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Strategy Updates

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5 tips to increase your chances of getting approved for a home loan this year

A couple is taking a key
It appears that 2019 is poised to be another important year for home owners, investors and those looking to enter into the housing market. Home loan advisers are being asked more than ever – “what will happen to the property market this year?” While there is no magic answer, perhaps a more apt question could be asked in its place – “what will happen to home loan lending in 2019?” Many economists point to the correlation between house prices and home loan approval rates. Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that November home loan approvals fell by 0.9% and the total value of home loan finance dropped 2.5%. This data supports many economists’ beliefs that banks are their tightening their lending criteria and being more selective of how their loans are dispersed.

5 things you probably didn't know about Australian economic history

Australian economic history
Australia has a long and rich history of innovation, borne out of necessity and brilliance. Due to our removal from other developed nations, we have often had to fend for ourselves on the world stage of history, creating some interesting solutions to problems and creating historically significant economic landmarks. Below are 5 things you may not have known about history and economics in Australia.

Comprehensive Credit Reporting - Lenders new requirements, so what does this mean for you?

Person discussing on a tablet
Comprehensive credit reporting, a crucial step when assessing a loan application is assessing past repayment history. A credit search is one way lenders do this. A credit search will show if an applicant has been bankrupt, defaulted on both financial and non-financial accounts (i.e. mobile phone, power, personal loans or home loans) and prior enquiries for credit. This is called negative credit reporting - only adverse information listed. However, from 1st July 2018 the major banks have been required to list positive history.

Why you need to speak to a loan adviser in 2019

Two men shaking hands for loan
Home loans, interest rates, big banks, Royal Commissions; four major talking points for economists, journalists and everyday Australians over the last few years. The Reserve Bank of Australia has now left interest rates unchanged at their record low of 1.5% for almost 2 years, with many economists predicting more of the same for 2019. But this stability in interest rates hasn’t been coupled with stability in Australian politics, economic outlook and house prices. As home loan figures from the end of 2018 start to filter through, it appears as though banks have responded to these instability factors by tightening lending restrictions, resulting in fewer home loans being approved. Investors and first home buyers alike have been affected by these restrictions, with uncertainty around eligibility and lending criteria causing plenty of stress in Australian households.

5 steps to getting your property rented in 2019

Are you ready to start making money from your investment property? Not knowing where to start when it comes to getting your property rented out is a common theme amongst first time landlords. It can be a daunting process preparing your home, satisfying regulations and legislation, finding the right property manager, picking a price point and finding the right tenants but it doesn’t have to be. Investing in property is already complicated enough, by following these steps you will be able to ensure a smooth transition into becoming a landlord and making 2019 a profitable year for your investment portfolio and financial health.

Tax on shares: ATO extends data matching program

Person writing tax
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is utilising data provided by the Australian Investments and Security Commission (ASIC) to data match share trades.

The ATO is accessing more than 500 million records detailing price, quantity and time of individual trades dating back to 2014. The information complements information that the ATO already holds from brokers, share registries and exchanges.

How to Goal Set for Success!

A person on top of mountain
First things first, Happy New Year! Bring on 2019! It’s hard to fathom that we’re just under twelve months away from the year 2020. There’s something about the thought of 2020 that sounds so futuristic, surely we are supposed to be getting around in flying cars by now?

We can’t rewind the clock, but we can welcome the New Year and everything that goes along with it, including the trusty New Year’s resolutions. Setting resolutions and goals for success are a great way to get you motived for the new year ahead and set your sights on things you really desire.

4 SMART financial resolutions you'll be able to keep in 2019

Thumbs up man
The festive season is a time filled to the brim with food, fun, presents, family, and for many Australians a hangover or two. For many though, the worst hangover is a financial one. Australians will spend around $10 billion this Christmas and New Year period, and with 40% of people failing to keep track of their budgets during this time, overspending is likely to make up $600 million of this total. A Salvation Army study estimates that 6 million Australians feel obligated to spend more than they can afford, with 1.8 million left with worrying debt after the holiday season and 2.4 million worried about how they will pay for this spending. Don't let financial stress put a dampener on your start to 2019. It's never too late to plan and set yourself some financial resolutions for 2019 that you'll be able to keep and help plan for the year ahead.

