Viewing posts categorised under: All

MLC Federal Budget Highlights (Infographic)

All / 03.04.2019

Read More >>

What the 2019 Federal Budget means for you

All / 03.04.2019

On Tuesday 2nd April 2019, the Government handed down the 2019-2020 Federal Budget.

The focus of this budget is a plan for a stronger economy and securing a better future. From a financial planning and wealth perspective this is positive news and the changes are minimal compared to prior years, not to mention largely positive in nature.

We have provided a brief budget summary which further explains the budget, discusses the changes and implications.

Please remember that these changes are proposals and may or may not be made into law.

The summary can be found here.

We hope that you find the attached article informative and if you have questions or concerns regarding your personal circumstances please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 6621 8544.

Read More >>

Federal Budget 2019-20 Summary

All / 03.04.2019

Bryan Ashenden from BT Financial looks at the implications of the 2019 Australian Federal Budget from a financial planning perspective.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your personal circumstances please do not hesitate to contact us at TNR Wealth on 02 6621 8544.

Read More >>

It’s Easy Being Green

All / 08.03.2019

With more and more people realising the importance of caring for the planet on which we live, it’s not surprising that many are looking for investments that make a positive impact on our environment, our communities, and our children’s future as a whole.

Investor concerns now range from the environmental implications of a company’s activities, to how it treats its workforce and the communities in which it operates, and to how ethically the company is governed.

These concerns are usually wrapped up under the description of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). A number of managers offer specific SRI funds.

Shades of Green

There is a wide range of SRI funds, and they use different methods for weeding out undesirable investments, or identifying desirable ones. For example, some managers use a negative screen to exclude things like alcohol, tobacco, gambling or uranium mining. These funds are sometimes described as ‘light green’. Another form of ‘light green’ fund is those that apply a ‘best of class’ approach. Such a fund might still invest in mining companies, but only the ones with the best environmental record.

Other funds apply positive screens, specifically looking for companies that are trying to make the world a better place as well as generate a return for shareholders. These include renewable energy companies, cosmetics companies that don’t use animal testing, or property companies that specialise in sustainable development. Funds that operate a positive screen are considered ‘dark green’.

Other colours

Green isn’t the only colour when it comes to socially responsible investing. Non-environmental concerns are important to many investors who want to avoid any involvement in companies associated with alcohol, tobacco, gambling or armaments. Corporate governance and social equity issues are also a factor for some investors.

If you are interested in learning more about socially responsible investing, talk to us about the many options available.

Note: past performance is not an indicator of future results.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
Read More >>

8 common mistakes before retirement and how to avoid them

All / 08.03.2019

Read More >>

Compounding: it’s simply MAGIC!

All / 08.03.2019

Forget about location, location, location being the key to a good investment outcome. For now, let’s think of the most important ingredient as being regular, regular, regular!

A regular savings plan can turn small amounts of money into a sum that can take you closer to your dreams much faster. All that’s needed is time and discipline.

For example, let’s see what happens to an investment starting with just $100 and adding $100 each week from your regular income. Table 1 shows what the investment value would reach after five years and up to thirty years. In this example, we have assumed that the investment pays a return of 5% per annum (paid quarterly).

  5 years 10 years 15 years 20 years 25 years 30 years
5% return $29,598 $67,454 $116,037 $178,386 $258,402 $361,092

Table 1: Regular savings plan of $100 per week compounding monthly.

The results show that a regular savings habit can turn small sacrifices into real outcomes.

To budget or not to budget
Think about what you might have to do in order to save $100 per week to add to your investment. Maybe instead of eating out every week, make it a special monthly event. Taking lunch to work is a big saver – or you could cut back on your coffee purchases if you’re a regular at the local café. Review essentials such as your mobile phone plan and utilities to get better deals and direct that extra cash straight to your investment.

It might sound picky, but in return for this self-restraint you can see what can be achieved:

  • the $29,000 in 5 years might go towards a deposit on your first home or an overseas holiday;
  • the $67,000 in 10 years might contribute to your young children’s secondary or tertiary education; or
  • the extra $258,000 in 25 years might help you to retire more comfortably or earlier than you thought you could.

