The Best Investment In The World

From our newsletter archives.

Wealthwise sends out a weekly email newsletter to our clients with financial news, current affairs and a sports roundup. Just a part of our service offer. Here’s one of our recent articles:

There is a famous story, a parable even, about a young man who sold his house and travelled the world seeking his fortune. When he returned to his home town, penniless, many years later he was surprised to see a fine mansion standing where his old house used to be.

“Who lives there?” he asked a passing stranger, to which the stranger replied, “The luckiest people in the world. 20 years ago they bought an old farmhouse. One year later they found diamonds all over the property. They’re now the richest family in the country.”

Like the traveller in our story, as we search high and low for profitable investments, we often overlook the one investment right under our noses that is not at the mercy the markets, isn’t liable to depreciation or lose big chunks to the taxman. The one investment that gives us a return every day for the rest of our lives.

No, it’s not fully franked BHP Billiton shares and it’s not a secret. The best investment in the world is . . . ourselves.

When we invest in ourselves it pays dividends far into the future. It makes us happier and more fulfilled. It gives us marketable skills that help us make a better living. Countries that become rich and stay rich are those that invest in education, research & development and their people. Think of yourself and your family as a country. You need to consider what skills, courses and equipment you should invest in to keep your “country” prospering.

This concept is especially important nowadays as we enter what is being called the “Age of Disruption”. Until recently, major social change took decades, even centuries. Now, we are living through rapid social upheaval and all the old certainties are out of the window.

At a recent primary school teachers’ conference, a speaker asked the audience two disturbing questions – “Are we teaching the right things to our children? How relevant will our current curriculum be to the next generation of adults in the year 2030?” And by implication he was also asking how relevant are the current skills and knowledge bases of those of us already in the workplace.

If you are working in an office you might be struggling to master Windows 8 just in time for it to be replaced by Windows 10 (Windows 9 apparently disappeared down a cyber rabbit hole somewhere). If you are a parent, you might be finding it impossible to keep up with your child’s education without a smartphone, a printer/scanner and a Dropbox account. If you are a bank customer, as most of us are, you might find the reduction of face to face service in favour a “better customer experience” via long telephone queues and complicated websites a big challenge.

And you’re probably thinking, “Help, I need to go back to school”. 
Well, yes and no. 

Back to school, but not school as you and I knew it, for with this 21st Century disruption has come a new learning paradigm, an opportunity for everybody to be lifelong learners. 

From practical computer skills to ancient Greek philosophy, via the internet we now all have access to learning that previous generations could only have dreamed about. 

Tired of typing with two fingers on your computer? Head over to www.typingclub.com. 

Don’t want to feel dumb when people talk about HTML and Javascript? Check out the basics by playing games at www.code.org. 

How about free access to fine arts courses taught by Ivy League professors? Welcome to www.coursera.org. 

Need to become an expert in Excel or PowerPoint? You can buy a monthly subscription at www.lynda.com 

You literally have the world at your fingertips, so what are you waiting for?

Stop reading this article right now, find some great online education and apply it to the best investment in the world: YOU!

Important Changes To Preservation Age From July 1st, 2015

Please note these important changes to the preservation age effective from the 1st July, 2015. At present it is age 55, but like the government’s recent changes to Age Pension there will now be a ‘stepped’ system based on when you were born. The following table outlines preservation ages 

Date of birth
Preservation age
Before 1 July 1960 55
1 July 1960 – 30 June 1961 56
1 July 1961 – 30 June 1962 57
1 July 1962 – 30 June 1963 58
1 July 1963 – 30 June 1964 59
From 1 July 1964 60

So, those of you who were born in the second half of 1960, will start to turn 55 in the second half of 2015 and your preservation age will be 56. 
Individuals turning 55 after July 2015 cannot access the TTR condition of release (commence a pre-retirement pension) until they have reached their preservation age which will be their 56th birthday.

For more information on how this will affect you please call your Wealthwise adviser on 089 380 6333.

Let’s All Move To Norway

From our newsletter archives.

Wealthwise sends out a weekly email newsletter to our clients with financial news, current affairs and a sports roundup. Just a part of our service offer. Here’s one of our recent articles:

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Perhaps we should add a fourth untruth to the list – “news headlines”.

As the internet eats into the ‘old’ media’s revenues and the battle for advertisers becomes ever more desperate, is the search for eye-catching headlines and stories that prey on the fears of Australians starting to distort reality? Of course, there is a lot of truth in the adage, “bad news sells”, but if you look at the general trend of news stories over the last couple of years you’d be forgiven for thinking that Australia was only a budget away from becoming an impoverished third world country.

Recently, two seemingly contrasting reports within a week highlighted how the media confuses and scares people by cherry-picking the most extreme statistics to create sensationalist headlines.

The report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranked Australia as the best place in the world to live, with 5 Australian cities, including Perth, in the Top 10 (apparently, Canberra is the world’s best city – you see how dodgy statistics are?).

However, another report, by the Global Age Watch Index, ranks Australia 13th in the list of the top countries to grow old in, a fair ways behind global favourite Norway. Apparently, one of the key factors hurting the Lucky Country’s position was its 61st place for ‘income security’. We were so low we even came behind Afghanistan. So, if you live in a wretchedly poor country torn apart by civil war and with no effective government your income is more secure than in Australia?

One thing we stress here at Wealthwise is the importance of wealth AND health. The news can be particularly bad for your health, especially if you react to it in a knee-jerk fashion. The best and most successful financial investors have two things in common: they look to the long term, and they are never panicked into buying or selling (or moving to Afghanistan to protect their pension). Yes, things change and yesterday’s darlings can become today’s pariahs – remember gold and term deposits? This is why we recommend regular reviews of your financial situation to ensure you are making best use of your adviser’s knowledge of what’s going in the financial world. And, even if you just want a quick chat about a news story that you feel could impact your life, please give your adviser a ring – 08 9380 6333.

 

Christmas Holiday 2014

Christmas Greeting 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that our office will close at 3pm Friday December 19th and re-open at 8.30am Monday 5th January 2015

 

Important Reminder – Change To Retirement Rules in 2015

If you are of retirement age or very close, there is a significant Centrelink rule change which will come into force on 1st January 2015. Depending on your personal situation, it could be advantageous to retire before this date. Please talk to us on (08) 9380-6333 at your earliest opportunity if you are even remotely considering retiring, so we can fully consider all of your options and the best course of action to take. Act now!

2014-15 Federal Budget – 4 Things Students and Young People Need to Know

Vocational Training Is A Winner

Vocational Training Is A Winner

 

The Treasurer has placed quite an emphasis on young people and education this year. Vocational training is the big winner.

1. The government will start viewing vocational training in a similar light to higher education. They will provide apprentices doing a four year training with Trade Support Loans of up to $20,000. Those studying for diplomas and sub-bachelor degree courses will also be eligible for government support.

2. From 2016, universities will be allowed to set their own tuition fees. However, if you are already studying, you are ‘grandfathered in’ until 2020.

3. Fees only become repayable when students are in the workforce and earning over $50,000 per year.

4. Newstart for those unemployed under the age of 25 will become Youth Allowance, while those jobless under the age of 30 face a six-month wait before they can claim benefits.

 

If you want to find out more about how the 2014/15 Budget will affect your financial future, phone Wealthwise on 08 9380 6333 to speak to one of our advisers or use our Contact Form.

For Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s full statement check out the government’s budget website.

 

 

 

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.”

 

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.