Compared with previous years, the 2011 Federal Budget was relatively mild; with few surprises or major changes.
The Gillard Government, handing down its first Budget, confirmed a range of previously
announced tax, super and social security policy changes.
And while the Budget has been received as relatively restrained, some new measures
were outlined which may impact how you manage your finances today as well as plan for your retirement.
The Australian sharemarket has significantly underperformed global sharemarkets since mid-April. The local market has been impacted by the very high level of the Australian dollar, which is undermining corporate competitiveness, and stronger than expected inflation data that caused fears of a near-term tightening in Australian monetary policy.
Eighteen months into the global economic recovery, investors are faced with a situation where markets are neither cheap nor overly expensive. In other words, there are no longer obvious bargains to be found. For local investors, this year is going to be about staying diversified and looking at global opportunities. Even though cash returns for Australian investors are attractive, we recommend investors retain a bias toward share markets.
For investors, the past three years have been some of the toughest and most turbulent on record. As the panic continues to subside and the possibility of financial Armageddon gradually fades, let’s look at how the global financial crisis (GFC) began, the reasons it had such a significant impact on Australia’s property market and property markets worldwide, and how the Australian property market is placed in a post-GFC world.
For an Australian investor, currency hedging refers to transactions in the foreign exchange market that bring the offshore exposure of your investments back into Australian dollars. This is done through financial instruments such as forward foreign exchange contracts or currency options.
If you are reasonably healthy, there is a real possibility you will celebrate your 100th birthday, something that most of us have never really thought about*.
However, are your savings going to last that long?
If something happened to you and you were unable to work, would you have enough money set aside to cover your day-to-day bills and look after your family?
Building resilience will help you deal with tough times and lead you to a happier, healthier life.
Many of us have been personally touched by the devastation caused by recent floods and bad weather around Australia. Below are some strategies to assist you and your loved ones in dealing with this grief and loss.
All parents would agree that a good education is one of the best investments they can make in their child’s future. However, few put in place a plan to help ensure that they can provide that education.
Investing for children can be complicated. It is not easy trying to make the right decisions to ensure your children’s education and other needs can be paid for. As part of a long term commitment, it is important to ensure you are making informed decisions about the taxation implications, investment options and risks when investing on behalf of your children.
Despite years of struggling for equality, women in Australia still earn on average 17 per cent less than men. This isn’t because women are paid less for the same jobs their male counterparts hold, but there are more women in careers such as nursing and teaching; industries where workers tend to be lower paid.
Can you hear the pitter patter of tiny feet? Are you getting married? Are you purchasing that property you’ve always wanted?
Maybe you’re looking to start a new exciting business of your own or perhaps the kids have just moved out and now you both want to travel and see the world.
Over a tumultuous decade (2000 - 2009) that included the September 11 terrorist attacks, Middle-East wars, the Global Financial Crisis, the rise to prominence of China and increased focus on climate change, the S&P 500 lost 24% while the All Ordinaries rose 57%. What lies in store for the next decade?
Lonsec’s Investment Strategist, Bill Keenan, lists the key top-down investment themes likely to dominate the new decade.
There is concern in the markets about the return of high inflation rates, after a decade where most central banks thought they had that genie firmly corked. But now, post GFC, commentators and investors are pondering the effect of billions of dollars worldwide being pumped into the system by various Government fiscal stimulus packages.
Your super fund will most likely be the primary vehicle for achieving your retirement goals since it is a very attractive investment – primarily due to its high tax effectiveness, which improves your ability to accumulate wealth. Before you start using super, it is important to understand the myths surrounding it and taking control of it is essential.
Income Protection can be easily accessed through an industry superannuation fund by purchasing additional units of cover.