Investment PlanningNews Investing in Infrastructure

Investing in Infrastructure: Key Drivers

The financial advisors in our Perth office are often asked for recommendations on what companies are the best or most reliable investments. Since everyone’s financial situation is different, we can’t really give any specific advice on this blog or over the phone until we have had an individual consult.

All information on our website is general by law, but we are allowed to provide some insight for you from our parent company, AMP Capital. We would like to tell you about infrastructure investment and why it can sometimes make a lot of sense for those trying to maximise their incomes.

What is Infrastructure Investment?

Infrastructure investment means investing in companies that build, operate or supply what is considered to be infrastructure. This includes distributors of gas, water, electricity and oil. It also includes communications, roads, airports, ports and toll roads. *

Many companies involved in infrastructure have long-term contracts, monopolies and built-in protection against inflation and other market characteristics.*

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NewsRetirement Planning Factors for Investing in Retirement

Important Factors for Investing in Retirement

Retirement planning can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortunately, we have helped numerous people in the Perth area get started on the path to a prosperous retirement. At Approved Financial Planners, we have a wealth of local experience, combined with the resources of AMP Financial.

While we are not allowed to give any specific advice on this blog due to the disparity in individual financial situations, we would like to provide you with some general information that both we and AMP feel is important when making investment decisions.

Why Retirement Planning is Important

For many in the previous generation, an age pension was enough to provide a comfortable retirement. However, the Australian Government is now encouraging everyone to take control and save for their own retirement.*

As more baby boomers reach retirement age, the number of people drawing pensions will soon be too large for the current workforce to sustainably support them. Consequently, Australians are being encouraged to create their own sources of income to supplement their age pensions and ensure a comfortable lifestyle after retirement.*

Here are some factors to consider when planning your retirement.*

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Mortgage BrokingNews Mortgage Broking in Perth

Two Workarounds to Becoming a Property Owner

At Approved Financial Planners, we also offer mortgage broking to our Perth area clients. Many of our clients use us for “one-stop shopping” for financial planning and home loans. One of the most fulfilling facets of our job is being able to help someone into their first home or first investment property.

We know that if you don’t yet own property, it can seem daunting. While we can’t give anyone specific advice on our company blog, we are allowed to provide general information that can be helpful. Here are two workarounds that have helped involve people in their first properties.


You may decide to pool resources with family or a bunch of mates to buy a home. This allows you to save for your deposit and your stamp tax more quickly. It can also allow you to borrow more money and find a higher quality home. In addition, if you can raise 20% deposit, you may not have to purchase mortgage insurance.

Remember, though: there are a lot of pitfalls involved. It can be helpful to have a legal team draw up papers that afford all investors a measure of protection.

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Financial PlannersInvestment PlanningNews Creating Passive Income Streams

Tips for Creating Passive Income Streams

Investment planning can be confusing and scary. It is one of the services we offer in our Perth office. When investment planning is done right, your money can make money for you. We cannot offer specific information over a blog; you will have to contact our office in Perth for a consult if you would like specific advice. However, we can provide some general tips to get you pointed in the right direction.

Do You Have Goals Yet?

Our parent company, AMP Financial, has a lot of good information on their website, On their page entitled “Understanding Investments,” they recommend that you formulate short term, medium term and long term goals. Short term is defined as in the next six months to two years. Medium term is the next two to five years. Long term is anything further down the road than five years.

Choosing the Correct Investment Vehicle

On AMP’s webpage called “Choosing the right investment option,” they explain how to decide which forms of investments are right for you. The first factor to take into consideration is your risk tolerance. This is determined by combining your attitude towards risk with the amount of time you have to invest.

Generally, the higher the potential return, the higher the risk. However, that isn’t always the case and our financial planners are experts at finding investments that have above-average risk to reward ratios. Here are some risk-reward factors of popular investments.

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Financial PlannersInvestment PlanningNewsRetirement Planning Clear on Investment Goals

Why It’s Important to be Clear on Investment Goals

Whether you are in the investment planning stage, the retirement planning stage or both, our parent company AMP recently provided information reminding us all how important it is to be clear on investment goals. We provide individual consults in our Perth office. One of the first questions we usually ask is about investment goals. Believe it or not, some of those we are consulting don’t have any investment goals yet.

Why Now?

The cash interest rate is at record lows. While this is a boon for borrowers, it is causing many investors to rethink their strategies. One of the major decisions investors must make now is whether they prefer income sustainability or capital stability. *

Previously, term deposits and other cash investments have been regarded as “safe.” Under normal circumstances, cash investments deliver an adequate, if not large, level of income. In addition, their capital value is stable. *

So, what has changed? When the RBA cash interest rate is low, both loan rates and the income provided by long term cash deposits are also low. Since the RBA cash interest rate is the lowest it has ever been, many cash investments are no longer providing high enough returns to offset inflation. *

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Investment PlanningNews Setting Financial Goals

Have You Set Your Financial Goals Yet?

