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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Estate PlanningNews Superannuation Estate Planning is So Important

Why Superannuation Estate Planning is So Important

Estate planning is an important part of protecting your wealth and making sure that your surviving spouse and children have access to your superannuation fund. In Perth and beyond, it is reassuring to many to know that their families will be taken care of in the event of their death.

While the death benefit being paid to a surviving child under the age 18 or spouse can be tax-effective, there is more to superannuation estate planning. Vulnerable beneficiaries often need to be protected and funds need to be available to entities that are classified as “non-tax dependents.”*

What is a Testamentary Trust?

A testamentary trust is an arrangement or trust contained within a will and takes effect only after the person dies. It can be created using all or any part of the estate as assets. A will can contain many different testamentary trusts. A testamentary trust can allow for vulnerable beneficiaries to receive their funds while still preserving the tax efficiency for the spouse or children.*

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Business InsuranceFinancial PlannersNews Business Overhead Insurance in Perth

Does Your Business Have Business Overheads Insurance?

If you are an owner or a partner in a business, you may already know about business overheads insurance. We feel that business overheads insurance is an important piece in helping any business protect its assets if the owner becomes disabled and unable to work for up to a year due to sickness or injury. In a competitive business environment such as that in Perth, it can mean the difference between your business surviving or folding if you become temporarily unable to work.

Business overheads insurance is usually used to pay overheads such as payroll, rent, utility bills, office expenses and other fixed costs. The premiums are usually able to be deducted from your taxes and the policy covers up to 100% of business expenses that are deemed eligible.

AMP Business Overheads Insurance

We are associated with AMP and they offer a business overheads insurance policy. Here are some highlights.

Indexation: When the consumer price index (CPI) rises, AMP automatically increases your cover to reflect those rises.

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Insurance ProtectionNews Understanding Trauma Insurance

Understanding Trauma Insurance

Trauma insurance can take care of you and your family if you have a traumatic illness or procedure that makes you unable to work for an extended period of time. We have helped many Perth residents protect themselves from the financial consequences of conditions or procedures such as a stroke, a heart attack, cancer or even a major organ transplant.

Unlike income protection insurance or total and permanent disability (TPD) cover, trauma insurance pays you upon being diagnosed. The time that you are unable to work is irrelevant. Many of our clients in the Perth area have found trauma insurance to be the missing piece that completes their wealth protection program.

How Trauma Insurance Works

Trauma insurance pays you a lump sum if you are diagnosed with any medical condition specifically covered or have a medical procedure that is specifically covered. It is a standalone policy that pays you regardless of your ability to work. It is often used for medical and living expenses that are over and above those covered by TPD or income protection.

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NewsSuperannuation Fund Take Control With A Self Managed Superannuation Fund

Is it Time to Take Control with a Self Managed Superannuation Fund?

The self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) is a way that people in Perth and beyond can save for retirement. When employers make contributions into your super, you can choose to have them put it in their corporate fund, an industry fund, a retail fund or an SMSF. There are many factors to consider, such as risk, reward, fees and insurance.

Remember that this information is general in nature. We can’t really make any specific recommendations without an individual consult to fully understand your financial situation first. We would like to give you an overview of SMSFs to help you decide if you would like to know more about them.

Factors to Consider

An SMSF isn’t for everyone. There are some factors you need to consider. According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), you may need as much as $200,000 to set up a viable SMSF. In addition, you will need to be a trustee. That involves a lot of time and responsibility.

You will need to submit reports on deadline, constantly monitor your investment strategy, keep abreast of all changes in SMSF regulations and keep a keen eye on the market for investment opportunities. You will also need to choose someone such as Approved Financial Planners to set up your SMSF.

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