Archive

2021 – A list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook

Key Points: 2020 turned out far better for investors than was feared. 2021 is expected to provide solid returns and see a further rotation from pandemic winners to cyclical investments. Watch: coronavirus and vaccines; US politics; and the hit to immigration in Australia. Introduction 2020 turned out far better for diversified investors than had been […]

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Review of 2020, outlook for 2021 – from Pandemic to Recovery

Key points 2020 was dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic but shares saw okay returns on the back of policy stimulus and vaccine optimism, resulting in constrained but positive returns for balanced growth super funds. For 2021, the combination of massive policy stimulus and the prospect of vaccines allowing a return to something more normal by […]

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The right times for financial advice

COVID-19 has created uncertainty everywhere and impacted not just our health but our wealth too. From millennials to retirees, we’ve had to review our finances and adapt to the changing environment. We’ve seen volatile share markets, slashed dividends on bank stocks, record-low interest rates and sectors like airlines, tourism and traditional retail struggling to survive. […]

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The growth of contactless payments

It’s a very 2020 story. Your new homemade breadmaking skills are as uneven as the lump you lifted from your oven, so you pop down to the bakers for their tasty sourdough rolls. But as you make it to the front of the socially distanced queue and pull out your $10 note, the assistant points […]

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Majority of working Aussies to benefit from personal income tax cuts

Majority of working Aussies to benefit from personal income tax cuts Tax cuts proposed in the recent Federal Budget were passed in parliament on Friday 9 October, and you might see some of the benefits before Christmas. The government has brought forward tax cuts originally planned for 1 July 2022 and backdated them to 1 […]

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How to start saving for your future in your 20s

If you’re in your 20s, chances are that life could feel like a bit of a rollercoaster right now. The economic fallout of the coronavirus (COVID-19) may have knocked your personal finances for six and at the same time, you could be juggling new expenses and experiences for the first time, such as moving out […]

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Five ways to shop a little smarter this Christmas

If cash flow is looking a tad grim this year, here are some ideas to up the presents under the tree, noting it’s the presence around it that really counts. We don’t need to list the events of 2020 to say it’s been a big one, particularly as we approach the festive season, where many […]

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Creative holiday ideas to inspire you

Planning a holiday gives you something to look forward to. Even if you’ve been able to maintain a kind of normal during Coronavirus, most people have experienced additional stress from the uncertainty and isolation. This is especially true for Victorians who have had to endure a long and difficult lockdown period. No matter where you […]

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Why it’s important to think about insurance ahead of retirement

If retirement’s coming up on your horizon, you’ll be keen to make sure your plans stay on track. It makes sense to concentrate on things you can control, such as insurance. Too-high premiums can chew away at the foundations of your savings, at a time when they’re more important than ever. Under-insure and one day […]

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Economic Update

Australia: The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the official cash rate to a new historic low of 0.1%. The Treasurer released Australia’s latest Federal Budget. This was essentially a ‘no-surprises’ package of measures designed for Covid-19 challenged times. Given the scope of the challenge, the budget deficit for 2020/21 was unsurprisingly large, at $213.7 billion, […]

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How to get Aged Care at Home

Older people who are struggling to live at home and take care of themselves often face a dilemma. Many don’t want to move into aged care accommodation, but they recognise the gardening, cleaning, cooking or showering is impossible or becoming more difficult. Some worry about placing a burden on their loved ones, others can’t afford […]

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Many Aussies in the dark about retirement

There’s always been a lot of unknowns when it comes to retirement but throw a global pandemic into the mix, and we’re feeling more uncertainty than ever before. Things we once thought of as quite certain– like being employed, getting decent returns on investments and savings, and a continual rise in house prices – seemingly […]

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Nine keys to successful investing

Introduction As an investor it’s very easy to get thrown off by the ever-present worry list surrounding investment markets that relates to economic activity, profits, interest rates, politics, and so on. This has been magnified by a digital media where everyone is vying for attention and the best way to get this attention is via […]

