Archive

Biden versus Trump – the US presidential election is looming as the next big event for investors

Key points The US election has significant potential to add to volatility in investment markets. A Trump victory will mean more of the same and would likely initially be more positive for US than global and Australian shares. By contrast a Biden victory may add to short-term volatility but this is likely to be short […]

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What to do next if you’re facing redundancy

Uncertainty around COVID-19 might be increasing your stress levels about losing your job, but here are five ways to soften the financial blow. In April, Australia hit its highest unemployment rate in five years, and with the Federal Treasurer expecting an unemployment rate of around 10% by the end of the year, many Aussies may […]

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When your adult children become long-term residents in your home

There’s no question young people have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. From casual job losses to widespread hiring freezes, they’re on the front line. Experts fear the youth unemployment rate, which was 16.3% in July, will remain stubbornly high for years to come So what are young people to do? Unable to get secure […]

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Why you need a Will

It’s no wonder people tend to avoid making a Will. We can find it hard to face the fact that death is part of our future and that there may be a time when we won’t be able to manage our own finances due to poor health. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all […]

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The future of work – a new way of working

2020 will be the year that changed the way many people work. COVID-19 introduced both societal and organisational shifts, with businesses and their employees forced to adapt quickly to new ways of working that included work being carried out remotely and with increased flexibility. Although it took us by surprise, it has perhaps brought forward […]

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Six ways to help reduce your debts before you retire

Carrying debt into retirement is something many Aussies will face, but the good news is there are a number of things you can do now while you’ve still got time on your side and earning an income. Take simple steps to minimise what you owea Work out your debtsand what they total Do a comparison of […]

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How to keep your super safe during COVID-19

If you’re feeling concerned about how the pandemic will affect your super balance, here are our tips to help protect and grow your super. What can affect my super balance? In Australia, your employer is required by law to pay a minimum percentage of your eligible income to a complying superannuation fund or retirement savings […]

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Seven reasons why the trend in shares will likely remain up, albeit with bumps along the way

Key points Shares have had a strong run up from their March lows with US shares now at a record high. While shares are vulnerable through the seasonally weak months ahead in the run up to the US election, the positives – including good progress in developing vaccines, the downtrend in the US dollar, signs […]

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How to budget for your social life in retirement

If you’re in or approaching retirement, you may be prioritising things such as living costs, utility bills, health care and even potentially helping the kids out with their future financial goals. With many Australians looking at a retirement (which in reality, could span a few decades), another thing to give some thought to is keeping […]

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Don’t let overspending be your undoing

Do you struggle to control your spending around your friends and family? If the urge to ‘keep up’ with a certain lifestyle is stretching your finances, it could be time to take action. From splitting the bill at an expensive restaurant, to having the ‘right’ house, car and clothes, many of us fall victim to […]

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Superannuation 101: Your guide to a happy retirement

Superannuation is a handy way of saving for retirement, so that you’ll have an income to live on once you’re no longer working. Your employer must pay a portion of your earnings into your superannuation fund, which invests them on your behalf. How much superannuation will I be paid? In Australia, your employer is required […]

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Some ways to use your tax refund for a stronger financial future

Whether you breeze through tax time or dread the extra admin, receiving a tax refund makes the effort worthwhile. For many of us, getting a financial boost will be even more welcome this year, and you might be looking around for the best ways to use it. These simple actions can help you figure out […]

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Putting your own needs first

It’s a win-win idea. A parent sells their home to move in with their adult child’s family, providing cash for the deposit or renovations and helping with the mortgage and providing free childcare. In return, there’s companionship, care and physical support for the older person. But sometimes these plans go awry, leaving the elderly parent […]

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How is your credit score affected by COVID-19?

If you’re one of the many Australians financially impacted by COVID-19, who have deferred $218 billion worth of payments this year – fear not. Your credit score is unlikely to be affected by payment deferrals or mortgage holidays due to the current state of the world. While that’s good news, it’s still important to maintain […]

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Are young people putting themselves at risk without life insurance?