Any of these goals would seem to make your small sacrifices extremely worthwhile in the long run. And remember to write down your financial goals as early as you can because it’s much easier to make those sacrifices if you know what they are helping you to achieve.

Reducing expenses is not the only way to find a spare $100 each week. Another good time to start a savings plan is when you receive an increase in your disposable income from a new job or a pay rise. Before you spend the extra money, put it away.

The trick is to start soon
Everyone’s ability to save is different. If you can’t save $100 every week, the above figures are still worthy of your attention. For example, if you can save $50 per week simply halve the results in Table 1. Conversely, if your savings capacity is higher, multiply the figures.

The results also demonstrate the effect of time and compounding returns on the value of your investment. The sooner you start, the less you need to save in order to achieve the same outcomes.

The difference 10 years can make!

Christine plans to retire in 20 years from now so she starts saving an extra $100 per week for this goal. Based on our simple calculations she might expect to have an investment of around $178,000 to add to any other superannuation or retirement benefits she has at that time.

Christine’s twin Ben also plans to put down the tools in 20 years, but he is confident that he can save more money than his sister. So Ben ignores any type of retirement planning for the next 10 years. He then saves twice as much as Christine – $200 per week – for the last 10 years of his working life.

Assuming a 5% return on the investment, the difference is staggering. By starting 10 years earlier, Christine will have saved just over $178,000 compared to Ben’s outcome of $134,743.

Even though his regular savings amount totals exactly the same as his sister ($104,000 over the period of the investment), Christine has benefited from the compounding investment returns on her money over a longer period of time, earning an extra $44,000 in interest – or better known as “free money”!

Another way to look at it is that Ben would need to save $265 per week for the last 10 years of his working life (a total of $137,800) to end up with the same outcome as Christine.

And finally…
The examples we have used here are aimed at highlighting the benefits of time and discipline when it comes to investing in a regular savings plan. To keep things simple, we have not taken into account other factors that will impact on the outcomes you can achieve, such as taxation, fees and differing investment returns. These factors are nonetheless important and will need to be considered when you are deciding on the type of investment you choose for your regular savings plan.

Higher-interest savings accounts, managed share funds and superannuation are just a few ways to implement a regular savings plan like the one we have examined here (although you won’t find any at call bank accounts that pay close to 5% at present!). The type of investment that is best for you will depend on your own specific circumstances, including your goals, timeframes and attitude to risk (volatility).

You can start a compounding savings plan on your own or talk to us – we can show you more options to help you achieve your dreams sooner.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
Read More >>

New rules for credit cards: what do they mean for you?

All / 06.03.2019

The name John Biggins may not sound familiar, but the banking industry has much to thank him for. Mr Biggins, a Brooklyn banker, was the brains behind the very first credit card in 1946. Known as the Charg-It card, it led to Diners Club membership cards and store cards, revolutionising the way everyday people shopped.

Australia began with store cards, Diners Club and American Express, but in 1974 when the Bankcard was launched, we really jumped on board.

Today we have almost 16 million credit cards in circulation, a fact that has caused successive governments to regulate, and further-regulate, their use.

The latest regulatory changes came in July 2018 when the federal government banned credit card providers from inviting customers to increase card credit limits. Designed to protect card users, additional rules came into force on 1 January 2019.

Here’s a round-up of the main ones:

  • Applications for new credit cards or credit limit increases must be assessed on the applicant’s ability to repay the entire credit limit within three years.
  • Customers can request to cancel accounts or reduce credit limits online. If the request is made by phone or otherwise, providers must assist without question.
  • Card providers are banned from retroactively applying interest charges on card balances where the full statement balance is not paid.

These reforms are likely to result in reduced card limits, potentially impacting those applying for a balance transfer, but more about this later.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), in November 2018, Australians made 250 million card transactions totalling $29 million – up by 10 million transactions over the previous 12 months.