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Preparing for retirement during Covid-19

Timing is everything. It’s true in comedy, and it’s also the case when it comes to retirement. After decades of work, moving to the next stage of your life is a time of great anticipation. Your super is at its highest, you’ve planned for a lifetime of retirement income… and then…. 2020 happens. In the […]

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Responsible and ethical investing

If you’d like your money to make a difference to the world as well as to your future, ethical investing may be for you. Almost nine in 10 (89 per cent) Australians would prefer to invest in a responsible investment option that considers ethical, social and governance (ESG) issues as well as financial returns. With […]

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What you need to know if you deferred your loan repayments due to COVID-19

With the initial six-month deferral period coming to an end, lenders have started contacting customers who deferred their home and business loans due to COVID-19. Over the next month, Aussie lenders will contact more than 450,000 borrowers to assess whether they can start repaying their loans. This includes at least 260,000 mortgage deferrals and 105,000 […]

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Five reasons why this downturn and subsequent recovery are different

Key Points This economic downturn and recovery differs from those of the past in that: the downturn was driven by a government shutdown; fiscal and monetary support has been faster and bigger; forced asset sales have been headed off; it’s dependent on containing coronavirus; and it’s seeing more rapid structural change. As a result, we […]

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A Joe Biden Presidency

Implications for Investors and Australia Key points: The US election has been close and final counting as well as legal challenges could still upset the result, but the now highly likely outcome is a Biden Presidency. While there is a possibility that the Democrats could win control of the Senate via runoff elections in Georgia, […]

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Where do we stand with our finances since COVID hit?

Everyone in Australia has been affected by the COVID pandemic to some degree. With disruption to our work and social lives, it’s one of the biggest changes many of us have ever faced. But what has it meant for our money and financial wellbeing? Nearly half of Australians are struggling A recent survey found that […]

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How to make a financial plan

A financial plan can help you build wealth over time, aiding the protection of your financial future. If that sounds like a good idea, it could be good to find a trusted financial adviser who can help you on this journey. Australians are increasingly recognising the value of financial advice with 27 per cent having […]

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Aussies saving for a rainy day instead of a holiday

Not many people can say they’ve been unaffected by COVID-19. Whether you’ve lost work, had hours reduced or been fortunate to maintain employment, COVID has been a wake-up call for how we manage our money and set financial goals. How are we managing? Many of us are doing smart things such as: 29% are cancelling […]

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Six steps to building good financial habits

How financially secure do you feel? Recent research1 into Australians’ financial wellness – which is a person’s satisfaction with their current and future financial situation – revealed that people with good financial habits feel more financially secure. It sounds like a no-brainer. But adopting good financial habits isn’t always as easy as it sounds, start […]

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Five tips for a better retirement

Retirement is an exciting time. It’s the long-awaited reward for a lifetime of work and, if you’ve planned it correctly, it heralds a life stage synonymous with relaxation and enjoyment. However, to make sure your retirement is everything you’d hoped for, it’s crucial to make smart decisions to help you stick to your financial plan, […]

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Five things to consider when saving for a house deposit

Before you can step onto the property ladder and buy your first home, you’ll likely have to do some serious saving to build up a deposit. Here are some things to consider that can help get you started, and on the road to home ownership sooner. Work out your current situation  It might sound obvious, […]

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Federal Budget 2020 | What it means for you

Overview The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Australia’s health system, community and economy. The Government has provided $257 billion in support to cushion the economic impact of COVID-19. In doing so, the Treasurer had the unenviable task of revealing the Budget deficit will increase to $213.7 billion this year. The focus of […]

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A guide to active and passive investing

Investment funds can be broadly split into two categories – active and passive. And while both options play a part in an investment portfolio, it’s important to understand how each works before allocating money to them. Basics of passive investing Passive investing has gained momentum in Australia, and beyond, over the last decade. It could […]

