Merry Christmas From The Wealthwise Team

The Wealthwise team would like to wish all our clients, friends and partners a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2014!

We’ll be closed from 5.00pm Friday 20th December and reopen on Monday 6th January, 2014 at 8.30 am.

 

5 Websites To Help Make Your Christmas Special

 

The Wealthwise team have chosen 5 website that we think will help to make your Christmas 2013 special.

1. First up, don’t forget to watch that Christmas classic, the Snowman. A beautiful story and haunting music combine to make it the ultimate feelgood kids movie. 

2. Perth is becoming world-famous for the Christmas decorations outside its private hours. Use this website to plan your tour.

http://www.kids-around-perth.com/christmas-lights.html

3. Music impresario Andre Rieu wowed Perth audiences last month. If you’re suffering from withdrawal symptoms you still have time to register for his Advent Calendar giveaway – concert tickets and music downloads are among the goodies.

http://christmas.andrerieu.com/2013/welcome.html

4. If you’re stuck for last minute festive recipe or activity ideas check out the Christmas ideas section of this popular Aussie site

http://www.kidspot.com.au/christmas/

5. And last, but definitely not least, add to your kids’ Christmas magic by joining NORAD in tracking Santa from the North Pole to Perth.

http://www.noradsanta.org/

Have a great Christmas!

Wealthwise Wins 3 Financial Industry Awards

 

Award-winning Wealthwise Team

Award-winning Wealthwise Team

In the last month, Wealthwise has received 3 prestigious financial planning industry awards.

The company received the Financial Wisdom Quality Recognition  and WA Practice of the Year awards while adviser Paul Turner won the Financial Planning Association’s WA Value of Advice Runner-up.

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) is the professional association for qualified financial planners in Australia while Financial Wisdom is a financial planning organisation that has built a reputation over the last 18 years for “considered thinking” in offering financial advice.

Because these two organisations have such high standing in Australia’s financial planning industry, Wealthwise see this as a notable achievement.

 ”We’re very proud to receive this recognition from our peers in the financial planning industry,” says Jamie Luxton, principal of the Perth-based company. “There are a lot of companies out there doing great work for their clients, so for us to win 3 awards in one month is something very special. We are a very service-focused company and this demonstrates what a great job Wealthwise advisers and office staff are doing for our clients.”

The General Manager of Financial Wisdom, Mark Ballantyne, also congratulated Wealthwise on their achievement:

 “Wealthwise are an active contributor to the Financial Wisdom network and we are pleased that they have been recognised through a number of award. The Quality Recognition Award is voted by the team that audits the files and sets the Licensee Standards we all adhere to so this is high praise. This, on top of Paul Turner’s runner-up in the WA FPA awards and Wealthwise winning the WA State Practice of the Year for Financial Wisdom, rounds out a very successful year for Wealthwise.”

 

RBA Cut Rates to Record Low – Dollar Rises. Confused?

Rates Down, Dollar Up?

Rates Down, Dollar Up?

Amid continuing concern about the direction of the economy, the Reserve Bank of Australia has cut interest rates by 25 basis points to a record low of 2.5%, a level not seen since 1959. And yet, perversely, the dollar rose against the greenback.

So what happened to this basic economic formula:

Cut interest rates = currency less attractive = money flows out of the country = currency falls

In his statements regarding the 8 interest rate cuts since November 2011, RBA  Governor Glenn Stevens has consistently highlighted the expensive Australian dollar as a concern that needs the attention of government instruments. At first , the cuts seemed to have the opposite effect and the Aussie remained strong, but since April it has lost around 15%.

Goal achieved.

But now we see a slight rise for the Australian dollar and some pundits thinking it may even strengthen a few more cents. What is happening?

It seems this anomaly is due to a couple of factors:

1. An expectation that the latest cut will encourage spending and stimulate growth

2. Analysts reading between the lines saying Stevens’ statement is not indicative of any future cuts

Or perhaps it’s because people have stopped believing the doom and gloom about Australia’s “economic woes”?

