What does "long" and "short" have to do with guys fighting in Vietnam?
I just missed out on going (thank goodness) but I believe it was a term used to describe how long you had before you came home, ie if your were "short" you were near the end of your tour.
how do you invest your spare money down under?
Well of course it varies according to the individual, personally I've had a gutfull of the professionals losing my money and charging me for the privilege, I still have one share-based investment that matures in 2-3 years but I've pulled everything else out and put it in the bank. The money in that investment will follow when it matures.
We can easily get 6% in the bank so why frig around with the share market unless it's your interest? I can actually live quite well on $15k pa so don't eat the capital that much and it should last me until I get the pension.
We also have "superannuation" which sounds like your 401K, employers contribute and $145k of that money is locked until age 55 at which point you can take it, the rest is locked until you retire at ~65 (I think). You can also contribute with pre-tax $ and that money can be removed from the scheme any time (taxable at 15% I think).
Last I looked that was the deal, but it changes every week and it's impossible to follow.
Of course there are dodgy super schemes, schemes that just have bad managers, and schemes where the managers abscond with the money and move to Brazil. And then I don't trust the government to keep it's grubby hands of the money and reckon they will stop lump-sum payments one day and force you to take an annuity.
For all theses reasons I prefer money in the bank.
Here endeth the Graynomad investment tutorial