Happy New Year everyone, I'm Chris. I've been lurking here for a few months (via Somersoft forums) trying to learn what I can - and been prompted whenever I search to introduce myself (that dratted software is the bane of shy people). I've been hoping to peek around the edges and learn enough to begin investing for our future, but it's not working out quickly enough to satisfy me. Here's our synopsis: I'm 47 and my wife (Tracy) is 46 yrs. Our children are grown and employed (2 still living at home, 2 out). Income: 78k and 32k (after salary sacrificing our mortgage) PPOR: $485k (bank valuation), 210k mortgage We recently set up 2 x LOC's for $178k - these are waiting for our investment action About $5k in IAG and NIB shares This is the first year we've had two incomes and no dependents. We appear to be able to retain (save?) $12k per year between us, at least that's what we've done this past year - a combination of personal saving and mortgage offset (our finances are separate, each paying into a joint account for household, so this is a guess). We have a 20 year horizon (or longer if we keep working), are not currently particularly frugal. I like to think that we learn reasonably quickly, we both learn experientially. I think our combined attitude to investing would be classed as average>conservative. We have no experience investing or saving. I realise we need to become educated and take action (simultaneously). I don't have any preference for property, shares, or managed funds, though my wife prefers bricks and mortar because she can see and touch it. We have friends who have 2 or 3 IP's each, and in-laws who have multiple IPs. We thought we would try property, went to Brisbane a few weeks ago to see what we could find, but the holding costs appeared too high (4.3% yield, less costs). Our IP friends are wonderfully helpful, but I am concerned at $300+ per week out of pocket as it leaves us with no breathing space. I don't have access to anyone who discusses their share or managed fund investments, along with the why's and wherefores. My parents are self funded retirees, both from lower income working backgrounds. They use an advisor (fee for service) and their own education (gained approaching retirement) to invest into the share market and this approach is working very well for them. Tracy and I have met with this advisor on several occasions; he has no experience in property, and pushes us to pay off our PPOR before any other action. I hope that this is not as good as it gets for us! Goals: Looking to change our situation so that we become financially independent (I know that's too broad to be helpful, see below). Would like to pay off our PPOR quickly, and simultaneously have other investments growing for us - we are aware of our late start. I want to become sufficiently educated to be able to manage our own finances and investments successfully. I want to understand the benefits of different classes of investment - managed funds, or property - and how they map to our situation. I would like to learn how to enunciate my/our financial goals more easily. I hope this will become easier as I become more experienced. Needs: Absolutely need help taking the first steps, so that I/we don't analyse ourselves into poverty. Would definitely consider assistance from a financial advisor (as opposed to "broker") who is able to consider property and shares. Like others have mentioned in several threads, locating a quality advisor is not so clear cut. What alternatives do we have? Advice and pointers will be appreciated.