One of the services we offer is called “investment planning.” When potential clients call our Perth office and ask for an individual consult, one of the first things we ask is “what are your investment goals?” Often, the answer is “I don’t have any investment goals.” This raises what we see as an obvious question: “How can you have an investment plan without investment goals?”

Remember that all information here is general. We cannot provide any individual advice on our blog. If you want advice, you will need to call us and arrange for a free consult. Here are three tips for getting it right.

Getting a Handle on Finances

Whenever we provide an individual consult, it always goes better if you have a handle on your finances. This means knowing how much money you have coming in every month, your assets, how much money going out every month and your debts. People who know this information tend to be more efficient at saving money, which can eventually be used for investments.

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Estate PlanningNews Start Thinking about Estate Planning

Why It’s Never Too Early to Start Thinking about Estate Planning

Many Australians think “estate planning” means drawing up a will and forgetting about it. While the first step in estate planning is, indeed, to draw up a will, there are a lot more things you can do to ensure a smooth transition and allow your heirs to keep more of their money. While we aren’t allowed to give individual advice on our blog and all information must be general in nature, here are some of the strategies we have suggested to various clients in our Perth office.

The Will

At Approved Financial Planners, we don’t create wills. However, we do provide referrals to trusted members of the legal profession who are qualified to make sure your assets go to whom you want, while taking full advantage of tax effective and innovative strategies. The will is the linchpin of your succession strategy.

Transfer of Assets

Some clients choose to start transferring assets while they are still alive. This can often have tax advantages and can help your heirs utilise the assets at an earlier age. For example, passing on a business can allow the heirs to run it more successfully while allowing you to forget about it and enjoy retirement.

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Financial PlannersNews Optimistic About The Economy

7 Reasons Why the Chief Economist of AMP Capital is Optimistic about the Economy

As financial advisors in Perth, it is our job to know everything we can about the economy. At Approved Financial Planners, we spend a lot of time talking to clients and peers about minute details of events affecting the economy.

As you may have guessed, it hasn’t always been fun and games, starting with the end of the mining boom in WA. Even though the economy has been doing much better as of late, there is still no shortage of naysayers predicting doom and gloom for the Australian economy.

Recently, Dr Shane Oliver, the Chief Economist of AMP Capital, our parent company, published a piece on the “Oliver’s Insights” section of the company blog called, “The Australian economy – seven reasons not to be too gloomy.” The piece provided contextual background for why the naysayers are so persistent, then gave seven reasons why the economy is in better shape than the naysayers think. We would like to provide a summary for you.*

Frustrated with Slow Growth?

While the March quarter showed a 0.9% growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), annual growth is stuck at 2.3% where economists would rather see it between 3% and 3.25%. If one takes into consideration that net exports were responsible for 0.4% and inventories were responsible for 0.3%, domestic final demand was nearly flat for the March quarter and only 1.1% year to year.*

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Financial PlannersNews Maximising Your Tax Return

Tips for Maximising Your Tax Return

It’s that time of year again. Financial advisors and accountants in Perth are busier than ever, helping advise clients what and what not to deduct on their tax returns. We would like to provide a few general tips here. Remember: this does not constitute any individual or direct financial advice. That can only be done by a meeting with a licensed financial planner in our Perth office.

Anyway, here are some tips that may help you out.

Home Study

If you are learning a new skill at home and it is directly related to your ability to earn an income, you may be able to claim a percentage of the expenses incurred during self-education.

Work Uniforms

If your job requires you to buy work uniforms, you may be able to claim both the purchase and cleaning of the uniforms.

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NewsSuperannuation Fund Super Working Hard Enough for You

Is Your Super Working Hard Enough for You?

Have you checked your superannuation fund lately? Is it working hard enough for you? Ideally, everyone in Perth would answer those questions “yes.” However, the reality is that some people pay a lot of attention to their supers and some just stick with the fund their employer uses and hope it increases on “auto-pilot.”

If you are someone who keeps track and is happy with how your employer’s retail or corporate fund is performing, great.

Superfund Basics

Currently, your employer is required to pay 9.5% of your income, not including overtime, to your superannuation fund. You are allowed to make contributions to the fund as well. Depending on the conditions of your employment, the money may go into a corporate fund chosen by your employer or a fund that you choose between a retail fund and an industry fund or a self managed super fund.

The super fund invests your money for you. All increases are reinvested for you and you make money off of the money the fund has already made. This is similar to “compounding interest.”

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