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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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