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Why financial wellbeing is a pillar of good health

When we talk about financial wellbeing, what do we mean? More than just earning an income, financial wellbeing is about having financial security and the freedom to make choices. There are three interrelated aspects to good financial wellbeing: The ability to meet your expenses and have money left over. Feeling and acting in control of your finances. […]

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Term deposit vs savings account

Putting your money into a savings account, or in the alternative, a term deposit, are two common methods of saving. Working out whether either of these options are right for you depends on your personal and financial circumstances, as well as your saving goals. Here are some of the common features and benefits of each. […]

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Give yourself a new financial year check-up

Financial year 2019-20 is now behind us and there’s nothing like closing a chapter to inspire thoughts of a fresh start. But global challenges persist: Australia is officially in a recession while also bracing for a post-Job Keeper economy in September. While it’s impossible to anticipate future changes to the global economy, there’s plenty you […]

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5 common financial mistakes to avoid during a crisis

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is playing havoc with finances for many households. In an ideal world, the financial boost should be enough and assumes that everyone was financially prepared for tough times. But in times of crisis, it can all be a little overwhelming. Here are 5 common financial mistakes to avoid […]

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Financial counsellor or financial planner: What’s the difference?

Ok we get it, knowing where to turn to for financial advice can be confusing sometimes! Financial planners and financial counsellors are both types of financial experts, so which one is right for you? To answer this question, start by considering why you’re seeking financial advice. Is it to improve your financial wellbeing? Plan for retirement? Manage […]

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Five ways to help prepare your finances for a recession

If you think storms may lie ahead, it makes sense to prepare your craft for choppy waters. With Australia facing continued economic uncertainty, it may be time to take stock of your finances and get in the right shape. However, if you’re worried about the threat of redundancy, your investments or your retirement plans being disrupted, […]

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What tax deductions can I claim working from home?

According to the Australian Taxation Office, there are three ways to claim your home office running expenses. The actual cost method Under this method, your tax deductions include the actual costs of work-related expenses. This applies to things such as the costs of your home office furniture and fittings, as well as equipment such as […]

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Should you give your teenager a credit card?

We live in a culture of smartphones, WIFI, home delivery, online shopping and online gaming, where most needs and wants can be met almost instantly. With so much temptation to spend, it’s vital to teach your kids the money skills to help them enjoy financial wellbeing as adults. But should you give your teenager a […]

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How seniors can come out of isolation on top

There’s no denying that staying home has been the best defence against Coronavirus. The less contact you have with other people, the easier it is to stay healthy. But staying at home day after day has been a tough ask – especially for people who live alone. Being unable to hug your grandchildren, catch up […]

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Get on top of your finances post COVID-19

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease Australia-wide, a new normal is emerging for businesses and employees. While it’s too soon to say what the post-lockdown economy will bring, for many Australians life won’t be quite the same as it was before COVID-19. Record job losses, reduced hours of work and the deferral of dividend payments […]

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Essential apps for budgeting and saving money

Determined to master your money and stick to a budget in 2020? It doesn’t have to be boring or difficult if you keep it simple, and easier still if you let technology do the heavy lifting for you. 1. Pocketbook Pocketbook automatically organises your spending into categories like clothes, groceries and fuel, showing you where money is […]

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Early access not so super for women

The COVID-19 crisis has seen many Australians taking steps to stay afloat with their finances. With women more likely than men to withdraw super to make up the shortfall in their income, what does this mean for their long-term financial wellbeing? Here are 5 reasons as to why a super withdrawal during this time could […]

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Essential checklist for the end of financial year

The end of financial year on 30 June is a good time to take stock and get your finances in order. Being prepared, reviewing your super contributions and submitting your return on time are good policies every year, but the shadow of COVID-19 (coronavirus) means many of us face unexpected pressures in a changing economic […]

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Staying afloat through the COVID-19 crisis

