Key things for investors to keep in mind during times of market turmoil

Key points Share markets have fallen sharply in recent weeks continuing the plunge that started early this year due to worries about inflation, monetary tightening, recession and geopolitical issues including the invasion of Ukraine. It’s still too early to say markets have bottomed. This will weigh on super returns for this financial year. Selling shares after a fall locks in...

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Can infrastructure protect from inflation?

It’s an important question as prices rise around the world fuelled by soaring energy and commodity costs, supply chain constraints and a geopolitical retreat from globalisation. In Australia, headline inflation is expected to reach 5 per cent by the end of the year. And while that’s still low from an historical perspective, it is above the Reserve Bank of Australia’s...

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All about Wills and Probate

Probate is the legal process that occurs when dealing with a loved one's will after their death. It can be difficult to know what’s involved with the process and the questions to ask. What is Probate? Probate is the process that makes sure the instructions in a will can be followed. It involves proving and registering a will in the...

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Volatility Bites: How Retirees can manage Jumpy Markets

The big issue for investors in or close to retirement, is risk. The 2020 COVID-19 share sell off and recent equity market volatility shows just how quickly share prices can move. Volatility can have different meanings for different investors, those with a long-term horizon can be less concerned, knowing they have time on their side. But what about retirees? How...

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New opportunities to grow your Super from 1 July 2022

Both older and younger Australians, as well as low-income earners, are set to benefit from some upcoming super opportunities. From 1 July 2022, there will be some changes made to super to make it easier for people to grow their retirement savings. These changes will create opportunities for both older and younger Australians, as well as low-income earners, by removing...

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Is this the end of the housing boom?

Everyone buying into the housing market hopes that their purchase will appreciate over time, while sellers want to pick the top of the market. Clearly the growth rates in the Australian housing market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, peaked some time ago – March last year. But prices have mostly been still rising, albeit at a slower pace. National average...

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Investment Market Outlook: Volatility Rises, Value Emerges

With war in Eastern Europe, inflation surging and Covid lockdowns inhibiting industrial production in parts of China, investment markets faced a rising tide of volatility over the past quarter. Yet while this may feel like the worst of times, it may really be that the 14 or so years since the GFC are the outlier and the new market environment...

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How much do I need in retirement?

How much you need to save for a comfortable retirement is a question many of us ask. While we all hope for a simple answer, how much money you need in retirement differs for everyone. Additionally, a comfortable retirement is based on a whole range of factors including: When you retire How long you’ll spend in retirement Whether you’ll sell...

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Economic update and market overview

Introduction Inflationary forces continued to intensify in key regions, which suggested interest rates could be raised more quickly and more aggressively than previously anticipated. Government bond yields continued to rise sharply, resulting in negative returns from fixed income markets. The likelihood of rising borrowing costs also appeared to spook equity markets, which performed poorly over the month. Central banks are...

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The 2022 – 2023 Federal Budget: What it means for you

This year’s Federal Budget covers a range of measures aiming to reduce the pressure from increased costs of living and help more people into homes. Note: These changes are proposals only and may or may not be made law. Personal taxation Cost of living tax offset: The Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) will increase, providing an additional $420...

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The escalation in Ukraine tensions – implications for investors

Key Points Ukraine tensions have escalated with Russia ordering troops into Ukraine regions already occupied by Russian separatists. Share markets are at high risk of more downside on fear of further escalation and uncertainty about sanctions/gas supply to Europe. The history of crisis events typically shows a short term hit to markets followed by a rebound over 3 to twelve...

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What is equity and how can I use it to invest?

Whether you're looking to invest in property, renovate or pay off something big, borrowing against the equity in your home may be helpful, if you’re across the risks. The equity in your property can be a valuable resource, as it may allow you to borrow money to achieve your goals, whether they be investment or lifestyle oriented. If it’s something...

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Should you use property to fund your retirement?

Superannuation, shares, property, cash, other investments; a dizzying number of options are available when it comes to living comfortably through retirement. Financial advisers often promote a diversified portfolio to reduce the risk of concentrating ‘all eggs in one basket’.  Still, Aussies love their property, with more than 2.2 million of us opting for investing in property, with almost 60% of...

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How does your pension live on after you die?