Today, young people are often called the “the smashed avocado generation,” supposedly frittering away money on ‘luxury’ items rather than working hard to save for their first home or retirement nest egg. However, despite their spendthrift reputation, most millennials are quite prudent when it comes to managing their financial affairs. Research by Afterpay found that millennials […]

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Managing your financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly disrupted our daily lives, forcing us to close entire industries and change our behaviour overnight. With the lockdown directly affecting jobs and the economy, many people’s thoughts quickly turned to their finances. Whether or not your income has been affected, now is a good time to get your finances in […]

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Make Your Super Last

Australians enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in the world, which means you can look forward to a long and comfortable retirement. While that’s fantastic news, it also makes saving for retirement more important than ever. Indeed, the majority of Australians over age 40 who are yet to retire are concerned about not having […]

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Investing during a recession

In times of uncertainty, when share markets and interest rates are falling, along with declines in consumer and business confidence, investors often question if their money is safe and if it’s still going to meet their long-term investment goals. But whether it’s a period of sustained volatility due to a global financial crisis, a medical […]

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How has COVID-19 changed Australian consumer spending habits?

How has COVID-19 changed Australian consumer spending habits? Australian spending habits have changed markedly in the last few months. Consumers continue to worry about the strength of the economy, the duration of the pandemic and overall public wellbeing. But while Australian consumer spending remains slow, we’re seeing signs of recovery across most categories and grocery […]

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Economic Update

Introduction Covid-19 developments continued to dominate attention. There were spikes in the number of new infections in both Australia and overseas, suggesting an economic recovery may be delayed. Share markets powered ahead, however, as investors remained convinced that governments and central banks will provide sufficient financial assistance through the crisis. Fixed income markets also registered […]

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Am I eligible for the HomeBuilder grant?

Available for a limited time, the HomeBuilder grant offers eligible owner-occupiers, including first-home buyers, a potential tax-free $25,000 boost to help fund the cost of building a new home or substantially renovating an existing home. Although not specifically targeted at first-home buyers, the Government expects the HomeBuilder grant will be popular with first-home buyers looking […]

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The Big Differences between the Great Depression and Covid-19

Global economic activity has grounded to a halt, prompting fears the world is in for a re-run of The Great Depression. While there might be similar scenes, the parallels are not as strong as you may think. Without a doubt, countries worldwide are in for sharp, deep recessions as they rightly sacrifice economic growth in […]

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How to reduce spending after a job loss

How to reduce expenses after a job loss and get back in the driver’s seat of your finances. With many thousands of Australians experiencing job losses and reduced hours as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many will need to take a look at their expenses to continue living within their means. The average […]

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How to make the transition to working from home

For many traditional office-workers, working from home has now become the new normal. For some it’s an easy transition to make, while for others, it can be a struggle. If you find yourself struggling to adapt to this new way of working and living, here are some tips that can help. Set up a dedicated […]

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Withdrawing Super: what to consider

The federal government has been releasing details of financial support available to Australians who have lost income due the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A huge number of us have been affected in some way and many have been left feeling stressed and confused about what to do to keep afloat. Although concern about […]

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Why you need to keep your identity safe

Have you received an unexpected email or text asking you to ‘confirm’ personal details by clicking on a link or opening an attachment? It could be an attempt to steal your information for financial gain. Identity theft is on the rise, so it’s important to know how to protect yourself. It’s hard to believe people […]

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Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, many people are naturally fearful for their health, their livelihoods and those they care for. During times of great uncertainty, it’s natural to be anxious however it’s also important to keep things in perspective. In this time of crisis, it’s important to remember that medical professionals and infectious disease […]

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Market volatility and how it’s affecting your super

In recent weeks, investment markets around the world have experienced significant volatility as investors try to assess the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – an event that no-one anticipated for 2020. If your super is invested in the Australian and/or international share markets, it’s likely you would have been affected by this. How much […]

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Why don’t we save anymore?

