Milkshakes, accountants and business advisors: Why tailored solutions matter

Milkshakes, accountants and business advisors: Why tailored solutions matter

During a recent holiday, my family and I embarked on the search for the ultimate milkshake. Of course, we all had different ideas about the ultimate slurp, so it wasn’t going to be easy.

We looked up the best milkshake cafes in the area (according to some food writer), and read a few online reviews. And then at the end of each day we’d buy a different milkshake on our way back from soaking up the sun.

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Two ways to help your children get a foothold in the property market

Two ways to help your children get a foothold in the property market

Like all parents, you want your children to have the best possible start in life by helping them grow their own financial nest egg. And owning property is a great way to do it. So how can you help your children get a foothold in the property market?

Ideally, you’d be able to give them enough money to cover the 5% cash deposit and associated stamp duty and legal costs. But what happens if you don’t have the money? Can you still help your children get a foothold?

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Economic Snapshot – July 2016

Economic Snapshot – July 2016

In Summary – a look at July 2016

The turbulence world financial markets unleashed by the surprise Brexit vote at the end of June quickly disappeared in July as it became apparent that any immediate negative impact would more than likelybe restricted to the UK. The issue of sorting out the actual exit has also been realised as a long term
programme meaning there’s no need to overreact.

What markets did do, is turn their attention back to the pace of economic growth and its implications for central bank policy. In general, the latest data show no signs of imminent recession in major key economies like the US and China. Equally there’s not enough US growth to clearly compel the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates in a hurry. Combined with expectations of further monetary stimulus in the UK, Europe and Japan, the markets were happy to resume buying both equities and government bonds.

After holding the cash rate steady in June, the Reserve Bank cut to a new record low of 1.5% on August 3rd. This came in the wake of the inflation report for the second quarter which, as expected, showedinflation remaining below the bottom of the Reserve Bank’s target range.

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Economic Snapshot – 2016 Review & 2017 Outlook

Economic Snapshot – 2016 Review & 2017 Outlook

In summary

In hindsight 2015/16 proved to be a volatile year of repeating mini crisis’. Despite the erratic political and economic news, we still enjoyed modest growth in most of the traditional main stream asset classes. This ended up coupling nicely with some surprisingly buoyant returns in bonds, small cap equities and listed property. Although this was an impossible task to foreshadow at the beginning of the year, diversification into what is traditionally the more volatile areas proved beneficial for investors.

Overall the year seemed to be full of new surprises, triggering bouts of volatility in equity markets and ever lower sovereign bond yields. It started with China’s devaluation in August 2015, shortly followed with OPEC’s decision to push the price of oil down to regain lost market share, and then extenuated with the Federal Reserve [Fed] in the USA generating on-off again messages about lifting interest rates. Finally, we had the surprising Brexit vote with the UK referendum deciding to withdraw from the European Union. Not surprisingly, this all undermined investors’ confidence in the global economy. However fears of imminent recession proved overdone as global growth slowed and resilience emerged in keeping with economic fundamentals. Some would say a victory for the economists.

In this very unusual environment investors continued to seek yield (Real Estate Investment Trusts and Infrastructure) while avoiding riskier growth assets (Emerging Markets). The US cash futures market ended the year pricing in no further move from the Fed for the better part of the next two years. Many commentators feel this is overly pessimistic and believe it’s likely that the Fed will have to take some cautious tightening steps in the coming year.

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Financial procrastinations: A common trap in business and personal financial management

Financial procrastinations: A common trap in business and personal financial management

by Michelle Durham

Does it seem like everyone else is going places while you’re stuck where you are? Do you keep muttering “How do they do it?” under your breath when you see kids in their crisp private school uniforms, or families heading to the airport for yet another family holiday? You work just as hard as they do (if not harder), and yet you’re the one being left behind, which means they must be doing something you’re not, or vice-versa.

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