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Strategy Updates

Strategy updates
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2019-20 Federal Budget policies on tax, superannuation and business

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What you can expect after the election

Headlines only explain so much. In this special update, we examine where the 2019-20 Federal Budget left us, and the pivotal policies from the ALP on tax, superannuation and business.

There are no guarantees, however, that any policies or announcements not already legislated will come to fruition – that will depend on the Senate composition. At the next election, 40 of the 76 Senate seats will be contested - 6 in each State and 2 in the Territories. The final Senate composition will determine what policies become a reality, the more controversial the policy the less likely it is to pass the Senate. Let’s take a look!

How much rent should I charge for my investment property?

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Whether you are new to property investment or an experienced investor, setting the rent on your investment property can be a difficult and research intensive process. Charging the right amount of rent has a critical impact on the performance and overall viability of your investment property and financial strategy. Rent setting is a delicate process; the goal of investing is to maximise the income earned, increasing the return on your investment while at the same time avoiding pricing the property out of range of potential tenants. So how does a property investor find the sweet spot where they can rent the investment property for the most beneficial price?

International Women's Day: Has anything changed?

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Women and girls make up just over half (50.7%) of the Australian population. While women comprise roughly 47% of all employees in Australia, they take home on average $251.20 less than men each week (full-time adult ordinary earnings). The national gender “pay gap” is 15.3% and it has remained stuck between 15% and 19% for the past two decades.

In 2017, Australia was ranked 35th on a global index measuring gender equality, slipping from a high point of 15th in 2006. While Australia scores very highly in the area of educational attainment, there is still a lot of progress to be made in the areas of economic participation and opportunity and political empowerment.

Legislation in limbo

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A budget, an election and the legislation that hasn't made it through.

The February 2019 Parliamentary sitting days were the last opportunity before the Federal Budget for the Government to introduce or push through new legislation. Next month, on 2 April, Parliament reconvenes for the Federal Budget and it’s likely that an election will be called very soon after that (18 May 2019 is the last possible date for the election of the House of Representatives). Any legislation that has not passed when the election is called basically goes back to the drawing board and may never be enacted.

Single touch payroll extended to all employers

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From 1 July 2019, single touch payroll – the direct reporting of salary and wages, PAYG withholding and superannuation contribution information to the ATO – will apply to all employers. What employers need to report will also be extended to include certain salary sacrificed amounts.

Employers with 20 or more employees have been required to use single touch payroll since 1 July 2018. The new rules push all businesses with employees into the single touch payroll system. This includes the situation where payments are made to the owners of the business in the form of salary, wages or directors fees.

5 steps to staying up to date with your superannuation position

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Depending on how close you are to retirement, actually accessing your superannuation might feel like another lifetime away. It’s all too common for Australians to treat their superannuation as a set and forget part of their lives, failing to keep up to date with important legislative changes along with rule changes that may have positive or negative effects on your super balance. Financial solutions providers know all too well just how long some people leave their superannuation for, but it’s still surprising to see people failing to keep on top of such an important aspect of post retirement financial health.

The top 7 things tenants look for in a rental property

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As a first time landlord or property investor, it can be hard to pinpoint the things that are going to help you to ensure your property is rented out at the best price, and sooner rather than later. Luckily there have been a number of surveys and long term studies conducted by research groups and property managers in Brisbane around what potential tenants look for when deciding whether or not to rent a property. By following these 7 tips you will go a long way to ensuring your property stays occupied for the best possible price, avoiding periods of time without anyone renting your investment property.

How to choose the right financial planner for your circumstances

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Choosing a qualified and reputable financial adviser for your personal circumstances is instrumental in ensuring your financial goals are achieved. The recently released Royal Commission on Financial Services has now concluded and has shown just how important it is to ensure your financial adviser, financial planner or mortgage broker is adequately qualified in their field and in a position to act wholly in your best interests. The value of good personalised financial advice is still priceless, and more than ever is going to be necessary to navigate the complex and rapidly shifting economic climate.

5 myths Financial Advisers hear all the time about Wills and Estates

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Did you know that approximately 50% of Australian adults don’t have any form of will? That means half of Australians are without the final legal document that outlines their final wishes and the distribution and administration of any assets making up their estate. That is a scary statistic considering that dying is one of the most disruptive things that can happen to not just your family, but also your finances and possessions.

Protect your money from scams

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You’ve been scammed, hacked or breached!

Another year, another scam. While data driven crime is more sophisticated and difficult to address than ever, human error and judgement remains one of the major problems.

The latest data breach report from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is surprising for the simplicity of the problems - 37% of data beaches resulted from human error not malicious attack. In over 20% of reported cases, personal information was simply sent to the wrong recipient. Another 6% of complaints were attributed to system faults.

Tax warning on overseas income

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Do you earn income overseas? A recent case highlights why you might pay more tax than you thought on foreign income.

If you are an Australian resident and earn income from overseas, such as income from investments, sale of assets such as property, distributions from foreign trusts, etc., you will generally need to declare that income in your Australian tax return. If you have paid tax in a foreign country on that income, you might be able to claim a foreign tax offset to reduce your Australian tax liability.

Estate planning to protect your assets

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What would happen if...

Life does not always go to plan. While we logically know that, most of us don’t plan for the worst - it's all a bit morbid and time consuming.

The downside of not planning is the potential for hard earned assets to be squandered, family fall-outs, and money handed to the Government that could have been distributed in accord with your wishes. If you are a business owner, then the stakes are even higher.

Reduce risk with a well diversified investment portfolio

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Volatility is the word on many economists’ lips in 2019 as Australian and Global outlooks on stocks, property and banking take a more unclear path. Financial advisers are being asked more than ever by clients and investors as to the timing of when possible downturns will occur and how best to protect themselves against possible downturns in a number of different asset classes. While the forecasts are notoriously unreliable and the timing of downturn events nearly impossible to pick, one risk management technique has the ability to increase returns over different cycles and help offer a buffer against any possible losses.

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