It is forecast that by 2020, the average Australian household will save a tiny 2.1% of their total disposable income – a drop of around 5.5% from 2014. Having money in the bank means you can cover large expenses, meet future goals and protect your lifestyle if things go wrong down the track. Best of […]

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How to trick yourself into saving money

Impulse purchases and buyer’s remorse often go hand in hand. But if you take a week (or a month) to reflect on your spending, you could see a noticeable boost in the funds accumulating in your savings account. Enter, the Seven-day Rule. Don’t reply to text messages after you’ve had a glass of wine and […]

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Six podcasts to help you find your way in 2020

If you’re looking for inspiration this year, we’ve rounded up six podcasts to help you flip your thinking on your 2020 plans, whatever they look like for you. From money know-how to new skills to strategies for facing fears, these podcasts offer insights and advice straight from the mouths of people who’ve dreamt, learnt or […]

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Are you eligible for school subsidies?

With 2020 now in motion, many parents and carers are probably looking at how they’ll cover school fees for the year ahead, not to mention other costs, which might include things like uniforms, shoes, stationery, excursions and transport. The good news is, you may be eligible for some financial assistance through subsidies in your state […]

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Investing on behalf of your kids

Investing on behalf of your children can help give them a financial leg up and introduce them to good financial practice at an early age. Here are some considerations to help you find an appropriate kind of investment vehicle to set them on their way. Whether it’s birthday cash from proud grandparents, a slice of […]

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Five ways to increase your financial wellbeing

It may not be something you think about much. It may even make you uncomfortable to examine the way you manage money and think about whether you’d be able to cope if you suffer a significant financial setback. But your financial wellbeing can impact every area of your life, so it’s worth taking the time […]

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The increasing spread of Coronavirus: updated economic and investment market implications

Key points While reported new coronavirus cases in China have slowed, the pickup in cases outside China has led to a renewed sharp fall in share markets and bond yields. Our base case is that the outbreak will be contained allowing share markets and bond yields to rebound in the June quarter. However, the hit […]

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3 factors affecting retirement income

In Australia, people are living longer and interest rates are lower than ever. While the first is good news, the second carries risks if you’re looking for an adequate income to see you through retirement. Here we look at three elements that affect a post-work reasonable income – interest rates, inflation, and longevity. Interest rates […]

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Grow your super this year

There are a number of ways you can contribute more to your super, to take advantage of time and the magic of compound interest. These include salary sacrificing, and a range of tax-deductible, spouse and downsizer contributions, as well as government co-contributions. What you do right now affects how well you can live in future. […]

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Is $1 million enough to retire on?

Everyone who’s approaching retirement wants to know how much money they need to save – how much is enough to leave work confidently and then live comfortably? Lately, we’ve been seeing $1 million dollars bandied around as the magic number but is $1 million enough? Well, it depends. If you’re a high-income earner and want […]

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The economy: learn the basics in 5 minutes

What is the ASX? ASX stands for Australian Securities Exchange (not stock exchange like many people think). How does it work? The ASX provides a market for people to buy and sell shares in the companies listed on it. If the company does well, the investors (those who own shares) have a chance to make […]

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Market and Economic overview

Australia Headline inflation rose slightly more than expected in the December quarter. Prices rose 0.7% over the three-month period, the fastest quarterly increase in three years. This took the annual inflation rate to 1.8%. The increase was partly due to higher food prices, affected by disruptions to transportation owing to bush fires in November and […]

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Federal Government assistance for those severely affected by the Bushfires

Australia’s bushfire crisis has so far claimed 28 lives, killed an estimated billion animals, destroyed more than 2000 homes and burnt through more than ten million hectares of land. If you live or operate your business in a fire-affected area, there is help available. The federal government is providing two forms of financial assistance to […]

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Will I pay Capital gains Tax on my Inheritance?

In Australia, special capital gains tax rules apply when dealing with assets of a deceased estate. The most common types of assets inherited by a beneficiary that could be subject to a capital gain are property, shares and managed funds. You may have just received (or are about to receive) an inheritance. While this article […]

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Time to consider green investing?

