Depending on your age, you may think of "alternatives" as a counterculture like hippies, punks, indies or hipsters. However, rather than finding them on a Melbourne street sporting a penny farthing and lederhosen, it may surprise you to know they’re in your super fund.
Leading up to the Global Financial Crisis, strong share market returns (2002-2007) and the loss of favourable Centrelink assessment (5O% assessable in 2004 and 100% assessable in 2007) resulted in annuities falling out of favour.
It is that time of year again when the annual performance comparisons of super funds are displayed in various media publications. Assessing the performance of super funds can be a difficult exercise for many investors particularly if they take too much notice of the media.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) last raised interest rates way back in November 2010. Given the length of time that has passed, this article discusses some of the different impacts on rising rates.
Interest rates are very important for many Australians, and rightly so – after all, whether it's the returns on savings accounts or mortgage repayments, the rate of the day can have a significant impact on the household budget for millions of Australians. So what influences interest rates, and why are they changed?
Recently we have seen some organisations and politicians promoting the idea of first home buyers being able to dip into their superannuation to fund the purchase of a home.
You may have heard the theory about the left vs right brain and how it affects our interests, the way we think, feel, make decisions and learn. But what about the way we invest?
What a ride we have seen in the world markets over the recent US election. Every financial commentator was throwing their 2 cents worth in and then some.
It is commonly known that the biggest influence on your investment returns is your portfolio’s asset allocation. That is to say the proportion of shares, property and cash that make up your portfolio will determine its performance more than anything else.
It is a difficult time for retirees at present with interest rates as low as they have ever been. With the cost of living rising every year, most are wondering how they can support their retirement capital if returns are less than what they need to drawdown. For the purpose of this article I have excluded any reference to additional age pension benefits.
At the beginning of this month the RBA cut the cash rate to 1.75% and slashed its forecast for inflation from 2-3% to 1-2%. Markets are now betting that interest rates will be cut again to 1.5% by October 2016.
Negative gearing has been in the news a lot of late. It’s shaping up to be one of the hot topics of 2016 as both sides of politics consider it as an area for potential reform.
The sharemarket downturn in the first few weeks of this year has to some degree taken the spotlight away from the constant speculation about possible future changes to superannuation and how it will be taxed
The best fisherman I ever met was a Greek octopus fisherman when I was living in Europe. No fancy boats or fishing tackle; he just had a dinghy, a length of fishing line and a rock covered in alfoil.
I am very often asked “is it better to pay more into my mortgage or put more into super?"
I was taught at a very young age that there are two things that are certain in life – death and taxes! Something I have learned as a financial planner is that, whilst not a “certainty”, redundancies happen on an all too frequent basis.
On the first Tuesday of the month the RBA board meets to decide whether interest rates are going to move up or down or remain unchanged, the board meeting in November always coincides with the Melbourne cup.
The Actuaries Institute is presenting a report that suggests they could be!
Given the significant volatility in world sharemarkets over the past few years and given what is happening in Greece (and China), it is not surprising that investors would feel nervous about investing larger sums of money, such as accumulated retirement savings, inheritances or other windfalls.
Thinking of cashing up? There are implications that come from selling units in your investment, especially in volatile markets.
How much risk should you take with your retirement income investments? Here is a great illustration to help you develop a deeper understanding of “sequencing risk.”
As a financial planner I read a multitude of articles in the printed press and on-line. Some of this relates to ongoing professional development, whilst other times it is more “general interest”.
Here’s a scenario that has had me puzzled since the 2015 Federal Budget outlined massive changes to the Age Pension Asset Test.
Changes to the legislation regarding Workcover SA entitlements on July 1 2015 mean that many people are considering taking a Redemption payment, which is essentially a lump sum payment to finalise the Workcover process.
For pensioners that have their pension assessed under the income test there is some welcome relief coming in March as the deeming rates are reduced (slightly) to reflect the recent drop in the official cash rate.
It’s been an interesting first 6 weeks of 2015 from an investment viewpoint. There have been changes that are effecting global investment markets, and this in turn has impacted on the Australian share market and client investment portfolios.
There's talk from Bond Fund Managers about "The New Neutral" (google Bonds New Neutral) referring to the potential for a sustained period of lower interest rates and lower global growth.
I'm regularly asked "how did you get into Financial Planning?" or "why are you a Financial Planner?". The short answer is that 'it happened purely by accident', but I have no regrets!!
Whilst it is no where near Christmas time (but just watch the next few months fly by) John Lennon's words are quite true - another year IS over and a new one has just begun.