During  a recent business conference at the Institute of Australian Institute of Company Directors in Sydney , Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was asked for his take on the parlous state of the Australian economy.

“No, it’s awful – you’ve now sunk to a level that we’re trying to get up to. So, my heart goes out to you,”

In other comments, Blankfein seemed mystified by  the negative mindset of Australians.

Add to that this recent observation from Citigroup’s Chief Economist Professor Willem Buiter

”Australia’s position is not without issues, but [its] problems are luxury problems compared to those in the rest of the advanced economy universe.”

 

and you have to wonder if Australians are trying to talk themselves into a recession.

Budget 2013 – Throwing The Baby Out With The Bathwater?

2013-14 Budget

As predicted by the pundits, there were few surprises in Treasurer Wayne Swan’s 2013-14 Budget.

Going from a small surplus to a deficit of $18 billion in 2013-14 didn’t seem to raise many eyebrows given the ongoing revelations about the government’s over-optimistic estimates of revenue from the mining industry.

As for the nitty gritty of the budget, It seems to be more of a case of jam tomorrow and a bit of pain today.

The government is promising substantial investment in transport infrastructure  in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney (a total of $5.9 billion), $9.8 billion for schools from 2014-15,  a 10% increase in defense spending over 4 years, and $21.4 billion towards the construction of the National Broadband Network (again over a four year period).

However, what might hurt the government most in the forthcoming September 2013 General Election is the measures that will more immediately impact voters. Whatever the electorate might tell polling organisations, in the end, they usually vote with their wallets. Scrapping the cash payment to parents of newborns and capping family payments might not seem a big deal but hitting families is never a good idea in an election year. For those with older kids, higher education will also become more expensive because of $2.3 billion in cuts. Added to that is the 33% increase in the Medicare levy from 1.5% to 2.0%.

The so-called ‘double taxation’ of earnings of more than $100,000 of superannuation pensions will, while only applying to a small number of retirees, be another stick for the Opposition to beat the government.

Taking candy from the mouths of babes and pensioners?  Not an auspicious start to an election campaign.

 

RBA Cuts Interest Rates to Historic Low

Yesterday, the RBA cut interest rates to an historic low of 2.75%

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Governor Glenn Stevens, in the RBA statement explaining the Reserve Bank’s thinking, seemed to be generally

RBA Cuts Interest Rates to 2.75%

RBA Cuts Interest Rates to 2.75%

 upbeat about the Australian economy but again was worried about the high Australian dollar.

As we commented on a previous interest rate cut, when you have the best economy in the world, it’s surprising that the experts are surprised by a strong currency.

Anyway, in the words of Mr Stevens

“The Board has previously noted that the inflation outlook would afford scope to ease further, should that be necessary to support demand. At today’s meeting the Board decided to use some of that scope. It judged that a further decline in the cash rate was appropriate to encourage sustainable growth in the economy, consistent with achieving the inflation target.”

No doubt Reserve Bank will be surprised again in 6 months’ time at the robustness of the Aussie. Maybe they can just copy and paste this from the current press release.

“The exchange rate, on the other hand, has been little changed at a historically high level . . . “

Practitioner Merges With Wealthwise

http://zphq.com/wwtest/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/dale-jamie1.jpg

Practitioner’s Dale Hughes and Wealthwise Principal Jamie Luxton

This month Practitioner has merged with Wealthwise. The transition for clients will be seamless as company founder Dale Hughes will continue to work within Wealthwise.

Dale sees this merger as a great opportunity for Practitioner clients:

“Wealthwise is a multi-award winning company with specialists in many areas of financial planning such as Self-managed Super Funds, superannuation, retirement planning, wealth creation, risk insurance and aged care.

Having access to this wide range of expertise will bring enormous benefits to our clients.”

Wealthwise Principal Jamie Luxton agrees.

