your translation income, do you invest it (rather than just keep it in the bank/building society/local equivalent)?
Hence, I was about to suggest a "No, because I don't manage to save anything from my translation income" option would have been useful.

It's interesting to see some of the basic assumptions that underlie some of these poll questions - here, of course, the assumption that the translator (or possibly more accurately, the translator's household taken as a whole, as a recent poll showed a low-ish proportion of people relying on translation as the sole or main income source) is making enough money to be able to save some


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 04:49
French to English
I don't think that the polls are meant to be scientific... Dec 6, 2005

...but rather a way to spark discussion.

That said, Henry did mention doing regular polls on translators' income, and it would be interesting to see those developed a bit more thoroughly so that we can get some reliable statistics out of them. (Specifying full time or part time work, pre-tax income vs. after tax income, etc.).

I think that this poll is a good one. The issue is extremely important.

I am wondering why so many people have answered "no, but I'd like to". Is it because they don't have or don't think they have enough to invest? Is it because they don't know where to begin? Is it because they are afraid of the world of finance in general?

I'd be interested in hearing people's motivations.

I was also thinking of writing a Knowledgebase article on personal finance for translators and wonder if people would find it helpful to have a rundown on the basics of assessing financial/retirement needs, setting goals, planning, investing, and monitoring your investmetnts once you've started...

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Sara


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:49
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Well... Dec 6, 2005

Charlie Bavington wrote:

I see I read it *completely* differently to Parrot

I thought it meant that, assuming that you manage to save any money from your translation income, do you invest it (rather than just keep it in the bank/building society/local equivalent)?
Hence, I was about to suggest a "No, because I don't manage to save anything from my translation income" option would have been useful.


Taxes are one factor that determine the attraction of some investment types over others. And sooner or later, they DO have a way of obliging you to consider investment. This was why I asked.


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French Foodie  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:49
French to English
+ ...
personal finance Dec 6, 2005

[quote]Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:


I was also thinking of writing a Knowledgebase article on personal finance for translators and wonder if people would find it helpful to have a rundown on the basics of assessing financial/retirement needs, setting goals, planning, investing, and monitoring your investmetnts once you've started...


I, for one, would find this Knowledgebase article extremely useful, and I'm sure others would too.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:49
English to German
+ ...
You need to invest Dec 6, 2005

I simply copied what I entered earlier, recent poll: "Are you increasing your rates?"

"Since I am providing DTP as well, I am permanently investing in new software, upgrades, IT classes (to be able to handle all kinds of web sites professionally), faster machines, faster internet access, second monitors for both, PC and Macintosh to speed up work. I am investing time at the library if I have to deal with a tricky patent, e.g. Making myself faster and more proficient should not be an expensive hobby alone."

Thinking of all the beautiful projects which I was offered and which I had to decline because my equipment wasn't up to it makes me sick in retrospective.

What's more: All those prospective clients who contacted me, say, a year ago and whose files I couldn't even open, will never contact me again since there is no way to inform them about my software upgrades and new equipment.

Invest as much as you can and keep your clients posted.

[Edited at 2005-12-06 14:19]

[Edited at 2005-12-06 14:22]


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Orla Ryan  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 03:49
what I meant by investments... Dec 6, 2005

I was thinking along the lines of making property investments, buying shares, pensions, special deposit accounts, other business investments etc - obviously it was not possible to expand on the point too much when submitting the question on account of space restrictions.

For example, I am considering buying government property bonds in the new year. Every six months, I will receive a dividend on this. It is a pretty tempting scheme, I must say. I firmly believe in making money work for me.

Going by some of the forum posts, it is clear that prospective translators are at a loss when it comes to the financial side of things. They don't know about taxes, how to make an invoice, how to maintain their accounts and so on. From that, I would assume that they don't know much about investing money into stocks and shares etc. After all, we are business people too, we want to make money doing something we enjoy after all.
In other words, if translators knew of a good way to increase the return on their money (nothing dodgy, I hasten to add!), would they go for it?