In the wake of recent ferocious bushfires, the climate change debate has climbed the news agenda, with many Australians now considering what they can do to help. If you’d like your money to make a difference to the environment as well as your future, now might be the time to consider ethical investing. It’s a […]

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Making sense of Medicare and your tax obligations

To help pay for the public health system which we call Medicare, you’re required to pay a 2 percent Medicare levy as part of your income tax. While the low-income tax offset can reduce your individual tax liability, sadly it does not reduce the Medicare levy per se, which can make it that little bit […]

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How to review your SMSF investment strategy

Super law sets out some requirements that trustees of regulated super funds need to consider when formulating an investment strategy. These requirements include (but not limited to) the composition of investments, risk and return, liquidity, insurance and the ability to pay liabilities (including member benefits) as they become due. Looking first at the composition of […]

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How to overcome a financial setback

When considering the financial position they’ve achieved in retirement, many Australian retirees share the same opinion: “I wish I’d saved more.” For some people, keeping up with day-to-day living expenses and staying on top of debts is challenging enough, and investing for the future can seem out of reach. Meanwhile, others are better at sticking […]

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What happens if you need to become a carer?

You’ve made plans, set a budget and financial goals; you’re ready for anything, right? But what happens if a loved one is in an accident or your ageing parent starts needing dedicated care? How do you juggle career and the role of carer? Registered Nurse, Rachel James, had packed her bags and was five days […]

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Time to take the property plunge?

For decades real estate not only delivered security and comfort to bring up Australian families but also a cast-iron vehicle for wealth building, seemingly immune from the ups and downs experienced by other types of investment. But then came the recent downturn, with falling house prices shaking our longstanding faith in bricks and mortar. Signs […]

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Staycations: should you stay or should you go now?

It’s the getaway you take when a getaway’s out of the question – the staycation. Whether it’s venturing out locally and returning each evening, or taking a few nights to explore places within driving distance of home, the staycation is becoming increasingly popular. It might come down to time, or money, or just that you […]

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Rebooting for retirement

As retirement comes into view, it’s time to imagine a new you for the post-work age. You remember your first day at school, your first job, your first home. And now your final pay check is in sight. You’re nearly there. That’s quite an achievement. How to be trigger happy As with other big life […]

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Are tiny houses here to stay?

Tiny homes are seeing rising popularity among Millennials, many of whom are facing unaffordable housing prices and gig-economy jobs with unpredictable income. It’s no surprise they’re looking for innovative ways to set up a house. Tiny homes are marketed as an affordable way to achieve this. But what are the pitfalls, and are they everything […]

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5 saving graces of giftmas

If it is indeed better to give than to receive, then Australians are a happy lot. According to the Financial Planning Association of Australia, 85% of us find more joy in giving gifts to others than in getting them ourselves. We’re also a generous bunch, spending an average of $93 on a significant Christmas gift. […]

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Economic update

Market and Economic overview Australia Australian interest rates were lowered by 0.25% to 0.75% in October but left unchanged in November. Most observers expect borrowing costs to be lowered further in the next few months. The latest reading of Australian consumer confidence fell unexpectedly sharply. This was a little surprising given generally buoyant labour market […]

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What assets can you have before losing your pension

There are many benefits to receiving a pension or even a part pension, but there are limits to what level of income or assets you can have to be eligible. Regarding assets, the key limits as at 1 July 2019 are as follows: To receive a full pension, assets (excluding the value of the primary […]

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Tips for boosting retirement savings and investments in a lower-for-longer world

Retirees now face a bold truth: investing in traditional safe haven assets do not provide the returns they once did. So, where to from here? The first thing is to accept that today’s returns are lower on retiree favourites, like cash and bonds. Second, there are tools available to provide forecasts for what the market […]

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The search for dividend yield in a low-growth environment

Investors have faced a low-growth environment with low yield for some time now and this does not appear to be changing anytime soon. Global economic activity is slowing notably, reflecting a combination of factors affecting the major economies. Historically investors who look for income in the form of interest payments – also called yield, have […]

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Putting a value on your potential

What is your most financially valuable asset? The answer to this question could be quite different depending on your age. A younger person may say their car or a possession, such as a musical instrument, is their most valuable asset. As people age their home or super is likely to be what they consider most […]

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Going solo in retirement

While divorce rates have fallen in Australia in recent years, there is one age group where it’s becoming more common. In the two decades to 2017, the divorce rate for men aged 55-59 more than doubled. For women in the same age group it has tripled. We explore the pros and cons for your lifestyle […]

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Do falling markets signal a good time to open an SMSF?

