Economic Update

Introduction Volatility associated with November’s US election should finally be over, enabling investors to refocus on economic prospects and the outlook for corporate profitability and central bank policy. Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the US. The transition of power was far from smooth however, with pro-Trump demonstrators storming the Capitol ahead of Biden’s inauguration. This...

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What is risk appetite?

For some people, risk means excitement and opportunity. For others, it invokes feelings of fear and discomfort. We all experience a degree of risk in our everyday lives – whether it’s simply walking down the street or having investments in the share market. Everyone has a risk profile that defines their willingness to accept risk. It’s usually shaped by age,...

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Understanding account-based pensions

Once you decide to retire you can access your super as a lump sum or start an account-based pension (also known as an income stream) or do a combination of both. The benefit of starting an account-based pension is that it provides a regular tax-effective income during your retirement. How does an account-based pension work? An account-based pension works by...

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The A-Z of Inheritance

Inheritance is an emotional subject on every level. The people leaving an inheritance generally do it with pride and love. The people receiving an inheritance often receive it with gratitude – and sorrow. But while emotional, it’s also a financial transfer that comes with a whole range of legal, financial planning and admin issues attached. For many people inheritance is...

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Property investment vs shares

An age-old question is whether it’s better to invest in property or shares. There is actually no right or wrong answer. It all comes down to your preferences and approach to risk. Growth investments Both asset classes – shares and property – are considered to be growth investments. In other words, over time, a quality investment in shares or a...

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Four thoughts on cryptocurrency in 2021 and beyond

Some cryptocurrencies have experienced a surge in value (and interest) since the pandemic. However, there’s a long way to go before it becomes clear how to determine their fundamental value. Even the Reserve Bank is talking about cryptocurrency, having announced late last year it is exploring the potential use and implications of a wholesale form of central bank digital currency....

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Five simple but effective financial strategies for 2021

2020 may be remembered as the year we’d rather forget. The terrible health consequences and fatalities associated with the spread of Coronavirus both here in Australia and around the world has taken a heavy toll on many of us; particularly for those who have lost loved ones and livelihoods. While nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, and...

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How much super should I have at my age?

A healthy super balance is a key ingredient to living comfortably in retirement. But for many people, retirement is a long way off, and it can be hard to know if your super is on track. If you’ve ever been curious about how your super savings match up, read on to find out. How much super do I need? The...

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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 feared when the pandemic hit,...

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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 end 2021/early 2022 should see...

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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 your floor may collapse, undone...

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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, or 11.0% of GDP. Even...

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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 the services they need. This...

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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 changed overnight. And while that’s...

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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 headlines of impending crisis. This...

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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 grip of the covid-19 economic...

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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 responsible investments now accounting for...

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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 business loan deferrals. More than...

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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 have been seeing almost “deep...

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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, the most likely outcome is...

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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 are saving more than their parents and...

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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 order. Create a spending plan...

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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 enough money to live on,...

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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 pandemic, or a recession, the...

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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 spending, in particular, is finally...

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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 gains; government bond yields moved...

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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 to buy a house and...

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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 be because this style of...

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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 isn’t a substitute for specialist...

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