This is possibly due to increasingly popular tap-and-go technology. We’re ‘tapping’ everything from lattes to doctor appointments, often losing track of purchases along the way.

When using credit cards for quick personal loans beware the fine print! Card loans may offer reduced interest rates, but missed payments can result in interest rates reverting to the card’s higher rate.

Credit card balances can quickly blow out and take years to pay off.

Let’s do some maths.

Assumptions:

  • Card balance: $5,000
  • Interest rate: 18%
  • No fees or further purchases

By paying the minimum monthly amount ($102 then decreasing), it would take 33 years to pay off at a total cost of $17,181 (including $12,181 interest)!

You’re right in thinking that’s an extreme – you wouldn’t take 33 years to pay off $5,000 but we wanted to highlight how interest can get out of hand.

If you’re already in card trouble:

  • Consider making an additional payment of say $50 per month.
  • Balance transfers work well provided you meet your payment obligations during the low/interest free period. Note that new credit limit regulations may reduce the amount you can transfer to a new card.
  • By consolidating multiple credit cards into a personal loan or mortgage, the interest rate will be lower and you’ll only have one payment per month. This may cost more in the long run so consider professional help to do the sums.

Maintain control by:

  • Checking statement transactions for accuracy.
  • Being aware of your credit rating. You’ll find a list of credit score agencies on moneysmart.gov.au.
  • Using only one buy-now-pay-later plan at a time, and using the app’s tracker to monitor spending.
  • Keeping tap-and-go receipts.
  • Seeking advice from your financial adviser about budgeting for your financial position.

From humble beginnings, the credit card became the world’s most widely-accepted form of currency – some countries no longer use cash at all!

We Australians are becoming increasingly cashless, but while enjoying the advantages of plastic, remember to always manage your cards wisely and maximise their benefits – not their credit limits.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

 

Disclaimer

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
Read More >>

Making interest free deals work for you

All / 14.02.2019

They have been around for decades but interest-free deals can still be confusing and costly when not managed correctly.

Excitable advertising can make these offers almost too good to refuse, particularly with longer terms applying to higher levels of finance. For example, to get five years’ interest-free on purchases from some retailers, the minimum spend is $1,000. This simple condition could turn a necessary purchase of say, a new fridge, into a multiple purchase prompted by the seemingly innocent question, “do you need to upgrade your TV?”.

Five years up your sleeve to pay off a larger purchase may sound too tempting to pass up but never forget the age-tested maxim “buyer beware”. In the case of interest-free it’s not always as simple as it sounds.

How do these deals make money?

Not to be confused with the newer “buy now, pay later” products where no interest is ever charged, interest-free deals simply defer the interest to the end of the promotional period and then it appears with guns blazing! Interest will be charged on any outstanding amount at ridiculously high levels, often close to 30% per annum.

For instance, if you had a loan of $3,000, how would you feel about paying an extra $1,000 interest per year? That’s not smart buying.

Although some do, the credit provider is not obligated to warn that the interest-free period is ending. It’s up to you to calculate the monthly repayments to clear the debt during the interest-free period and pay that amount – or more if you can.

It’s not just interest

It may seem attractive, but having a longer period to pay off a purchase will cost you more, particularly when it’s for a relatively inexpensive item, eg. a $1,000 TV. The monthly account-keeping fee will add up considerably over a longer period. Five years (60 months) at $5.95 is an extra $357 in fees. Reducing the period of the loan will save you money on these fees. There are also late payment fees if you miss the monthly due date.

As part of the deal, you will usually be provided with a store card or another credit card for this purchase. The card credit limit may be much higher than your initial purchase as a way to encourage you to spend more, so if you don’t need the extra credit ask for the card limit to match the full purchase price when completing the application. The salesman may explain that you might not be able to increase it later, but take control and stick to your decision.

The card could also have an annual fee so if you repay the total balance within the first 12 months and don’t plan to use it for another purchase make a note to cancel it before the provider charges another annual fee.

