CASH, SHARES OR PROPERTY – WHERE TO INVEST NOW
Investors are up against a conundrum. Rewarding, risk-free returns for cash and term deposits are drying up with the official cash rate down to 3.5%. And it may not stop there. But where do investors go? Australians have been big fans of shares and 7.3 million Australians hold shares directly or indirectly. Residential real estate has also been a sacred cow of local investment. Investors are up a blind alley, with many not knowing which way to go. Money talks to the experts to find out where investors should put their money.
Finds ways to cut the costs
The cost goes up but can you really afford to dump private health cover? Covering your health with private insurance does not come cheap – families easily pay $200 a month just for top hospital cover. And that’s before the changes to the rebate came into play early this month. Before June 30, anyone who took out private health insurance got a 30% rebate on their premiums, but from this month the rebate is reduced or scrapped altogether, depending on how much you earn. Money comes up with a few suggestions to ensure you are getting the right balance of cover for your versus the value you get.
IN YOUR INTEREST
Paul Clitheroe says get a grip – our forebears would be green with envy
Story Paul Clitheroe
“Enough already,” says Paul. He’s over the ridiculously negative headlines in all parts of the Australian media and thinks we turn anything into an imminent catastrophe. Sure, plenty of bad things are going on here and around the planet, but when was that not so? Pauls thinks if we asked our forebears, they would be green with envy!
Pilot wonders which fund will take off
Story Paul Clitheroe
Stuart is a 41 year old pilot with superannuation in defined benefit. He’s receives 13.3% of his “superannuation salary” (without overtime etc.) in his super fund – 4.3% is a pre-tax contribution from his pay. If he moved to an accumulation fund he could request the minimum 9% super contributions and that the 4.3% be directed to his take-home pay. Should he move his super into an accumulation fund or remain in the defined benefit fund? Paul delivers his verdict.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Not guilty your honour
Story Anne Lampe
“I have received a traffic infringement notice in the mail. It says I must pay a fine of $260 or face a further penalty and legal action. What should I do?” These days a lot of infringements are recorded electronically and you may be unaware of the alleged offence until you receive the infringement notice. If you weren’t driving that day, or have never driven down the road where the notice says you were caught by a red light camera, you don’t believe you were speeding and are always careful to park where permitted, there are a number of avenues for challenging the notice. Money investigates.
FIX IT AND FEEL GOOD
Susan Hely spreads the DIY repair message
Story Susan Hely
Susan love Hills Industries. The company, based in Adelaide, has come to her rescue time and again when she has needed spare parts to repair various products. Hills’s philosophy is to make long-lasting products. Its spare parts service posted out a seal and valve kit for Susan’s Hills garden sprayer in a matter of days for a few dollars. Last year it was a new part for her folding-frame clothesline and years ago a new swing seat for her kids’ outdoor play gym. Weber similarly builds its barbecues to last and repairing them is just part of the service. Should we lean towards fixing things rather than throwing them away – saving yourself a small fortune?
The last thing you need is to have your identity stolen
Story Emi Berry
The internet and its use for e-commerce has delivered convenience for many of us. Like it or not, you have to admit it has made the chore of everyday transactions a breeze. Communicating with someone on the other side of the world is a cinch and then, of course, there’s the convenience of social networking. The virtues of social media may be debatable, but a staggering combined total of 985 million users must think it’s a good thing, “tweeting” on Twitter and telling us “what’s on their mind” on Facebook. But all this convenience can come at a cost. Money takes a look at how to protect yourself from online identity theft.
Household names can’t defy corporate evolution
Story Ross Greenwood
Even the biggest company names can disappear, says Ross. Even those you believe are rock solid and an important part of your life can disappear. Let’s call it corporate evolution. So take some of the Australian corporate classics that right now have to reinvent themselves quickly or go the way of the dinosaur – Myer, David Jones, Fairfax Media, Qantas. There. I’ve said it. All of them have historic cost structures that are too high in today’s world and customer bases that are changing more rapidly than they are. Ross ponders whether the large wounded warriors can survive or not.
Creating good along the way
Interview with Nic Lowe
Story Deborah Light
Nic Lowe couldn’t look less like the senior financial markets trader he’s been for most of his working life. As he ambles through his headquarters in Sydney’s inner west, genially introducing his co-workers, he doesn’t look much like a boss either. Not a suit in sight. The mood’s relaxed and everyone’s dressed like they’re about to slouch out for coffee. Nor does Lowe’s easy demeanour suggest his passion for, and commitment to, his burgeoning young enterprise. Deborah Light talks to Nic Lowe, co-founder and director of CarShare Australia, operators of GoGet.
HIGHLIGHTS AND GIVEAWAYS
• Reader offer: Free tickets to the Home Buyer $ Property Investor Show and the Trading & Investing Seminars & Expo at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, July 20 to July 22 .
• Book of the month: Your property success with renovation. We’re giving away 10 copies to our readers.
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