Knowledge Centre

Seeds of Growth

2014 could be another good year for equities
Global stock markets had another stellar year in 2013 as the S&P 500 Index notched record after record. Investors are likely to remain well disposed to equities in 2014 due to the same underlying reason – the prospect of sustained economic progress in the US.

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Scamwatch: Weight loss scams
Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to try and trick people out of their money. Just in time for the New Year, scammers are currently taking advantage of people intending to lose weight. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) warns that these scams operate by offering a new product, a revolutionary new diet, or a fat reducing device.

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Deeming rates reduce
Deeming rates are used to assess income from financial investments for social security purposes. Deeming assumes that financial investments earn a certain rate of income, regardless of the actual amount of income received. If you earn more than these rates, the extra income is not assessed.

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There are a number of different ways that you can save for your children’s education, especially as it’s likely to be one of the biggest family expenses that you’ll ever have.

It’s important to try and start as early as possible as saving for a child’s education is very much a long-term strategy, often taking 7-10 years.

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For many of us, retirement may seem a long way off and our superannuation may not get the attention it deserves. The reality is that in most instances, super is second only to the family home as your biggest asset, (and in some cases it may even be number one).

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While low interest rates are great for those people with a mortgage, they can make things very hard if you’re retired and rely on income from term deposits.

Many retirees like the security and consistency of term deposits, however the rates on offer are now so low that, after taking inflation into account, you may be going backwards.

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As effortlessly as magic, the US economic recovery is helping shrink Washington’s budget deficit as more taxes and income roll in and fewer welfare payments are sent out. The Congressional Budget Office predicts the US federal deficit will narrow to about 4% of GDP this year and dwindle to 2.1% of output by 2015 – less than a quarter of the post-crisis high of 8.5% of GDP in 2010.

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With the Federal Election coming up on 7 September, and a possible change of government in the midst, we ponder a question that may be on the mind of Australian investors – will this impact my investments?

History has shown that elections do have a short-term effect on investment markets.

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Quirky terms accompany a daring experiment that is underway on the world’s second-biggest modern economy. “Abenomics” formulated by the “reflationists” is about firing “three arrows” to thrust Japan’s economy out of two decades of deflation-ridden, stop-start growth. The weapons include full-bore monetary and fiscal policy and structural reform.

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After having an extended period of being above parity with the U.S. Dollar, the Australian Dollar appears to be back on the rollercoaster with its value falling recently into the nineties. So why is this happening all of a sudden and where is it heading? Can we expect more falls, or could it bounce back?