Historically, self-managed super funds (SMSFs) have been seen as a direct way to take control of your retirement savings. By taking charge of your investment selection and asset allocation, there may be the perception that you could outperform your retail or other super fund by taking control over your choice of investments. Hence, when investment […]

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6 ways to stay well in retirement

A fulfilling retirement isn’t just about money, it’s about staying healthy, active and connected. So much of preparing for retirement is about the dollars and cents: Working out whether a transition to retirement strategy works for you. Deciding which type of income stream is appropriate to deliver the right balance between income and capital gain. […]

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Stay one step ahead of online scams

Just as the internet continues to surprise us every day, so do online scammers and fraudsters. It’s good to stay in the know with the cyber dark arts so you can quickly spot them. Keeping your computer secure The first place to start is right under your nose. Spyware and Malware can snoop on your […]

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My partner doesn’t have super – should I be worried?

Picture the scene. You’ve moved past the honeymoon period of a new relationship and you think this could finally be the one. You’re starting to think about the medium-term future and setting up your lives together. So you’re at your favourite restaurant discussing joint finances when your partner drops a bombshell by revealing they hardly […]

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Getting your investment property rent-ready

When you’re looking at properties it’s hard not to pick features you love. A great view. Beautiful leafy garden and pool. Moments from the beach. But purchasing an investment property is very different from purchasing your own home. You have to leave the ‘dream home’ thinking behind and start thinking in numbers, probabilities and what […]

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Ka-Ching! Talking money with kids

Parents and guardians want to send children out into the world armed with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. So we talk to them about the birds and the bees, we teach them to catch a ball and drive. But oddly, many of us never talk to them about money and how to […]

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Opening up about money

Funny thing, money. On the one hand it can get us excited or give us a real sense of achievement (think reaching a savings goal). On the other hand, it’s something we tend to keep to ourselves. Whether our finances are in great shape or need a bit of TLC, talking about it openly with […]

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Three reasons why fun should be in your budget

It’s fair to say that most of us aren’t crazy about budgeting. Even with the latest budgeting apps that aim to make this common sense habit into something easy and fun, the thought of keeping tabs on what we’re spending from month-to-month fills many people with boredom or anxiety. In their Know your Numbers survey […]

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Where could responsible investing take you?

Estimates of the size of the sustainable investment market vary from around $23 trillion to almost $31 trillion, with responsible investment taking into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions, whereas ethical investing being more of a values-based approach. In Australia, investments managed in an ethical or responsible manner came in at […]

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Is Buy Now Pay Later a better way to borrow?

In the 21st century era of digital transformation, being able to browse, choose and pay for our purchases anywhere, anytime has taken shopping to a whole new level. The way we consume and spend has changed dramatically as a result. Here in Australia, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) arrangements have emerged as a very popular […]

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How to budget for a baby

With a little bit of planning you should be able to successfully avoid having the joy of starting a family compromised by the financial burden of doing so. Based on research by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) it costs over $406,000 to raise one child from birth until they finish their […]

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From bartering to smartphones—how our money habits have evolved

Ever since King Alyattes of Lydia minted the first coin in 600BC, humanity’s relationship with money has been constantly evolving. Fast forward to more recent developments and mobile banking was offered to European consumers as early as 1999, with contactless payment cards appearing in the UK in 2008. When it comes to money, fashions come […]

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5 tips for planet-saving, money-saving lifestyle

