Many executives work in industries that can be incredibly cyclical. These businesses are very sensitive to the business cycle, and revenues are typically higher in periods of economic prosperity and expansion but lower in economic downturns and during contraction stages. These industries usually include those such as the airline industry, and ones producing durable goods such as raw materials and heavy equipment. Take the recent wax and wane of the mining industry as an example.

Executives and managers in industries prone to be cyclical need to invest personal funds wisely. With incomes rising and falling, and job and wage cuts being monitored, company changes are always likely. This in turn means adjustments to individual salary packages, and, in turn, personal financial expectations are definitely worth consideration.

There needs to be a clear understanding that the good times may not last forever.

It makes sense that savvy investment strategies are considered so that advantage can be taken of the better times.

As an example, the mining industry has enjoyed the highest cash earnings in Australia for a number of years; however, this is not just set to change but has already started to do so. Government statistics confirm a continued downward trend. In combination with lower exploration expenditure, it is a blend of these factors that means mining management faces an uncertain future and could easily expect to experience lower wages and benefits as the industry is forced to continue to adjust in the wake of the downturn and ongoing volatility.

Industries experiencing a boom means wealth-creation opportunities for executives—particularly those with share options, company share plans, or financial incentives. It is imperative that executives make the most of the good times to allow them to be in the position of being able to select their own future as times change. This is only possible if they have set in place their savvy strategies, which takes time and a bit of research to achieve, and often professional help. As an idea, these would include having acquired significant assets, retaining limited or no debt, providing for a well-funded investment and superannuation nest egg, and being very clear on personal goals and objectives. And none of these things ever just takes care of itself.

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