We’re dealing with a health crisis that no one in our lifetime has experienced, which is having an impact on global and domestic economies that no one could have forecast. Entire industries – tourism, entertainment and hospitality – have ground to a halt, and with them jobs. For Australians in these industries, not only are […]

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Why it’s important to think about insurance ahead of retirement

Finding the right level of insurance cover is important when you’re thinking about retirement. If retirement’s coming up on your horizon, the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may have thrown a warehouse-sized rack of spanners in your planning. It makes sense to concentrate on things you can control, such as insurance. Too-high premiums can chew away […]

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How to keep your head while keeping your distance

There are people who are better at the whole social distancing game than others. If you already normally work from home, for instance, you might be laughing into your elbow as you listen to the newly homebound lament that their desire to binge on Netflix on the weekend isn’t so appealing when they can do […]

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Digital payments and online banking explained

Face-to-face encounters have become less frequent in so many areas of our lives – and banking and shopping are no different. So, now’s an ideal time for older Australians to start integrating more digital transactions into their everyday banking. Using these methods for the first time can be intimidating, so we’ve answered some of the […]

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How fit are your finances?

Wearable technology can monitor our heart rate and tell us how much sleep we’ve had, but what about our financial wellbeing? If you could benefit from a Fitbit for your finances, read on. Just like your physical health, the more you can monitor what’s happening with your finances, the easier it will be to improve […]

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Take stock of how much conveniences are costing you

With weeks, and perhaps months, of self-isolation ahead, many of life’s conveniences like streaming and delivery services will become our essentials. But if you’re used to spending unlimited amounts to make life that little bit easier, now is a good time to look at what you can live without to make your budget go further. […]

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Who inherits your super?

There are only certain people who can inherit your super when you die. There are also two different types of nominations you can make. Here’s what you need to know before making your super beneficiary nomination. Super is different from other assets, such as your house, because the trustee of your super fund ultimately decides […]

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Unintended consequences of Government COVID-19 Policies

For every action there is a reaction. And while we’re not criticising the government’s policy response to COVID-19, we recognise that such intervention often has unintended consequences.  Take lower interest rates for instance. Central banks intended to make the cost of investment cheaper and be stimulatory. Instead, Australian households borrowed more money to buy bigger […]

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Planning, not panic: managing retirement portfolios through the pandemic

Despite the recent wild ride for markets coping with the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, many investors are well-versed in the need to “sit tight”. They understand that moving out of positions in falling markets risks crystallising losses at the bottom and missing out on the recovery. For retirees it’s not so simple, where portfolios […]

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Geopolitical risks for the economy and investments

The world has always been challenged by the dynamics of geopolitics. The nature and magnitude of associated conflicts may transition and manifest across varying contexts but, broadly speaking, geopolitical risk is ever present. The fierce competition between the powerhouses of the East and West has been watched closely by many. The trade war between the […]

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Economic Update

Market and Economic overview Australia The coronavirus ‘curve’ of known cases has flattened out, suggesting social distancing measures have been successful in slowing the spread of the disease. The focus is now on a gradual easing of restrictions – people will gradually start returning to work as non-essential areas of the economy start to function […]

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Downsizer contributions: what are the rules?

In the first year since older Australians have been allowed to make downsizer contributions, 4,246 people have contributed a total of $1 billion in downsizer contributions to their super funds (1 July 2018 – 1 July 2019). This not only allows retired people to have access to more money to fund their retirement, it’s also […]

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Downsizer contributions: what are the rules?

In the first year since older Australians have been allowed to make downsizer contributions, 4,246 people have contributed a total of $1 billion in downsizer contributions to their super funds (1 July 2018 – 1 July 2019). This not only allows retired people to have access to more money to fund their retirement, it’s also […]

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Dividend cuts – what can investors expect?

