Category Archive: 'Uncategorized'

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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% […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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% […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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, […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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’ […]

READ MORE

Understanding different types of retirement pensions

If you’ve heard the term ‘pension’ being thrown around, you may have picked up that there are many types of pensions available in Australia. We explain the difference between three commonly used pensions, including the government’s Age Pension, a transition to retirement pension, and an account-based (or allocated) pension, so you’re across how they work […]

READ MORE

Making money and doing good – the rise of sustainable and impact investing

There is no doubt that interest in responsible investments is growing. Not only in Australia but globally, investors are increasingly interested in how a company makes its money not simply how much it makes. Whilst some investors may focus on the longer-term viability of a company and its behaviour, others may hold particular values they […]

READ MORE

Economic Update

MARKET UPDATE MARKET AND ECONOMIC OVERVIEW Australia  The RBA’s July interest rate decision was complicated by the recent strength of the Australian dollar, largely driven by a weaker US currency. The RBA noted that: “the higher exchange rate is expected to contribute to subdued price pressures in the economy. It is also weighing on […]

READ MORE

Millions but not all to benefit from 2017 super changes

Millions but not all to benefit from 2017 super changes With changes to super now in effect, numerous Australians will get a leg up, many being low-income earners. According to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA), more than four million Australians will benefit from the super changes that came into effect on 1 […]

READ MORE

Don’t be driven by short term Sentiment and Emotion

Don’t be driven by short-term sentiment and emotion Arguably, the most common fear holding an investor back from achieving a great return is a misunderstanding of what happens when markets fall (as they invariably do). In order to use fear to our advantage, we would be well served to seek to understand the following three […]

READ MORE

Super Savings for your First Home

Super savings for your first home Let’s face it, getting your foot on the first rung of the property ladder is not only hard, for an increasing number of younger Australians, it’s downright impossible. As housing prices, particularly in capital cities, continue to outstrip wages growth, even saving for a deposit to buy a house […]

READ MORE

Travel Tips to help you spend less on your next Holiday

Travel tips to help you spend less on your next holiday It’s that time of year again when it feels as though everyone you know is escaping winter to head off across the world on a fabulous holiday (and sharing many photos to prove it). Whether you’re about to head off on a travelling adventure […]

READ MORE

Economic Update May

Economics overview Australia – The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Board met on 4 April and as widely expected, left the official cash rate on hold at 1.5%. At the time of writing the RBA also left the official cash rate on hold at its 2 May 2017 meeting. There has been no change in […]

READ MORE

The Australian Housing Market – What are the Key Issues?

The Australian housing market – what are the key issues? The cooling in the Sydney and Melbourne property markets evident in late 2015 in response to macro prudential tightening deployed by APRA has proved ephemeral. Price gains have reaccelerated and auction clearance rates & lending to property investors have rebounded. Over the last five years […]

READ MORE

How to Boost Your Age Pension with the new Thresholds

How to boost your pension under the new threshold rules To help you enjoy a more comfortable retirement, here are some tips to make the most of the new Age Pension rules which took effect on 1 January 2017. When you’re relying on the Age Pension to fund your retirement, every dollar you receive from […]

READ MORE

The Clock is Ticking on Major Super Changes

The clock is ticking on major changes to superannuation that come into force on 1 July 2017. The changes are wide-ranging and are likely to affect everyone’s retirement savings. But it can pay to plan ahead both to take advantage of the existing rules, and to make the most of the new super landscape. Here […]

READ MORE

Don’t let your emotions get in the way of smart investing

It’s often said that the share market is driven by two emotions – fear and greed. While this might be an over simplification, it helps to explain investor behaviour and why so many people are unsuccessful at investing. Emotional investing refers to the way in which investors have a tendency to make investment decisions based […]

READ MORE

Market Update – January 2017

United States  US equities rose over the month with the S&P 500 recording a gain of 1.9%, achieving a new all-time high, as did the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which surpassed 20,000 for the first time. The market continued to react positively to the plans of newly inaugurated President Trump to cut taxes, boost […]

READ MORE

Why Insurance is Important – Benefits to you and your family

Insurance is all about protecting what you have now and what you need to have in the event of the unexpected. As you travel through life, the protection you need is likely to change. The key to selecting the right insurance is understanding your present needs and making sure you have both the right sort […]

READ MORE

2017 Assets Test Changes – What you need to know

Changes to the assets test have come into effect as of 1 January 2017 and could impact anyone who qualifies for the age pension. If you are currently 65 years of age or more, you must undergo an income test and an assets test in order to determine whether you are eligible to receive an […]