Buying smart

If you intend to buy using an interest-free offer, check your budget and make sure you can repay the entire purchase price (plus fees) before the expiry of the interest-free period. Managed well, interest will be your friend. If not, it will be a very expensive enemy.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.
Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
Read More >>

5 common financial mistakes people make in their 40s

All / 14.02.2019

The 40s are, for many people, a critical decade for building wealth. Income is usually on the rise, but so are expenses such as mortgages and school fees. Juggling priorities can be a real challenge, and mistakes made in this stage of life can have a large bearing on the size of your future fortune.

Forewarned is forearmed, so if you’re entering or already amidst this decade of life, here are a few classic mistakes you don’t want to make.

  1. Not paying attention to superannuation

Retirement is decades away, so why pay attention to super at this time of life? Because putting that time to use can generate big rewards.

Take Jo. On turning 40 she decides to contribute an additional $5,000 per year, after tax, to her super fund. There it earns 7% per annum after fees and tax. By the time she turns 50, Jo’s super balance will potentially be $69,000 higher than if she hadn’t made the additional contributions. By age 65, the extra contributions made during her 40s could potentially add $316,000 more to Jo’s super fund!

Depending on individual circumstances, strategies involving salary sacrifice, spouse contributions and government co-contributions could further boost your super.

  1. Buying the biggest house in the best street

It may seem sensible to buy an expensive home if it is going to appreciate in value. However, the bigger the mortgage the greater the risk of experiencing financial stress and of reaching retirement with a substantial home loan still hanging over your head.

Life is more enjoyable (and isn’t that what it’s really all about?) if your budget makes room for some good times now rather than saddling yourself with major debt that requires gratification to be constantly delayed.

  1. Spending money you don’t have on a car you don’t need to impress people you don’t like

Much as you may love that new-car leather-seat smell, borrowing money to buy an expensive new car is a classic way of eroding wealth. New cars shed value faster than a moulting moggie sheds hair, leaving you paying interest on a loan that can quickly exceed the value of the car. And expensive cars usually come with higher running costs.

An enduring piece of wealth creation advice is to drive the cheapest car your ego will allow. Prudent car buying can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to your future wealth.

  1. The wrong insurance mix

If you’re like most Australians, your personal and property insurance coverage is probably inadequate.

Yes, insurance premiums can be expensive, but the consequences of inadequate insurance can be financially (and emotionally) devastating. While it may be a straightforward exercise to work out how much insurance you need on your home, contents and car, your needs for personal insurances (life and disability cover) differ. Expert advice will help you decide on the most appropriate cover.

Also, check you’re not paying for ‘junk’ insurance. Accident cover is a common example. It might be cheap, but only because it provides very limited protection.

  1. Feeling immortal

Okay, the likelihood that you will die or become severely disabled during your 40s may be fairly small, but accidents can and do happen.

Do you have a Will and have you given someone your power of attorney (PoA)? Are both current? Your Will and PoA are important documents, and should be reviewed regularly.

Make the most of your 40s

All these mistakes can be avoided with some planning and expert advice, so talk to your financial adviser about how to make the most of your 40s. Avoiding just some of these pitfalls could really boost your future fortune.

 

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

 

Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
Read More >>

Do you have $220,000 in a lost super account?

All / 24.01.2019

Yes, that sounds incredible but the Australian Tax Office announced in November 2008 that there is an unclaimed (lost) superannuation account holding $220,000! That’s enough to make you find out if it could be yours – or a family member’s?

Anyone who has changed their name, address or job (that accounts for a few of us!) could have some money sitting in a super fund and totally forgotten about it. It might not be $220,000 but you never know what you might find.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to look. Start here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Growing-your-super/Keeping-track-of-your-super/.

For more information or to speak to one of our Financial Advisers please contact TNR Wealth Management on 02 6621 8544.

Disclaimer
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The information and any advice in this publication does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified. It is important that your personal circumstances are taken into account before making any financial decision and we recommend you seek detailed and specific advice from a suitably qualified adviser before acting on any information or advice in this publication. Any taxation position described in this publication is general and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current laws and our interpretation. You should consult a registered tax agent for specific tax advice on your circumstances.
Read More >>