“We will continue to give the kind of high quality personal service Practitioner clients are accustomed to. Since 1986 we have built our reputation on our pro-active client-focused philosophy – ‘the Wealthwise Way’ – and we look forward to working with the Practitioner family.”

Is The Taxman “Borrowing” Your Super?

Is The Taxman Borrowing Your Super

 

Do you have a super or two from past jobs that you’ve been meaning to track down?

Well, if you’ve been putting it off maybe now is the time to do something about it.

From 31st of December, 2012 the government is going to change the rules about consolidating lost supers.

Whereas at the moment supers are deemed lost after 5 years of inactivity, the time period is now 1 year and the amount that triggers the ATO’s interest has been raised from <$200 to <$2,000.

Here are the changes as outlined on the ATO website

  • The existing account balance threshold below which inactive accounts and accounts of uncontactable members (small lost member accounts) are required to be transferred to the ATO will be increased from $200 to $2,000, to ensure they are properly protected from being eroded by fees and charges.
  • Interest will be paid at a rate equivalent to consumer price index (CPI) inflation from 1 July 2013 on all lost super accounts reclaimed from the ATO.
  • The existing period of inactivity before an account of an unidentifiable member (insoluble lost member account) is required to be transferred to the ATO will be reduced from five years to 12 months.

This means that a lot more supers will be caught in the taxman’s net (the government openly admits this will help balance the books). This might be no bad thing for individuals either because there will be no fees and from July 2013 interest will accrue.

However, that interest will be based on the CPI. The RBA’s current CPI forecast for June 2013 is 3.25%, falling to between 2 – 3 % by the end of the year.

If you think you can find a super fund that can outperform those forecasts then it might be an idea to go to start looking here

http://australia.gov.au/service/superseeker-lost-superannuation-search

 

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Note: Don’t confuse “Lost” super with “Unclaimed” super. For more information about Unclaimed Super see this page on the ATO website. 

http://www.ato.gov.au/superfunds/PrintFriendly.aspx?ms=superfunds&doc=/content/00105927.htm

RBA Cuts Interest Rates to 3-Year Low

Rates Down to 3%The Reserve Bank of Australia today cut interest rates to 3.00% – a level not seen since 2009.

In the RBA press release, Governor Glenn Stevens expressed concerns about growth in the USA, Europe and China (although new figures today show hopes of a sustained Chinese recovery in the manufacturing sector).

The impression you get from the RBA’s statement is that they are surprised that all their recent rate cuts have not succeeded in weakening the Aussie dollar, thereby helping exporters. Their conclusion sounds a bit more hopeful than scientific

“While the full effects of earlier measures are yet to be observed, the Board judged at today’s meeting that a further easing in the stance of monetary policy was appropriate now. This will help to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target over time.”

When you consider Australia is the only developed nation not to suffer from a recession, has low unemployment, massive natural resources and a projected net debt of 7.2 % in 2011/12 ( Australian Government Financial Position ) ,  is it really surprising that our dollar is more attractive than its anaemic American cousin?

 

You can read Governor Stevens’ statement in full at the RBA website.

 

 

Wealthwise Client Newsletter – 29th June 2012

 

The Wealthwise weekly newsletter is just a small part of the ongoing service that Wealthwise offers its clients.

 

If you would like to discuss your financial future with one of our advisers call us on (08) 9380 6333 or send us a message using our Contact Us page and we will get back to you.

 

In This Week’s Client Newsletter:

Feature article:

“Superannuation has its limits” – new Concessional Contribution caps

 

Overseas:

Spain and Cyprus asking for bailouts.

Positive housing data from the US

Japan doubles consumption tax.

Gold takes a battering while oil prices stay low.

 

 

Australia:

Household wealth rises

Aussie dollar yo-yo’s.

Pundits predict RBA will hold interest rates at 3.50%

 

Plus all the usual news roundups on the WA Housing Market, Fuel prices,
Celebrity Birthdays and Sports.