A lot of us are looking for ways to use less plastic. But did you know that doing so could save more than the planet – it could also save you money? Here are five ways you can save money at the same time as helping the environment. Buy a re-useable coffee cup It’s not […]

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Feel freedom after defeating debt

If you’ve taken a look at your finances recently, you may have found yourself with a few debts. While it’s possible to pay them off by simply keeping up your minimum repayments, you may want to get them sorted quicker. If so, here’s a few simple steps to help you pay off your debts sooner […]

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Buck the spending trends

According to recent research from Mortgage Choice and Core Data, 35% of Australians give in to the temptation to spend money to keep up appearances. It seems that more than a third of us can’t help but follow the urge to upgrade our current lifestyle, even if that means missing out on important future goals […]

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Boost your savings for spring

In the cooler months we spend a lot more time getting cosy inside. Why not use some of that quality indoors time to give your finances and future plans a little love? Dust off your budget Has your budget been gathering cobwebs? Or maybe you haven’t made one in a while, if at all? There’s […]

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Rent vs lifestyle—can you have it all?

So you’ve found the apartment of your dreams. It’s a stone’s throw from the CBD’s trendiest shopping street, boasts fabulous views of the sea and comes with a fully-equipped kitchen boasting European appliances plus luxury spa bathroom. OK, it’s a bit pricey but it ticks all the boxes, and you can worry about the rental […]

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Can money buy happiness?

Is money the key to happiness? Numerous research reports and studies agree having more money can lead to improved wellbeing, but only up to a point. It seems that once your personal income cruises past roughly the six-figure mark, you can’t expect to get any happier from having more. How you spend your money, on […]

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Can I go back to work if I’ve already accessed my super?

When you access your super at retirement your super fund may ask you to sign a declaration stating that you intend to never be employed again. But there may be compelling reasons why someone would subsequently return to work. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) the most common reasons retirees return to full […]

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Economic Update

Market and Economic overview Australia The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered interest rates in June by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent, and again in July by a further 25 basis points – moving the official cash rate to 1.00%. In a July speech, the Governor of the Reserve Bank suggested it would be […]

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What are the best investments for your retirement?

In the simplest terms, investing your money means buying an asset with the expectation of earning returns from ownership of that asset. If you own an investment property, for example, you can expect to receive rent as income. But if you then sell the property for a higher price than you paid, you’ve increased your […]

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Five global themes that may impact your investment portfolio

When running a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), it’s important for investors to be aware of some of the key global and economic environmental factors that may impact their investment portfolio.  Here we look at five global themes that are currently playing out in world markets, and how they may potentially impact their investment portfolios. Trade […]

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Investment strategies for your super

Your super returns may be doing ok, but could they be better? Being actively involved in how and where your super is invested, could make a real difference to your retirement savings over the long-term. This article considers four examples of investment strategies for your super. The importance of diversification Before we discuss the various […]

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The Impact of Falling House Prices

Housing is the most important asset owned by the majority of Australian households, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). A house not only serves as a place to live, but as a long-term investment, a measure of household wealth and a source of consumer spending. Therefore, a change in house prices can have […]

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How do Managed Funds work?

If you want to diversify your investment portfolio to spread your risk across different asset classes, sectors or geographic markets, you may be limited by the amount of money you have available to invest. Managed funds are popular with investors looking to build their wealth over the long-term. By pooling your money with a group […]

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Should I borrow to invest in shares?

Borrowing, or gearing, can help you accelerate your wealth creation. It can allow you to buy assets such as an investment property, or shares that you may not be able to afford outright. However, borrowing to invest is considered a high risk strategy and can result in you losing more than your invested capital. Before […]

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Six cognitive biases that influence how we save, spend and invest money

We like to think we’re rational beings. But the reality is that a lot of our daily behaviour is influenced by our subconscious. Behavioural scientists have looked at the way human beings are wired and discovered some ‘cognitive biases’ that influence our everyday behaviour. So if you find yourself clicking on that Amazon special or […]

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Federal Budget 2019: What it means for you

The Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, delivered the 2019 Federal Budget on 2 April 2019. As widely predicted, the announcement included a range of tax cuts for both individuals and businesses. The Treasurer also announced increased funding for regulators to encourage tax and superannuation compliance, a number of positive changes to superannuation, and […]

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How to protect your loved ones after you’re gone

As the old saying goes, there are only two things certain in life: death and taxes. Unfortunately, most of us spend too much time worrying over the latter and not enough discussing the former, uncomfortable though it may be. But while no one enjoys contemplating the end of their life, planning for your death is […]

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Understanding SMSF contributions.