READ MORE

How Super Contribution Caps Work

How super contributions caps work One of the most tax-effective ways to boost your retirement savings is to put additional money into your super – and once you know how the caps on super contributions work, you can take advantage of the available tax concessions. This makes sense as, by staying within the super contributions […]

READ MORE

Market Update – September 2016

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the official cash rate on hold at its record low level of 1.5% when it met on September 6. The Q2 Capex survey released in early September was weaker than expected, -5.4% per quarter compared to the -4% per quarter anticipated. The decline was mostly related to mining […]

READ MORE

Boost your Super in 3 Easy Steps

Want to see your super grow faster? Here’s how you can — by choosing what happens to compulsory contributions from your employer. Make the super payments from your employer go further by choosing an investment strategy that suits your stage of life and retirement goals. Boost your super by salary sacrificing part of your income […]

READ MORE

Government Pulls Back on Proposed Changes to Super

The government has announced changes to three key 2016 Federal Budget proposals—the most significant being that it would not go forward with its proposal to introduce a $500,000 lifetime cap on non-concessional (after-tax) super contributions. In a nutshell the new proposals include: • From 1 July 2017, the existing annual cap of $180,000 on after-tax […]

READ MORE

Investing for Retirement Pays off

More than half of Australians with investment properties or shares are proactively preparing for retirement, according to MLC’s Australia today report . In comparison, only 15% of people without investment properties or shares feel prepared for retirement. It’s clear investing is one way to significantly boost confidence in retirement. The “Retirement-ready” movement We’ve all read […]

READ MORE

Estate Planning – Making sure your money goes where you want it

Estate planning is not just about making a will. It’s about deciding how you want to be looked after (both medically and financially) if you can’t make your own decisions later in life. It’s also about documenting how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. Estate plans can be a complex area. […]

READ MORE

Make my Retirement Funds Last

Make my retirement funds last the distance Retirement should be a time when we reap the rewards of our working life, and being able to enjoy your preferred lifestyle calls for some planning. Australians are living longer and if you hang up your work boots at, say, age 65 and live to age 90, you […]

READ MORE

Estate planning: not just for the wealthy

Most people don’t like to think about estate planning. In fact according to studies, almost half of all Australians don’t have a legal will. Yet if you have some assets; such as your home or some nice furniture or collectibles you still need an estate plan, especially if any minor children are involved. Contrary to […]

READ MORE

Would downsizing be worthwhile for you?

It seems to make logical sense. You retire, sell the now cavernous family home, buy a cosier place and use the cost difference to boost your retirement income – win-win right? The answer is – “it depends.” Downsizing can be an excellent strategy to supplement your income and simplify your lifestyle, but it’s not right […]

READ MORE

Wind down your working days sooner

3 things to know about transition to retirement pensions. Super isn’t just an ideal investment to help you save for retirement. Superannuation savings can also hold the key to when you decide to hang up your work boots and how you manage that transition out of the workforce. It’s all thanks to a type of […]

READ MORE

MARKET UPDATE

  MARKET AND ECONOMIC OVERVIEW Australia – The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left the official cash rate on hold at 2% at its meeting on 6 October 2015 and again on 3 November 2015 – where it has remained since May this year. – In announcing the November policy decision the RBA delivered a […]

READ MORE

When there is a Will there is a family member

It’s probably not something you want to think about much less discuss with your kids but like it or not, one day we all pass away, and giving our loved ones a heads up on some of our financial affairs may make the process a whole lot easier. That’s why when it comes to estate […]

READ MORE

What should you do during market volatility?

When markets are volatile, many investors become anxious about their investments and begin to question whether their investment strategy is really working for them.   Anxiety is a normal reaction when markets are falling but making investment decisions based on emotions is more often than not an unwise course of action. It can be tempting for […]

READ MORE

Dollar Cost Averaging

Trading on the share market is widely regarded as being motivated by two powerful human emotions; fear and greed.   In recent weeks, share market volatility has many investors fearful and compelled some to sell off their investments. More often than not, basing investment decisions on emotions and following the herd tends to be a poor […]

READ MORE

September Economic Update 2015

Australia The RBA left the official cash rate on hold at 2% at its meeting on 1 September 2015 where it has remained since May this year. In making its decision the Board noted that “the global economy is expanding at a moderate pace, with some further softening in conditions in China and east Asia […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE

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 […]

READ MORE