Since the financial crisis more than a decade ago, investors have had to search much harder for income as savings rates have plunged. Many have looked to the equity market to help them achieve better income returns, with large numbers of companies increasing dividend payments to shareholders as they have grown. It is likely that […]

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Market Insight – Staying the Course

While it can be hard to stay in the market when share prices plummet, now is not the time to panic. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has triggered a share market crash, in Australia and internationally. Since 31 December 2019, when the first cases of the new virus were reported in China’s Hubei province, the disease […]

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Light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel – what does it mean for investors?

Introduction The blanket coverage of coronavirus and its impact on the economy can lead to a lot of confusion. Some reports are hopeful of anti-viral drugs, others say a vaccine is at least a year away. There is talk of curve flattening but still rising cases and deaths. There is news of an easing in […]

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What signposts can we watch to be confident shares have bottomed?

Introduction After a roughly 35% plunge from their February high point to their lows around 23rd March, global and Australian shares have had a 15-20% rally. What’s more this rally has occurred despite increasingly bleak economic data ranging from plunges in business conditions surveys or PMIs to a record 10 million surge over two weeks […]

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Where to seek advice in uncertain times

With the ongoing escalation of the COVID-19 crisis many people are struggling. Huge changes are happening and we’re all being affected, socially, emotionally and financially. If your ability to work and earn an income has already been affected, you’re likely to be worried about how you’re going to cover your bills and mortgage and pay […]

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Retirees, COVID-19, and options on the table during a market crash

The spread of coronavirus has been followed by some of the biggest plunges in share markets since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), both here in Australia and around the world. There’s nothing new about a market correction, but for those close to retirement it can be a nerve-wracking experience. If you’ve checked your superannuation balance […]

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The Coronavirus pandemic and the economy: A Q&A from an investment perspective

Introduction Along with the horrible human consequences, the coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on the way we live and, as a result, investment markets. This has raised a whole bunch of questions: why does a big part of the economy have to go into “hibernation”? how long might it be for? how big […]

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How to Live Frugally

For some people, the word frugal conjures up images of deprivation and penny-pinching. But being frugal isn’t about being tight-fisted. Instead, it’s about prioritising your spending, so you have the money to enjoy what’s important to you. Frugality is making a comeback, thanks to the younger generations. Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996, […]

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How investors can respond to stock market shocks

If the threat of a large-scale outbreak of an infectious disease isn’t enough to worry about, the financial implications of coronavirus is also making investors nervous. You may have read about how the shutdown of industry across China, effectively the world’s manufacturing hub, risks hurting the global economy. You may also have heard about large […]

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Federal Government stimulus package

March 2020 What it means for individuals, retirees and the Australian economy Here we explain some of the benefits you may be eligible for. With the COVID-19 coronavirus crippling the Australian economy and affecting livelihoods, the Australian Federal Government has announced a range of measures to support both businesses and individuals. The total stimulus announced […]

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When you retire but your partner doesn’t

Many couples dream of sharing a life of leisure together. But what happens when things get out of sync? When we think of retirement, we often imagine a happy couple strolling hand in hand on the beach. But even if you and your partner are similar ages, chances are you won’t retire at the same […]

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Funeral Insurance: a morbid idea or a smart strategy?

It’s difficult to watch television these days without being bombarded with advertising from insurance companies, the latest trend offering low cost funeral insurance. It seems so easy, pick up the phone and within a matter of minutes you can be covered for the cost of your funeral. None of us want to pass on financial […]

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Should I take my super as a lump sum or not?

You’ve spent your working life accumulating super. So when the time comes, are you better off taking a lump sum, regular income or both?   Let’s weigh up the alternatives so you can start to consider what may be best for you. Taking a lump sum If your super has been managed on your behalf during […]

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Estate Planning Essentials

We’ve all heard the terms “estate plan”, “will” and “trust”, however not everyone understands what they mean. Estate planning is the process of putting in place structures to ensure that the wealth you have accumulated over your lifetime is transferred to your beneficiaries in a tax-effective manner and in accordance with your wishes. A will […]

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