Protect yourself and your family with Income Protection Insurance

Foot on banana peel
When it comes to thinking of their assets most people will list the usual things: car, home, contents, shares and maybe some collectibles. Of course it's prudent to insure those assets and most people do. But not many people think of their income as an asset, let alone insure it. In fact, only 2% of Australians have income protection insurance. Think back to your last pay, where did it go? Mortgage repayments, bills, credit card repayments, rent, or maybe you're putting some money away for a trip to Europe. Would you have spent it the same way if you knew it was your last pay for 12 months? How long would your family be comfortable without your salary?

4 benefits of a Self Managed Super Fund

Old happy people
Everybody has heard the term, Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF), but most people are unaware of the ins and outs of one. A SMSF is exactly what it sounds like - it is a superannuation fund where you are the Trustee. Being a trustee of your own Self Managed Super Fund is like having remote control over your retirement. You have the power to make the investment decisions, but with great power comes great responsibility. Tax responsibilities, fee responsibilities, risk responsibilities and the same trust responsibilities as a CEO. Becoming the Trustee of your own superannuation fund is a big decision, and seeking the expert advice of an independent financial planner is crucial.

The 3 easiest steps toward an early retirement

Woman hand in hand
Retiring early, plenty of people joke about it and most would jump at the opportunity in a heartbeat. But how do you know you're ready to retire early? What does retiring early mean? Retiring early doesn't mean retiring from life, it means retiring from work as you know it, and integrating into doing more of the things you want. According to the Australian Seniors Insurance Agency though, 69% of Australians experience anxiousness when they think about their retirement years. A 2017 report by Super provider MLC found that more than half of Australians don't think they'll have enough money to retire on. Retiring early doesn't have to be a pipe dream. With thorough planning, expert guidance and dedication, you can start planning your early retirement today.

Are you paying too much for property management?

Locked wallet image
Expanding your investment portfolio and becoming a landlord has required dedication, thorough planning and a number of unavoidable fees and charges. You've paid stamp duty, transfer fees, conveyancing costs and you're prepared to cover any property damage in a reasonable timeframe. But how much should a Property Manager cost? If you are like a majority of investors, you are focussed on getting the highest dollar value of rent per week possible. Sometimes this tunnel vision can cause landlords to overlook their property management expenses, causing them to pay more than they should. Who likes paying extra fees?

The Systematic Guide to Achieving a Comfortable Retirement

Happy people at old age
If you're like most of us, we all dream about the comforts, rewards and relaxation of retirement. Years of hard work finally paying off, cashing in the super, travelling the world or just having the time and money to do what you please.

This might be a reality for some, but for others, it remains just a dream - particularly if you're going to rely on the age pension to materialise those dreams.

Unless you win the Lotto, like most of us, you will need to plan ahead.

Financial Planning Advice for People in their 30's

Finance sheet and calculator
Are you financially ready to take on your 30's? This phase is one of the most crucial times in your life, financially speaking. Your responsibilities may be changing, whether you are buying a new house, starting a family, or embarking on a new career path. Whatever your 30's hold for you, the way you handle this change in life can very well determine what your finances will look like for the rest of your life.

Expert strategies for protecting your hard earned money.

A pile of coins
The future has never been as unpredictable as it is now. Can you afford to risk your future financial security by failing to adequately take control of your finances today? Most people think about their finances regularly; whether they should spend money, save it for the future or a little bit of the best of both worlds. When it comes to planning for retirement everybody knows that the more you save in your earlier stages of life, the more likely you are to be financially independent.

Property Investments Australia

A door with key inserted
Investing in property is one of the most common forms of investment for many Australians. In addition to a constant rental revenue stream, many suburbs are still offering possibilities of capital gains through house price increases. However, being a landlord is a multi-faceted and sometimes difficult job, certainly more than simply collecting the rental payment each week.

Whether you are thinking of taking the plunge into property investing or have recently added property to your investment portfolio, there are many factors you must consider to ensure a smooth ride as a landlord. From expensive repairs to messy tenants who do not pay on time, there are a number of things to consider.

6 occasions when you need to hire a financial adviser

Funding saving benifit diagram image
Spending money on a financial adviser might feel like an extra burden on your bank balance. In reality it's really a luxury you cannot afford to be without in certain situations. You never know what life is going to throw at you, and not having a plan when life gets bumpy is only going to make a difficult situation worse.