O.


[Edited at 2005-12-06 14:44]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:49
English to German
+ ...
Good question, parrot! Dec 6, 2005

Parrot wrote:

Just wondering if "investment" refers to an investment type "other than" that percentage that normally gets ploughed back into the business in the form of hardware, software, improvements and upgrades.


I automatically assumed that "investment" would refer to investment in translation business and equipment/continuing education. Anything else I would consider a pretty personal matter... Was I wrong?


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:49
French to English
Personal Finance, pt II Dec 6, 2005

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

I am wondering why so many people have answered "no, but I'd like to". Is it because they don't have or don't think they have enough to invest? Is it because they don't know where to begin? Is it because they are afraid of the world of finance in general?


Well, I think it's possibly because that option covers both:
a) I don't make enough money to save/invest any
b) I do make enough, but I don't know what to do with it.

I think your personal finance knowledge thingy has much to commend it; however, it is very conditional on where you live in terms of specifics (personally, in recent months I've invested in an ISA & put some money in Premium bonds, plus a tracker vehicle, but what their equivalents are elsewhere in the world, I haven't the faintest )

That said, some general advice - decide your attitude to risk, decide how long you can afford to tie up a given amount of money for, never invest in high-risk situations if you can't afford to lose the money, seek independent advice whenever possible, etc. - applies the world over, I would imagine.

As a side issue, on polls themselves; while we all know they are not meant to be particularly scientific, and space on the home page is limited, perhaps it would be an idea to enable a pop-up explanatory window so the pollster could explain more fully what is meant by the question or the options...


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:49
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's an attitude Dec 7, 2005

Charlie Bavington wrote:

here, of course, the assumption [is] that the translator ... is making enough money to be able to save some


For anyone who holds the belief that they don't make enough money to save some, I highly recommend the book "Money Is My Friend," by Phil Laut (www.phillaut.com). Phil is an expert in the ways that thoughts, attitudes, and feelings affect one's income, and he stresses the importance of always setting money aside first for savings.

[Edited at 2005-12-09 04:37]


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 04:49
French to English
Now *that's* a good idea! Dec 7, 2005

Charlie Bavington wrote:



As a side issue, on polls themselves; while we all know they are not meant to be particularly scientific, and space on the home page is limited, perhaps it would be an idea to enable a pop-up explanatory window so the pollster could explain more fully what is meant by the question or the options...


For the personal finance article, my idea was to address universal topics with perhaps one or two examples from different countries of the actual investment products available (this is where help from colleagues would come in). Readers would then be encouraged to find out what exists in their home country.

The personal money management, goal-setting, planning, and monitoring principles apply to everyone, no matter where they are.

Thanks!

Sara


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 04:49
French to English
One of the universal pesonal finance principles: Pay yourself first! Dec 7, 2005

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

For anyone who holds the believe that they don't make enough money to save some, I highly recommend the book "Money Is My Friend," by Phil Laut (www.phillaut.com). Phil is an expert in the ways that thoughts, attitudes, and feelings affect one's income, and he stresses the importance of always setting money aside first for savings.


So true, Muriel. It's a state of mind, not the thickness of your wallet!!

Suze Orman calls it "buying your future back".

Sara


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John Jory  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:49
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Orla's interpretation Dec 11, 2005

It was nice to see your comments on what precisely you had in mind regarding "investment". Before reading this thread, I entered "Yes" because that is what I understood you to mean.
I invest about € 200 every month (split up between a financial fund and a building society).

This is an important part of my private pension scheme.

Greetings, John


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Sara Freitas
France
Local time: 04:49
French to English
Knowledgebase article now online Dec 21, 2005

Sara Freitas-Maltaverne wrote:

I was also thinking of writing a Knowledgebase article on personal finance for translators and wonder if people would find it helpful to have a rundown on the basics of assessing financial/retirement needs, setting goals, planning, investing, and monitoring your investmetnts once you've started...



Here's the link to the article if anyone is interested.

http://www.proz.com/doc/567

Sara


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