Understanding SMSF contributions Contributions can play an essential role in a self-managed superannuation fund. Your contributions can be made in two ways – by cash or an asset (known in the trade as ‘in specie’ contribution). Typically, your SMSF can accept: employer contributions personal contributions salary sacrifice contributions super co-contributions eligible spouse contributions The Australian […]

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Six things to consider when investing for retirement

Many people aged between 50 and 65 are uncertain about being able to cover living expenses in retirement. In the past retirees could rely on the age pension to secure their retirement. Many retirees are now less confident about this source of support, as a growing number of baby boomers are retiring and the number […]

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Economic Update

Market and Economic overview Australia The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) again left interest rates on hold at 1.50% in July, extending the record period where policy has been unchanged. The chances of official borrowing costs being amended in the foreseeable future remain low, particularly with inflation only approaching the bottom of the RBA’s 2-3% […]

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Role-reversal: When your parents are relying on you

In the later stages of life, many seniors want to stay independent for as long as possible, but there usually comes a time when they need more support. So how can you do more for your parents to keep them safe and comfortable, without taking away their sense of independence and dignity? Here are some […]

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Retire on your own terms

As the novelist C. S. Lewis once observed, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Retirement should be the start of a new chapter in your life – perhaps the most exciting of all. The big question, of course, is how you pay for it without a […]

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New rules to benefit those downsizing for retirement

Australians aged 65 and over who are downsizing for retirement can now contribute the proceeds from the sale of their main residence (up to $300,000) into super. We take a look at what this could mean for you, bearing in mind that like with all important financial decisions, it’s a good idea to get financial […]

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Who is the boss of your super?

It’s tempting not to think too much about your super when retirement is still a long way off. After all, it’s growing just fine by itself … right? But the reality is, if you don’t take control now, you might be left with less than what you need when it’s time to put it to […]

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Economic Update

Market and Economic overview Australia As anticipated, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left domestic interest rates on hold a 1.50%. Official borrowing costs have been at this level since August 2016 – the longest period that Australian interest rates have remained unchanged. CPI data confirmed that inflation ran at an annual pace of 1.9% […]

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How to stay focussed in volatile markets

Investing in markets means volatility. When done well, you are getting paid for taking on risk. So why is it that sharp drops in the market have such a visceral impact on us? We only have to go back to early February, when markets dropped 4.6% in a few days to recall such a time […]

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7 budgeting apps to help you save in 2018

Where does all that money go? A host of apps are available to help you easily answer that question and even budget better, so you don’t get caught short in the event of a ‘rainy day’ and can feel more comfortable and in control of your finances every day. The best place to start is […]

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Maximising your retirement benefits

After working hard for so many years, naturally you want your retirement to be as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. That’s why it’s worth knowing which types of government support you may be entitled to when you’re transitioning into this new phase of life. If you’ve been putting money into super throughout your working years, […]

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How to help ensure your superannuation contributions don’t exceed the caps

Changes in the superannuation contribution caps, which kicked-in last year, give an added reason to keep a close eye on your contributions. From 1 July 2017, the concessional (before tax) contributions cap was reset to $25,000 for everyone (irrespective of age). For those earning a salary in excess of $210,000 or more – the compulsory […]

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SMSFs and your retirement horizon

Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) trustees often ask themselves, “What is the right mix of investments for my SMSF?” It’s a very common question, and one that will need to consider individual preference and the time until retirement. The answer will not be the same for everyone, even for members within the same SMSF. The ‘right’ […]

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