In this issue:
It’s November and there’s no surer sign that summer is on the way than the reappearance of men’s and women’s international cricket on our screens.
The global economic spotlight was on China in October and the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. President Xi Jinping consolidated his power with another five-year term and no mention of a successor. He also unveiled a short-term objective to make China a ‘moderately prosperous society’ by 2021, increasing per capita income to more than $12,000 a year. Xi set out a longer-term strategy, to make China a global leader on par with the US and other advanced countries by 2049. China’s economy continues to expand, up 6.8 per cent in the year to September.
Australia’s economic indicators were mixed. Lower commodity prices in the September quarter resulted in the second quarterly decline in Australia’s terms of trade. Iron ore prices have fallen 22.5 per cent this year while coking coal prices also continue to fall. The annual rate of inflation has also fallen – to 1.8 per cent – after a lower-than-expected rise of 0.6 per cent in the September quarter. Despite higher electricity, tobacco and international travel prices, prices of some consumer items are near 30-year lows. The unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 5.5 per cent in September. The Australian dollar is trading around the US77c mark, down from US78c at the end of September.
It’s been a decade since the market crash known as the Global Financial Crisis rocked the investment world. At the time investors could only watch in disbelief as 50 per cent was wiped off the value of their shares. Arguably, the actions those investors took are still reverberating today. Which begs the question: what are the key lessons of the GFC and did we pay attention?…Read more
Owning your own home has long been the Australian dream but after years of strong house price growth it’s becoming less of a reality for many. This has major implications for retirement planning. The major factor behind the shifting approach to home ownership is the prohibitive price of property. As a result, today’s younger generations may be close to 40 before they take their first step on the property ladder…Read more
There’s a reason that main characters in novels and films always choose the path less travelled at the last minute. It’s not just exciting, it’s the only way to break the patterns (read: monotony) of daily life. When was the last time you did something completely out of the blue? We’re not talking a cheeky extra shot in your morning coffee, or wearing a ‘fun’ shirt to an important meeting. When was the last time you went somewhere new for dinner, just because? Or ignored your GPS and ended up exploring somewhere off the beaten track?…Read more