In this issue:
- Running for cover – how much personal insurance is enough?
- Budget your way back into the black
- Participating in the sharing economy
Spring is here, time to put your winter woollies away for another year and get into the great outdoors. If you are in need of inspiration, the recent Olympic Games and the Paralympics about to begin have something for everyone.
The Rio Olympics were not the only spectator sport in August. All eyes on global financial markets were trained on the annual meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, hoping for guidance about the direction of US interest rates. In a much anticipated speech, US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said ‘the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has strengthened in recent months’. She cited the solid performance of the US labour market and the outlook for economic activity and inflation.
In Australia, rates moved in the opposite direction. The Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate to a record low of 1.5 per cent in August. While noting that ‘prospects for growth in economic activity are positive’, the RBA board believes ‘there is room for stronger growth’. This view was reinforced by the company profit reporting season just ended. If BHP Billiton’s large loss is excluded, an analysis by CommSec found that profits of the top 200 companies rose a solid 8.5 per cent in the year to June 30, while 92 per cent paid a dividend. After a year of cost-cutting and restructuring, the outlook for the corporate sector in 2017 is improving. With inflation running at an annual rate of 1 per cent, the RBA has room to cut rates further if needed.
Australians enjoy access to a strong safety net, with universal healthcare and the new Disability Support Scheme. But will this be enough to protect your family’s standard of living if you or your partner die or become too ill to work? The answer is almost certainly no. But how much is enough … Read more
Real household debt per person has risen steadily by around 2 per cent per year, and now sits at around $79,000 per person. Sound scary? The good news is, there are ways you and your family can buck this trend and ensure your finances stay out of the red and in the black. The key is good old fashioned budgeting … Read more
Ever heard of the sharing economy? Aka the collaborative economy, rental economy or gig economy. If you haven’t come across this relatively recent economic trend yet, you will soon. In fact, you almost certainly know of (or have even used) some of the bigger platforms in the game. Large international sharing economy platforms are growing their user bases exponentially … Read more