Budget 2019/20 – Same Old, Shame Old

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stood up in Parliament yesterday evening to deliver his maiden Budget speech as Treasurer, having inherited the job some seven months ago amidst the Liberal party in-fighting and change of leadership.

There’s a lot riding on this Budget, and it shows. In essence this Budget has one job, and one job only; to put the Coalition government in a position where it has the best chance of retaining government at the yet-to-be-called general election.

Political pundits now put the most likely date of the next election at 11 May, a mere five or so weeks away. We’ll know soon enough, as it’s expected that Prime Minister Morrison will take that drive up to Yarralumla any day now.

But back to the Budget. The Good, the Not-so-Good and the Questionable. What exactly does it contain (other than the phrase “without increasing taxes”, uttered by Treasurer Frydenberg no less than nine times during his speech)?

More importantly, how will it affect you, your nearest and dearest and your prospects for a brighter future? Read on to find out…

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Why volatile markets separate true investors from the rest

Male looking stressed out in front of his laptop computer

There’s a saying among seasoned pilots that flying can best be described as long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.

Many investors, reeling from the recent pullback in the US sharemarket that commenced on 5 February after the stellar returns of 2017,  would no doubt share these sentiments.

For newer investors who’ve never experienced a share market pullback of this size and speed, the recent movements must have been nerve-wrecking. Media headlines screaming “market rout”, “bloodbath” and “worst point decline in history” certainly didn’t help matters either, stoking fear in the investing public for the sake of clicks, views and readership.   

If you’ve just had your first experience of a sharemarket dip, welcome to the club. Grab a seat and catch your breath. It may be your first market correction but it will almost certainly not to be your last. All-time sharemarket highs followed by the occasional reversal are a feature, not a bug, of long-term investing.

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What’s the difference between a dividend and a distribution?

dividend distribution

Investing can be intimidating especially with all the jargon thrown around. Capital gains! Efficient market hypothesis! Rate of return!

Thankfully, you don’t need a PhD to be a successful investor.  But, there are a few terms you should familiarise yourself with on your journey to financial security.  Two of the more confusing are dividends and distributions.  Often these terms are used interchangeably, even though they have very different meanings.

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How to protect yourself from an investment scam

investmentscam

The two most common type of scams used on Australians are dating and romance scams, and investment scams. Between them they accounted for almost $50 million of the $83.6 million reported to the  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch service during 2016.

While we’re not qualified to provide guidance on how to enhance your love-life, we are very much dedicated to improving your financial life, and that means providing you with the knowledge to avoid investment scammers. Here’s what you need to know.

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The risks of investing in property

rentvesting

Rentvesting. It’s the new new thing. Buying an investment property while continuing to rent elsewhere.

Most do it with no intention of ever living in their purchase. For many it’s a way to hedge against ever rising property prices, in the hope that one day the sale of their investment property will provide a decent deposit for the home of their dreams.

There are benefits to getting on the property ladder for sure.  But property investing is not without its share of risks, and so if you’re considering taking the plunge you should make yourself aware of the key ones.

Here then are six risks you ought to consider when investing in property.

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