Account-based pensions offer a flexible and tax-effective method of drawing a regular income stream from superannuation. They are an essential part of your overall retirement strategy and are usually used from retirement until death. But what happens to your tax-free account-based pension when you do die? Superannuation does not automatically form part of your Will unless a Death Benefit Nomination...

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Economic Update

Introduction Investors continued to focus on rampant inflation and, in turn, potential changes in monetary policy settings. By the end of January, five interest rate increases in the US had been priced in to markets; a more aggressive tightening in policy settings than had been anticipated previously. These evolving expectations saw bond yields rise in all major regions – resulting...

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Do you value your assets more than yourself?

Value is a funny thing. One person’s trash can be another person’s treasure, as the old saying goes. The value we place on something tends to be very individual, and is generally a product of many different factors ranging from cultural background and upbringing to personality type and even life stage. But as much as the way we view value...

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Constructing a retirement portfolio in a low return world

Portfolio construction is a much-used term that can be misunderstood. Fundamentally, the term portfolio construction refers to the process of selecting investments to create the optimal balance of risk and return. By mixing different types of investments and different asset classes, portfolios can be built in a way that maximises the return for any given level of risk. This concept...

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5 money mistakes to avoid if you’re going guarantor

If you have a family member who wants to get into the market sooner than that, you may have discussed whether you’d be willing to speed up the process (if you’re in a position to) by going guarantor. This is where you use the equity in your own property as security for the loan they’re taking out. It’s essentially a...

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What alternative assets bring to your super investment mix

Most of us have heard of the main asset classes: shares, property, fixed interest and cash, but alternative assets are less well known. However, these types of assets can provide further diversification and enhanced returns for your super. Alternative investments are those found outside the traditional asset classes. Typical ones include real estate, private equity, venture capital, infrastructure, renewable energy,...

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Market volatility during COVID-19

Market volatility refers to extreme price movements over a given period. These movements may occur in a particular area, such as real estate or shares, and may be upward or downward. Ever since COVID-19 started spreading across the world in late 2019, affecting every aspect of our lives, the term ‘market volatility’ has been hitting headlines. But, what does market...

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What happens to my super when I move overseas?

You might be leaving the country for a variety of reasons - career prospects, love, adventure, new opportunities - or you may be returning home. While you’ve probably got a checklist of things to cover off before you jet, spare a thought for any super you might’ve accumulated while you’ve been working in Australia. What can I do with my...

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Investing in investment bonds

Investment bonds are long-term investments that may offer tax efficiency to investors on a high marginal tax rate and those investing for children or grandchildren. Unlike traditional investment products, such as managed funds, bonds are a 'tax paid' investment. This means that tax on investment earnings is paid at the applicable company rate of 30 per cent by the bond...

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Retirees: How to beat Inflation before it beats you

Investors with long memories – or a good education – will recall the bad old days when inflation was the economic bogeyman. It broke Germany’s Weimar Republic in the 1930s and nearly cratered America’s economy in the 1970s. Fortunately, inflation has been a non-issue in Western economies for decades. But is that about to change? In the first quarter of...

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Economic and market commentary

Investors remained focused on rising inflation and the possibility of policy settings being tightened worldwide. Bond yields continued to rise – particularly in Australia – as investors brought forward their expectations for interest rate hikes. This hampered returns from fixed income markets. Equity markets performed much more strongly, aided by the release of pleasing corporate results for the September quarter....

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Do life insurance products cover mortgage payments?

You've worked tirelessly to own the home of your dreams. But if you suffered from an injury or illness that prevents you from working, would you be able to cover your mortgage repayments? A government report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that accidents were one of the leading causes of death for people aged 1-44 and...

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An overview of the main residence CGT exemption

Generally, a property, including a taxpayer's main residence, ie their family home, is considered to be a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) asset. When CGT assets are sold, taxpayers may be liable to pay tax on all, or part, of the capital gain. However, tax law provides an exemption for a dwelling that is the taxpayer's main residence, where certain criteria...

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Adding more to your retirement savings: is it worth it?

There’s no denying that being proactive with your super may be key to increasing your retirement savings. As an investment vehicle, super can offer significant benefits thanks to the magic of compounding interest. It also provides one of the best tax structures available. Why super offers much promise for retirement saving Adding more into super is not only a good...

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